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Category Archives: Moving tips

Moving in London by yourself – the best and worst

It takes a brave man (or woman) who’s prepared to face the streets of London and make the move on their own. The traffic, the hustle, the parking tickets… but that doesn’t mean we can’t respect the effort either.

Whether you choose to move home in DIY-style, or enlist the help of yours truly, it’s never easy getting in and out of this city. Especially if you’re moving home, no less.

So if you’re still undecided about what option’s right for you, here are our best (and worse) reasons for embracing self-sufficiency in the moving process.

 

You can bribe friends with pizza (and optional beer)

 

We’ve all been there. You spend two years renting in London – arriving with nothing more than a worn-out suitcase and a bottle of your local’s finest – and suddenly you’ve collected enough stuff to give J.F Sebastian a run for his money.

Now it’s time to pack all your belongings up and enlist the help of your nearest and dearest.

We’d be lying if we said this can’t be fun. It’s a great chance to get everyone together and have a rummage through boxes and crates. Plus, if you’re a young student, we’d expect nothing less.

 

It feels like everything could break

 

One of the big worries for anyone moving house is making sure your stuff arrives at its new destination in a good state.

And part of this problem is to do with insurance. Despite the fact you’re more likely to damage your possessions during the move than any other time, most insurers won’t cover it – unless you use a professional removals firm. Preferably one that’s accredited.

If anything goes wrong, they’ll pay the costs and help make it right again. You’ll need to fill out a bit of paperwork if you do want to make a claim and if you’re taking you’re taking out additional cover in advance, you’ll need to declare the value of any expensive items.

It’s like having a safety net across the entire moving process.

 

You can have a good, ol’ fashioned clear out

 

We know everyone says moving is stressful – and sometimes it definitely is – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a bit cathartic too.

You get the chance to take an inventory of everything in your home and decide what’s important. And what really needs to visit the charity shop. If you’re moving home by yourself, then this is the best opportunity to de-clutter your property and get ready for the next big adventure.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t give you a helping hand too. Once you’ve done all the cleaning and sorting, we can collect the rubbish and take it where it needs to go – helping to make everything nice and simple.

 

You get a great workout

 

Carrying boxes up and down the stairs. Getting stuff in and out of the car. Maneuvering small children between the seemingly endless numbers of spiralisers and chocolate fondues.

Moving house is one of the most physically demanding tasks in our everyday lives.

And there’s the downside.

Getting all your stuff from A to B can be an exhausting job – physically, as well as emotionally. Now, if you like the sound of everything above, then you’ll be in your element. However, if you’re stuck for time and looking to make the move in the quickest, easiest way possible, then maybe it’s best left to the professionals.

 

The pros and cons of moving by yourself in London

 

We hope that’s given you a brief insight into the pros and cons of moving house by yourself.

Regardless of what option you choose, or even if you’re undecided, our team are here to help. Contact us for a free quote and we can see what option’s right for you.

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6 reasons why you need an excess baggage service

If you’re planning on moving to London soon (there’s lots of Kiwis and Australians already here, we know most of them!) there’s a good chance you’ve got baggage on the brain. No, not the emotional kind. Luggage. Things like suitcases, bikes, and all those lovely gems you’ve collected along the way.

It’s not always easy taking these things home. And there’s nothing worse than having to abandon your possessions because you’re worried about the cost and fuss of taking them on a flight.

That’s where a good excess baggage service comes into play. So, if you’ve never heard of excess baggage before, here’s six things to think about before you travel abroad.

1. Heavy luggage. Good for arms, bad for morale

This is top of our list for a good reason. If you’ve ever tried to lug heavy bags across an airport, or get from one side of London to another with your bike, you’ll know this stuff slows you down. And it’s not a good start to your journey home, either.

That’s why we offer a door-to-door removal service. We’ll collect your baggage and deliver it exactly where it needs to go – at a time that works for you.

2. International shipping

It’s not always easy finding a baggage service that travels to the same places you do. We’ve been there, and the unhappy result is shipping your luggage and possessions to awkward destinations and having to pick them up from there.

So, to keep things as convenient as possible, here’s a list of the locations we ship to:

  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • South Africa
  • Canada (both coasts)
  • United States (yup, both coasts)
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Cyprus
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Thailand

What’s better?

Our air freight means your luggage will arrive at its destination within 7-10 working days.

3. It could be more cost effective than flights

You know the feeling. You’re at the airport. They’re weighing your luggage… you have that sinking, nagging feeling that maybe you didn’t need every season of The Sopranos on Blu Ray/DVD to take back home (pfft, who are you kidding?). And that’s it – you’re baggage is too heavy and you’re slapped with a fine.

With a global network of handlers, we’re able to compete with even the biggest airlines and offer a cost-effective alternative to carrying all your luggage on a flight. You won’t need to worry about weight restrictions or – more importantly – about having to leave your important stuff at home.

It can also be cheaper to ship your cases, bags and backpacks compared to a lot of airlines.

4. You can take your bike, gym other favourite stuff with you

Speaking of important stuff, we’ll also to ship things like sports equipment and anything else you’ve collected along your journey. Tools are a popular request for us. Due to their weight, there’s a good chance you’ll get ‘hammered’ on the cost of taking these on a plane.

It sounds odd, but we ship a lot of snowboards from London too, due to the number of London movers who venture off on adventure breaks while using London as a base. And don’t forget guitars. Canadian crooner Brian Adams stands as one very good reason you should think hard before entrusting your treasured axe to airline handling staff.

If you’re moving from London, but don’t to part with your favourite couch or even want to take your entire household’s worth of stuff with you, we can ship that for you.

Leave no man behind, etc.

5. We’ll give you the packing materials

No, we aren’t trying to force you to go. But let’s face it, when it’s time, it’s time – and you might as well make everything super straightforward and simple.

As part of our excess baggage service, (but hopefully not as part of your permanent move from London), we sell boxes and lots of other packing stuff you need to get ready. We’ll bring it with us if we’re doing your move.

6. You can track your order

Just because you’re shipping your bike and bed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to track your order.

As part of our service, you’ll be able to see exactly where your belongings are and how long it’ll be before they arrive. Nice and simple.

So, there you have it – our top reasons for trying out a baggage removal service if you’re traveling in and out of London anytime soon.

For more information, have a look at our excess baggage page and – as always – get in touch if you have any questions.

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Moving house in London when you’ve got kids – how to do it right

It’s easy to forget how stressful moving can be on little ones. After all, it’s not as if they need to worry about packing, organising the insurance, or working out what to do with all that leftover food in the cupboard.

The biggest thing on their mind is usually how their new room is going to be decorated (and to all parents out there, getting stuck into bright pink paint and never-come-off again dinosaur stickers, we salute you). But that doesn’t make the journey into their new home any less daunting.

Recent research has show that moving home can cause just as much stress and anxiety to children as it does to adults. Moving in London can be especially stressful, especially when you consider parking restrictions, traffic and the difficulties of access some of our city’s quirkier properties.

And like most big events in anyone’s life, it’s not until the day of reckoning that kids need extra support. So from one family to another, here are our tried and tested methods for how to move home with children.

Let them pack some of their own things

There’s a real temptation to pack and organise everything for your kids, especially if it means you’ll actually be able to find fluffy socks and Mr. Oink at the end of a long moving day.

But we think it’s a great idea to let kids get used to the idea of moving as soon as possible. Letting them box away possessions, choose old toys to donate to charity, and say goodbye to their room can help bring much-needed closure before transitioning to a new home.

Of course, this will depend on the age of your children. Too young and there won’t be much they can do (and we can’t really blame them for that). However, if they’re a toddler or older then this is the perfect time to get them involved.

Give them a special task on the day

 

One of the best ways to minimise anxiety and help get them involved with the move is with some light-hearted responsibility.

We aren’t suggesting you ask them to bubble wrap the household dishes, but instead encourage them to take charge of special tasks. It could be anything from collecting their toys – and keeping them safe – to making sure the family dog gets his lunch on the big day.

Either way get creative with it. Any distraction will make the day go by quicker and help your little one feel more involved. Plus, it’s one less thing for you to worry about. Everyone wins.

