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About: Christine Felton

Recent Posts by Christine Felton

Removals firms for property developers – how removals and storage services can help you

Property developers need partners they can rely upon, from tradespeople to technicians. Whatever the project, you can’t afford to waste time. Margins are tight, especially when ‘flipping’ a property in a fast-moving market like London. You need to be able to call up a trusted partner and have them pitch in right away.

Many property developers have built up a sound list of contacts when it comes to building, decoration and trades – but what about removals? There are so many things a removals firm can help out with, from clearing a property quickly to safe storage of furniture.

Here are just a few of the ways a removals firm can help you:

Quick house clearance

You need the property clearing quickly, so that the renovation work can start in earnest. Hiring a skip can be expensive, and it’s a nightmare finding somewhere to put it in built-up parts of London. The best option is a trained moving team with a huge vehicle, who can swoop in, clear out and dispose of all waste responsibly. It’s the easiest option, and it can be surprisingly cost-effective too.

Safe storage of furniture

If you’re planning to keep much of the existing furniture in a property, you’ll need somewhere to keep it. Don’t pile it up in the spare bedroom, where it’ll hold up renovation work. Instead, get your own secure storage unit. Removals firms like Kiwi Movers also specialise in flexible, affordable storage, with units of all sizes available for a few days up to a few months or more.

Tools and equipment storage

It’s not safe to keep tools and equipment in the property itself, especially if you need to take a break from the project for any reason. A storage unit is the ideal solution, especially for large or long-term projects. You can store larger equipment that wouldn’t otherwise fit in the property itself, keeping it out the way until you need it.

Man and van services for picking up purchases

Sourced a bargain bathroom suite but struggling to pick it up? Make use of flexible man and van services from Kiwi Movers, where you only pay for the time you use. You get a clean, roomy van and an experienced pair of hands to collect and drop off your purchase safely. You can book at short notice, so you can snap up that bargain as soon as you spot it.  You’ll save a fortune on buying new furniture, and you won’t have to worry about hiring a van or finding a parking space.

The best part of working with a removals firm in London for both removals and storage is that you don’t have to sort everything separately. Moving items to and from a storage unit can all be handled by the same team as part of the service.

Get in touch with Kiwi Movers on 020 8877 9682 to find out more about how we help London property developers every week. We’re happy to tailor our services to suit your exact needs.

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Keeping kids occupied during a house move – five top tips

It’s not a great idea to have children around on moving day. There’s so much activity and so many people moving back and forward, it could be risky to have little ones running around. They can inadvertently get in the way and slow your moving team down, or even get hurt.

If it’s not possible to send them off to grandma’s house on moving day, you need to find a way to keep them entertained and safely out of the way. This is where preparation is your best friend – just like everything to do with moving house!

Here are five top tips for keeping kids occupied during your move, and most you can organise in advance:

1. Pack a special easy-access box just for the kids

Just like you would if you were going on holiday, you can pack an emergency children’s box ready for moving day. This will contain everything you need to entertain, distract and placate. For example, it’ll have books, toys, colouring books, wet wipes, snacks and drinks, a change of clothes and a phone or tablet pre-loaded with their favourite TV show. Make sure you clearly label this crucial box and make it as easy-access as possible.

2. Prepare a child-friendly ‘haven’ room

If you can keep the kids in just one room, you can minimise any risks and keep them safely out of the way. You’ll need to completely clear one room, packing it up and moving boxes into another part of the house. Keep only the easy-access kids box you packed earlier, full of things to keep them entertained.

3. Send them out into the garden

If the weather’s nice, a great way to keep kids occupied is to send them out into the garden for a play session or camp out. You can pop up a tent with a portable DVD player or tablet inside, which will keep them happy until the movers have finished their work. Then it’s simply a matter of packing up the tent and leaving.

 

4. Get the kids involved

If there’s a way to do it safely, you could enlist older children as helpers on moving day. Give them a specific task so that they stay focused. For example, checking the whole house for missed, left-behind items, clearing out their own rooms or small cleaning tasks. You never know, they could turn out to be really helpful! You could even make it more fun, such as creating a game with unused packing materials or decorating moving boxes with stickers.

5. Call for backup

The best option for stressed-out parents on moving day will always be to leave the kids with relatives. If this isn’t an option, one of you may be able to take some time out from supervising the move to take the kids to the park.

Gearing up to move house? Get in touch with the Kiwi Movers team on 020 8877 9682 to discuss your plans and for a quick, tailored quote.

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Kiwi Movers teams up with Please Connect Me for easy utility connections when you move home or business

Kiwi Movers already offers an extensive range of extra services when you move house, from disassembling wardrobes to deep cleaning. We’re now delighted to reveal that we’ve made it even easier to move to a new pad. It’s all thanks to the super helpful service from Please Connect Me.

We’ve teamed up with this time-saving utility connection service to help our home and business movers connect all of their essential services quickly. Please Connect Me hooks you up with everything from energy, internet and TV to water, council tax and many more. This means that your new property is up and running, and ready to live in or use, right away.

Why Kiwi Movers + Please Connect Me is a real game-changer

If you’re one of those people who love to be organised and who love their lists, you’ll find Please Connect Me a dream to use. It’s the ideal way to plan another part of your move in advance. Book in your Kiwi Movers crew for moving day, then use Please Connect Me to get your gas, electricity, water and more up and running from the moment you move in.

As well as being able to arrange it in advance, the service also offers these other tempting benefits:

  • Take advantage of the best deals. If finding the very best deals and prices for energy, water, TV, broadband and more is important to you, Please Connect Me won’t disappoint. They save you time and money searching the market, comparing prices and finding the best deals. They work with leading suppliers and have immediate access to prices, promotions and availability.

