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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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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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