Get their room set up first

In the days before children, the first priority when moving into your new home was probably making your own bed (who wants to change sheets at midnight after all of that?). But when you’re travelling with kids it’s different.

Getting their room comfortable, familiar and safe can go a long way to making a new house feel like home. All you really need to do is unpack their favourite toys, make the bed and anything else that reminds them of their old room.

It’ll help them settle into a routine and make sure they don’t miss out on sleep too.

Then, once they’re set up and happy, you can get on with the rest. You won’t even need to worry about keep them occupied, or if they’re hiding in a box somewhere looking to surprise a unexpected mover (it happens).

Make the move into an adventure

This is probably our favourite part of getting the move right with children.

They already have wonderful imaginations, so turning the big move into an adventure of a lifetime can make all the difference. Let them explore every nook and cranny of the home, from the hidden cupboards to your own bedroom.

Need inspiration? Think Indiana Jones meets Kirstie Allsopp.

Bringing some excitement into the move will help them get used to their new surroundings and make the day actually enjoyable.

And if you have the dress-up outfits already, even better.

Make the most of being a London mover

Yes, the traffic is difficult and parking can be a nightmare, but you’re moving to, or within, one of the world’s most dynamic and exciting cities. This means you’re surrounded by great places to visit, eat and relax – so once you’ve got your unpacking in order and have done the boring admin stuff, you really should treat yourself and the kids.

If the kids have been particularly helpful (or just well behaved) during the move, you could use the day out as a reward. Here’s three free activities recommended by the Kiwi Movers team.

London Sky Garden – Great views, central location and fully accessible for wheelchair users. Oh, and it’s free. Book a free visit.

Golders Hill Park and FREE Zoo – Located in Hampstead Heath, this pretty park is one of London’s best kept secret attractions. It’s got a free zoo (with ring tailed lemurs), table tennis, normal tennis courts, a butterfly house and is conveniently close to Golders Green station. Find out more

.God’s Own Junkyard – One for older kids and young teens, this Walthamstow salvage yard plays host to neon artist Chris Bracey’s personal collection of work, from signs to movie props. It’s a neon wonderland. A great day out for any aspiring artists in the family. Pop into the Rolling Scone cafe for refreshments when you’re done. Learn more.

Image credit – Wiki Commons

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Changes to CHAPS Bank Transfer Could Cost Movers £28 Million

Changes to how banks process large payments could lead to moving delays and costs of up to £28 million a year, warns a London removals and logistics firm.

The cut off time for payments made using the Clearing House Automated Payment System, better known as CHAPS, is being moved back an hour and forty minutes, to 17:45. This means that money transfers made as part of house purchases could be made any time up to 18:00 in the afternoon, potentially delaying the handover of the keys by almost two hours.

With professional removals costing in the region of £55 per hour, that’s around £110 more per move. Multiply that by the amount of house sales in a year (255,000 according to the Land Registry), that’s a whopping £28 million per year.

The knock-on effect of this is that movers will be waiting until later in the day to collect their keys, resulting in increased removals costs, especially if they’re hiring their removals team by the hour.

Currently, most removals firms work on the basis that transactions that haven’t cleared by the 16:00 it will be delayed to the following day. This means movers are unable to get their keys on the intended move date. With the extended operating hours of CHAPS, removals firms could be kept on standby for a further two hours, resulting in extra costs for customers. Transfers that remain incomplete by 18:00 could result in extra waiting time and an extra day’s removal costs, plus storage.

Firms often have to store goods over night to avoid having staff working later than is safe. Unexpected late working for removals professionals has obvious fatigue implications and we know any reasonable house mover wouldn’t want exhausted crews handling their stuff.

Extended working hours for crews also have industry-wide reputational implications. It makes things very difficult when staff have to work late with another big job on the next day. This puts additional pressures on the industry, making it harder to retain or attract new team members when they are immediately faced with potentially long and unpredictable working days.

Regan McMillan, director of Kiwi Movers explained how the changes could impact his customers:

“Moving is stressful enough and when a move involves a transfer of funds, things can be extra tense. Customers can’t get the keys to the property until the money transfer is complete, so if there’s a delay at the bank end, it has a knock-on effect with removals, storage and deliveries.

“The one upside of the current system is that we usually know by 4.pm whether a transfer will go through on a given day, giving us enough time to get things into storage if necessary. With the time being pushed back, removals firms could be waiting on keys for a further two hours still to be told they’ll need to come back tomorrow. It could get quite chaotic and expensive for a lot of movers.

“We’ll be looking to offer a discounted hourly rate for customers who experience big delays due to the extended CHAPS rules.”

UPDATE

Two in five house buyers get into debt due to unexpected costs 

  • 65% of house buyers exceeded their moving budget by more than £100 due to unforeseen moving costs
  • One in ten had to find £500 or more to meet extra costs
  • Bank charges account for most common unplanned expenditure
  • 2 in 5 forgot to budget to buy furniture
  • Changes to bank processes could increase moving costs by further £100 (£28 million in total*)
  • Almost two in five (17%) borrowed to meet unexpected moving costs
  • The majority of people who’ve bought a property in the past five years faced unexpected costs that meant they exceeded their original moving budget, according to new Kiwi Movers research.

The most common source of unexpected expenditure were bank charges for money transfers. 65% reported not budgeting for these.

Transfer fees are typically between £40-£60 and cover the bank’s charges for moving the balance to the conveyancer’s account.

Insurance add-ons were another common expense that movers didn’t expect. More than half (51%) said they paid for indemnity insurance and went over budget as a result.

17% said they had to borrow, either on a credit card, overdraft, loan or from friends or family to meet unexpected house move costs.

Top budget-busters for house movers (expenses that weren’t originally budgeted for)

 

Bank charges 70%
Indemnity insurance 51%
Land Registry fee (disbursement) 38%
Moving materials (boxes, packing material) 22%
Furniture 19%
Stamp duty 6%

 

Time saving tips for movers

We can’t control the banks, but these tips might help you save a few minutes (and a few quid too).

 

  • Get a survey done beforehand. We offer these for free and so do many other removal firms. If there are parking issues, space issues due to property modifications made after you moved in, then it’s smart (and cheaper) to plan for these in advance.
  • Do your big clear out before you move. Why waste time and money lugging stuff that you actually don’t need?
  • Consider planning your move for the day after completion. Not always convenient and potentially more expensive due to time needed away from work, but it can help reduce the stress of dealing with the unknown.
  • Label your boxes by room. An old tip but it really does save time and energy when people are loading out your stuff.
  • Keep pets and kids away if possible. Moving can be stressful for pets and with kids on the scene too you can find you spend a lot of your time keeping them safe and entertained. If possible, enlist the help of a friend, relative or neighbour to watch them while you move.
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Moving Hacks – 12 of the Most Ingenious Time and Labour-saving Tips for Moving House

Moving house is exciting, but it’s not what you’d called fun (unless you happen to work for Kiwi Movers!). You’re most likely going to be stressed, worried about your stuff and trying to get from place A to place B in an increasingly unrealistic time.

For small-scale moves that you want to tackle on your own (we recommend calling in the professionals for bigger moves), here are some of the Internet’s best tips for taking the stress out of a moving house.

Have a good clean out.

According to our research, one in four house-movers pack at least one box of stuff they don’t need. This is a waste of effort and money. Get rid of everything you haven’t used in the last six months.

Start with anything that is duplicate. Whether it’s ‘spare’ mobile phones, fondue makers or clothes; if there’s multiple versions of pretty much the same thing, give it to charity.

But keep at least one pair of fitted bed sheets.

The single exception to this rule is bed sheets; these are perfect for protecting your mattress during the move. You can even keep them after you’ve moved if you plan to do any painting at the new place as they’re ideal for covering furniture.

Get some proper boxes.

It’s very tempting to grab a load of used cardboard boxes from your local shop – and this is fine for transporting stuff that is either unlikely to break or unlikely to leave you upset if it does break – but for the important stuff, like audio equipment, crockery and glassware, you’re going to need proper boxes. You can order removals boxes from your removals company in advance.

The difference between proper, double-walled removal boxes and cardboard boxes is massive. When you’re carrying half your kitchen in a slightly damp banana box, you’ll feel the bottom buckle, the sides bend and thin cardboard is hardly going to protect the contents from bangs and bumps. When you lift a proper, sturdy removals box designed to protect your valuable stuff, you’ll be grateful this is one area you decided not to cut corners.