 

  • It can all be customised to suit you. The people at Please Connect Me care about finding the right options to suit you, and it isn’t always about finding the lowest price. They take the time to understand what you need and put together a bespoke solution to suit you.

 

  • You can get everything sorted in one phone call. Rather than ringing round lots of different suppliers, having to repeat your details several times, you can get it all sorted in one phone call with a real person. They don’t believe in answer machines or subjecting you to horrible hold music – just real people ready to help right away.

 

More about Please Connect Me

Working with Please Connect Me is a natural fit for us. For starters, we both originated back in New Zealand before expanding our brilliant services to home and business owners here in the UK. We’re also passionate about making moving easier. It doesn’t need to be stressful, back breaking or hugely disruptive. Services such as Please Connect Me are revolutionising moving house, making it as easy as possible to move into a new place and be comfortable right away.

Have questions about Please Connect Me? Drop us a line at 020 8877 9682. You can also start using Please Connect Me right away, booking in your connections through this easy link.  

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Luxury apartment removals in London – why it pays to use an expert service

Moving to or from a luxury apartment in London presents a unique challenge. Expensive and often fragile items need to be delivered from A to B, and both properties should be protected during the move.

You don’t want any scrapes, smashes or breakages, but you absolutely need peace of mind that it’ll all go smoothly. This is why you should always call in the professionals when it comes to luxury apartment removals in London. Here are some other important things to consider…

It’s important to have a customised, detailed plan for moving day

Facing a challenging prospect like luxury apartment removals, it’s essential to have a watertight plan. You need a dedicated project manager overseeing every aspect of the move, to make sure it runs smoothly. It’s recommended to have a detailed inventory, especially for valuable or irreplaceable items. You also need an hour-by-hour plan for moving day itself. Everyone needs to know exactly what to do, and where they’re supposed to be, at every stage during the day.

Banner advert for storage in West London and student storage across London

Is each property fully protected from damage?

With luxury apartment removals in London, a great deal of care needs to be taken when moving items in and out of each property. You need to protect expensive fittings, along with pristine paintwork, stairs and banisters. You need a team with the experience and skill to navigate tight spaces and move large items without causing any damage.

Kiwi Movers take the utmost care in all properties, taking extraordinary steps to protect fittings and finishes. For example, we wrap door handles, radiators, banisters, stairs and even light switches.

Whether there are several flights of stairs or a tight lift to negotiate, we can handle it. We can even provide a hoist lift for large possessions that need to be moved in unconventional ways. Our service can be tailored to suit you, so just tell us what you need.

Your possessions need to arrive in perfect condition

 

Professional movers such as the Kiwi Movers team are specialists when it comes to handling expensive, valuable or fragile items. We have packing and preparing these items ready for a move down to a fine art. You’ll have complete peace of mind that every painting, sculpture, priceless vase and antique will be securely packed using the right materials and a great deal of skill.

Needless to say, you just don’t get this with your everyday man and van service.

Great insurance is essential

When you’re moving high value items, you need to know that they are fully protected by the right kinds of insurance. Your moving company needs to have professional liability, goods in transit and other kinds of insurance in place. Check when getting quotes what level of cover is included, and find out about options for increasing it if you need to. You can get insurance cover tailored to your needs, to include specialist or high value items.

To chat to the Kiwi Movers team about your upcoming move, just give us a call on 020 8877 9682.

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How to reduce the stress from your next house move

Moving house in London can be a challenge, with everything from traffic and parking to narrow hallways and steep staircases to battle with. The good news is that there are loads of ways you can de-stress the experience. You’ll need to be a whizz at planning, seek the right help and be ready to react to unexpected obstacles.

Moving house in West London? 020 366 89726 for a quick quote

Here’s our guide to moving house in London without having to take a month-long holiday to recover:

1. You can’t always do it on your own – so use professional movers

Of course we would have this as our number one tip, but it is an important thing to consider. Would you rather save money and have one of the most stressful, back-breaking days of your life, or spend a little more and take a huge load of hassle off your plate? It’s up to you, but most people find that moving house alone is a mistake. You could also risk hurting yourself, and that’s not worth doing for the sake of a few pounds.

Kiwi Movers offers a range of options to suit your needs and budget. You can book in a full team to handle packing, moving and unloading for you, or simply a man and van service. The latter gives you both a vehicle and an extra (fully trained) pair of hands for short moves or if you don’t have much stuff.

2. Pack and prepare like a pro

When it comes to moving house in London, preparation is key. Lists are your new best friends, helping you to organise and plan your move down to the last detail. Make yourself a to-do list and an inventory of what’s in every box. Pack carefully but logically, sorting your boxes by room so it’s easy to unpack at the other side.

3. Have a massive clearout before you move

Do you know what makes moving house easier? Having less stuff to move! Be ruthless and sell, give away or bin anything you haven’t used in the last year or so. You may even be able to raise some extra cash – which you can spend on a moving crew!

4. Have a clear plan for moving day

Moving day will sneak up on you and once it’s here, it’ll pass in a blur. Things move fast, so you’ll need to be on hand to direct and manage the move. Come up with a plan for the day, or work with your moving company to draw something up.

5. Ask loads of questions before the move

Will your movers disassemble and reassemble furniture, and disconnect appliances? Can they move your piano down from the top floor? Will they help you unpack and place furniture on the other side? How should you best pack your boxes for an efficient (and breakage-free) move? These are all questions you should ask your removals company. The answers can help you prepare and set your mind at ease ahead of the big day.

6. Choose the right day

Weekends may be most convenient for you, but they can also be more expensive if you’re using a removals firm. You’ll find cheaper rates during the week, but make sure you avoid rush hour and other busy times for traffic.

Kiwi Movers specialises in stress-free moves. If you’re moving house in London, you can trust our team to handle every detail – including the heavy lifting. Give us a call on 020 8877 9682 to get a quick quote for your move.

