A property will probably be the biggest purchase you ever make, but that’s no reason to spend more than you need to on removals. Check out our tips for saving whilst moving.
Moving home can cost a lot money, and I’m not just talking about the conveyancing, surveys and removals (on top of the property itself). When it comes to moving into your new home, there are ways to make sure you’re not throwing away your hard-earned cash on unnecessary costs, when it might be better used decorating your new property or ordering that celebratory first night takeaway.
Saving money moving house is just as much about taking care of your items and making the most of your time as it is about the cost of services. Whilst many people may try to move everything themselves, consider the cost of fuel, the number of journeys you may have to do, and how long it will take you, as well as whether you might be putting your items (or yourself) at risk of damage.
We’ve got a bunch of tips to keep costs down from the minute you decide to move, right up to moving day itself.
Before your move:
Clear the clutter
Deciding to clear out unneeded, broken or unloved items can save you money in several ways. Firstly, it cuts down on the number of packing boxes you’ll need, which cuts down on the time a removals team will need to work. It will also cut down on costs if you need to store your items. The less you have, the less you pay.
Not only that, but you could make some money by selling your items online.
Try and get rid of everything you don’t want and take the time to clear it out way in advance of your move. As your countdown to the move begins, you’ll end up just chucking everything in boxes and promising yourself you’ll deal with it after the move.
Newsflash: you won’t. And you’ll end up paying more for the privilege of transporting items you don’t particularly want.
If you’re feeling sociable, and you have lots of items in decent condition to get rid of, why not invite your friends round to see if they want any of your unwanted belongings? You know your items will be well looked after and appreciated, and they’ll take them for you, meaning fewer trips to the dump/recycling/charity shops for you!
Finding a removals team
The first thing you should do is compare prices on removals, to make sure you’re getting the best deal on a local, reputable removals company. Getting quotes from different companies means you’ll get a great price, and you’ll be able to see reviews and star ratings from previous customers, so you can feel safe knowing your items are being moved by trusted professionals.
The more notice you can give when moving house, the better. Removals teams can get booked up, especially during peak season like summer, or over bank holidays. Booking in advance means you can budget, and let them know if there are any last minute changes. If you can move during quieter times, like January, or September when kids go back to school, you may get an even cheaper removal.
See if you qualify for a discount
Some removals firms will do discounts for OAPs, students, key workers or armed forces, so make sure you have a look at their website or ask about discounts if you fit into one of these categories.
Get a survey from the removals team
If a removals surveyor has come to your house and assessed how much stuff you have to move, you can trust that the right sized van and the appropriate number of staff members will be there to make the move seamless. If you approximate the number of boxes and you’ve underestimated, the cost of going back to get another van, hiring more staff, doing more journeys back and forth, or having to hire another company to pick up any remaining items is going to add to your costs.
Don’t miss work
Depending on your work schedules, it may be better to move at the weekend, when you don’t have to miss a day of work or miss out on shifts. Similarly, if you have to consider the cost of childcare, that might affect your decision. Whilst you’ll have to complete on a weekday, there’s no reason you can’t move at the weekend, so consider which option works best for you.
Cut costs on removals boxes
Instead of buying removals boxes you could use second hand ones, as long as they’re sturdy enough. Even better, to save on the cost of buying boxes, and then dealing with getting rid of them after your move, you could rent them from your removals team. This means you’ll have access to high quality packing materials and they’ll come and collect them once you’re unpacked, meaning less fuss and more space. You could also choose to make your money go further by buying your removals boxes from our partners and getting a discount.
Cut costs on packing materials
It’s easy to assume we need to spend lots on rolls of bubble wrap or go searching for armfuls of newspaper, but you probably have a lot more to protect your items than you think. Using soft furnishings, blankets, towels, clothing and any other materials to protect your items doubles up as smart packing. Why waste money on lots of bubble wrap that you’re just going to have to get rid of later, when you have lots of clothes you need to pack anyway?
When you get ready to move, you realise how much food you have stuffed away at the back of the cupboard, and how much needs to be used up from the freezer. Ignoring your frozen goods will mean you’ll have to throw them away in order to defrost and prepare your white goods for the move.
Do an assessment of how much food you have to use up before your move and try your best to use up heavy tins or anything that isn’t sealed properly. Eating up the food you have will mean fewer boxes to pack, less waste and saves you money. Also, by preparing some meals in advance you won’t be tempted to spend money on takeaway when a chunk of your kitchen is packed up. If you really can’t eat all that food, make sure it doesn’t go to waste by using OLIO, an app that helps people give away food so it’s not wasted.
Saving money also means not having to replace things further down the line. Ensure you pack your items with care, label fragile items clearly, and try not to load too many heavy items into one box, or too many boxes on top of each other. Make sure you know the limits and inclusions on your insurance, so if anything is damaged you can cover the costs. If you have sentimental items you’re worried about, either make sure the team know, or bring those items with you in your car.
Can you imagine the frustration of having to run out and buy something when you know the item is definitely in a box somewhere? Consider which items you might need in that first week in your new property, and keep those aside. Label your boxes clearly and consider creating an ‘unpacking kit’ with things like scissors, tools, cleaning supplies and anything else you might need.
During your move:
Whilst you’ll have done most of the planning for the cost of moving in advance, it’s definitely worth knowing that you can save money on the day by simply being organised!
If you haven’t booked a disassembly service with your removals team make sure your larger items have been broken down appropriately. Expecting the team to move items that won’t make it through the door and to disassemble without previously agreeing to this means extra charges, as well as extra time if they were not prepared and did not bring the right equipment/tools. If you know you’re not going to be able to break down your furniture yourself, then book that service in advance. If you are doing it yourself, tape a sandwich bag with any small screws or necessary pieces to one of the larger parts, so you know that you have everything you need to put it back together at the other end.
Whether you’re leaving rented accommodation or have sold your old property, if you leave it in a state you’re likely to face some angry phone calls, or even charges. Moving large items does have its risks, and there is always the chance of scuffed doorways or skirting boards, something heavy being dropped on the floor, or even mud being tracked in onto the carpet. Your new buyers will expect to find the house as listed, and if there is unexpected damage they may expect you to cover the costs. If you’ve left your rental property unclean and full of rubbish or left behind items, your estate agent may keep your deposit.
We all know time is money, and on removals day that saying has never been more true. Your removals slot will have been considered when a survey was done of your property, but if you hold up the move you will end up paying more for the team’s time. By ensuring your packing has been finished way before the team arrive, they have easy access to the property and parking permits if needed and you’ve disconnected items like the washing machine or dishwasher ahead of time, you can make sure you’re not responsible for a hold up. As well as paying more for removals, if you’ve held up the people moving in to your home, you may be liable for their extra removals costs, so just be as organised as possible in the run up to your move.