A smoother moving day

A smoother moving day

We asked Jason Hayes, Chairman of the British Association of Removals for the Sussex area, and Manager of D. Durrant Removals & Storage in Horsham, for his advice on how to make sure moving day goes as smoothly as possible.

Here’s what he had to say:

How to choose a removal firm

  • The first place to start is by asking friends and family for recommendations
  • Most people use an internet search and don’t forget to check the review sites
  • The British Association of Removers (BAR) has a search facility where you can find BAR members in your area - www.bar.co.uk
  • Make sure you are clear what’s included in your quote and the cost of any extras

What info should I provide when getting a quote

  • Collection and delivery addresses with postcodes
  • If you’re moving to/from a flat, what floor and whether there’s a lift
  • Parking availability and ease of access at both properties
  • If you have special items, from a hot tub to a trampoline and from a grand piano to large plant pots, then let us know. We’ve even been asked to move bee hives. We tend to ask customers to transport their animal themselves, including bees!

Budgeting for removals

  • Most removal companies can give you an idea on cost based on the number of bedrooms you have and the distance between properties.
  • There’s more to moving than volume and mileage, so arrange a physical quote for more accuracy
  • D Durrant Removals also publishes some guidelines on our website.
  • Once the booking is confirmed for your completion date, at Durrant Removals we take a 50% deposit on exchange of contracts for a confirmed booking when customers are selling and buying, with the balance paid on completion of the move.
  • Check the small print to make sure you’re covered for insurance or whether that’s extra
  • Make sure the removal company is insured for (a) goods in transit to cover your furniture/effects and (b) for Public Liability, in case of damage to walls or buildings etc.

When to book and confirm removals

  • The golden rule is to get your removal quotes booked as soon as possible.
  • Then keep in touch with your chosen company when it comes to discussing dates for the move.
  • At D Durrant Removals we have a service where we list potential customers under their likely completion date so we can at least phone them and let them know if we become fully booked. This gives you the chance to go back to you solicitors to change the completion date or to find an alternative removal company.
  • Ideally allow at least two weeks between exchange and completion.
  • If you think you might need storage, let us know and we can quote accordingly. Bear in mind we generally move items into store the day prior to completion and the day after coming out of store. This is because it takes longer loading into containers, and, coming out of store, we could potentially be sitting around most of the day waiting for the keys to be released, so it helps to keep the cost down.

What services are available?

  • You can request a quote for the full moving experience or a man and van hire only - although that’s not recommended for a larger house move.
  • Some customers want a full packing service, which takes away a lot of the stress of moving and you might be pleasantly surprised at the value for money.
  • Others will request a quote for breakable items only.
  • Occasionally we’re asked to quote to pack just the kitchen or home office.
  • We’ll recommend if any items need to be dismantled and reassembled.
  • D Durrant Removals provides itemised quotes so you can decide exactly which services you want.
  • Check that your removals firm has a Waste Transfer Licence and can quote for this service.
  • We can also recommend cleaning services or even a chimney sweep!

When would the packers arrive?

  • It depends on the amount that needs packing but it’s normally the working day before removals.
  • We box up all your non-essentials and then return to complete the packing on moving day.
  • Generally we work room to room.
  • We recommend putting anything you do not want us to pack in one area (some people choose an empty bathtub) and let the packers know. Don’t forget to bring this with you later!

Packing hints and tips

  • Your removal company should have a full list of packing tips but generally if it’s too big to fit in a box, leave it for us on the day.
  • Don’t put too many cumulatively heavy items, like books, in large boxes - we have to think of the crew’s health & safety!
  • When you tape the boxes up, write the name off the room on the tape using market pen.
  • Remember to mark up any boxes with breakables as ‘fragile’.
  • Packing materials and boxes can be bought through your removals company or included in the quote.
  • Keep any items you might need in the day or overnight if you’re moving further such as an overnight case, items for children and pets, or medications.
  • Ensure you’ve kept with you any personal documents you might need, such as driving licence and passport, especially if you have items going into storage.
  • Check your removal company’s Terms & Conditions for items not covered by the insurance, such as high value items including jewellery and watches, and dangerous/hazardous items.
  • Remember our insurance doesn’t cover items you’ve self-packed.

Leading up to moving day

  • Although we are happy to assist with moving items from the loft, we not insured to do so and the same goes for disconnecting washing machines etc.
  • Clear everything from the fridge, washing machine and dishwasher.
  • If it’s a local move, then you can leave items in the freezer
  • Clothing and bedding can be left in drawers for transit
  • Don’t forget to empty the rubbish bin - you won’t want to take your rubbish with you!

On moving day

  • Generally our crew will arrive between 8.30am and 9am but we let you know if it’s any different.
  • To help make sure everything’s placed in the right rooms at your new home, check the boxes are labelled and guide our crews if there are any questions.
  • If key release is delayed beyond 3pm for any reason, Durrant Removals levels a waiting charge which applies per half hour until the keys arrive to cover crew overtime. We’ll always wait until 5pm, when the banks and solicitors close and on the very rare occasion key release hasn’t happened by then, we have to bring everything into store. We keep our customers informed at every stage and it’s very rare. Other companies may offer a late key waiver which you pay for at the time of booking so check the Ts & Cs carefully.
  • Offering the removals team refreshments is very much down to the customer but we have never known a removal crew to turn down a cup of tea or coffee, or water on a very hot day!
  • Equally there are no hard and fast rules with regard to tipping but removals crews have to work extremely hard and are always grateful if they are offered a tip at the end of the day by a happy customer.

Anything else?

  • If you’re disposing of items or donating them to charity, it’s best to do this before we visit to estimate the removals cost. Alternatively, we can arrange this for you and quote accordingly.
  • Auction houses can also be a good option to sell items no longer required. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with Henry Adams’s auctioneers who will be able to offer valuable advice.
  • We find the majority of our customers prefer to have their children and/or pets looked after on moving day so they can concentrate on the move without any distractions.  
  • However, there are exceptions to this, including parents of autistic children who often prefer their children to join them at their new home while we are still there so they can see the lorry.  On these occasions we tend to move the child’s bedroom first to help the child settle in with their familiar things.
  • Sometimes we might move a favourite piece of furniture first, for example, when an adult has dementia.
  • Every move is unique and so are the people we move.

And remember, your removals company is only an email or a phone call away!

Contact D Durrant Removals if you would like a free quote or call them on 01403 253164.

And for professional advice on decluttering before going on the market or moving home, you may find these suggestions helpful from Amy Thompson at Chirp Home.

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