Keep clothes on their hangers during the move.

This saves space and time. Transporting clothing is a bit of a faff. Clothes are heavy, cumbersome and difficult to pack efficiently. Using hangers in this way at least removes the effort of packing and unpacking.

Clothes hanging on rail

Image courtesy of Wickerhouse.blogspot

Download EvidenceCam for iPhone or Android.

This nifty little app time-stamps, dates and watermarks your photos with GPS coordinates; ideal for proving beyond doubt that the meter reading you sent to your gas supplier was accurate and legit. No more debates about when you took your reading and whether it’s accurate, all the proof you need will be on your phone.

Take photos of meter readings.

Sort of self-explanatory after the previous tip, but important nonetheless. Send these off on the date that you vacate the house if it’s at all possible.

Invest in some sandwich bags and strong sticky tape.

When dismantling furniture, put all the screws, nuts and bolts in the sandwich bag and stick it to a non-visible part of the furniture. Don’t do this with antique oak furniture please.

Use rope or very strong string to keep drawers shut when moving them.

This saves fingers and drawers from damage. If your drawers contain fairly light objects, it may be worth moving them full. This obviously means you’ve got one less packing job at each end, but it’s only a smart thing to do if the full chest of drawers can be moved with its contents in place.

Photograph wiring configurations before packing electronic equipment.

This way you’ll have a handy reference for when you come to rewire your TV, stereo and anything else that requires such attention. So many hours are lost to trying to figure out exactly which wire went where and why.

Put a rubber band around the lock on your front door.door stop

If you’ve got one of those doors that lock automatically, this will stop that annoying scenario when the door swings shut as you’re carrying a box of books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use soap to fill in small holes left by hanging pictures.

Like this…

Take photos of your freshly cleaned and tidied rental property

Don’t be one of the 8 in 10 private tenants who struggle to get their deposit back. If your moving budget can stretch to it, hiring a professional cleaner as for your move can take a lot of hassle out of the process. This is especially true if you’re vacating a rented property. Even if you aren’t renting, it’s never nice to move into a dirty house, so if you’re feeling gracious to the people who bought your house, this could be a good way of earning some house move karma. You never know when you might need the removals Gods to smile down on you…

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Living with Parents to Save Money? 8 Essential Tips to Survive

The Office for National Statistics estimates that 3.3 million adults live with their parents. With house prices and rental prices making solo or even shared living prohibitively expensive for many, living in the parental home is often the tricky reality. Some of us have never managed to move out, while others have tasted sweet freedom and have chosen to move back.

But don’t be too downbeat, Rafa Nadal, singer Adele, Steve Jobs and even Alexander Graham Bell had to live with their parents in adulthood. If it’s good enough for them, it’s got to be good enough for the rest of us.

Why move back?

Saving up for for a place of our own is one of the biggest drivers for adults living with their parents. But while we’re waiting for that bank balance to begin to grow, living with the folks can prove to be quite a challenge and not just for us – you will never know how much your parents cherished having their home to themselves until you rocked up back on the doorstep – so here’s eight pro tips for making the most of being back in the nest.

  • Be as productive as possible – You might as well face it from day one, you’re here because you either have no money or you want to save up what little money you do have. That means that going to the pub or on holiday to escape the parental reigns are neither of your immediate priorities. To that end, you’d better make being at home as enjoyable and comfortable as possible, otherwise you risk extending your stay at Hotel Mum and Dad by frittering away money you could be putting towards a nice deposit.

    Netflix and Youtube are two very inexpensive modes of entertainment.All you need is a laptop, mobile or tablet. Get into a new series, learn a new skill via Youtube or simply find a way to relax.You could even massively improve your employment options by learning to code or by learning another language. Khan Academy is an excellent place to start if you want to spend some quality time developing a new skill. It’s absolutely free too. Find out more here.Mike Upjohn is a web developer for top UK marketing agency Venn Digital.

    He recommends combining an existing interest with the learning process to make it more rewarding and relevant.“Learning to code is extremely rewarding and you never feel alone with the amount of forums, tutorials and other content that is online to help you get started.“The best advice I have for getting into development is; pick something you are really interested in, and then develop a website, a piece of software or a piece of code to solve a problem in that area. The combination of learning development and having an interest in the topic can make for an exciting and rewarding project, interest and potentially a career too.

    “Groups such as StackOverflow are extremely helpful in assisting with solving problems or developing your programming skills and as everyone is there for the same reason, it’s a fantastic environment for bouncing ideas off one another.“New developers shouldn’t be put off by the numbers of different languages out there. Once you develop the right problem solving skills and understand the method of programming, it’s simply a case of learning the syntax and its power (a bit like learning a foreign language).

    “Developing anything, with any form of code is as much about testing the code you write as it is about writing the code in the first place.”

    You don’t need to undertake something of this magnitude to make living with your parents rewarding. Hobbies can lead to interesting things too. For example, instead of going to the pub and spending deposit money, why not use the garage to set up your own home brew operation? The likes of Muntons and The Home Brew Shop offer very reasonably-priced starter kits for new brewers. You might even make a bit of cash on the side.

 

  • Plan your exit – Nothing will make living at home with your parents more of a drag than having no light at the end of the tunnel. Even if it’s not for two years from now, have a plan of when you want to move out and know what steps you need to take to achieve this. How many months will it take you to save up a deposit? How many extra hours at work would you need to do per week to bring that date forward by a month? Knowing how you’ll make your escape for freedom will help you make the most of this period of your life.

 

  • Make your contributions obvious – We know you pull your weight but sometimes your contributions can be overlooked. We’re not saying walk around with a placard saying “I did some vacuuming” but if you have indeed done some vacuuming, make sure you do a good enough job that your parents know about it.That means moving furniture, vacuuming under the rug and so on. Same goes for cleaning. If you’ve made the effort to clean, do the best job you can without hating yourself. Pro tip; ‘accidentally’ leaving the Pledge out will tip off an under-appreciative parent that you’ve not been watching Cash in the Attic all day long.

 

  • Don’t be an expensive house guest – You cost money. Your parents will no doubt be aware of this due to the increased food and fuel bills. They won’t say anything though because they love you. If you can contribute, that’s great, but even if you can’t it’s good to minimise the expense that you represent. Showers are cheaper than baths, an extra blanket is cheaper than having the heating on all day, tap water is cheaper than writing “Evian x12 please!” on the shopping list. You get the picture.

 

  • Get regular respite – Living with the folks is a challenge for everyone. That’s why you should make good use of your friends to give yourself and your folks some space now and then. Make a weekly thing of it so your parents can plan to make the most of your absence. Whether it’s five-a-side football, yoga once a week or simply walking over to a friend’s house for a cup of tea and a biscuit, knowing you’ll be out of the way at least once a week is good for everyone.

 

  • Coordinate and plan your movements – Following on from the regular respite route, it may not feel like it but giving your parents as much advance info on your movements will reduce stress for all of you. Don’t want your mum ringing when you’re at your friends’ place? Tell her you’re going out and give yourself an hour’s grace on your ETA. That way she won’t fret (she loves to fret) when you’re ten minutes late back.Planning and coordinating can also result in some extra bonuses. Let’s assume for a second that your parents are going on holiday. That leaves you in the house by yourself. Now let’s assume that you’re planning on staying with a friend for a week.You’ve got a choice of when to go, when your parents are away or when they’re back. The latter is the correct choice as it maximises your time away from the house and gives your parents extra time together.

 

  • Set boundaries and expectations – Your parents respect you but definitions of respect vary from generation to generation, as we’re sure you know. If you don’t want your dad washing your delicates, don’t just say so, prove it by doing your own washing. For every week your festering pile of laundry sits in the corner of your room, the more entitled your dad is to pick it up and do it.The same goes for meals. If you don’t want to be obliged to eat with your folks every night, let them know. Don’t let good food go to waste through a simple lack of communication. You’ll feel bad and your mum’s inherent aversion to throwing out perfectly good food will stress her out.

