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Saving Money When Moving In London

Saving money when moving in London

Most things in London come with a hefty price tag and moving in London is no exception, however if you are organised there are definitely ways too make it a little less hefty!

Below are a few ideas that will help bring that cost of moving in London down.

Book a parking suspension

Although it may sound expensive at first it will save a lot of time (money) when completing your move. If the removals team have to walk 50m to their truck up to 50 times during your move then walk back to the house that’s going to add a lot of unnecessary time (and money) to your move. The majority of councils in London charge between £40.00 and £70.00 per parking bay and require at least 10 working days to book a suspension. If you’re organised book the suspension yourself as a lot of removals firms in London charge an admin fee for booking a parking suspension.

Dismantle and re-assemble furniture

Although this is included in all professional removal services in London; if your on a tight budget and you’re not to shabby with a couple of tools you could save a few coins. Dismantling and reassembling furniture can sometimes be quite fidgety and time consuming. If you get this done before the removals team turn up you’ll save them a lot of time and save yourself a lot of money when moving in London.

Move everything to the ground floor

If your house is over three floors and you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, getting a sweat up and generally getting stuck in then moving all furniture and boxes to the ground floor before the removals team arrive will bring the cost of moving in London down. Emptying your loft and cellar before the removals team turn up will also save them time and save you money.

Jake George

Move Manager

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Long Distance Moves

Moving around the corner can be stressful enough, but a long distance move from London is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish’. Along with the emotional factor of moving out of London you need to take into account the timing of your move and the removal company needs to ensure everything will fit as they won’t be going back for a second trip!

Here at Kiwi Movers we define a long distance move as anything out of Greater London or the M25. As with all moves, long distance moves from London are priced on the size of truck and amount of labour you require. The more you take the more expensive it will be. Depending how far you are moving it may be more cost effective if you sell/leave furniture in London.

Recently we completed a long distance move from London to Liverpool. This was a self pack move and completed over two days; on day one our team loaded the trucks and day two after a very early start our team drove to Liverpool and unloaded the trucks. Our team were lucky with this long distance move from London and only hit minor traffic on the way. Being a winter move they were also lucky enough not to be held up by flooding, snow or debris on the way. Legally, drivers can only stay at the wheel up to 4.5 hours without stopping and most trucks have to be under a certain weight depending on their size. As this was a long distance move from London (over five hours) we needed to take into account driver fatigue and the weight of the load/s.

If you are considering a long distance move from London, don’t stress and please get in touch!

Jake George

Move Manager

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Finding Movers in London

There are many movers in London to choose from but finding a company that best fits your needs can be a small (or rather large) problem.

If you Google ‘movers in London’ the search will come up with an endless list of movers. Everyday I’m out and about surveying potential jobs, and every day I come across another moving company in London that I didn’t know of. The actual barriers to entry in the industry are low, so it pays to do your research and be comfortable with the removal company that you choose. 

With this massive pool of movers in London to choose from surely you will find the right one?

Timeout magazine published an article a few years back about finding a removal firm. It states word of mouth as the best method to choose your mover in London. I couldn’t agree more; there is a very high chance you know someone that has recently used a mover in London, whether it’s another parent from your children’s school, a mother from your buggy group or a mate your catching up for a beer with, ask them about their experiences and recommendations for movers in London. If they don’t have any, I’m sure they will know someone who does.

All professional movers in London will have a website and majority of them will be involved in social media. Nearly everything this day and age is discussed, debated and reviewed on the internet through bloggers, forums and social media. Funny enough this doesn’t exclude movers in London! This opens them up (us as well!) to being complemented, critiqued, told how to move a fridge and the one we all appreciate the most, thanked.

If you are still on the fence as to what mover in London to use; join the Nappy Valley Buggy Club, meet a mate for a beer or jump online and join the conversations. You’ll definitely find a mover in London.

Jake George

Move Manager                

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Moving in London During Winter

Moving in London during winter is never easy. I don’t think ‘the worst winter in 47 years’ as many journalists stated has arrived yet and our fingers are crossed for it not to arrive at all!

