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About: Rachel Murray

Recent Posts by Rachel Murray

A guide to moving house in Clapham

Clapham is the perfect place for young people wanting to live and work in London.

Located closely to Brixton, there’s plenty of bars, restaurants, and nightlife – but with easy connections to central London through the Northern Line. In fact, you can reach the City within 10 minutes (just be prepared for things to be pretty busy).

If you’re renting on a budget, play close attention to which areas of Clapham you’re flat-hunting in. North Clapham, situated within the borough of Lambeth, will be more expensive than properties in Wandsworth.

This is all down to council tax but it’s still worth hunting around to find the right price to suit your budget.

Searching for properties

There are four distinct areas within Clapham: North, South, Old Town, and Junction.

Clapham North is particularly popular with students and young people, with less gentrification compared to other areas in the neighbourhood. It also has easy access to the Northern Line (a major plus for commuters).

But if you’re looking for Edwardian properties with farmer markets and artisanal coffee on your doorstep, then check out Clapham South. It has a real suburban feel and is particularly suited to families and trendy 30-somethings.

 

Things to do

If you ask most people what’s good about living in Clapham, they’ll tell you about the bustling atmosphere and nightlife scene in this neck of the woods.

We won’t pretend to do it justice here. Check online for more information (especially if you love cheesy 80s music, à la Infernos). Keep in mind, however, Clapham does have more to offer than clubs and bars. Clapham Picture House (SW4 0AT) is lovely for viewing a mixture of arthouse films and blockbuster hits. And if you want to enjoy the great outdoors with a picnic and plethora of dogs in tow, head to Clapham Common. You won’t be disappointed.

In terms of shopping, visit Clapham Junction for a greater variety of high-street shopping. You’ll find everything you need here, like Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, Waterstones, and Boots. There’s a nice selection of independent businesses too.

 

Moving house in Clapham

This neighbourhood is home to many Australians and Kiwis who’ve made the big move to London.

If this is your first time living abroad, check out international shipping before you start pricing out flight costs. You can also look into excess baggage services. This could help you save up to 70% than shipping your belongings by air, and it’ll arrive within 7-10 days. Much simpler than carrying it yourself.

For more information about moving house in Clapham, follow us on Twitter or send us a free enquiry online.

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Kiwi Movers teams up with Please Connect Me

No-one likes all the admin and life tasks that come with moving house.

Doing things like boiler readings, setting up internet, and getting in contact with your new local council to set up tax stuff. This is only made worse when you need to change service providers too.

That’s why we’re excited to announce we’ve teamed up with Please Connect Me – an amazing service that helps you find the best deals for your utility services. You don’t need to waste time on comparison websites – looking at internet, gas, and electricity deals – they do all the hard work for you. And it’s free.

Handy, right?

You can send an enquiry about this service online in just a few clicks.

 

A few tips about moving, anyway

In addition to changing service providers, there are few other things you might want to keep in mind before moving home.

1. Let your bank know
There’s a good chance you’re already using online banking. But if your bank changes its terms and conditions, or needs to send you important information, it’ll probably come by post. So let them know about your new address.

2. Tell your employer too
This is where your HR stuff, like payslips, will probably be sent. Pension details too. It’s also worth keeping in mind that if you’re changing jobs whilst moving house, then your P60/45 forms might get sent to the wrong address. These can’t be reissued and can be nightmare to retrieve.

3. Register to vote
You can register to vote online. It only takes a few minutes and so important for (1) voting and (2) obtaining credit for financial things. You can be fined for failing to do so.

4. Find a GP
Most people don’t think about registering for a GP until they’re ill – and then they find they’re on a waiting list and it’s going to take two weeks to see a doctor. Don’t be one of those people. Be amazing and do it now.

5. Set up a mail re-direct

It’s easy to forget all the different things we sign-up for. Rather than relying on the new tenant of your old place, you can set up a Royal Mail re-direct system for 3, 6 or 12 months. You can do the same for your business too, if that applies.

 

For more information about moving home, or our Please Connect Me partnership, send us a free enquiry online. Or you can follow us on Twitter for the latest news and tips.

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A guide to moving to Putney

The history of Putney stretches as far back as Roman times, when it was a pastural settlement for local communities in the 1st Century BCE.

Since then it’s become a thriving neighbourhood for Aussies and Kiwis alike. If you haven’t visited before, or you’re looking for easy commuting into the City of London, plan your journey now. Properties here are always going fast.

 

Things to do

With riverside pubs, comedy clubs, and lots of attractive outdoor space, Putney offers a welcome break from busy city living. You’re less a mile away from notable attractions like Bishops Park (Hammersmith) and a short distance away from the beautiful Ravenscourt Park.
Bishops Park

Bishops Park
You’ll probably know about the famous boat ride already. But in terms of cultural stuff, the neighbourhood is well known for Putney Arts Theatre – home to Putney Theatre Company – and puts on dozens of exciting performances throughout the year.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous though, you might want to check out Putney Old Burial Ground. This open-air space is perfect for atmospheric performances of Shakespeare – plus you get to bring a picnic.