 

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Are man and van services insured?

Man and van hire is a flexible, convenient and affordable way to move stuff – whether you’re moving house or simply have a single large piece of furniture to shift across town.

Take a quick look online and you’ll find hundreds if not thousands of man and van services to choose from. But crucially – only a fraction of these services will have the right insurance. It’s so important to check out the insurance situation before trusting someone with your whole life’s worth of possessions or valuable goods. You, and your stuff, need to have full protection.

 

Get a quick quote for a man and van service

Why is insurance so important when using man and van services?

Unless you choose a reputable, trusted service – perhaps one recommended by a friend or which has verified customer reviews – you’ll always be taking a bit of a leap when you hire someone to help you move house.

They could be inexperienced, which could lead to your stuff being damaged. They may be unreliable, causing serious delays on moving day. In a worst-case scenario, they may even be a bit dodgy, leading to the mysterious disappearance of your possessions.

In most cases, none of the above happens. But this is why insurance is so important – it provides financial protection for all of your belongings, just in case. It offers peace of mind, and is the responsible way to use a moving service and protect your possessions.

What insurance do man and van services need?

When asking about man and van insurance, bear the following in mind:

  • There may be a fixed or limited liability. As they don’t know the value of your goods, many removals companies will use industry standard cover. For example, £40 per damaged or lost item, £25 for broken glass covers on pictures.
  • You can arrange additional cover for valuable or irreplaceable items – so make sure you tell your moving company about this before signing up. You can potentially get cover of up to £100,000 per moving truck if needed.
  • Your removals company should have public liability insurance in place – this covers legal costs or claims if property or possessions are damaged during the move.
  • Movers may also have goods in transit insurance – this is a policy which covers any damage to items when they’re inside the removals van.

Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to. It’s important that you feel satisfied with the insurance cover on offer before going ahead.

Always use a trusted, insured man and van service

The safest way to use a man and van service is to find a company you trust. Recommendations from a friend or family member are great, but you can also do your own research into reputable, credible removals companies.

Look for customer reviews, trade association memberships, accreditation and other positive signs. Kiwi Movers, for example, has Which? Trusted Trader status, is an approved trader on Checkatrade.com and is a member of the Road Haulage Association.

Give the Kiwi Movers team a call on 020 8877 9682 to arrange your move, or to ask us any of your burning questions about removals insurance – we’re happy to help!

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Five unexpected things your removals company can do (if you ask)

Your removals company can do far more than shift boxes around. They’re removals and logistics experts, and they have experience in every part of the moving process. This means that some, like the extremely talented Kiwi Movers team for example, can offer extra services.

This can make moving house or office a doddle, simply because you don’t need to shop around for these services individually. All you have to do is ask, you never know what your movers can help you with!

Get a quick quote for a man and van service

Here are just five of the useful, money-saving and unexpected things that a great removals company can do:

1 – Supply packing material – and do your packing!

You don’t have to do all the hard work of packing up every item in your house. Your movers can do it for you, and the great thing about this is that they’re experts. They’ll supply the specialist packing material, and they know exactly how to wrap and pack each type of item so it stays safe during the move. All you have to do is point them in the right direction and tell them which items should go in which box.

Mop and bucket2 – Clearance and disposal of waste

Cleaning is one of the worst parts of moving house. You need to leave the property spotless for the next owner or tenant. In some cases you could lose your deposit if the cleaning isn’t done properly. It can take days or even weeks of hard graft, so why not ask your removals company to do it for you? No shopping around for cleaning quotes, as it can be added on to the cost of your removals service. If you have large items (i.e. sofas) to dispose of, this can also be taken care of.

3 – Man and van service

Only have a few items to move? You probably don’t need a full removals service. Kiwi Movers offers a great value man and van service, where you pay by the hour – and only pay for the time you use. This is a great choice if you’re moving a short hop across town, or don’t have much stuff.

4 – Shipping

Moving abroad or need items sending on? As a logistics expert, your removals company should have the network and contacts to arrange shipping for you. This all happens at the same time as your move, so there’s no extra stress or work for you.

5 – Handyman service

As you’re moving out or in, you may discover little odd jobs that need doing. You may need to fix a few things in your old property before moving out, or need snagging work doing on your new place. What about taking down or putting together new furniture? Whether it’s a flat pack job or putting some shelves up, fitting blinds or putting your new TV up on the wall, our handyman service can take care of it.

Need an extra service during your move? Give Kiwi Movers a call on 020 8877 9682 to see if we can help – we might surprise you!

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Is it safe to put books into storage? A bibliophile’s guide to decluttering

If you’re a bibliophile, there’s just never enough bookshelf space. It’s not quite hoarding, but it’s close – and you’re not alone with your book-collecting ways.

Ofcom research from 2014 found that around 84% of UK adults had a book collection. While they are more widely owned and used compared to DVDs and CDs, books aren’t always being read as much as they should.

Research for World Book Day found that the average home holds around 158 books, but a quarter of them have never been opened. 50% of people keep books because they’re emotionally attached to them, while some 16% people admitted keeping certain high-brow titles on their bookshelves to make them look more intelligent.

advert for storage in London in article about storing books

Book lovers – storage could be the solution

Do you love your collection, but are running out of room? This can cause real problems during any attempts to de-clutter, but there is a solution. If you can’t bring yourself to get rid of your books, why not put them into storage? You can keep building your collection if you like, or you can use long-term storage and review in a few months’ or years’ time. If you haven’t missed a particular book or collection, or don’t think you’ll read it again, you may be ready to say goodbye.

Some collectors and avid readers understandably have concerns about putting their treasured possessions into storage. They worry about damage to their books, from dirt, damp or other environmental problems.