Each removal has its own obstacles to overcome in order to be completed in a sufficient and stress free manner. Snow, rain and the cold temperatures we receive making moving that much more challenging (and exciting!) during the winter months.

Below are a couple of tips to help overcome those extra obstacles winter throws at us when moving:

  • Check the weather reports! If it’s forecast for heavy snowfall or rain then it may be a good idea to postpone your move date. Especially if you are moving out of London as there may be flooding and blocked roads. If you are using a removals firm for moving in London, contact them early so arrangements can be made.
  • If your new address is on a hill and it has been snowing make sure you have snow chains and ensure there is a safe place to park. If you are using a removals firm for moving in London, ensure they are aware of the hill or any difficulties they may face at your delivery address if it’s snowing.
  • Grit salt is very helpful if the footpath or steps to your front door are covered in snow, but make sure you take your shoes off before you go inside as the salt can stain carpet. If you are using a professional removals firm in London they should use carpet wrap to cover your carpet.
  • Lastly, make sure you look after your removalists. Whether a couple of friends are helping you out or you have hired a professional removals firm; a hot drink and biscuit always helps, especially on a winter’s day!
Check out a video here on some moving tips.

Let’s hope this winter isn’t as bad as they say it’s going to be…however I won’t be complaining if I get to experience my first white Christmas.

Jake George

Move Manager

PS. This is what we encountered last year on a move. Needless to say, this wasn’t ideal and was one we had to come back again on another day.

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Moving out of London

Thinking about moving out of London?

It is becoming increasingly common for families to relocate out of central London to neighbouring towns in Kingston, Tonbridge, St Albans and Woking. Over the past few months approximately 30% of moves we have completed have been for families wanting to get out of the big smoke. This isn’t just elderly looking to retire, but also young couples and families with young children.

If you’re contemplating moving out of London but are still on the fence then have a read below. I spoke to a couple of clients who moved out of London and asked them why? Why would you move out of the city when everything you need is within an inconvenient 5min walk or one stop on the tube?!

Here’s what they had to say – 

The majority of towns just outside the M25 are a short train ride to central London stations Paddington, Victoria, Waterloo and Kings Cross. Usually on a Monday to Friday rail services offer express trains which have minimal stops to central London. St Albans to Paddington is only 50 minutes and Tonbridge to Bank only 46 minutes. That is approximately 1.5 to two hours out of you day spent on a train. At least half of that time is spent on a train where you can sit down and read the paper without a fellow passenger breathing down your neck with their stale morning breath.

Unless you’re very lucky, the majority of houses in London do not have a back yard and if they do it’s not big enough to play footy in. Yes London is full of endless green parks that are well groomed and maintained, but where are your kids going to be able to burn off all their energy in a supervised environment where you don’t have to leave the house?! When moving out of central London you are almost guaranteed to have some sort of backyard and if you don’t the local school definitely will.

Charging for a tube everyday then fighting to get onto that tube definitely takes its toll. Adding to that the fumes and black dust you breathe in when walking the streets of central London definitely can’t be good on the old lungs.

Getting out of central London definitely takes a huge weight off your shoulders and is also good for your health ☺.

Jake George
Move Manager

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Top 10 FAQs

Like all businesses, particularly in the service industry we are frequently asked the same questions by customers. For this week’s blog I decided to answer these questions for you, so here are our Top 10 most frequently asked questions and the answers.

1. Are you in insured?

Yes we are! In the first instance we assume that you have Household Insurance cover. We will pay a maximum of £40.00 for any single item £25 for any glassware on pictures or mirrors. If you need additional insurance cover then we arrange this for you.

2. How do I pay?

For all bookings we require debit or credit card details. A 20% deposit is taken on the day of the booking for all moves. If your move is estimated the final amount is taken out on the day of your move. If your move is on a fixed rate, the final payment is taken five working days before your move.

3. How long in advance should I book my move?

We recommend you book your move at least two-three weeks before your move date (or more if your organised!), especially for large moves (four-five bedrooms).  However this all depends on our availability as some customers who phone in wanting to move the following day, depending on the time of year we can usually help out. Summer is manic though, so don’t leave it to the last minute!