 

Housing in Putney

It won’t come as a surprise that buying in Putney isn’t cheap. The average price of a detached home is around £960,000, with the average neighbourhood property clocking in at £722,685. That makes living in Putney more expensive than places like Roehamtpon and prices have continued to rise since 2014.

If you’re looking to stretch your budget, however, then you’ll find no shortage of exclusive properties here.

 

Schools

Putney has an excellent selection of primary and secondary schools, the top three of which are:

  • Putney High School (<1000 pupils)
  • Ibstock Place School (<1000 pupils)
  • Ashcroft Technology Academy (+1200 pupils)

You can compare all local schools in this area online.

Putney also has its own Art and Design School, specialising in digital, photography, and web design.

 

Best time of year to move to Putney

Despite being outside London’s congestion charge zone, Putney can still be quite busy during rush hour. So it’s best to avoid moving during early morning and or late afternoon.

It’s also worth being mindful of the University Boat Race. Putney Embankment is an extremely popular visitor’s spot and will become congested around this time.

For more information about moving to Putney – including how to arrange a removal service – visit our specialist page on Putney removals. Alternatively you can contact us online for a free quote or send us a tweet @KiwiMovers.

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5 signs you’re ready to move to London

1. Your friends and family know about your move to London

This might not seem like a big deal. But the thought of leaving loved ones behind can often be a difficult hurdle to overcome. It’s probably the most common reason people don’t make the big move in the first place.

So if you’ve found the courage to talk about it and share your plans, then great! That’s already important in itself.

 

2. You’ve started comparing rent prices

OK, so London is famous for having some of the most expensive housing costs in the world.

What’s good about this step, though, is that you’re starting to think about practicalities. Looking at flats, neighbourhoods, and costs are things that make the move feel real. They also give you a good indication about what you’ll need in terms of savings and potential jobs.

 

3. You’re hunting on job sites

For people who don’t have a job already lined up, then finding work can be super off-putting when you want to move abroad. Especially if your new home doesn’t speak the same language as you.

But if you’ve already faced this challenge head-on, then that’s great too. There are plenty of websites that’ll help you see what’s on the market. You can also check out expat communities online — this is a good way to meet likeminded friends and see if they have any recommendations for work.

 

4. You’re thinking about downsizing

More practical stuff.

It’s hard to find anyone who moved to a new city and regretted not taking more stuff with them. That being said, you don’t necessarily want to leave sentimental or bulky items behind for the sake of it.

If you have important things musical equipment or sports gear, then there’s always international shipping.

For anything else you could do without, then it might be better to think about long-term storage or donation.

 

5. You feel like you’re biding time

Biding time might sound a bit downtrodden. And you might love where you are now, and your friends and the connections you’ve made along the way.

However, it’s probably the best indication that you’re ready to move to London.

Lots of people worry that moving to a new city will leave them feeling regretful. But regardless of what the future has in store, always keep in mind how you’re feeling at this moment in time.

It should mean that you had all the right reasons to move somewhere new in the first place. And what’s to regret about that?

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A guide to moving house in Battersea

With one of the most iconic skylines outside the City of London, Battersea has long been popular with families and young professionals looking to better balance work and home life.

Whether you’re renting or looking to buy, you’ll find an wonderful collection of properties in this Borough of Wandsworth: from Victorian terraces, to modern developments, and grand Georgian houses. It could be surprisingly affordable too. Battersea has one of the cheapest council tax rates in London.

 

Lifestyle and things to do

You definitely won’t be stuck for stuff to do in Battersea.

It’s famous for its namesake park, but there is also a great selection of art galleries, an excellent arts centre, and a very popular sports centre offering a range of football, cricket and fitness sessions.

 

 

Transport and commutes

One of the great things about moving to Battersea is its fantastic connections. It’s located only a few miles from Charing Cross, and you can choose between two train stations: Battersea Park and Queenstown Road. Charing Cross isn’t too far either.

But don’t let the absence of a tube station put you off. By 2020, there will be a Northern Line extension in Battersea – meaning up to 20,000 new homes will be built. That’s why it’s a good time to invest in this area. Chances are prices will increase, as well as demand, in the next few years. So it’s best to get in there before everyone else does.

 

Schools

Battersea has a competitive and well-reviewed selection of primary and secondary schools. There are a couple independent school options too, namely Emanuel School and Chelsea Independent College.

If you’re interesting in pursuing options in wider Wandsworth, however, then have a look at these league tables. More than a dozen rank ‘above’ or ‘well above average’ in reading compared to the rest of England. But if you’re little one isn’t quite old enough for school, then you could always follow in the footsteps of Prince George and sign-up for Thomas’ Battersea. Although we’d expect admission to be a little more competitive now.