The reality is that many long-term storage facilities are perfectly suitable for books. You just need to choose carefully and inspect the facilities before signing up. Ask to have a look around the unit, and make sure to ask plenty of questions about insurance at the same time.

 

Top tips for safely packing books for storage

As well as carefully inspecting your storage unit before use, there are other things you can do to protect your books in storage.

For example:

  • Dust off your books before storing, making sure they’re clean, dry and free from items such as paper clips and bookmarks
  • Use high-quality boxes of a small to medium size that are free of chemicals if possible – use too large a box and you risk it breaking due to the weight. You can also use air-tight plastic containers
  • Pack the same book types together – for example, paperback with paperback
  • Fill all spaces but don’t pack your books over-tightly. Fill in any spaces with packing material like bubble-wrap or acid-free paper
  • Wrap fragile, valuable or precious books in bubble wrap or polyester jackets
  • Use shelving to raise book boxes off the floor
  • Label boxes carefully, so you can find what you need without having to disturb all of your boxes. Labelling along with an inventory also helps you to keep track of exactly what’s in your unit. This could be useful if anything is lost or damaged.

 

Kiwi Movers guarantees clean, dry and tidy storage for books. You can be completely confident that your books are safe and protected when you leave them in our care. Give us a call on 020 8877 9682 to discuss your needs.

 

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Storage for students in London – what’s the difference between student storage and self-storage?

Due to finish university soon? Or maybe you’re moving into a smaller place, or your course includes a placement abroad. If any of these situations sound familiar, you’re likely to need student storage.

Not everyone has parents close by who can hang onto your stuff for you while you travel or squeeze into a tiny London flat or house share. If your home town is some distance away, you don’t want to be schlepping your belongings around either. The best solution is to find somewhere safe, secure and affordable to store your stuff.

Banner advert for storage in West London and student storage across London

What’s the difference between self-storage and student storage?

The simple answer to this is that there isn’t really a difference. Some storage companies may target students, but not many have specific student storage packages.

Self storageHowever, some companies like Kiwi Movers are better suited for students as our self-store options are cheaper and more flexible. These are both things that students prioritise when looking for a safe space to store their stuff ahead of moving house, travelling or placement years. With students and their needs in mind, Kiwi is able to offer affordable storage for days, months or even longer.

What to look for with student storage

A good way to find suitable student storage is to ask around. If any of your course or house mates currently use a company and they like it, this could be a good one to go for.

If you don’t have any word of mouth recommendations, it’s time to do a little research. Student storage should be:

  • Affordable. You’re a student, you may not have bags of cash to spend. The money you do have should go towards your gap year travels and other plans, so it is important to shop around for the best prices.
  • Handy. Can you access your stuff when you need it, or do you need to wait for office hours? 24/7 access is a must with student storage. You also need flexibility and convenient site locations in student-populated parts of London.
  • Safe and secure. It may be super cheap, but what if it’s too good to be true? Unless the storage facility has good security (keycode access, CCTV etc), your stuff may not be safe. You should also make sure your unit is dry, clean and in a good state of repair. After all, there’s no point getting a rock bottom price if your belongings end up destroyed, stolen or damaged.

 

Kiwi Movers easily tick all three of these boxes, which is why we’re a popular choice for student storage. If you’ve got big plans and need to get your stuff out the way, or you just need a temporary solution while you downsize, get in touch.

There’s no minimum stay, storage starts from just £15 a week and you can even get a discount for a longer term – perfect for gap year adventurers. Give us a call on 020 8877 9682 or contact us online and we’ll find a solution to suit your budget.

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Removals firms in London – what extra services do they offer?

If you’ve ever moved house, you’ll know the pain of packing, wrapping, shifting and unloading. It can be back-breaking and mega stressful, which is why so many people choose to use professional removals firms instead.

But not everyone knows that removals companies can do so much more than just move your stuff from A to B. Some all-rounders like Kiwi Movers offer additional services that can make moving day so, so much easier.

Get a quick quote for a man and van service

Crucially, these ancillary services can be much cheaper when included as part of your removals package. This is because the team is already on site and has the expertise and equipment to handle it. You’re likely to find it much more expensive and time-consuming to go out and search for these services separately.

Here’s a quick guide to the extra services designed to make moving day a doddle, so make sure you ask about them when comparing each removals firm in London:

Wrapping and packing

Moving day itself is only a small part of the process. You’ll actually spend most of your time wrapping things up, dismantling furniture and packing things in boxes. Pick the right removals firm in London and this will all be taken care of.  Even better, it’ll be handled by experts who know how to quickly and efficiently pack all kinds of items. They’ll even bring their own specialist packing materials.

Unpacking

This one is a real game-changer. Many removals firms in London will do your packing and wrapping for you, but it’s a rare gem who’ll handle the unpacking too. You’ve guessed it, Kiwi Movers offer this service too. It’s all to make moving easier, and how amazing that you won’t even have to unpack.

With a bit of input from you, our crew will unpack furniture, appliances and even boxes once the move is completed. Tell us where you’d like everything to go, and we’ll take care of it. Moving can be such chaos, leaving you feeling displaced and disorganised when you arrive in your new home. A little thing like having your bed already unpacked and set up in your bedroom can make all the difference.

Cleaning and handyman tasks

These are more time-consuming but necessary tasks when moving home. You could hire a separate cleaner or handyman, but it’s easier (and cheaper) to arrange it through your removals firm as part of the service.

Short and long-term storage

Don’t need to move everything right away? If you’re between moves or are having a down-sizing issue, ask your removals company about storage options. Again, it’s much easier if the removals firm can offer this rather than having to sort it separately, as they can take items to the unit for you.

Shipping

Make sure to ask your removals firm in London about shipping, as it can be a real time-saver. It’s a handy service if you need to send something to another location, rather than the house you’re moving to. Perhaps you’re moving abroad, or simply selling some items to de-clutter during the move.