4. Are you all Kiwis?!

The majority of are team are antipodeans, with mostly Kiwi’s, Aussies and a mixture of South Africans, English and Irish. With this mixture there is a lot of good banter around the office and in the trucks! To work for Kiwi you have to have the right attitude. Motivated, friendly and fit. We have a pretty diverse skill base with engineers, architects, tradesmen, even a bio chemist. This is what gives us an edge and the ability to provide solutions – our people!

5. Do you offer storage?

We have storage facilities throughout London. The majority of these facilities have 24/7 access.

6. Do you take cash?

We try to avoid this and keep it to card payments and bank transfers.

7. Do you offer fixed rates?

Yes we do. If your move is going to take an entire day and has been surveyed, a fixed rate will most likely be offered. 

8. Why are you more expensive than other companies?

We realise we’re not the cheapest removals company in London but we’re definitely not the most expensive! We are a little bit more expensive than most companies because we offer a superior level of service, starting from our professional and highly skilled staff, through to our reliable vehicles and excellent equipment used. Moving is a stressful job and we aim to make it as easy as possible. You pay peanuts, you get monkeys…

9. Do you take away the boxes after a move?

If you would like us to dispose and take away your boxes after your move we can at a small cost. We can usually pick them up the next time we have a job in your area. 

10. How long will the move take?

Every move is different and every move has its own obstacles to overcome. Below are the average move times for flats and houses –

No. Rooms

No. Labour

1

2

3

4

1 (Flat)

4 hrs

3 hrs

   

1 (House)

 

6 hrs

   

2 (Flat)

 

7 hrs

 

 

2 (House)

 

7 hrs

6 hrs

 

3 (Flat)

 

10 hrs

8 hrs

 

3 (House)

 

 

9 hrs

 

4 (Flat)

 

 

 

10hrs

4 (House)

 

10 hrs

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Moving With Pets

If your feeling stressed and the anxiety levels are a little high when moving house, think how it must feel for your family pet!

Your Labrador’s sleeping mat is not where it has been for the past 10 years, his food bowl is not behind the back door anymore and his new home smells funny. These are a few changes your cat or dog may experience when moving house. Below are a few tips to help your beloved pet settle in your new home:

Cats and dogs are more comfortable when their surroundings smell of their scent. They will rub their bodies against walls and furnishings to lay down their scent and familiarise themselves. To help them out, take a soft cloth and rub your cat or dog’s face to pick up their scent and then rub the cloth on furnishings around the house at their height. This will increase their feeling of security to help them settle. You can also purchase manufactured scents from your vet which works in the same way.

A lot of cats and dogs are known to return to their old home when moving, especially if you are moving a few blocks away.

For cats it is essential they stay confined to the house for a couple of weeks. This might sound a little cruel but this will ensure your cat bonds with its new home and becomes familiar with its surroundings and smells. When you decide to let your cat outside, do not feed it for a day so your cat is hungry and looking for signs of feeding. Again this may sound cruel but this will help your cat learn where it needs to go to get food!

Unlike cats, dogs do not need to be kept inside for a couple of weeks. If you have moved around the corner from your old property your dog will come across familiar routes when out exploring. All dogs should be on leads but it is important you accompany them on their first outing and lead them back to their new home. All dogs are different so it may pay to do this on numerous occasions in the first few weeks in your new home.

Finally ensure your cat or dog’s identification (collar, tag or micro chip for your dog) is updated with your new address and any other necessary details.

Jake George

Move Manager

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Packing Tips

Packing Tips can be a lifesaver when moving home. Unfortunately, packing can be one of the most tedious parts  when moving house but one of the most important as well. For those that haven’t moved before, packing involves wrapping pictures with bubble wrap, wrapping breakables with paper and putting what ever item can fit into a box, into a box. Having some useful packing tips always helps reduce this burden.

Below are some packing tips which will ensure your goods are well looked after when moving:

Boxes

When moving house you will most likely have a variety of boxes to pack your goods in to. Whatever can go in a box evenly, without leaving a  big mound in the middle should go in a box. This will make the removal process a lot quicker as the boxes will stack nice and evenly in the truck, van or whatever your mode of transport may be! Instead of throwing anything and everything into a box, it is best to pack your house room by room and clearly label each box i.e. books – living room. So when you unpack at your new address, you won’t have a problem finding anything.