 

Moving house in Battersea

There are plenty of ways you can make the move easier on yourself.

 

Removal Men Moving Furniture

 

This will depend entirely on your situation and what’s best for you. In terms of self-storage options, we have facilities located right here in Battersea – offering 24/7 access, and no minimum stay. This is useful if you’re moving in stages or just need some extra time to go through and sort your stuff.

When it comes to actually moving you have all of the following options too:

 

For more information about moving house in Battersea, including a free quote, contact us now. We’re always free for a chat on Twitter as well.

 

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A super quick guide to moving house in Balham

There are plenty of reasons Balham was recently named one of the most popular places to live in London.

Low(er) council tax rates, dozens of places to eat, drink and go out, plus great connections to Victoria, make this Borough of Wandsworth extremely attractive to potential Londoners. What’s more, you have easy access to storage options across South London — so moving is nice and easy too.

You won’t have trouble finding property to rent and buy here. Like most places, your hunt will probably begin online. But if you’d prefer to speak to someone who knows the area, then Balham has a good range of local estate agents to explore.

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

Local schools

We know it’s one of the top priorities for people moving in and around London. Luckily then, Balham has an excellent standard of primary and secondary schools (which you can compare online as well).

To keep little ones entertained outside of school, you’ll find a number of parks and attractions located conveniently close-by. We would definitely recommend paying Balham Swimming Pool a visit, for example.

School

Transport

Excellent transport links is definitely one of the biggest bonuses of moving to Balham. Located in Zone 3, you can reach Victoria in around 15 minutes – and that’s including during rush hour. There are also good bus services here too.

In terms of parking, you can check online before making your journey around town. Equally, if you’re worried about parking during your move, you could consider hiring a man and van. It’s usually more cost-effective than a DIY approach. Plus, they’ll work out a moving plan so you don’t have to.

 

Things to do

If you’ve not visited Balham before, then you might not know about its bustling arts and food scene. There is a newly-formed annual literary celebration, as well as an impressive comedy festival with the likes of Ed Byrne, Jason Manford and Rich Hall who performed in July 2017. Balham has also a famous independent cinema, The Exhibit, located right on its doorstep.

As you’d expect in terms of food, there is a popular high-street with places to do grocery shopping and potter around. But it wouldn’t be fair to not mention the excellent restaurants located in this area. The Honest Pizza and Lamberts automatically spring to mind, popular amongst locals and visitors alike. We won’t bother listing all the good places to eat nearby: just have a look on Trip Advisor to get a feel.

 

Moving house in Balham

 

Moving home in Balham

When it comes to actually moving house in Balham, you have lots of different options if you need a helping hand – including:

  • Man and van service
  • Removals from one bed and multi-storied houses.
  • Full packing service
  • Packing materials
  • End of tenancy cleaning
  • Storage (24/7 and container-ised storage).
  • Property maintenance.
  • Handyman.
  • International shipping.
  • Rubbish removal.

You can also choose between different storage options across South London:

  • Chiswick
  • Kingston
  • Richmond
  • Teddington
  • Twickenham

For more information about moving to Balham, or getting a free quote about our services, contact us online or by telephone.

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One week to go: 4 last-minute tasks before moving home in London

You’ve dealt with all the important stuff like filling in tenancy forms and sorting out wi-fi. Now comes the nitty gritty, like making sure everything is packed, emptied and cleaned up before the big move.

There’s a lot going on. But don’t forget these last few important steps before moving home in London.

Check your freezer

We all have unexplained things lurking in the back of our freezer. I know for a fact there’s an entire birthday cake in mine (although the mysterious circumstances in which it materialised remain unclear).

But if you hate the idea of food wastage, now is a good time to brace yourself, dig deep, and see what can be used up. It’s not the time to be sentimental.

 

(Via Giphy)

 

Redirect your mail

You can do this online in just a few minutes. And if you’re moving overseas, you can request your mail is redirected for 3, 6 or 12 months. Prices start from £31.99.

Also remember to notify your bank that you’ve changed address. It’ll help reduce the chances of your important details falling into the wrong hands. Furthermore, if you’re registered as having two different addresses with different companies, it could impact your credit score.

Related Stories:

5 excellent questions to ask at your next flat-viewing in London

A guide to moving house in Twickenham

How many calories does moving house burn? – A fitness guru’s guide to home removals

An engineer’s guide to packing for a house move

Plan your escape route

Travelling by car in London can feel stressful at the best of times. Combine that with all your worldly possessions and a van you’ve never driven before, and suddenly your Monday morning commute doesn’t seem so bad.

That’s why it’s a good idea to choose your moving time wisely. Avoid rush hour, or during the school run, and make sure there are no diversions along your route.

The same goes for parking too. Double-check there aren’t restrictions at your destination and you’ve got plenty of room to get your things sorted.

 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Hopefully you’ve enrolled the help and emotional support of your nearest and dearest.