Kiwi Movers offers all of these extra services and much more – whatever it takes to make your move easier. Give us a call on 020 8877 9682 to find out more.

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Short-term storage – are my belongings insured?

When you place your belongings in a short-term storage unit, you’re trusting them to the storage company’s care. But trust alone isn’t enough, which is why you should always check that the firm has full insurance cover in place.

storage banner

Is the insurance included in the price, or an extra?

This is one of the first questions you should ask when checking out short-term storage options. Some companies offer insurance as part of the price, while others have it as a bolt-on extra. It might be that the company offers basic insurance up to a certain level, but can increase the cover for an extra cost if you need it.

Take the time to understand the situation and don’t feel pressured into buying extra insurance on the spot. You can always shop around and see if you can arrange your own insurance for a cheaper price.

Cover for fire, theft and damage

If insurance is included in your short-term storage quote, it will likely cover the three main threats to your belongings. Just like car insurance, this is fire, theft and damage. Find out if there are any exceptions to this, read the small print and check the level of cover.

On a related note, you should always take the time to find out the security arrangements for your storage unit. Look out for high-tech features like individually alarmed units, video surveillance, key code access and number plate and face recognition. All of these features will help to keep your belongings safe, so that hopefully you never need to make an insurance claim.

Self storageHow much are your belongings worth?

Before signing up for short-term storage, it’s well worth sitting down to make a detailed list of your belongings. You need to work out the rough value of everything and keep a record of it.

This is important, because a storage company may only offer a certain level of insurance cover. If the unit is destroyed by fire, for example – a worst-case scenario – will you be adequately compensated for your loss? It could be that the payout falls short of the true value of your possessions.

 

Valuable and hard-to-replace items

You should always tell the storage company about any items that are expensive or valuable. This includes items of sentimental value, that will be hard to replace. You should also mention anything that is particularly fragile or vulnerable to damage.

The short-term storage company may be able to offer you an increased level of insurance, or you can take out your own separate policy to cover these items.

In all likelihood, your possessions will be completely safe and sound in their storage unit. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and take responsibility for ensuring you have the right level of insurance cover from the outset.

Kiwi Movers offers fully insured, 100% secure short-term storage, and we’re very happy to discuss any particular needs you may have. Give us a call on 020 8877 9682 to find out more.

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International shipping – what are my rights if my shipment is damaged on arrival?

Shipping anything anywhere always requires a certain degree of trust in the carrier, although insurance can also help with peace of mind. You hope that your stuff is protected in transit, but it’s always a worry.

International shipping can require an even greater level of trust. This is especially the case if you’re sending something to the other side of the planet. What are your rights if something happens, and you discover damage, loss or breakage when your shipment arrives? Let’s take a look…

Excess baggage shipping banner ad

Checking insurance cover

When choosing an international shipping company, the most important thing to check is the level of insurance cover provided. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, to find out whether the full value of your goods will be protected during transit.

It can be much more complicated to arrange international shipping yourself. This is because you may have to deal with freight forwarding companies, shipping lines and other handlers. Crucially, it may not be clear what kind of insurance cover, if any, is offered. You may need your own insurance policy. This will be the first place to contact if you discover a breakage, loss or damage following shipping. When dealing with lots of different suppliers, you may encounter problems establishing who is to blame. They may all blame each other, making it tricky and time-consuming to pursue any kind of claim.

The alternative is to use an international shipping specialist such as Kiwi Movers. This kind of company will handle all of the logistics and paperwork on your behalf. Importantly, they take responsibility for shipping your items and will have their own insurance cover. This will come with (or can be added on) to your international shipping package. This should mean that if an accident happens and something is broken or lost, you won’t be left out of pocket.

Excess baggage in LondonWho to contact

If you’re using a shipping company like Kiwi Movers, it should be easy to report a problem and hopefully get it resolved. This is because you’ll usually have a dedicated project manager, which means just one handy point of contact. Don’t delay if you spot a problem with your shipment after it arrives – give your project manager a call right away.

Photographic evidence

On a final note, if you’re planning to send an international shipment and you’re worried about damage, there is a way you can prepare. Take photos of your items before they are packaged up for shipment. Include a few different angles, and put these snaps alongside an inventory of the shipment. You can use the images and inventory to prove that your items were undamaged before the journey, or that a missing item was indeed sent. This can speed up any claims for missing or broken items.

If you have any questions at all about international shipping, from insurance cover to how the process works, just get in touch with the Kiwi Movers team. Give us a call on 020 8877 9682, we’ll be happy to help.

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International shipping – what to do if your shipment is held at customs

It’s easier and quicker than you may think to ship items abroad. In fact, many people are surprised at how smoothly the process can run. Team up with an international shipping expert like Kiwi Movers, particularly when sending to Australia or New Zealand, and it should go like a dream.

However, there is one potential spanner in the works that can trip you up during international shipping. This is customs clearance, which can cause you a real headache if you aren’t prepared. Your shipment could be held up on the way out of the country, but it’s more likely to happen as it enters the destination country.

All items must go through customs, if the shipment is moving from one tax territory to another. The normal procedures usually mean that items are checked and cleared reasonably quickly, but there can sometimes be problems.

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Causes of customs delays

Your shipment may be stopped or delayed at customs for a number of reasons. These include:

  • Incorrect or missing documentation

When you send items internationally, you need to send the correct paperwork along with your shipment. For example, the bill of lading, commercial invoice, packing list and other certificates and identification numbers relevant to the shipment. This is one of the main ways that an international shipping expert can help you. They’ll handle all of the paperwork to make sure that every detail is correct. The regulations on what documentation is required to ship certain items between different regions (i.e. within or outside of the EU) can be quite complicated, so this expert assistance can be invaluable.