 

  • Embrace it – Here’s something you might not have considered. Your parents are actually thoughtful, funny, interesting people. Instead of worrying about how to avoid your parents’ company all the time, maybe you could make the most of it.Your mum still loves a chinwag and your dad is only watching that documentary on steam trains by himself because he thinks nobody else is interested. You might not have chosen to be thrown back into the parental home, but with the right attitude it could actually be a really positive experience.

 

 

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Do you have a “mystery box?” Find out why one in four movers are wasting money on removals

New research conducted by us has revealed that 51% of people who’ve moved house in the last five years still had unpacking to do by the tenth month of being in their new place. Three quarters of those admitted that not being fully unpacked was causing stress in their lives, while half of those said it had caused arguments.

Furthermore, one in four surveyed said their inability to fully unpack had caused them to leave one or more boxes packed for the duration of their stay in a property. Sandwich toasters, cocktail shakers and other non-essential kitchen items were the things most likely to remain boxed, while the kettle (obviously) and phone and tablet chargers (naturally) and bathroom essentials (definitely!) are typically the first items to be unboxed after a move.

Our survey of more than 1,000 people found that most people still had unpacking to do 304 (ten months) after stepping over the threshold of their new place. One in five (18%) said they took more than a year to get fully unpacked, while seven percent were still living out of boxes two years after moving.

This news must be hard to contemplate for the super organised minority in our survey. Three percent of our respondents claimed that they’d unpacked everything within a day of moving, while seven percent said they’d got the job finished within a week.

Decorating was the most common excuse given by the slow unpackers, with 44% saying they’d properly unpack once they’d completed the necessary tasks. 31% said they needed to get more storage solutions, 12% said they were still debating where to put things, while 7% said they were too busy and 6% percent just admitted they couldn’t be bothered.

Pie chart showing average time taken for movers to unpack.

Almost two thirds still having unpacking to do by month nine in a new house.

A third (31%) said the delay in unpacking was due to having insufficient storage, while 12% said they couldn’t agree with their significant other on where to put things.

13% blamed themselves, with 7% saying they were too busy to fully unpack and 6% admitting to being too lazy to finish the job. Men were far more likely than women to be living out of boxes and couples were less likely to be doing so than singletons.

Regan McMillan, Kiwi Movers director reckons a lot of folks make their lives unnecessarily hard by packing items they don’t actually need.

“If a quarter of people are saying they’ve got boxes they never unpacked since their last move, you’ve got to wonder if they really need what’s inside. We recommend having a thorough de-clutter prior to moving house so our clients don’t end up paying to move, then storing or living among items they don’t actually need. In most cases, if you haven’t used it in the last six months, you can most likely do without.”

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Removal quotes online – a guide to understanding them

 

The first thing anyone who needs to move their stuff should do is get removals quotes. You can do this easily online. Going off recommendations is great but you can’t be sure you’re getting the right deal on your move until you’ve run through a few quotes.

Certain factors can make a company unsuitable for your needs and this can result in a higher than normal quote. For example, some firms specialise in small, local jobs and don’t have the resource or capacity to efficiently complete a large, long-distance move, so they’ll quote you higher to cover this. Certain firms don’t like to do certain areas so again, may quote higher than normal to cover this.

At Kiwi Movers we specialise in moving people in and out of London. We know the city, the buildings, the roads, the parking situation and how to get around all of the unique challenges that come with working and living here. That’s why we’re confident in our quotes for London removals, but we still advise any customer to ensure they have a good understanding of the following factors before settling on a removals firm.

Removal Price: Per Hour or Per Job?

There are two ways to price up a move; either you will receive an end to end price for the entire move, or you’ll be quoted an hourly rate. With hourly rate quotes, it’s important that the firm provides an estimate of how long they’ll take to do the job.

Professional movers will be able to give a fairly accurate estimate on a job, but to do so it’s important that the client provides as much information as possible when getting the quote. This is especially handy for smaller moves, such as man and van jobs, where there isn’t a whole lot to shift. Although regardless of how much stuff you own, your removals team need to take into account a number of key factors, such as;

  • Distance to move – This is one of the biggest factors in determining the cost of your move.
  • Day of the move – We need to anticipate flow of traffic and factor that into our time estimates, for example it’s good to know whether we’ll    be hitting London traffic on a Friday afternoon.
  • Stairs – If you’ve got them, we need to know about them.
  • Complexity of move – Features such as sash windows and spiral stairs can influence the quote.

 

Kiwi Movers can price per job or per hour, depending on the nature of the move. But no matter how we quote, we always aim to ensure it represents the best value and lowest possible price for our customers.

The importance of removal quote surveys

At Kiwi Movers we will conduct a free quotation survey so we can give the most accurate (and best) quote we can. Without visiting your property and seeing how much, or how little, stuff you’ve got, we can’t accurately spec the job.

Visiting to do an in-person survey also gives you a chance to meet your removals team and gives the team a chance to spot any snags that you may not have noticed. For example, an awkwardly placed radiator or a tight turn at the top of the stairs may be invisible until you come to shift a sofa out of the building. When we conduct our free quotation survey, we typically look at the following.

  • Stairs – moving things safely down stairs (or up if you live in a basement flat) can be a big factor on how long the job will take.
  • Width of doors – Nice wide doors can make a huge difference to how quickly we can get your stuff onto the van. We can pretty much move anything, but a narrow doorway can be the difference between dismantling something or moving it in one piece.
  • Parking availability – We understand that sometimes people just don’t have parking, so it’s important we come and have a look to how we can work around this.
  • Volume and type of items to be moved – If you’ve ever moved house yourself, you’ll no doubt understand how easy it is to underestimate the amount of stuff you have. Until your belongings are packed and stacked, it’s actually quite hard to estimate. That’s why we do surveys.

 

Make sure you’re comparing like-for-like when reviewing removal quotes.

We’d always encourage you to compare quotes to ensure you get the best deal. But it’s super important to make sure you’re comparing like for like. For example, if you’re paying a lower per hour rate, but you’ve got a smaller team on the job, it’s going to take them longer to do it. This could result in you paying more and having your move take longer.

Double check whether the following are included in the quote.

Insurance – Extremely important no matter how much stuff and how far you’re moving.

Packing – Having professional packing can influence your insurance, so always check who is doing it. We recommend letting the professionals do it. FInd out why here.

Packing supplies – Again, good quality boxes and packing materials can make a move easier than you’d probably imagine.

Dismantling and assembly – This is included as standard in our quotes and we’ll advise you of any items that require special treatment when we’ve done our survey. Make sure you double check that this is included in any other quotes you get as some firms may charge extra.

Removal quotes online – Add-ons

Services that are typically not included in a removal quote include;

Storage – We offer both long term and short term self storage for an extra cost.

Shipping – Many of our clients find it useful to arrange shipping along with removals for convenience.

Cleaning – Some removals can unsettle dust and there’s always a bit of mess once your stuff is out of the way. We can take care of cleaning for you but it isn’t included in our standard quote.

Waste removal – We’re happy to handle this too, but again, it’s not included in the standard quote.

Packing and packaging materials – We recommend these services for insurance and expediency reasons, but they’re not included in typical removals quotes.

The key thing to remember is that you’ll never fully know whether you’re getting a good unless you completely understand the nature of the quote.

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What is a Concierge Service? – London Lifestyle Management Explained

Kiwi Movers provide a range of support services to businesses in London and the south east. One particularly interesting area we specialise in is supporting concierge service providers in delivering their service, but what exactly is a concierge service?

London Concierge Jobs and Duties

Concierge services and lifestyle managers take care of the important tasks that their clients simply don’t have time to do. They are here to help busy individuals make more of their time and run their life as efficiently as possible.

London Concierge services are typically used by busy professionals, those who do a lot of travelling and people who split their time between two locations. The concierge service providers will manage many aspects of their client’s life, from organising travel, arranging deliveries and even booking dinner and making hotel reservations.

Do you require or provide concierge services in the London area? To find out more about how we assist concierge service providers and how we might be able to help you, give us a call on 020 8877 9682.

Removals and Related Services for Concierge Professionals

You might wonder how a luxury service such as a concierge and a no-fuss service like a removals firm would work together. But it’s actually quite obvious when you think about it. We’re experts at moving stuff carefully and safely. We work quickly and we’re flexible. These qualities are exactly the same as those required to fulfil a comprehensive concierge service. Clients need things doing quickly, without fuss and with discretion. We’re not the people to go to for exclusive dinner reservations, but if you’ve got a piece of antique furniture that needs moving, give us a shout.