However, if you feel slightly guilty about asking your semi-retired parents to carry your 45-inch TV, then ask someone else to do the leg work. Even if that’s just hiring a handyman for a few hours. It means you won’t need to worry about making sure everything is packed and moved correctly. Plus, you can put your friends to work on more urgent matters (e.g. finding excellent takeaway coffee).

Another option is even to get a man and van service. As the name suggests, you won’t need to worry about driving your belongings from A to B. There’ll be a lovely pro to do all that for you.

For more hints and tips about moving, follow us on Twitter.

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5 excellent questions for your next flat viewing in London

Found a potential flat? Check. Arranged a viewing? Check. Remembered to ask if there’s a dishwasher in an attempt to preserve domestic bliss and marital harmony in the near future? Not so much.

Flat viewing in London isn’t without its hurdles. And that doesn’t take into consideration the pain of packing up and actually moving your lovely belongings. No one needs that. So before you visit your next property, keep these questions in mind.

 

1. What’s the landlord like?

If you’re lucky you’ll get to meet the existing tenant.

This is the best way to get a feel for the landlord – and how helpful they’ll be if you need them in the future. If possible, find out about things like replacing furniture, fixing heating and anything structural like windows and walls (in case there’s damp).

Most of this should be covered in your contact, anyway. But it doesn’t hurt to ask.

 

2. What are the neighbours like?

No one likes a nasty surprise. And that includes noisy neighbours, unfriendly dogs*, or people who leave a mess in the hallway.

*Better yet, ask if there are friendly dogs too. Then you might be able to find them on borrowmydoggy.com. It’s like Tinder but for doggos.

 

3. Where do I find the stopcock?

If there’s ever a flood, or a broken pipe, then this will stop any running water.

Good for the environment. Better for your belongings/wallet.

 

4. Am I allowed pets?

This is an extension of the dog section.

It’s an entirely valid point, especially considering owning a pet helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and make you happier about life in general.

Lovely dog

Again, this will probably be covered in your contact, however, some landlords are more flexible than others.

 

5. Who do I contact if there’s an emergency?

This might seem like a question for after you’ve moved in. But it’s important to know who you’ll be dealing with if things go wrong.

Here’s an example. One Monday morning, I dragged myself out of bed at an ungodly hour, stepped into the shower, and found out there was no water. I don’t mean no hot water. I mean water full stop. It was too early to call the letting agents and I had no idea who to contact.

Now, if I had been smart about it, I’d have known to call my flat’s management company. But this was news to me at the time. So instead, I wasted three hours waiting around and could’ve had it fixed quickly if I was organised.

Moral of the story: ask the right questions, before you need the answer.

 

Flat viewing in London

For more hints and tips about moving in London, follow us on Twitter.

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A Guide to Moving House in Twickenham

Twickenham, located in the south-west of London’s city centre, is the perfect compromise for people who want leafy suburbs and easy commutes.

Moving to Twickenham

The great thing about Twickenham is its connections to London’s bustling centre. You can reach Waterloo Station via train in roughly 30 minutes, making it a popular location for young professionals and families.

Another popular reason to move to this area is its highly-rated primary schools and good mix of Edwardian, Victorian and modern-day properties.

For these reasons, homes located in key catchment areas are extremely competitive amongst young families. So that’s why it’s always a good idea to check the waiting lists and admissions processes first and foremost before making the move.

Highlights in Twickenham

Twickenham Stadium, known as the home of English rugby, can hold up to 82,000 spectators – making it the largest dedicated rugby venue in the world. It even has its own onsite museum.

Twickenham Stadium

But if you’re more interested in stained glass windows, Gothic architecture, and beautiful 18th century grounds, then you won’t want to miss Strawberry Hill.

The benefit of having something like this on your doorstep is you’ll always have access to these historic gardens.

Strawberry Hill

And what’s better, there’s plenty of events planned throughout the year.

Similarly, York House Gardens – with an equally lavish estate and its own sea nymph sanctuary (of course) – means there’s always lots to see and visit in Twickenham.

Local business gems

You’ll probably be pretty hungry after all that sightseeing. Luckily, Twickenham also has a great selection of restaurants and places to grab a bite.

One of our favourites is Hei Hing Cafe & Noodle Bar. Located in Isleworth and only a short journey from Twickenham’s cultural sites, this place is well worth the visit. We won’t give away any spoilers, you can read the menu online, but you’d be mad to not try their miso ramen and dim-sum.

Holly.co – a wonderful shop founded by local celebrity Holly Tucker  who started notonthehighstreet does a fantastic range of artisan stuff, irresistible food and sells the highly sought after (WARNING. They are delicious) Crosstown Donuts. Check her out.

Moving house in Twickenham 

Moving house in Twickenham gives you lots of choice in terms of property, including both renting and buying.