  • Suspicious contents

Certain items will always get flagged at customs unless you have the right paperwork. For example, firearms, plants and animals, foods, medicines, textiles and chemicals.

  • Customs backlogs

There can occasionally be unavoidable delays at customs due to a system failure or backlog. For example, certain ports in New Zealand were and still are affected by a 2016 earthquake. This caused severe backlogs due to shipments having to be rerouted to other destinations. These backlogs are beyond your control, so you may just have to be patient and try to get all of the information you can.

  • Random checks

Sometimes, a delay at customs is caused by simple bad luck. Customs agencies carry out random checks, and your shipment may be one of those flagged for examination.

The type of commodity can also cause customs delays. For example, certain food products may require further examination by the food authority in a particular country. You may also experience problems if you haven’t paid the right amount of tax on your shipment.

What to do if your shipment is held at customs

Received notification of a customs delay? The only thing you’ll need to do is contact your international shipping provider. They will take it from there. They’ll find out the problem, correct any paperwork errors and make sure any extra fees due are paid.

Find out more about how Kiwi Movers can help you with smooth, stress-free international shipping, including clearing customs, by calling us on 020 8877 9682.

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How far in advance should I book a London removals company?

If moving house is on the horizon, it’s time to get organised. Get yourself a pen and paper and start making a list of what needs doing and when. Better still, get a wall planner and pencil in some important dates.

One of the most important things to include on your calendar is moving day. For this, you’ll need to book in your London removals company. But how far in advance do you need to call them? The golden rule is – the earlier the better. As soon as your moving day has been confirmed, get a removals team booked in.

Moving house in West London? 020 366 89726 for a quick quote

When are you moving?

While early is best for all house moves, there are certain dates where you may need to reserve your spot even further in advance.

London removals companies are more in demand during peak times like summer holidays and bank holidays. You’re already off work after all, so why not schedule your house move in for then? The problem is that everyone else has the same idea, meaning your movers of choice are already booked up.

If you can avoid bank holidays, school holidays and even weekends, you’ll find that you have more choice of movers. The prices tend to be lower too, as removals companies charge peak and off-peak rates.

Finding the most convenient time slot

House moves are often run to very tight timescales, especially if you’re buying a new house and you’re in a chain. You need to vacate your property at a certain time, and the owners of the house you’re buying are in exactly the same position.

You may also have a perfectly timed plan for the move, hoping to start at certain times and complete it before the day is out. Or maybe you need movers for a few days or more. Whatever you have in mind, book early to ensure that your London removals company is available at your chosen times. If you leave it too late, you may have to compromise on your plan.

Book a slot now, you may be able to adjust it later

Some people wait until their moving day is 100% confirmed before booking their London removals company. Unfortunately, the confirmation often doesn’t come through until very near the date itself. This means you’ll be booking last-minute and you may not be able to get the price, time slot or even the date you want, compromising the whole move.

The smart thing to do is to give your movers a call and tell them when you estimate your moving day to be. They can pencil you in for then, reserving their team’s availability. If you do need to change it by a day or two, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to.

Give Kiwi Movers a call on 020 8877 9682 to reserve your moving day slot, get a quote for your move and get all your plans finalised. As an experienced London removals company, we can help with every kind of house move.

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How to choose a storage unit in London

Moving house and your new place is not quite ready, or maybe you’re going off travelling and need somewhere to keep your stuff? These are just a couple of the many situations in which storage is a really useful solution.

You’ll have ample choice of storage units in London, as they’re littered all over the city. But how do you choose the right one? It’s not always as straightforward as picking the one closest to you. It’s well worth doing a bit of research and considering exactly what you need. You should also take the time to compare what’s available in terms of price and other factors.

To help you sort out the ideal storage unit in London, here’s our guide to what to look for:

A choice of unit sizes

Some storage facilities in London offer just one or two standard unit sizes. This may not work for you, so you’ll either end up paying for space you don’t use or struggling to fit everything in. Ideally, you’ll have a choice of different unit sizes, priced according to square footage, so you can pick the perfect option for you.

storage units in LondonSecurity

For your peace of mind, it’s important to pick a storage unit in London that is fully protected with advanced security systems. This is particularly crucial if you’re storing anything valuable. The kind of features to look out for include 24-hour CCTV, keycode access, number plate and facial recognition.

Insurance

What would happen if your unit was broken into, or if there was a fire or flood? These are important questions to ask before signing up for a storage unit in London. You need to make sure there is comprehensive insurance cover in place.

Good quality facilities

Storage space isn’t just any old unused corner of a warehouse. It needs to be clean, well-lit, properly secured and the environmental conditions controlled. If a unit looks dirty or there’s signs of damp or mould, run a mile.

Access

Do you have to wait until set opening times to access your unit, or can you pop in anytime using your own access key and/or code? The latter is the best option for your convenience.

Price

Most people pick a storage unit in London based on price. Rates are higher in the capital than in most other UK cities, as is everything else. However, price isn’t the only factor to go on – you also need to think about value.

If a unit costs a little more but offers everything you’re looking for, it’s worth paying more. If you’re getting a convenient location, 24/7 access, full security and insurance, and a clean, well-maintained unit, you can consider it money well spent.

To find out about more about the flexible, exceptional value storage solutions at Kiwi Movers, click here or give us a call on 020 8877 9682. We have a top choice of storage units in London, conveniently located in central spots across the main London boroughs.

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What kind of insurance should a removals company have?

Insurance is one of the biggest differences between a professional removals company and a man and van found on a Facebook page.

You need the experience and knowledge of a professional firm to ensure your move goes smoothly. However, you also need the peace of mind of knowing that your possessions are safe and covered by the right insurance.

