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Moving your own flat or house

Moving Yourself Advice

The DIY approach to moving your flat or house is not for the faint-hearted. If you don't have much furniture then it may be ideal i.e. small studio flats, student moves or even 1 bedroom flats. Hire a van, ask your friends to give you a hand, load up and away you go hopefully saving yourself some money as well.

Before you embark on moving yourself their are advantages and dis-advantages. Our pros and cons to moving yourself will answer some of the questions about van hire, completion issues and the legal requirements that you may not have considered.

Timings

If you are due to complete on the property you are moving to on moving day, the most important piece of advice is make sure you can load the vehicle that you hire in one go.
Many people plan to move items back and forth with many trips, which is fine if you have the keys to your new home. If you don't, until you have completed usually around 12 o'clock, can be nearer 4 o'clock and have the keys in your hands you will not have access to unload your van. This has a knock on effect because you still have items in your old house and the new owners will not be very happy that they cannot get all their furniture into their new house because of yours. To avoid this hire a vehicle that you can load everything into in one go.

Vehicle

Smaller vans are cheaper, although the bigger the van the easier the day will be. Licence requirements change as you go up in size as well as fuel costs.

Hiring the right size of van is essential, and will make your move much easier.
To help understand the size of vehicle you will need, if you have a removal company quote to move you enquire about the size of vehicle they are planning to use. This will give you an idea of the size, but remember the removal company are expert at packing a van, you will probably have to hire a bigger van than they would use. We have a more comprehensive guide on hiring a van here that includes details on restrictions and licence requirements.

Distance

If you are moving a long distance you will need to have a van that can fit everything in. This can be tricky to estimate. Fuel costs will be different from your average car, you should estimate between 10-15 mpg (2 - 3 miles per litre) for a large van to 20-25 mpg (4 - 5 miles per litre) for a Luton van. Dont forget to include your fuel cost back to the rental base especially if it is a long way away.

Pack early you have enough to do on moving day. Professional removers never pack and move on the same day, so give yourself a head start and pack up early.

Insurance

You may be covered on your household contents policy while moving house so its worth checking. Always read the small print as some will only offer protection if a professional recognised removal company moves and packs you. If under a standard contents policy which offers 'items carried outside the home' then check what the maximum amount for a single item and the overall total contents as this can be capped at 10% of the total contents insured. If you are also moving into store then also check if you are covered and how long for. Some companies will offer 72 hour cover some offer none. Most self storage companies will offer stand alone insurance but will charge separately.

Are you fit enough?

You should be in no doubt moving yourself can be very physically demanding especially in the summer, but equally moving house can be mentally challenging as well. If you have enough friends and family helping this will help and a good problem solver when the sofa won't fit through the door is always handy. Don't forget the pizzas and drinks as a thank you.

Top Tips

  • Be realistic and start planning and packing early. Don't leave everything to the last minute as this will increase your stress levels.
  • Plan your move. Work out the logistics down to doing a countdown list for moving, route planning, back up contacts, when to pick up keys and van.
  • Rent the appropriate size vehicle and check with drop off points.
  • Buy good quality packing materials. It may seem like a good idea to throw everything into bin liners or banana boxes but this really is false economy. No boxes or small irregular boxes mean not only more trips to the van but also may not protect your belonging or at worse fall apart.
  • Declutter beforehand. Get rid of any unwanted items as not only are you not moving items you no longer need but also you may be able to sell them making some money towards your move.
  • Have plenty of friends and family on hand to help.
  • Tell utility companies when you plan to move house as some need a months' notice. Don't pay for utilities you do longer use.

 

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