Another good packing tip when using boxes or items that can be very heavy when packed together should be put into the small boxes (books, plates, ornaments etc.). Items that are not so heavy should be packed into large boxes (linen, pillows and clothing). This is to ensure you can lift the box and the box won’t break. If you have a large box full of books you won’t be able to lift it without hurting yourself and the box won’t be able to handle the weight without breaking. This  is a definitely important packing tip!

Pictures and Mirrors

This is where bubble wrap comes in handy. We anticipate the most of your pictures and mirrors are valuable and/or sentimental so breaking them can be quite upsetting. To make sure the glass covers don’t crack or a corner isn’t chipped, cover your pictures and mirrors with bubble wrap. The most effective way to do this is by taping the bubble wrap to the bottom corner, then going up the picture/mirror slowly. Wrap it around until you get to the top, then go the opposite way back down to ensure there are no gaps and both ends are fully covered. You can use as much bubble wrap as you like depending on how valuable it is to you! Our team also use blankets to cover pictures and mirrors when they are in the truck to give them that extra bit of protection whilst in transit. These are all good packing tips.

Breakables

Ornaments, plates, cups, china and glasses are all classed as ‘breakables’ in moving terms. If these items are not packed correctly they will break very easily when moving, especially in transit. As a packing tip, breakables need to be wrapped in paper or for larger items use bubble wrap. The best paper to use is A2 size butchers paper. You can use newspaper; however this sometimes leaves marks from the ink.

For further information about our packing services, please visit our home removals page.

Jake George

Move Manager

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International Shipping – The How to Guide

International Shipping has a few more considerations than you would think. At Kiwi Movers we offer international shipping to help you pack up shop and relocating your family overseas? Coming to the end of your visa and need to send some boxes home? Or have you just purchased a rather expensive sofa and need it shipped overseas? These are all types of shipping that have their own issues and a bit of information about where to start and your options will get you along way.

Household Removals
Moving house can be demanding, but moving your entire house to a new country is a lot more demanding! Things that you will need to consider include; will you need storage? If you are only temporarily relocating this can be a good option. If you are going to a place that is landlocked or not on regular shipping routes then this will add to the cost and also possibly extend the time your goods will take based on shipping frequency. Then of course there are local customs to navigate. Some countries are certainly easier than others, so you need to have a good understanding of the customs laws. For instance that wooden statue you picked up in Africa may not be allowed where you are going, and having receipts to avoid local import taxes can be helpful.
So, as you can see moving overseas requires a little more attention than moving to another borough within London. Items need be wrapped and covered to an international shipping standard, which basically means export packing everything and crating those items which are too large for a box or are extremely valuable.
Baggage Shipping
A lot of us Antipodeans (me included!) have accumulated a lot of stuff since we have been living in London and do not want to backpack our way home with it! If you need to send a few small boxes home or send a parcel to a loved one for Christmas this is pretty straightforward. This type of shipping is called excess baggage. We offer a door to door service and depending on the final destination we offer air, sea and road freight services.
Furniture Shipping
Whether it’s a brand new sofa, a chandelier or your favourite rocking chair that you left behind, we can ensure it gets to your overseas destination on time and hassle free. We currently work with many high end furniture companies in the UK who have a large international customer base. These companies come to us because they need to ensure the furniture gets to their customer in prompt fashion but completed with extreme care. Our team at Kiwi Movers will ensure your furniture is wrapped and crated correctly so it arrives on your step looking exactly how it did in the picture!
When choosing your shipper you need to be confident that your items will get their on time and in the same state as they left. At Kiwi Movers we ship all types of items from one off boxes to antique furniture. We were even asked to ship a light plane – yep that is completely true and is actually easier than you think.
Anyway, as you can see there are a few things to consider, so please feel free to call us at Kiwi Movers to discuss your shipping requirements or visit our shipping section.

 

Jake George

Move Manager

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Removals with Hoists

Moving with a bagRemoval with Hoists provided by Kiwi Movers are a service we provide. London always manages to throw a few curveballs with accessing properties. One of the most common is accessing properties using a hoist, especially when faced with items that are too big to go up stairs or through doorways. Hoists can also speed up the process considerably when you are located on the third floor or above. What might take many more hours and a lot more labour can be done more cost effectively using a hoist. 

