How to move house

Moving house is often named as one of the most stressful experiences in life. However, with each move there are different challenges and rewards, making it hard to generalise. What we are certain about is that the pressure can be significantly reduced by choosing the right tool for the job, starting with the best online estate agent and ending with the right removal company. From small scale to international moves, our guide will help you prepare for a stress-free shift.

Preparations

It’s wise to have all your belongings packed and protected long before the lifting begins. Your preparations will obviously include sourcing boxes, tape and other materials, but you should also ensure that your insurance cover includes any damage caused by the removal process. If in doubt, call your insurer to discuss your policy.

Big jobs

For large homes with lots of contents, choosing the right removal company is about trust, security and efficiency. To ensure you're hiring a legitimate firm, it's sensible to check for membership of the British Association of Removers (BAR). As well as regulating members, this organisation also offers pre-payment protection and dispute resolution services.

When obtaining quotes from different removal businesses try to stay as flexible as possible with your moving date. Prices can vary dramatically depending on how busy the company is, and traffic can be just as changeable depending on the time of year.

Small moves

On the other hand, if you don't have lots of furniture or you want to save money, moving yourself could be the way to go. For short journeys, rental by the hour could be your most cost-effective solution. With providers like zipcar or Enterprise CarClub you just pay for the time you use, plus fuel. However, you won't get the chance to book optional insurance extras offered by mainstream rivals, which is an important factor if you're transporting anything sharp, heavy or dirty.

A ‘man with a van’ can also be hired for surprisingly reasonable rates, and sites like VanManHire.co.uk and AnyVan.com are making the experience much more trustworthy and reliable.

Crossing borders

If you're moving internationally, businesses may still be BAR accredited, but some may be linked with the international equivalent, FIDI, or a local body.

When comparing quotes and prices, it's important to find out what's included in the cost. Port fees, customs charges and shipping methods all vary dramatically, so a fair comparison is essential to making the right choice.