Sion Road

But if you’re moving to a new flat, or planning on traveling soon, then there’s a good chance you’ll need storage in the meantime. This is a simple and cost-effective way to keep your belongings safe. Plus, any good storage facility will give you 24/7 access to your possessions – meaning you can move at a pace that suits you.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind before renting storage in Twickenham:

  • Make sure you do a quick audit of your belongings before putting them into storage.
  • See if anything can be recycled or donated. This will help free up space and ensure you don’t pay for any more storage than you need.
  • Don’t include perishables in your storage. You don’t want any nasty surprises in a few weeks time, or longer.
  • Double-check the storage facility has 24/7 security.

For more information about moving house in Twickenham, or what it’s like living in this fantastic area, follow us on Twitter.

 

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A Guide to Moving House in Richmond

 

With cobbled streets, excellent public gardens, and lots of independent shops, it’s no wonder living in Richmond is so popular.

But don’t let this lovely riverside location fool you. In terms of travel, you can reach Earl’s Court from Richmond in just 20 minutes on a District Line. And even better you can travel to Heathrow Airport by taxi in just 30 minutes.

 

Richmond

 

Things to do in Richmond

One thing this area of West London is particularly famous for is Richmond Park. This is the largest of London’s eight royal parks, and is perfect for children and anyone who wants an easy escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.


Richmond Park

In addition to lovely green spaces, Richmond is also famous for its vibrant arts and culture scene.

Orleans House Gallery and Richmond Theatre offer a fantastic selection of exhibitions, shows, and community events.

But it’s September that really brings Richmond to life, as it partakes in the city’s annual Great River Race. Spectators can wait alongside Richmond Bridge and the banks of Ham House to cheer along the dragonboat and longboat contestants. People travel for miles to visit on this special occasion.

moving to Richmond, view of the River Thames

 

Local businesses and food stuff

 

Once you’re finished browsing parks and watching boat races, you can choose between a fantastic selection of Richmond’s restaurants and pubs.

The White Cross Pub is set within a charming Victorian riverside cottage, offering quality ales, pub grub, and rugby matches when it’s the season. It’s especially nice when the sun’s out and you’ve got a space outside.

You can learn more about the area’s top restaurants and places to eat at discoveryrichmond.com

 

Moving house in Richmond

You won’t struggle finding properties to rent or buy in this area. In terms of storage in Richmond, however, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

  • It’s best to avoid moving to Richmond during its busy Boat Race season, usually early September.
  • Richmond is outside of London’s Congestion Zone. This is great news if you need to access your storage facility frequently, as you won’t be subject to charges.
  • Make sure you do a quick itinerary before you put any possessions into storage. This way, you won’t store anything you don’t need and you’ll know exactly what’s in there.
  • Don’t put any perishables in there. It won’t help you in the long run.

If you’re planning on moving house in Richmond soon, or looking to renovate and need extra space, this type of storage could help save you time and wasted money.

For more information about living in this area, including Twickenham and Chiswick, follow us on Twitter.

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Moving out this term? Here’s how to get your deposit back

If you’re a student, there’s always something cruel about having all your coursework and exam deadlines in May. It might be the busiest time of the year, but suddenly everyone wants to have a barbecue at the weekend – and it’s so warm that working in the library is almost impossible. That’s if you actually find a space in the first place.
We’ve been there. Plus, on top of all that, you’ll be moving out soon. And there’s that nasty deposit to think about too.

There’s a good chance you’ve got enough on your plate without us going on about it. So here’s a few hints and tips about how to get your deposit back, before you actually move out.

 

Make sure your flatmates have paid all their rent to date

If you’re sharing with flatmates, then you’ve probably collectively paid a deposit – meaning you’ll share joint responsibility for making sure your bills and payments are up to date.

If someone skipped a month, or accidentally cancelled a Direct Debit, then it’ll come out of your shared deposit. Worth double-checking, right?

 

Review your inventory

Hopefully you made sure this was spick and span before you settled in. Either way, it’s a good idea to check everything is in order and nothing’s gone amiss over the last couple semesters.

Word to the wise: if you’re missing a couple items, like a broken IKEA dinner plate, it’s probably worth just replacing it. Then your landlord won’t have any excuses to keep a portion of your deposit.

 

Think about professional cleaning

Another reason your landlord may deduct funds from your deposit is to cover cleaning costs.

If you have time, then there’s no reason you can’t splash out on bleach and get your hands dirty. But this is also the time of year where time is precious – so, you could also look into a professional cleaning service.

Sometimes even a few extra hours could make all the difference. And if you’re already flat-sharing, then splitting the costs can help to make it affordable for everyone. Plus – receipts from a professional cleaning service make it very hard for any landlord to dispute the state of the property on exit.

 

Be careful when you’re moving out

Students sometimes get an unfair reputation for leaving flats in a bit of a mess.