We always like to apply the Number 8 wire approach (ingenuity) to problem solving at Kiwi. We use a range of different size hoists depending on the job requirements. Our experienced team can advise what will best suit your needs. Some of the considerations you will need to consider is the access to your property for hoist access, generally speaking if you can park outside then hoist access shouldn’t be a problem. If you are located on a busy road with lots of pedestrian’s then you will need to consider a council dispensation to close the footpath. Remember, that safety comes first and when you are lifting objects at height we must work within the law.

Generally speaking though a hoist will cost an upfront fee for the first hour and is then charged at a lower rate for each additional hour. The hoist always comes with a qualified technician.

Once on site, our skilled team will remove the window if required and reinstall this on completion. If for any reason the access requires a specialist for listed buildings then we may be required to have a specialist do this.

If you have any questions about hoists, give us a call and we will be more than happy to discuss your requirements.

Here are some images of a recent job moving a very expensive sofa to the top floor.

Ladder

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Moving Tips

Movings tips are always useful to make your move go a bit smoother. Something that we try and deliver everytime at Kiwi Movers. Here are a few helpful moving tips for moving put together by our Move Manager, Jake George.

At Kiwi Movers we try to ensure your move is completed in a stress free, efficient and professional manner, there is a few things though that if you are moving, some moving tips could help make process all the more smoother, and also so we don’t come across any unexpected obstacles!

Parking

We all know parking in London is awful, even on my scooter it can be difficult to find a park! Good parking can be the make or break of a removal. If you are a lucky one and have a driveway that is big enough to fit one Luton truck (equivalent to 1.5 parking bays), then depending on the size of your move you won’t need to organise anything. But for the majority of our clients you will need to reserve or apply for a parking bay suspension through your local council. Most of the councils in London are now up with technology so this can all be done online. Most councils need at least 5 – 10 working days to process an application. If you have visitors’ parking permits we can use these instead of applying for a suspension, however you will need to ensure a parking bay is reserved within a 20m walking distance of your front door. If however, there isn’t sufficient time to reserve bays through your council, then placing some bins, your car or having a friendly word with your neighbours the night before your move can do the trick to. 

De-Clutter

Moving can be quite an emotional experience, especially if you are moving from the family home which is rich in memories from your children and even Grandchildren growing up. A good moving tip is de-cluttering will ensure your move is completed faster particularly if we are packing for you, which in turn will make your move cheaper. We don’t want you to throw away old family pictures or items of furniture that have been passed down through the generations but merely just get rid of things that aren’t used anymore. These could be books, papers, empty toiletries or old electronics that no longer work.

Access

Tight hallways, narrow stairwells, lofts and cellars are all part of living in London. For the majority of our removals we send out our surveyor to meet you at your property so we can gain a better understanding of what we will be moving and how it will be carried out. Although our surveyor will ask you, this is a good time to let him know about any difficult access, including at your new address– did any furniture come through a window when it was brought in, will a door need to be taken off, or did any furniture need to go over your back fence and around the back of your house? You laugh, but we get it all! This is key amongst our moving tips, it is even more important to let us know if your survey is carried out over the phone as we will not see your property until the day of your move.

One of our last moving tips that will ensure your move is off to a good start is a cup of tea ready for the team on arrival! Especially if it is a cold winters day! ☺

For a bit more friendly advice, check out our Moving Tips video below.

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Kiwi Movers International Shipping Service

Kiwi Movers now offer international shipping at great rates. We offer a range of specialist shipping services to destinations worldwide. We work with a number of the world’s largest shipping companies with regular sailings and various options to meet your timeline and requirements.

Our international shipping services include:

  • International Removals
  • Car Shipping
  • Baggage Shipping
  • Personal Effects
  • Furniture Shipping
  • Trade Shipping
  • Packing Materials
Feel free to call us today to discuss your requirements with our friendly team on 020 8877 9682 or visit

our international shipping page

Here is one of our team in action packing a cabinet for shipping to New Zealand.
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