What to do before you move: 6 essentials [infographic]

With so much to consider when buying and selling properties, it’s easy to overlook the move day itself. While your removal company will take care of everything on the day, there are a few things to take care of beforehand to ensure your move goes without a hitch. Here are six pre-move essentials to make move day a breeze:

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Ready to move? Contact Pickfords for a free removals estimate, or request a callback today.

Moving home at Christmas [12 top tips]

With presents to wrap, cards to write, decorations to hang and food to prepare, it’s easy to get a little tense during the festive season. But there’s no reason why your home move has to add to the pressure. Follow these 12 tips to ensure your Christmastime move goes without a hitch.

1. Book well in advance

As soon as you know your move date, book your removal company. Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for moving, so book early to ensure you get the dates you want.

2. Choose a morning slot

The night draws in early at Christmastime. Book your move early in the morning to ensure as much daylight as possible throughout the move.

3. Prepare for darkness

If you’re moving long distance or carrying a large household, even an early start may mean your winter move ends in the dark. Pack some torches to help you find the unfamiliar light switches in your new home.

4. Tell friends and family

Make sure all your Christmas cards arrive at your new address by letting friends and family know you’ve moved.

5. Set up post redirection

Even after telling everyone your new address, forgetful friends might still send Christmas mail to your old property. To make sure you get all your seasonal post by signing up to the Royal Mail redirection service.

6. Contact your utility suppliers

With the high costs of gas, electric and water in the winter months, ensure you don’t end up paying the new residents’ bills after you move out. Contact your utility suppliers and let them know when you’ll be moving.

7. Pack a Christmas feast

Don’t forget that shops close earlier over Christmas, so stock up on some essentials before the move, ready for a festive feast after you’ve unpacked.

8. Keep  the kids occupied

Children hyped up on the excitement of Christmas will likely be obstacles to a safe, successful move. Set up a play room or ask a neighbour to babysit until the removal is complete.

9. Ask for help

Even if you opt for a full packing service with your removal company, asking friends and family for a little help with the initial clear-out will go a long way.

10. Keep pathways clear

Most of us pine for a white Christmas, but winter weather can prove disruptive on move day. You can help your removal team by gritting or shovelling any snow or ice clear of pathways and parking areas.

11. Wrap up warm

Moving your belongings in and out means your doors will be open most of the day. Protect yourself against the winter breeze by wearing plenty of warm layers.

12. Invest in seasonal storage

A Christmas move risks exposing Santa’s presents to prying children. Keep your gifts out of the way by placing them into storage for the duration of the move.


Planning a home move this festive season? Book now and Pickfords’ little elves will deliver your belongings in time for Christmas. Contact us for a quote or request a call from your local move team today.

Emigrating to Australia: what you need to know [infographic]

With good wages, a high standard of living and a laid back culture, Australia is by far the most popular destination for British expats. Here’s what you need to know before making the move Down Under:

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Ready to move to Australia? Pickfords helps thousands of expats emigrate Down Under every year. Get a quote and book your home survey today.

Christmas gift guide for the new homeowner in your life [15 gift ideas]

Finding thoughtful, original presents for friends and family is an annual struggle for many of us. But if your loved ones are the proud owners of a new home this Christmas, chances are they’ll love one of these festive gifts:

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Katomi Duo Sparrow Keyring, from Amazon

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Kitchen Conversions Chopping Board, from Find Me A Gift

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Personalised Rustic Glass Clock, from Prezzybox

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Scrabble Lights, from Find Me A Gift

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Wifi Password Chalkboard, from Amazon

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Hand Drawn Bespoke House Sketch, from Notonthehighstreet

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Personalised Decanter Set, from Etsy

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Little Wren Bird Feeder, from Find Me A Gift

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Rustic Wood Wine Rack, from Prezzybox

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Entertainer’s Gift Box, from UncommonGoods

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Polaroid Magnetic Frames, from Find Me A Gift

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Personalised ‘New Home’ Candle, from Notonthehighstreet

 

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Breakfast Master, from Prezzybox

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Gala Photo Display, from UncommonGoods

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‘Home Sweet Home’ Gift Box, from Notonthehighstreet


Planning a home move this festive season? Book now and Pickfords’ little elves will deliver your belongings in time for Christmas. Contact us for a quote or request a call from your local move team today.