So it’s especially unfair if you’ve looked after your home all year, cleaned pretty regularly, and then accidentally scuffed a wall or damaged the floors when moving out. And, as you can probably guess, this can have a real impact on your deposit.

Student removal services are designed to be quick and simple, without breaking the budget. Schedule a time and place, in plenty of time before handing back your keys, and you’ll be in a better position with your landlord.

If you have any questions about our student removal services, let us know on Twitter or get in contact with us directly.

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3 wonderful lessons you’ll only learn from living in London

There’s a saying you can only call yourself a New Yorker if you’ve lived in the Big Apple for at least 10 years.

Well, we’re not sure if the same rule applies to London. But we do know a few life lessons are crucial for anyone who wants to live and work here. And that’s because London has an almost contradictory quality – one which can leave you feeling inspired, invigorated, and (sometimes) downright infuriated all at once.

Anyway, that’s part of the fun.

The tube isn’t always the fastest option

It may sound sacrilegious. Or even unpatriotic. But the London tube, in all its grotty glamour, isn’t always the best way to get around the city.

 

Wait, isn’t this New York too?

 

No, we’re not suggesting you Uber it to work in the morning. We’re talking about the iconic London bus – and sometimes, it’s actually easier to beat the commute on one of these than standing on the tube.

This will depend on where you’re travelling to, of course.

Another reason to champion the bus is you’re more likely to get a seat, it’s cheaper, and you can still make phone calls and tweet stuff.

You can get around pretty easily just walking

Unless you’ve grown up in somewhere like Tokyo or San Paulo, then it’s hard not to feel like London is a shape-shifting metropolis – a place where new neighborhoods seem to spring up from nowhere every month.

This can be daunting at times. But the good news is that London can be manageable to navigate, even if you’re just travelling by foot.

If you’re new to this city and still need to get your bearings, check out these free walking tours available across London. It’s a nice way to meet other newbies too.

The best cultural sites are free

Remember when I mentioned New Yorkers? Well, they might have some world-class museums and galleries. But they also charge visitors a decent amount to hang around their collections of fancy nudes and Jackson Pollock’s.

London, on the other hand, has plenty of cultural sites that can be accessed without spending a penny. It’s a welcome surprise for tourists. And it’s nothing short of a blessing if you’re lucky enough to be living and working here.

 

What’s life like living in London

We’re always keen to hear from people who’ve made the move and are working and living in London. So, what have you learned so far? Share it with us on Twitter.

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How to survive living with parents after university

A friend of Kiwi Movers just finished her PhD in neuroscience. Over the last seven years, she’s spent — quite literally — thousands of hours in the lab researching and trying to understand how and why degenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s, occur in the human brain. She’s also spoken at conferences across the world, been invited to study in California, and won a good few awards to boot.

The trouble is, though, she’s had to move back home between jobs. This all seems fine on paper (hey, most of us have been there) but things have been a little… odd at home. Sure, she’s an award-winning scientist — an expert in her field — but that doesn’t mean her parents treat her any differently than when she was 16-years old and ardently convinced Panic! At The Disco was a legitimate musical choice.

We have a lot of sympathy for this friend. But if her Whatsapp messages can taught us anything, it’s that you need a survival guide if you move back home after university.

Don’t get too comfy living with parents

Getting into a routine is crucial when you start living with your parents again.

When you first move back, all those wonderful home comforts — like a full fridge and endless reruns from Sky TV  might make you wonder why you even left in the first place. But don’t let the call of contentment lure you into a new routine. You’ve been surviving by yourself for years (probably). And you don’t need your parents thinking nothing has changed

I’m not going to say go out and find a job. The last thing you need is all that noise from an anonymous blog on the internet. Instead, if you’re looking to get out the house, find some volunteering opportunities nearby. Walk your neighbour’s dog. Scout out your local library and get some time to think, read, and scour the internet for your next big step.

It’ll help you in the long run.

Do your own washing and stuff

This might seem like cruel advice. Surely it’s one of the best perks of living with parents?

That’s what this friend thought too. But once her mum start doing her laundry, then it caused an array of uncomfortable conversations to follow shortly after:

“If I’m going to do your washing, [Friend], then you can drive me to the shops.”
“[Friend], how much do you actually spend on clothing?”
“[Friend], why does anyone need this kind of underwear?”

You get the idea. Maybe your parents are a bit more chill. However, if you want to maintain independence and keep things on your terms, then it’s a good idea to do your own chores. Think of it this way: once you do move out again (and it will happen, we promise and never forget, we’re here to help, check out our man and van service for smaller moves) it’ll be easier to settle into solo life again.

Keep in contact with your friends. A lot

 

Something weird happens once you leave university, and no-one really warns you about it.

When you’re studying, you see your friends all the time — even if it’s just sitting in the library and making a secret pact to never let dissertations ruin your life like this ever again. Then you graduate, go home, and suddenly your social life gets a lot slimmer.