We come into our own when our concierge client requires removals, shipping, excess baggage delivery, cleaning or logistical support. Our reputation as trusted, professional and no-nonsense movers means our colleagues in the concierge industry know we can deliver.

On the Job with a London Concierge

Friend of Kiwi Movers Vicky Silverthorn owns You Need a Vicky, a London concierge service specialising in servicing high profile individuals, including a number of celebrities. Here she explains what she does and how she does it:

Vicky Silverthorn

Vicky and Kiwi Movers work together on various concierge accounts.

“We offer high level professional organisation services for people who have busy lives and need a hand to implement practical systems and process into their lives. We help create streamlined and efficient homes and we declutter and organise in order for people to enjoy their homes again.

“We help people move home, we pack personal effects with discretion, we unpack homes after a move, methodically, aesthetically but with practicality at the forefront of our thinking. We help families get organised when they are having a baby. We declutter homes and rooms which simply have too much stuff. We juggle kitchens to make them efficient. We design furniture and advise on storage.

“Our typical clients are busy families, whether it’s because they work or just have hectic lives. Anyone who likes to be organised and wants that feeling of calm in their home but hasn’t got the time or inclination to do it themselves.

“We work with Kiwi to ensure our clients get a smooth move from start to finish. It means we are all on the same side and can literally take the stress away from a move. The client could potentially leave their home for a couple of days and come back to a completed and unpacked, (organised) home that not only looks good but actually makes sense.

“With my sister company You Need A PA we can also cover every aspect of the admin side also. It’s the whole package.

Run Your Next House Move like a Concierge

Concierge services don’t match every budget and many people simply don’t need a full service concierge. But almost everyone we know would love to inject a bit more organisation and efficiency into their lives and live as if they had an extra pair of hands helping out. While we can’t magic up that pair of extra hands, we can offer some of our experience and knowledge earned from working alongside a number of London’s top concierge service providers to help you live like you’ve got your own concierge, especially when it comes to moving house.

1. De-clutter

Vicky has one piece of advice for anyone moving home in the near future.

“If you are decluttering yourself then start early and do little by little. Work on a small area of the home each week and start a few months before your estimated move date – almost as soon as you know. You don’t want to take belongings you don’t need with you and you don’t want to pay to move things unnecessarily.

2.Get Good Quality Boxes

Once you’ve de-cluttered, you need some decent boxes. It may be tempting to nip to your local Tesco for some spare cardboard boxes, but these won’t do for everything. Electrical equipment, breakables and anything you wouldn’t happily pack in a suitcase to take on holiday deserves a good quality box. Check out our guide to moving boxes for more information.

3. Clean as You Go

Cleaning just isn’t fun, especially when you’ve got other jobs to do, but if you clean your stuff before you pack it, you’ll save a lot of hassle when you come to unpack. The last thing you want to do is to bring dust and dirt from one house into your next one.

4.Pack Like a Pro

We always recommend letting the professionals do the packing and indeed, we offer a comprehensive and flexible packing service. This can save time, cut costs and more importantly, ensures that everything is insured during the move. Self-packed boxes are often uninsured. If you do elect to pack your own stuff, try to pack as logically as you can to save time at the other end. Use newspaper to protect anything breakable and avoid over-filling boxes, especially the big ones. You often don’t know how heavy a box is going to be until you realise you can’t pick it up, or worse, the bottom falls out (see tip 2).

5. Keep a Checklist

There’s no denying it, moving house can be very stressful, even if you’re super organised. Minimise that stress by working to a checklist. There are plenty of jobs that need doing aside from the physical moving of your stuff. These are the sort of things the concierge in you will enjoy taking care of, provided you’re organised; council tax, broadband, phone, insurance – these things all need updating when you move house. Our end-of-tenancy checklist has some great tips for moving out of a rented house, but is also applicable to people selling their own place.

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Nine Incredible Renovation and Interiors Blogs

Once that final box is through the door, it’s hard not to immediately begin planning how you’re going to make that new place a home. Often all it takes is a lick of paint to get the homely vibes flowing, but if you’re planning something a little more intensive for your next place, you’re going to need a bit of inspiration and know-how.

We love seeing people get joy from their new homes and we’re often privileged enough to be the first through the door with them as they start a new chapter in their lives – and as we offer our own interior design support services we’re always keen to hear what they’ve got planned, so to help get those creative (and practical) juices flowing, here’s our nine favourite renovation and interiors bloggers.

You Need a Vicky

Vicky Silverthorn is a professional declutterer and organiser with a unique professional background. Prior to starting her business and blog, she toured the world with high profile musicians, such as Lily Allen, helping to keep highly complex tours on the road and in ship shape.

Her blog is chock full (but not in an untidy way) of tips, hacks and inspiration for living a clutter-free life. Ideal to check out before your next move.

Website

Twitter

Minimal Home

If minimalism is your thing, John Rice is your man. His blog is the authority on living the minimal life, whether it be at home, at work or on your wrist (he even writes about watches). Minimalism isn’t just about hiding books away in a slick ottoman, it’s about organising your life in a way that removes obstacles and celebrates simplicity. For ideas and advice, plus links to products that fit the minimalist bill, this website is worth checking out.

Website

Twitter

Gh0st Parties

Gh0st Parties is the brainchild of Kate, a Glaswegian blogger and interiors enthusiast who is so stylish she doesn’t even need a surname. The site is a charming and engaging collection of ideas, concepts and looks, all presented in a loving and original way. For style inspiration in the form of domestic mood boards, this blog is ideal. In fact, give yourself a couple of weeks to digest all of the great ideas on here – from quirky upcycled storage ideas to simple restoration projects -before you start any new projects.

Website

Twitter

Well I Guess This Is Growing Up

This journal style blog is great if you want to see what a complete home renovation looks like from the inside. There’s a bit more perspiration than inspiration in this one as editor Karen documents each step of her renovation journey meticulously, offering practical advice and “this is how I did it” encouragement. It’s an invaluable resource, with great money saving tips and solid advice on security and all the other practical stuff you forget to consider when you’re getting giddy about over-sized lamps. One to come back to again and again.

Twitter

ADP Interiors

ADP is the design and build practice of Andrew Dunning. Andrew’s aim is to deliver your dream home at an affordable price and his blog is a great place to start for ideas and inspiration. Whether it’s remodelling, renovating or just a home makeover, Andrew is an experienced professional with a point-of-view worth hearing. His blog is high level, dealing with technical issues as well as style ideas, but it’s delivered in an easy-to-understand manner.

Website

Twitter

Lucy Loves Ya

A fun and relaxing read, this blog is all about trends, ideas and ways of having fun with interiors. It’s a cacophony of colour here and the site is bound to provide some inspiration for doing up a tired house or flat. You’re not going to get technical advice on digging out a cellar, but you’ll get the benefit of Lucy’s eye. She’s always out and about with her camera, capturing sights that can be translated into interiors concepts and projects.

Website

Twitter

Ellie Tennant

As a professional interiors journalist and stylist, Ellie knows her stuff and has travelled the globe gathering style inspiration for us lot back home. She specialises in distilling the essence of a look or style, enabling her readers to devise their own interpretation in their own homes. She’s got a fine eye and a wonderfully engaging writing style that makes planning a home renovation project feel more fun that it should do.

Website

Twitter

Ikea Hackers

This is very clever indeed. It’s a fun blog that gives you step-by-step instructions for remodelling those old bits of Ikea furniture. Turn a bookshelf into a cat house or a raised planter for your garden. The site is brimming with great concepts and is ideal for anyone looking to optimise their space or to simply put a boring old Billy shelf to better use.

More

Twitter

Steph Modo

The strapline “where practical meets pretty” is something we at Kiwi Movers are more than happy to buy into! Step’s blog is a great source of inspiration for living an optimised, space-efficient existence without sacrificing on aesthetics. Smart storage ideas compete for screen space with ingenious furniture modifications.

