We know that moving can be stressful and once you start packing your things up you are amazed at the amount of stuff you’ve collected over the last 6 months or 6 years. I guess it is during this stage the issue of actually moving it all starts to arise…
I won’t be able to carry all of this- I only got two hands! Maybe I can get a friend to help… the you look down at your pile of things and you think no- I probably need 5 friends to help me move this. We know it is a bit overwhelming. We have a good friend that moved flats recently and she needed some space to store some of her things while between flats so we offered to help. Next time we saw her and asked how everything was going she told us that she’s probably lost some of her things along the way because she had so much and had to store it at so many different people’s homes that she was sure she’d forgotten something somewhere- but she was almost there she said, and the new flat was great and totally worth it.
Why am I telling you this? Because I don’t want you to go through the same ordeal as her! So here’s Zaparoom’s quick guide to moving and hiring the right moving company.
The secret to a stress-free moving day is to do your homework in advance, so that by moving day there are (virtually!) no surprises.
Choosing a removal firm that has committed to the BAR membership is a good starting point because it shows they’re willing to be held up to a minimum standard. However a small firm or ‘man & van’ is often not committed to the BAR but could be just as good if you don’t move to many things of great value- the benefit of the BAR is the protection you get which can be good in terms of moving valuables. Using a removal firm that is not a member of The British Association of Removers, or any other trade organisation with equivalent measures in place, means you may have no route of redress or complaint other than the civil courts or local trading standards offices.
No matter what kind of firm you choose to employ make sure that at a minimum, you have a signed agreement which sets out the service that will be provided in clear English with clear contact details of who you’re dealing with.
A couple of good questions to ask include:
- What level and type of insurance cover is offered?
- Are they members of The British Association of Removers? If not why not?
- How long has the company been trading and can they supply references?
- How will the move be carried out? E.g. number of days, time of arrival, crew size etc.
- What will security be like if your goods are on a vehicle overnight?
- Do you have an office or depot I can visit?
When it comes to price it can vary greatly due to the many factors that need to be considered. How much stuff you need moved, if you need packaging, will the crew do the packing and un-packing for you? How far are you moving, if you are moving any high value or special items, how fast you want the move done and when you want the move done? See, there are a whole lot of things to take into consideration and which the companies will base their price upon. A good tip though is to try and move during the week if that’s possible and avoid the weekend as that will give you more availability as well as a better price.
When the rep arrives, take him through your house and list exactly what will be moved. Be clear about what you want the movers to handle and what you will do yourself, such as packing or dismantling beds. Know the exact address of the new home, and any obstacles such as stairs or narrow hallways, and if any items will be put into storage.
Finally, use your common sense as well: Liveried vehicles, smartly dressed, competent estimators who feel reassuring and expert to talk to, open about their reputation and references are all good signs. Go with your gut feeling! To make it a little bit easier here’s a list of great moving companies in London, and hey, if it’s only a few suitcases give us a shout and we’ll lend you a hand 😉