It can come as a bit of a shock at first. But if you want to make living with your parents easier, then it’s important to keep in close contact with your friends. Check on each other and make plans to do something together soon. It’s one of the best ways to remind yourself that all this is temporary and you’ll be back in the warm embrace of Netflix and fructose cereal in no time.

If you have time, make plans before you leave university

Most of us forget about our flat deposit until we’re a few weeks away from moving out. Then suddenly you realise you’ve never really cleaned the bathroom and god know’s what’s behind the sofa.

Let’s be honest: you need all the funds you can get once you’ve graduated. So if you’re keen to secure that deposit, you could look into hiring a professional end of tenancy cleaning service.

It might seem like a bit of an extravagance, but it’s one of the best ways to make your flat look spic and span in preparation for inspections. Plus, any money you save can go directly into your moving-out pot for the next new months.

Do you have any advice for students living with parents this summer? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter and let us know!

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Easter 2017: The best things to do with children in London

There are plenty of things to do with children in London, especially on Easter Weekend.

But, as you know, tickets sell quick and there’s nothing worse than seeing those big, disappointed eyes looking up at you as you realise you should have booked ahead. That’s why, to make things easier, we’ve done some research and found some of the best and most exciting events come up soon.

 

Go to a chocolate-making workshop

Where: The Chocolate Factory
When: numerous dates

Chocolate making

If you’re entertaining little ones this Easter, then definitively check out The Chocolate Factory in Brixton.

Here you can make chocolate eggs, decorate lollipops, and get your hands on lots of goodies to take home afterwards. Sharing is caring, right?

We have it on good authority these classes are filling up quickly. So we suggest you get booking as soon as possible.

 

Visit the Horniman Museum and Gardens

Where: Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forrest Hill
Whenopening times vary (you can check on their website, though)

The Horniman Museum and Gardens is the perfect spot for a lazy weekend picnic or Easter Sunday. The views are gorgeous, there museum boasts a superb collection of specimens, and you can visit the petting zoo on your way out. Did we mention they have llamas too?

The Horniman is likely to be busy on Easter Sunday (there are a few different events on) and parking will likely be tight. We’d recommend arriving nice and early.

 

Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt

Where: Hampton Court Palace
When1-17 April 2017
This has to be one of the best ideas for entertaining kids this Easter.
Set in the picturesque gardens of Henry VIII, this bunny hunt promises plenty of chocolate and — judging by their website — some theatrical reenactments straight from the Tudor period. We’re not sure why this is included in a children’s Easter event, but you’d be mad to miss it.
Hampton Court Palace

Battersea Park Children’s Zoo

Where: Battersea Park Children’s Zoo, Chelsea
When: 4-14 April 2017

Spring is the perfect time to get up close and personal with baby animals. Lucky for your little ones, Battersea Park Children’s Zoo has pulled out all the stops this Easter.

There’ll be hidden eggs within the enclosures (please don’t let them climb inside, though) and the chance to cuddle bunnies whilst wearing bunny ears too. It’s so sweet it’s practically sickening. The kids will love it.

Things to do with children in London

If you’re planning on doing something special this Easter, we’d love if you could share it with us on Twitter.

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Looking for self-storage in London? Read these tips first

Self-storage is a convenient and cost-effective to make moving and travelling a bit kinder to yourself.

But before you leap head-first into your new adventure, here’s a few things to keep in mind when it comes to self-storage in London.

Do an inventory first (and donate what you can)

It’s all too-tempting to gaze upon a storage unit, gloriously empty with possibility, and feel the insatiable need to stockpile it with everything you own (plus a few extra pieces from Muji, or whatever). The temptation is real. But channel that self control: you’re going to need it.

Before diving head first in storage territory, think about doing an inventory first.

It’ll save you time once your lease is up. And it’ll also give you a chance to donate any old items that need a new home.

 

See if there’s anything you can sell

This is probably the next thing on your list. You don’t want to pay for storage of items, only to find out three months later you didn’t actually need three lampshades. It’s a waste of space (and expense).

 

 

There are plenty of good websites you can use to sell pre-loved goods. Beyond places like Gumtree, Craigslist and eBay, you can also have a look at Shpock and (you might have guessed) pre-loved. Enjoy it. You never know, you might find you have a real knack for advertising old bookcases and all that tupperware.

 

Don’t store perishables

This might seem like a no-brainer. Most people know not to put food in their storage units. But it’s easy to forget some items— like cosmetics and toiletries— also have a use-by date and don’t always survive their time in confinement. Especially if it’s over the long term.

To avoid this happening, we recommend making sure anything that’s perishable gets used-up beforehand. Then if you need to extend your lease, for whatever reason, you won’t need to worry about auditing your storage unit beforehand.

Find the best location

Finally, the last thing to think about is your location. There are plenty of places for storage in London.

In case you’re interested, we have short and long-term facilities in the following locations:

  • Chiswick
  • Kingston
  • Richmond
  • Teddington
  • Twickenham

 

As a general rule, it’s a good idea to find somewhere that’s convenient to access— so you can get there nice and easy if you need to.