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Incomplete end of tenancy cleaning costs us millions in lost deposits

Private tenants are losing £40 million* per year through deposit disputes with landlords, a Kiwi Movers survey can reveal. Over the past five years, 52% of deposits were either fully or partly withheld by landlords, most of whom claimed insufficient cleaning or the need for minor repairs as the reason for withholding the depost. That’s the equivalent of more than 400,000 deposits a year, or £200 million over the five-year period*.

Over a quarter (28%) of people surveyed said their landlord delayed returning their deposit despite making no deductions, while just 20% said their deposit was returned swiftly without issue.

The importance of end of tenancy cleaning

Avoidable issues such as insufficient end of tenancy cleaning and minor repairs are the biggest reasons landlords give for withholding tenancy deposits, accounting for 62% of all tenancy deposit disputes cited in the study.

Not only will a professional end of tenancy cleaning service give you peace of mind that your property is up to scratch on check out, but a professional invoice is likely to act as a deterrent for any rogue landlords that may otherwise make frivolous claims against a deposit.

You are most likely to lose your deposit if you are;

  • Tenants living with friends
  • Students in rented house
  • Tenants living with partner or spouse

Moving house in London? – Here’s what you need to know about getting your deposit back

London is the capital of deposit disputes, with people living there twice as likely (11%) as the national average (6%) to have their whole deposit withheld, while those aged between 18 and 24 living with friends are the type of tenant most likely to lose out.

Amy Williams, a Digital Producer from Southampton took her London landlord to court and won after he withheld her deposit. “It was only a six month contract and the landlord tried to make us pay for problems that were in the flat when we moved in.

“The court said it was wear and tear, ordered the landlord to return our deposit and told him that wear and tear was something he’d have to get used to. The landlord also choose to hold the court session not in London but on the south coast. But luckily because we won he had to pay for our train tickets too. We were really poor at the time too!”

Tenancy dispute hot spots:

  • London
  • Scotland
  • West Midlands
  • North East

The most common reasons for lost deposits:

  • Minor repairs required – 33%
  • Cleaning required – 29%
  • Items missing from inventory – 19%
  • Unpaid bills – 16%
  • Other – 3%

Kiwi Movers director Regan McMillan said: “There’s been a steady increase in people hiring us to perform end-of-tenancy cleaning alongside our removals service. It’s not that these customers can’t clean for themselves, but a number of them feel that having an invoice from a professional company is the only way to counter what they see as the inevitable attempts to withhold part of their deposit. Our customers tell us they feel vulnerable unless they have paperwork to prove they left the property in an acceptable state. Moving is stressful enough without having to worry about having your deposit unfairly withheld.”

Worst reasons for withheld deposits

Toilet blockage mystery – “It was definitely clear when we left. If it was blocked, it must have been someone from the lettings agency that did it. However, it was £75 from a £1,000 deposit, so I didn’t bother challenging the landlord.”

Burglary damage – “The house had been broken into before we moved in. We gave up reporting the damage to the window that was caused, even though it prevented us from fully opening it. When we moved out, the landlord tried to blame us for the same damage.”

Detergent residue – “I hired a professional cleaning company because I didn’t have time to deep clean the apartment myself. The letting agency still deducted £35 from my deposit because there was detergent residue inside the detergent tray.”

References

*Based on 4.2 million privately rented households (ONS figures, reference 1) paying the equivalent to one month’s UK average rent of £761 (LSL Property Services figures, reference 2) and 6% (252,000) of those households losing their entire deposit, equivalent to one month’s rent.

**Kiwi Movers surveyed 1,034 UK adults between the 20th January 2015 and 11th April 2015.

Reference 1

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census/detailed-characteristics-on-housing-for-local-authorities-in-england-and-wales/short-story-on-detailed-characteristics.html

Reference 2

http://www.lslps.co.uk/documents/buy_to_let_aug14.pdf

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Change of address checklist – moving house and council tax requirements

A surprising number of people forget to keep their details up-to-date after a house move. Employer details, council tax and even online shopping information can remain incorrect for weeks or months. These mistakes are easy to make, but potentially costly.

Moving house is one or two days of heavy lifting, seven days of trying to remember where you put the TV remote and then an apparent lifetime of letting the relevant people know you’ve got a new address. There’s a lot to do and it feels like there’s not a lot of time to do it. The best approach is to be methodical; there are certain things you can’t take care of until you’ve sorted something else.

Council tax is one of the most important notifications you need to do because you don’t want to be paying tax for an address at which you no longer live.

 

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Moving House – Council Tax Change of Address

You can get this one sorted prior to moving house. Simply visit the relevant page on your council’s website (see directory below to find your local council’s change of address page) and let them know the date on which you’ll be vacating your current property and moving into your new one.

It’s important to note that if the property you currently live in is your own and will be vacant after your departure, you still need to pay council tax. However, this will be at a reduced rate. If you’re vacating a rented property, you are no longer responsible for the council tax at that address.

*See below for full directory of council tax house move resources and change of address notification pages. 

What happens with council tax when I move house?

In most cases, your council will send you a final bill which they’ll take as a monthly payment, plus they’ll also send you a statement. They will then send you a new annual bill for the property to which you’ve moved. Unless you move at the start of your council’s financial year, this will be prorated to reflect what is left to pay. If you will be paying council tax to the same council as prior to your to your move, you can normally carry on with the same Direct Debit arrangement. If you’re moving to a new council area, you’ll need to set up a new account and begin as a new customer.

Remember, you need to advise both councils – the one collecting the tax where you currently live and the one collecting the tax where you’re moving to – about your change of address. You may be fined if you fail to notify your council tax department of a change in address.

Moving House Checklist – Other things to Sort Out

So you’ve told your council about a change of address; here are some other essential things you need to take care of. 

Driving licence change of address

Changing the address on your driving license is surprisingly easy nowadays. If you’ve got a recent passport, you won’t even need to send off a new photo. Renew your driving license here.

Workplace

No doubt colleagues and work friends will know you’re moving, but your HR department will have a process for logging new addresses. You can typically notify your employer of a change in address by filling out the form on your payslip.

Bank

Even if you’ve got online banking and paperless statements, your bank still needs to know where you live for anti-fraud reasons. Most banks require you attend a branch in person, with I.D and proof of residence (a utility bill, mortgage statement or tenancy agreement) before they’ll let you change the address on your account. If you don’t change your bank address, you may experience problems paying for things with your debit card online and you also leave yourself open to fraud and identify theft.

Doctor

You don’t have to let your current doctor know you’re moving – your new doctor will write to them to request your medical records – but most practices would appreciate being notified so they can manage patient numbers more effectively.

Insurance companies

Another important one, especially if you’re transferring car, home and contents cover. Most insurance companies let you do this online. Before notifying them, get a selection of quotes for cover at your new address. You may find that you can save money (or at least minimise the increases) by switching provider. Your insurer will most likely prorate what is left to pay and add it to your final bill, plus any cancellation fees.

Utility providers change of address

This should be one of the first things you change. It’s wise to shop around for a better deal at this stage too, as different utility providers have different tariffs in certain areas. Since you’re having to change address anyway, you might as well check to see if there’s a better deal.

Post Office change of address

You can set up mail redirection for approximately £30 per year. This means all mail addressed to you at your old address goes straight to your new address. But do be aware, this only covers your name. If you and an unmarried partner or housemate are both moving out, you’ll need separate mail redirection. You can set it all up on the Post Office’s website. 

TV Licensing change of address

You should tell TV Licensing of a change in address, but you will not typically need to renew or alter your license, unless you won’t be watching live television at your new address. You can tell TV Licensing about your new circumstances here.

HMRC change of address

For obvious reasons, HMRC are pretty good at keeping up-to-date with where you live. They often share data with local authorities, so you may notice that they update their files before you notify them of a change of address, but it’s best to be proactive. You can change your address by logging into your online HMRC account.

Child benefits agency change of address

Once you’ve told HMRC you’re moving, they tend to update all relevant records, although you can make sure things move quicker by doing everything yourself. You can update your details on the official website here.

Council Tax Change of Address – Useful Links

Below is a list of links to each UK council’s council tax change of address page. Find your council here and inform them of your new address in seconds.