Despite the importance of insurance during house moves, a survey by Buzzmove in 2014 found that 33% of people don’t ask about insurance. If they do ask, they don’t tend to check what cover is in place.

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More about removals insurance

There are a few different kinds of insurance that your removals company may have. There are also policies of your own that could cover your belongings. Here’s a quick look at each of them:

  • Public liability insurance. This is a type of insurance policy that most businesses and tradespeople have in place. It is designed to cover any claims or legal costs if a business activity harms a member of the public or their property. In terms of removals companies, public liability insurance provides cover just in case property is damaged during the move. It also covers you and your family in case of unexpected accidents.

 

  • Professional insurance for breakages. This is also known as Goods in Transit insurance and is designed to cover any damage to or loss of items in the removals van.

 

Removals companies will also have employers’ liability insurance for claims made by employees. Lastly, they’ll have vehicle insurance for removals vans and trucks.

The majority of people never need to claim, but it’s reassuring to know that insurance cover is in place. You never know what could happen, so it’s important to do things by the book.

kingston storage

Your household contents cover

It’s worth checking your home contents insurance policy ahead of the move. It could be the case that cover is provided for items in transit. You may have special arrangements in place for valuable or antique items, and this could extend to the removals process depending on the policy.

How much cover is provided by removals companies?

It’s important to remember that the insurance cover provided by removals firms isn’t limitless. At Kiwi Movers, we provide cover of £40 per damaged or lost item, at a maximum of £60 a box. This is in line with industry standards.

In most cases, this level of insurance cover is adequate for home movers. Setting cover at this level enables us to keep costs down for those who aren’t moving anything particularly valuable. However, if you do have valuables to move, you can add extra cover (at a competitive extra cost) up to £100,000 per truck. The cover can be arranged by the Kiwi Movers team on your behalf, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Please give us a call on 020 8877 9682 to discuss your move. We’ll be happy to advise on the insurance cover we can provide.

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How to choose a removals company in London – 9 things to look for

Choosing a removals company in London can be difficult. It’s not a lack of options, the opposite in fact. How do you find a moving firm you can trust, that will do a great job and offer good value for money? Here are our 10 top things to look out for:

1. Insurance

It’s essential to check that your removals firm has full insurance to cover the move and any potential breakages or losses. They’ll need full public liability insurance cover, plus the option for you to add extra cover on for particularly valuable items.

2. Great reviews

Word of mouth is a great way to find a removals company in London you can trust. Always check a firm’s reviews, or use one that friends and family recommend.

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3. Experience

Removals can throw up many challenges, so you need a trained and experienced team who can handle anything. They will be able to fit bulky items through small spaces, without any damage to the property or item. They can pack, wrap and move quickly and efficiently, to keep your move on schedule.

4. A choice of well-maintained vehicles

Your stuff will be going inside the removals van, so it needs to be clean and in good condition. Removals companies should have clean.

5. Local knowledge

This is arguably the most important quality to look for when choosing a removals company in London. Moving house in the capital can be very stressful, congested and time-consuming if you don’t have the right local knowledge. Your moving crew need to know which roads to avoid at peak hours, where parking permits are needed, congestion zone fees and lots more.

6. Response time

How long does the removals firm take to respond to your initial enquiry? If it’s ages, this isn’t a good sign for the future working relationship. You need speedy responses and a quick quote, because you’ve got the rest of your planning to do.

7. Helpful extra services

Moving home isn’t just about shifting boxes from A to B. It can be a complex logistical project, starting with packing boxes, cleaning your property and making sure valuables are wrapped up securely. If a removals company can offer an all-in-one package with these extra services, it’ll make moving day so much easier.

8. Tailored estimates and a pre-move survey

It’s better to get a quote for your move that is based on your particular circumstances, unless you’re only shifting a few boxes. If you’re moving the contents of a three-bed house, your removals firm should do a pre-move survey to give you a tailored estimate. If not, there’s always the danger that surprise extra costs could be added on.

9. A helpful ‘can do’ attitude

When you contact a removals company in London to ask for help or advice, you want a friendly, positive response. You don’t want hesitation when discussing a potential issue or setback, you need solutions. If it’s a close competition between two firms, choose the one that thinks on their feet and takes a proactive problem-solving approach.

Needless to say, Kiwi Movers ticks all of the boxes above! We’re your dream removals company in London, so give us a call on 020 8877 9682 to discuss your big move.

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Bored of the London commute? There’s an app for that

It might be one of the most exciting and innovative cities in the world. But London has earned a certain reputation for its commuting lifestyle, and for good reason too. The number of daily commuters travelling 2 hours or more has rocketed 20% in the last 5 years.

That’s over 900,000 London commuters every year. Not to mention it’s expected to rise in the next decade too.

So what can you do to make this journey a bit more enjoyable?

 

Mindfulness Daily

4.5/5.0

Okay, so the tube is rammed. You have a busy day ahead. And the guy behind you is standing so close you now know the entire back catalogue to Snow Patrol (we feel your pain).

Don’t worry, though. There’s a nice little solution directly accessible from your smartphone.

Mindfulness Daily is designed to help make stressful situations – whether it’s the morning commute or a big stakeholder meeting – easier to handle as time goes on. There’s breathing exercises, meditation guidance videos, and even TED talks.

London commute 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s more, you can actually track your progress over time and focus on particular goals to suit you: like being more patient, kind or just finding time to relax.

You can even set push notifications at particular times during the day so you don’t forget.

How useful is that?

 

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

4.0/5.0

There’s a special place in our hearts for this epic podcast. Filled with fascinating tidbits, dramatic anecdotes, and a sweeping narrative that spans from Alexander to Churchill, Hardcore History isn’t for the faint hearted.

But don’t let that put you off. Carlin is down-to-earth and has a genuine love for this podcast, even if the topics are a bit gruelling at times (think the assassination of Caesar or the murderous court dramas of Ancient Persia).

