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Home Removals: Hiring a Firm or Doing It Yourself

By: Sam Harrington-Lowe - Updated: 3 May 2013 | comments*Discuss
Tips For Moving House Arranging Removals

Organising your removals is one of those upheavals that is a necessary part of moving. You may be moving from rented accommodation or starting out fresh after living with parents, but there will definitely be plenty of belongings you will need to move into your new property. Usually far more than you think, something you only realise once you start to pack it all up!

Moving house is a really good time for sifting through old stuff and throwing away things you don't need, but this can be time-consuming, so plan ahead and make an early start. The alternative is to do it at the other end, when you unpack, but experienced movers know this is less likely to happen. What's more likely to occur here is that the all those things you never use never get unpacked at all and end up in boxes again, stored in cupboard, attics and garages. It's better to filter before you move in.

Doing It Yourself

DIY moving is what you're most likely to be able to afford as a first time buyer. This means getting hold of boxes, packing up all your belongings yourself and arranging some kind of cheap transport. Local removal firms will be able to give you a quote which includes some 'humpers' - people to help you move, but if you're on a really tight budget, you might want to look at the 'man with a van' option, which is where you (and your friends if you can press gang them) do all the lifting and moving.

It's not fun, but can be exciting. The best way to prepare for this is to ensure you've packed everything really well. Bin liners full of stuff is not the way to go really for anything except soft things like cushions or duvets, so make sure you get plenty of packing boxes. Get down to the local supermarket to get your hands on some for free, or you can buy them online. You can also ask the removals firm to supply you with some but they will have a time limit on when they want them back so check that out.

Hiring a Firm to Do the Lot

This is definitely a fantastic option if you can afford it. Removals firms that will come into your house, pack everything up and move it to the new address. And all you have to do is direct them!

There are of course things to look out for. Check and compare a couple of companies for quotes. They should definitely come to assess your belongings before giving you a quote, and ask whether it includes VAT in the price or whether that's extra, as that can be a hidden sting in the tail.

They will be handling all your precious goods so ask for some kind of safeguard or reassurance that they will be looked after. Many firms will be able to supply you with references so ask about that too.


With both the doing it yourself option and hiring a firm to do the lot, it's worth checking out the insurance cover for removals. Often your household insurance will have coverage for removals but check. And firms who do the removal from top to bottom will also often have their own cover - which will be included in the price. If you think a quote from a removals firm is a bit high it could be because of insurance.

Whatever happens, make sure you're covered one way or another.


As a first time buyer you are unlikely to need storage facilities but it could be that you have more than you need for your new home. Removal firms will sometimes have a storage option as part of a package so this could be a good place to start looking. Also the estate agent selling you the property will know the local area well and could advise on this so ask them too.

But if not, it's back to Yellow Pages for a quick search. Try a couple of course to check prices. And make sure you have the right sort of containers. Cardboard boxes are OK for moving, but if you're storing your belongings, you will want something a bit sturdier.

Check that the storage facilities are secure too, and investigate to make sure you have insurance to cover this, whether the storage company supplies this or you need to arrange it yourself.

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For those looking to move on a budget, we used Andy Thompson Man and Van.We can fully recommend Andy, the service was simple to book, everything arrived safely and he was spot on time both ends of the journey.He's based just north-west of London and does student moves and small house removals from London to Scotland, Wales, Ireland or to/from anywhere in England.I guess I'm not supposed to put his details on here but if you google him he should come up. Good luck with your moves, Bob
Bob/Rob - 17-Dec-11 @ 5:34 PM
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