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Moving house with a cat or a dog – Kiwi’s essential guide to relocating with pets

Moving house can be a stressful time for even the calmest of people, so imagine how crazy it must be for a family pet that doesn’t understand why his entire habitat has been boxed up and driven away. Thankfully, our pets are pretty adaptable, but it’s important that they experience a low stress, smooth transition between homes to ensure they settle quickly in their new residence.

 

What to do with pets on house move day?

You really have two options; find somewhere for your pet to stay for a couple of days and collect him once you’re fully moved, or have the pet with you throughout the move process. Keeping the dog or cat elsewhere means you can focus on the move without subjecting your pet to the noise and activity of packing, cleaning and removals.

 

Boarding a dog or cat during a house move

If you choose the option of boarding your pet, you can expect to pay around £30 per day for dogs and a little less for cats. That will typically include a couple of walks and feeding. Some boarding kennels will also include collection and drop off as part of the service, but that may not be valid if you’re moving far away.

 

If you’ve got friends who can look after your pet during your move, that may be preferable (and cheaper). This is especially true if your dog has anxiety issues or has never boarded before.

 

To find a London pet boarding facility to suit your budget, check out this handy website.

 

Moving house with a dog or cat in tow

If boarding your pet isn’t a viable option, at the very least you should consider setting aside one room, preferably one that has already been emptied, in which to keep your pet during the move. Fill it with a few toys, some treats and somewhere comfortable for your pet to relax. Having dogs and cats roaming freely while removals professionals are carrying heavy boxes can be dangerous for all concerned, not to mention unpleasant for the dog or cat. But be sure to let your pet out for breaks.

 

 

Transporting your pet when moving house

Safety comes first whenever you transport your pet, and that’s no different when you move house. If you are driving to your new home, transport your dog or cat in the normal way, using a crate or a pet bed fitted securely in the boot. If the new home is close to your current home, you can typically do this without much fuss.

 

For longer journeys, ensure that your dog has access to a supply of clean water. Non-spill water bowls can be super handy on long journeys. It’s also advisable to give a dog plenty of exercise prior to a long car journey and to stop for rest breaks at least once every two hours. Cats are best transported in a roomy, clean carrier.

 

Top Moving Tip

If your pet isn’t used to traveling in the car, introduce him to the vehicle gradually over the weeks prior to the move. Make the environment as positive and rewarding as possible. Just let your dog or cat explore, put some treats in the boot and make the back of the car seem like a good place to be. You don’t even need to leave your driveway to do this and having a calm pet on moving day can make a huge difference.

 

End-of-tenancy cleaning for pet owners

One of the most common reasons for withheld deposits is cleaning (or claims about lack thereof). Research we conducted found that insufficient cleaning on check-out accounts for almost a third of withheld deposits. Hiring a professional to carry out end-of-tenancy cleaning reduces stress, hassle and may increase your chances of a swift deposit return – it’s why more and more house movers are hiring professionals to perform an end-of-tenancy clean.

End-of-tenancy cleaning can be especially helpful for tenants who’ve got cats or dogs. Fur, stains on the carpet, ‘doggy smell’ and even scratched doors can all result in a fully or partially withheld deposit, so it’s worth considering hiring a team of professional cleaners who know exactly how to take a well lived-in house and present it back to a landlord. Plus, presenting a copy of your cleaning invoice on check-out will certainly make your check-out process run a little smoother.

House cleaning tips for pet owners

  • Air filters with built-in ionisers are excellent for getting rid of any pet smells. Even the ones you’ve stopped noticing.

 

  • Go over all soft-furnishings with a lint roller. This stops you from transporting any pet hair from one house to the next. Once your furniture is out of the way, lint roll any areas of the carpet that the vacuum has failed to pick up.

 

  • To get rid of pet hair trapped on curtains or other soft areas, stick on a single rubber glove, wet it and ‘swipe’ the affected areas. The wet hair will ball up and stick to your glove and you can peel it off with your free hand.

 

  • Don’t steam clean any carpets that you suspect may be urine stained. The heat will bond the ammonia to the fibres in the carpet. Instead, use an odour-neutralising carpet cleaner to remove the scent. If staining is visible, elbow grease and soapy water are the best solution.

Kiwi Movers’ top tips for introducing a dog to a new home

Dogs and cats don’t really understand the nuances of the property market. You might be delighted to be upgrading to a suburban semi, but to your dog, all this means is a whole bunch of new sights, smells and (more specifically to cats), places to get used to.

 

But you can make the new home transition for pets a little bit easier.

 

  • If the new place you’re moving to is near enough for it to be convenient, take your dog on a little reconnaissance trip. As soon as you get your dog onto the pavement outside, give him a little treat. This builds positive associations with the new location.

 

  • Introduce new scents slowly. If the owners of the house you’re moving to are open to it, a great way to help your dog used to his new environment is to give him something that carries the scent. For example, a doormat or even a newspaper that’s been in the house will carry a range of scents. Introduce the scents to your dog while stroking him, playing with him or giving him a treat and he’ll build a positive association with them. That way he’ll be familiar with a number of the scents when arriving at his new home.

 

  • Bring some of the scents from your old place. It’s tempting when moving into a new home to have a bit of a clean out, and that could well include dog beds and bedding. However, don’t underestimate the value of familiarity when settling your dog into his new pad. An old blanket can be just what he needs to feel secure while he’s getting used to his new surroundings.

 

  • Be tolerant. It’s possible that your dog may want to mark his scent in the new home, even if he’s perfectly house trained. This is a natural reaction to the overwhelming array of scents left behind by the previous owners. Try not to get too upset if this happens.

 

  • With old dogs who may have vision impairments, it’s really important to make navigation easy. There should be a clear path between their bed and the door to the garden, so they can indicate if they need to go outside quickly without tripping over.

 

  • If your new home has polished floors or tiles and your old home was fully carpeted, keep your dog on a lead when you first take him inside. This will stop him slipping if he’s not used to the slick flooring.

 

  • If your new place has screen doors or patio doors, consider putting some stickers at dog eye level so your dog can easily tell the difference between glass doors and open doors. As you can tell from the video below, that’s not always as easy as it seems, although fortunately, these dogs are treating open doors as if they are closed, which is preferable to the alternative.

 

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Protecting your home when moving

14 - 2Moving home is a stressful business, more so if you have recently undertaken renovations or are moving into a new house when the last thing you want is any damage to the walls or floors. During the normal course of removals, it isn’t unreasonable to expect the odd bump or scratch as normal wear and tear, especially in areas of tight access. This does not however, excuse negligence! Your removal company should use blankets to protect your goods and floors when moving, however for additional protection and peace of mind it may be cost effective to use additional protective measures such as floor coverings and foam protectors for your doors and fixtures.

Protective coverings for your home will not be too expensive and your removal company can recommend what you will need for the day. It may simply be that this will be useful if you have difficult access, narrow corridors or door frames.

Another useful way to protect your home and also speed up the moving process is to use an external furniture hoist. This is particularly so if you live in a flat above the third floor. Reducing down the access points will speed this up and also reduce the labour required.

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Other useful measures can be to use bedding, linen and towels to protect your home, especially draped over doors or placing old sheets on the ground. In the event of rain, then buying some disposable shoe covers maybe a very easy solution.

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If you have to move plants or outdoor furniture through the house, then try and make sure these are the very first things you bring in, or if you can bring these into the backyard before any decorating is finished inside. Plants can be a bit awkward to move and this also helps to avoid dirty hands or clothing when moving all your household items in.

 

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Crating for Home Removals and Shipping

If you are moving in London or are using an overseas removals service then you may be concerned as to how to pack your fine art.

Given the often delicate nature of paintings or statues we recommend that it is always best to crate them. The additional levels of protection this offers is simply invaluable. Any professional removal company should offer this service whatever the size of your move or wherever it is going. We also recommend that you insure your art to the appropriate levels or check that your household policy covers your art in-transit or in storage. With an upcoming move it may also be the right time to get your art re-valued, as who knows, you could have a small fortune hanging on the wall! 

Even if you don’t have fine art, you may have paintings or pictures that are highly sentimental and sometimes you can’t put a price on some things. 

When you decide to get your fine art crated, the process for crating your items is straight forward. Your removal company will measure the items and then arrive with pre-made crating to fit the painting or statue. Given the specific nature of crating, please ensure that you give adequate time to have the crating made up. This isn’t something you want to take short cuts with. 

