The Yorkshire Post featured an article from our MD Mike McCarthy this weekend, all about the myths around removals. And believe us, there’s plenty of them!
If you’re planning on moving house, there are always people who love to regale you with their words of wisdom and stories about how to save money, time or stress in the process.
But there are plenty of myths around moving that continue to make the whole situation more stressful than it needs to be for those in the midst of planning a move. We still get a lot of people who have preconceptions about the removals process which are very out of date, or just plain wrong! These urban myths can make it difficult for home buyers to know how best to go about planning their move, and can potentially end up costing them extra money in the long run.
Here is some of the advice we shared in the article to help you sort the myths from the truth!
MYTH: You have to move house on a Friday – people often think you have to move on a Friday. For others it can seem like the best day, just before the weekend. This may mean you have a couple of ‘free’ days to unpack, but it also brings with it its own potential problems. Banks close on a weekend so if funds are held up during the completion process you could find yourself having to wait until Monday to get the keys to your new pad. Fridays, the end of the month and school holiday periods are also the busiest times for removal firms – so you may get a better deal if you can avoid these.
MYTH: You can’t start speaking to removals companies until you have a date for yourmove – ideally you should look to get some quotes from removals firms around 6-8 weeks before your proposed move date. You don’t have to book a date in at this point, but it helps to have decided on which firm you want to use, and have fully briefed them in advance. Make sure you choose companies which are registered with the British Association of Removers (BAR) and which have British Safety Standard BS EN:12522 to ensure your belongings will be in safe hands.
MYTH: It’s cheaper to move yourself– it may well be cheaper to hire a van and do it yourself – but make sure you double check and think through the practicalities. Will the van you hire be big enough to hold all your belongings (and does your license cover you driving such a van?) If not, how many trips back and forward will you have to make? How will that work with timings in terms of needing to vacate your old property and waiting for the keys on your new one? How much will it add to the costs in terms of petrol and mileage charges? Of course, moving furniture is also very physical work – can you rope in enough people to help you out? And are you confident you can move fragile items safely? It only takes the damage of one expensive item to make a ‘cheap’ move suddenly turn very expensive!
MYTH: It’s cheaper to choose a removal firm that charges by the hour – removals days can be funny things, and you never know quite how they’re going to pan out. If you have a fixed price cost you know where you stand, but what happens if you’re paying by the hour and there’s issues with traffic jams, or if the people moving out of your new home are running late? What if the completion is delayed until the following day?
MYTH: Packing yourself will save time and money – using a packing service from a removals firm does of course come with a cost. However, it most certainly will save you time. You will be amazed at how quickly they can pack up your belongings. They will also make sure your items are packed safely and securely – they’re much more practiced at it than you! Remember that if the fact you haven’t fully packed holds up the transfer of keys to the new homeowner, they may come to you for reimbursement of any additional costs they incur.
MYTH: Leave your essentials to be packed on the day – You’ll be amazed how long it can take some people to pack their ‘essentials’ – and it can really hold up the moving process, potentially incurring extra costs. It’s a good idea to finish packing the day before and treat it as if you’re on a camping holiday for a few days. Have a suitcase with clothing, put bedding in a strong bin bag, and have a box with a kettle, some mugs and a few snacks to hand. Along with some essentials like cash, torches, contact numbers, toilet roll and a few tools, those can then be put in your car boot on the morning of your move, and hey presto, you’re ready to go.
MYTH: You can save money by using free packaging – it may seem like a good way to save a few pounds, but scrimping on what you pack your worldly belongings into is not a good idea. Grabbing free boxes from the supermarket or using huge plastic carrier bags may sound ok, but they will make moving day 10 times harder and potentially mean your items get damaged. Good quality, durable cardboard boxes don’t need to cost very much and they will be worth it. You don’t want boxes that are too big to carry, or that risk breaking. Remember boxes will also get stacked on the removal van, so you don’t want anything that crushes. Bags are fine for your bedding, for example, but you don’t want to be packing your china in there.
MYTH: You’ll automatically be covered by insurance – it may be your household contents insurance covers your belongings whilst they’re being moved – but you should definitely confirm this. Also ask what your remover’s insurance covers, especially if your goods are to be stored anywhere overnight.
MYTH: Moving house is always stressful – of course moving house is a huge life event. But with the right planning and help, it needn’t be stressful or difficult. Honestly!
For further information or advice just give us a call on 0113 262 3000 – we’re happy to help you debunk any myths you may be worrying about!