Plus, did anyone ever tell you Teddington has its own sub-aqua club? Good reason to visit, we think.

Want to know more about storage in London?

Storage starts from £15 a week and there’s no minimum stay. Not bad, eh?

Contact us for a free quote and we can help you find the right storage option.

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Flatmates in London: what to do when it goes wrong

Finding flatmates in London can be a minefield. But what happens once you actually find one – the one – and then it turns out you’re not the domestic soulmates once thought?

It can be hard. And awkward. And downright frustrating at times too.

We don’t recommend you start looking for a new flatmate first thing, though. We love helping people move but we know it’s not on the top of everyone’s list of weekend activities. Try these few things first. Then think about getting back to the drawing board.

 

Don’t argue over text

It’s all too tempting to avoid confrontation by hiding behind a screen. You might be your wittiest over Whatsapp, but you’ll have better luck dealing with a difficult flatmate in person – rather than over your smartphone or email.*

We’ve all been there. Words get muddled, things get said, and someone doesn’t “get” that hilarious joke you just made (don’t worry, though, we think you’re great).

To avoid this happening set some time aside. Be your charming self and keep things constructive. You’ve got the rest covered.

 

Avoid post it notes

* Ah, post it notes. An almost primitive tool from a bygone era, letting you contact your beloved flatmates and maintain a conveniently safe distance at all times.

Finding flatmates in London

Every Paperchase cardholder will relish the opportunity to use their beautiful stationery. But like smartphones, these seemingly innocent notes could wreak havoc on your relationship. Don’t beat around the bush. If you’ve got something important to say – such as, “These filthy dishes are starting to ruin my social life. Please wash them.” – then do it old school. Face to face.

 

Keep your friends out of it

You tell them everything. They know your biggest, darkest secrets. And they also know that your flatmate, the one who seemed so shy the first time you met, also insists on walking around in his pants after every shower.

This is all very well and good over drinks. But if you want your friends to remain impartial (and avoid any awkward interactions between the two) then it’s best keeping a few things hush-hush. After all, even if you and your flatmate patch things up, chances are your friends will still harbour all those ill-feelings you once had. It’ll be funny for a while. Then it’ll just get annoying.

 

Plan something fun to do together

Once you’ve dealt with the problem, nothing cements a positive move forward like spending some time together. Sure, it doesn’t need to be every day. And you don’t need to suddenly start sharing your food or anything weird like that.

Grab some brunch and keep things on good terms. After all, you share a home with this person – and you don’t want to annoy the dude who has free access to your post it notes and stuff.

 

Do you have any bad experiences of flatmates in London?

We’d love to hear about them. Share your stories with us on Twitter.

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Luxury furniture retailer? Finding storage in London is easy

As we go into spring, we know there’s a renewed seasonal challenge for furniture retailers out there.

Securing, delivering and storing your valuable stock can often seem like one of those practical dilemmas that demand costly business time. If you’re anything like our previous clients, then perhaps you’ve had to rely on staff to take responsibility for packaging. Or you’ve been lifting and delivering heavy-set items yourself, outside normal business hours.

It’s not a good use of resources. So it’s our job to help make this process simpler. We have a three-tiered approach to storing furniture stock: from protecting your items, to bespoke delivery services, and offering a variety of storage options across London.

 

Secure packaging

If you’re looking to store your furniture in preparation for a new season, or just want to free up some space, the first step is secure packaging.

Our expert delivery team specialise in heavy-set items like furniture – taking end-to-end responsibility for ensuring its security and protection. As part of our service, we can visit your premises, pack your furniture quickly and safely, and have it shipped to a convenient location that suits you. We’ll even clean up any mess that’s left behind.

It’s as simple as that.

 

Storage in London

We know it’s important to keep your stock fairly nearby. That’s why we offer a variety of storage facilities – including containers – across London:

  • Chiswick
  • Kingston
  • Richmond
  • Teddington
  • Twickenham

Our secure CCTV-monitored containers are ideal for storing large, heavy items like furniture.

They’re are also available 24/7, so you can visit whenever you need to.

As part of our service, we also different options available for short-term and long-term solutions. There is no minimum stay – so you have complete flexibility – and there are discounts for longer stays too.

 

Expert delivery

We’ll put our cards on the table here and bet you’ve got better things to do than carry furniture around town. It’s not just time and energy consuming, but it’s potentially risky if you’re dealing with high-value items.

Our team can arrange to pick-up and deliver your stock at a time and place that suits you – including non-business hours. Unlike bigger, international companies, we have the advantage of offering a local bespoke service that can be tailored to you. But don’t worry. We can still ship your items internationally, if necessary.


Need more information?

If you want to learn more about our storage in London, or Kiwi Movers’ delivery service, please contact our team directly for a free quote.

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