If you do decide to move without crating then we always recommend that you use moving blankets (alternatively, bedroom sheets) and/or bubble warp. It may also be wise to use a material like Mylar foil. This is a non stick foil that is useful with oil paintings as it won’t damage them or stick to them. Mylar is available from any hydroponics store. 

To give you an idea of how your paintings are crated, here are some images below. 

To learn more about crating your fine art for storage, home removals or shipping, please contact us on 020 8877 9682 for more information.

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Packing Tips

When you are moving home with home removals in London or you do it yourself, here are a few helpful tips to help with the packing.

Clothes in your wardrobe

Moving your clothes is always a hassle. The last thing you want is to be ironing everything after unpacking! To get around this, place a rubbish bag over a number of hangers and then tie the bottom, alternatively cable tie hangers together. This way you can place them lying down in a truck or in a car.

The best solution though is to use a hanging wardrobe box. This keeps all your shirts and suits crease free!

Packing your Cutlery

Packing your plates is never easy. Your movers will wrap these in wrapping paper but a good idea, whether as extra protection or if you are moving yourself, is to place foam/disposable plates in between your china cutlery. Any extra padding or protection is always advisable.

Packing plates

The Nuts and Bolts

One of the most frustrating things when moving can be the dis-assembly and re-assembly of your furniture. Inevitably there are tens of screws and bolts, which all need somewhere to go. There is nothing worse than re-assembling an item and finding that you either have screws left over or are short! To overcome this, we recommend having some small re-sealable plastic bags to hand and then placing the screws etc into separate bags and labelling them. It may seem simple, but more often than not, it’s the actual buying the bags in the first place that is forgotten.

If you have lots of Ikea furniture, just remember that it is only designed to go together once, so unfortunately, don’t expect a perfect fit when you take it apart and put it back together.

Plastic bags

For more helpful tips or information about home removals in London, feel free to call us at 020 8877 9682.

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End of Tenancy Tips

If you rent your flat or house in London, one of the biggest nuisances is the end of tenancy clean! The deposit for renting can be quite substantial and you want to ensure that you get it all back…or at least as much as possible.

We have all heard or experienced situations where the landlord or letting agency have with held part of the deposit, often for seemingly minor things, quite often linked to the end of tenancy cleaning. In addition to helping people who are doing home removals, we also carry out numerous cleans each week, so we have compiled a few helpful tips to help save you some money!

Tenancy Contract

It goes with out saying, but you should check the fine print on your tenancy agreement and double check the points regarding cleaning. If the agreement states that you should use a particular cleaning company, than you should do that. That way any problems identified with the cleaning are not yours, likewise if the agreement simply states that a professional cleaning company should be used, then you really should do that. As tempting as it maybe to try and save some money by doing the clean yourself, a professional cleaning company will be exactly that, professional. Ultimately, will the saving in money doing it yourself outweigh the cost in money and time if you lose part of your deposit.

Kitchen

One of the main areas quite often missed by cleaners, unless specified is the kitchen fan. Make sure that you change the filter. This will be checked. Likewise, make sure you do this for your washer/dryer and clean out the dishwasher filter. These are all inexpensive to change. 

Bedrooms

If you have a furnished flat or house, just make sure you clean on top of the wardrobes and move any furniture to clean underneath, including beds. You should also clean or replace the mattress protectors. 

Bathroom

One of the least enjoyable places to clean, but remove all limescale on tiles and clear the drains of hair or any other blockages. Again, this will be checked. 

Carpets

Again, time to check the tenancy agreement. If it says you must steam clean carpets, then make sure you do it. It’s simply not worth the loss of deposit.

Walls

Normal wear and tear should apply here, but accidents and bumps do happen, so if you have banged a wall around a bit, get a handyman and get them patched up or touched up as necessary. This is actually really cheap to do, but try and do this a month before moving out if any touch up paint needs to fade in, especially on areas that get lots of sun. If the walls are badly marked when moving in, make sure you get these noted down to make moving out easier. 

In summary, make sure you read the tenancy agreement and stick to it. Be prepared to fight your corner if necessary, but ultimately weigh up the costs of getting a professional cleaner vs any potential loss of bond. 

Hopefully these few tips will help when it comes to moving and help you get your bond back!

For more information on your bond check out the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and the government website

If you have some other questions about cleaning or need an end of tenancy clean, give us a call on 020 8877 9682 or you can email us

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Getting a Phone Quote

What to look out for when receiving an ‘over the phone’ quotation.

When moving in London we always recommend you have a surveyor come out an assess your property before providing a quotation so they can gain a better and more accurate understanding of the size of your move and how it will be carried out. However this is not always possible due to a variety of reasons and a lot of removals companies in London will provide an estimate quotation over the phone.

Below are a few key points you should look out for when receiving that quick fire quote over the phone when moving in London:

Estimated

The majority of removals companies in London will only provide an estimate quotation over the phone and not a fixed price. Be aware, even though they might say your move will only take four hours it may blow out to seven and end up leaving a big hole in your wallet.

Information

Ensure you tell them as much information as possible about your move. For example if you don’t explain to them that your sofa had to come through the window on the second floor and they do not have sufficient resources allocated to your move this will end up costing you a lot more. You would most likely require a hoist to get you sofa put; call out fees for hoists when moving in London are over £300.00 for one hour! Remember; if you don’t tell them, they won’t know!

The small print

Yes, something we all can’t be bothered reading. But the small print is even more important when booking a move from an over the phone quotation as quite often the small details are missed that are explained during a survey. To ensure there are no surprises make sure you are aware of the companies’ insurance policies, work that is included and excluded and what your responsibilities are when booking a move. You can check out our terms here: https://kiwimovers.co.uk/terms-and-conditions

Jake George

Surveyor

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Moving In London – What Not To Forget

A few things not to forget when moving in London.

If you are moving house yourself or using a professional removals firm below are a few key factors that can make or break a move.

At least three quotes 
Depending what is most important to you when moving you should ensure you receive at least three quotes before making a decision. Price is a major player when moving in London, but remember not to base your decision on this alone but also include the company’s professionalism, experience and testimonials.
Packing
It’s not rocket science but if you are packing yourself make sure do some research on the correct way to pack a box. If you are using a professional removals firm in London to move your goods ask them for some tips on packing. Don’t use the cheapest boxes available, they will most likely break open when lifted, which would not be ideal if it’s full of wine glasses!
De-clutter
This is pretty self explanatory but make sure you de-clutter before moving in London. The majority of removals firms’ prices are based on the amount of trucks and labour required. You don’t want to be paying for something to be moved that has been sitting in the back room unused for the past few years!
Finally, ensure all parties are aware of the finer details – date of move, start time, and chain times. These probably sound like the bread and butter but are quite often forgotten about! 
Jake George
Move Manager

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Fixed Rate vs Estimated Rates

Moving in London and wondering how your move should be priced? 

In this weeks blog I’m going to explain the pros and cons of a fixed rate and an estimated rate when moving in London.
Fixed Rate
When moving in London fixed rates are offered on larger moves (three bedrooms +), when the move will take the majority of a day to complete and the entire move is being completing by the removals firm (pack, load and deliver). The beauty of a fixed rate move is that it is fixed! If the removals truck gets stuck in traffic on the way to your delivery address then this won’t affect your final price. Fixed rate moves are however a little more expensive up front and if your move is completed in a lot less time than expected then you will not receive a refund. There can also be higher chance of breakages as the removals team can be under pressure to finish in a good time in order to make a decent profit.
Estimated Rate

For small two bedrooms homes or when there are only a few items being moved an estimated rate is generally offered. Estimated rates work in the customers favour if you plan on doing a lot yourself. This can include dismantling and reassembling furniture, bringing everything to the front room on the ground floor and even moving a few items in your car before the move. If you are also lucky enough to have a few friends help with your move an estimated rate may be your preferred option. A negative with estimated rates is that if there is a blow out (this is a removals term for something going wrong!) and the move takes longer than expected then you will feel the brunt of this when paying your final invoice.
The Bottom Line

Half the time we can’t be bothered but when moving in London ensure you read the small print and there won’t be any unexpected costs on completion.
Jake George
Move Manager

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