What does this have to do with your London commute, you may ask?

This is fantastic storytelling and makes even the longest journey more enjoyable. The episodes tend to last between 3-4 hours too, so you can block them out and dive in at your leisure.

The only downside to this wonderful podcast, however, is that you’ll have to wait a couple of months between each new episode. There’s quite a bit of research involved, as he likes to remind us:

Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 13.27.42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s difficult to be annoyed though.

Duolingo

5.0/5.0

Fancy learning a new language on your journey?

Duolingo is one of the world’s most popular tools for learning a new language quickly and with all the conversational skills that you didn’t really learn at school.

London commute

As you can probably tell, this app is a champion of gamification and has lots of different levels to work you up to fluency. You can even use Duolingo just to brush up on your skills.

We reckon if you spend around 10-20 minutes on this every day, you’d be prepared for your next summer holiday in no time.

Do you have any more tips on how to improve your London commute? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter.

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How to pack for storage – a London storage expert guide

Storage is a great option for people in a huge range of different situations, whether moving house, renovating, downsizing or travelling. It can also be surprisingly affordable, but savvy self-storers will use a number of tips and tricks to save even more money.  This can be very handy in a city like London, where storage (like everything else) can be a little pricier than other parts of the UK.

Store less, save space and save money

The key to saving money on storage in London is space. There are usually a number of units available in a range of different sizes. You need to pick the unit that’s right for you – where it’s not so packed that you can’t find anything, but also without paying for extra space you don’t use.

The less space you use, the more money you save. To use less space, you need to store less stuff. It really can be that simple.

The first thing to do is to declutter before you store. If you’ve not even looked at it for years, are you likely to need it at any point in the future? If the answer is no and it doesn’t have sentimental or actual value, it has to go. You can even sell your unwanted items to raise some extra cash.

Packing advice for storage in London

If you pack smart, you’ll fit more in your unit and it’ll be more organised too. This makes it easier to access and find things, without a whole pile of boxes falling on you! Follow these smart packing tips:

  • Dismantle bulky items. De-flat-packing beds, wardrobes and sofas means that they’ll take up far less space in your unit. Put them in first, lining the walls with the different parts of your furniture.
  • Choose boxes of similar sizes. This makes it easier to stack them on top of each other. Also, only use sturdy boxes with no damage, as they’re less likely to collapse.
  • Fill your boxes to capacity (but not over). Filled boxes are sturdier and easier to stack, but resist overfilling or they could burst or split.
  • Pack everything in tightly, but leave a passage for access. Utilise every inch of space, but don’t forget about your access needs.
  • Consider using shelving. Provided it doesn’t take up too much space, shelving can help you maximise the height of your unit while still allowing easy access. Warehouse-style racking is widely available, not too expensive and doesn’t take up too much room.

 

Tips for protecting valuables

As well as saving space, you also want to avoid damage to any valuable items you’ll be storing. The first way to do this is to choose storage in London very carefully. You need somewhere clean, dry, fully insured and completely protected with full security systems. If you have any antiques or fragile items, you should also check out any climate control features.

If you’re happy with the unit, it’s now time to get your items ready for storage.  Protect valuables with bubble wrap or cloth, or store in a sealable crate, to protect them from damage.

To find out about convenient storage in London or for more expert advice on storage solutions, contact the Kiwi Movers team by calling 020 8877 9682.

 

 

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Man and Van Wandsworth to Chelsea – what it should cost and how long it should take

Moving from Wandsworth to Chelsea only involves a short hop over the Thames, a journey that can take as little as 15 minutes by road. For such a short journey (less than 3 miles), it simply isn’t worth calling in a full moving crew.

A far more suitable option for many house movers is man and van. This is especially the case if you don’t have much to move, but too much to lug onto a local bus or pack into the back of a taxi.

Man and van Wandsworth to Chelsea – how much will it cost?

The great news for house movers heading for new digs in Chelsea is that man and van for such a short trip is really affordable. The Kiwi Movers team charge just £75 plus VAT per hour (for off peak moves) for their man and van Wandsworth to Chelsea service. If you’re packed and ready, you may be able to get the move done in as little as an hour. This means that you’ll pay less than £100 for the whole service. This is a fantastic price considering that you get:

  • A team of experienced, professional movers – who treat your possessions with care, working speedily and efficiently
  • A fully insured, clean, spacious van in great condition
  • Comprehensive insurance for your possessions – in the unlikely occurrence that an item is damaged or broken, our insurance covers a replacement or reimbursement
  • Complete peace of mind – we guarantee that we’ll turn up on time and ready to move.

 

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The dangers of cheaping out on your move

Of course, we know that you’ll want to save every possible penny on your house move. You’ll be looking for the cheapest possible options, but be careful. Cheap hardly ever means quality.

Not every bloke off the internet with a van is the right choice for your move. It could even turn out disastrously. What if the man and van doesn’t turn up at all, leaving you stranded on the pavement with all your possessions? This is particularly inconvenient if you have someone moving into your old place or you’ve taken time off work to move.

Other ‘worst case’ scenarios include:

  • Breaking down on the way
  • A filthy van causing your stuff to arrive covered in dust and dirt
  • Damage, breakage or loss of your possessions
  • Damage to your new home as your stuff is carelessly moved in
  • A move which takes far too long, when you’re billed for the time!
  • A man and van service that takes your money (or your stuff) and is never heard from again.

 

chelsea removals

 

If all of these send shivers down your spine, make a smart choice. Go for a reliable man and van Wandsworth to Chelsea service like Kiwi Movers. You simply don’t need the stress on moving day, so choose a 100% reliable, quality guaranteed service instead. Please call us on 020 8877 9682 to find out more.

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