How to disconnect your washing machine before move day [3 simple steps]

Removal teams will not typically disconnect your washing machine for you. For safety reasons, most crews won’t tamper with mains, and washing machines ideally need to be fully disconnected, drained and dry before the day of your move.

One solution is to hire a professional plumber, but the extra cost for this straightforward job may be off-putting. If you’re feeling handy and want to avoid paying out, you can disconnect your washing machine yourself. Follow these simple steps to prepare your washing machine for move day:

1. Gain access to the mains and water valves

Most washing machines are installed directly in front of the water valves and mains supply. To gain access:

  • Take any washing out of the machine and switch the machine off.
  • Open the door and place one hand beneath the top of the plastic door seal.
  • Keeping your back straight and lifting with your knees, pull the machine up so the front is off the ground.
  • Slowly shimmy the machine forward, being careful not to damage the floor. If you start to get tired, slowly place the machine on the floor and rest.
  • Keep pulling the machine as far forward as you can without putting stress on the hoses or mains wire, until you have clear access behind the machine.

2. Disconnect all pipes and wires

  • Switch off and unplug the mains socket.
  • Turn the hot and cold water valves clockwise until they cannot be turned any further.
  • Place buckets and towels underneath the water valves and washing machine.
  • Unscrew the hoses from the machine by turning them counterclockwise; point the hoses towards a bucket to catch any excess water.
  • Unscrew the hoses from the wall in the same way, and again for the waste water pipe.

3. Prepare the machine for removal

  • Double check both water valves are completely off.
  • Wipe up any stains or spills on the machine, the wall and the floor until everything is clean and dry.
  • Clean the water intakes with a bristle brush.
  • Remove the power cable or securely tape it to the machine.
  • Secure the drum, ideally with the original brackets supplied by the manufacturer.
  • Shimmy the machine back in place, again take to lift with your legs and not to strain yourself.

Your washing machine is now ready for move day!


Pickfords safely and securely packs and moves all your household belongings to your new home. Contact us for a quote or request a call from your local move team today.

Canadian culture: a British expat guide [infographic]

Canada’s open immigration policy, quality healthcare and multi-sector job vacancies makes The Great White North a high-sought destination for British expats.

As with any new environment, expats will face a number of cultural differences that may jar at first, but over time will serve as a positive reminder of why you originally decided to emigrate:

Canada expat guide


With partner offices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, Pickfords relocates hundreds of expats to Canada every year. To find out how we can help you fulfil your expatriate dream, visit our website or call 0800 019 8557.

Give Your Home a Refresh this Autumn

Say goodbye to summer’s lethargy and have a sort-out at home. It’s time to channel that back-to-school-feeling for domestic good!

Original article first published on Houzz

Jo Simmons, Houzz Contributor

Even if your school and uni days are far behind you, there is something about September and October that always feels new and purposeful. The summer is over and the streets are full of young people bustling off to school each morning and adults settling back into a working routine. OK, so you no longer need to organise your pencil case and cover your textbooks with wallpaper, but you can still channel this new-term energy by whipping your home and yourself into shape, ready for autumn. A touch of targeted tidying, some clever organising and a few small lifestyle tweaks should help you start afresh.

 

Take care of yourself
Growing children need new shoes and clothes at the start of an academic year and while your feet may not have gone up a size over the summer, this could be a good time to book in for any key health appointments. Is it time for an eye check? Are you overdue at the dentist? Perhaps you just need a haircut! Channel the new-term feel by booking health reviews, check-ups or personal grooming sessions now.

 

 

Overhaul your diet
Don’t wait until New Year to start a new healthy-eating regime. After a summer of rosé and holiday food, now is a great time to rethink what you eat. Injecting some new, healthy dishes into your tried and trusted repertoire will perk up the shorter evenings and help to ensure everyone in the family is fighting fit and able to cope with school, work and the coming sniffle season.

 

 

Prepare the garden for autumn
Clean and store garden furniture safely for the winter. Leaving wooden chairs out in the rain can damage them and shorten their life, while chairs with any metal detailing can rust. Pack up your barbecue, too, and take down any summer bunting that might not survive the winter. Now is also a good time to hang bird feeders, as the weather grows colder and our feathered friends find their food supplies drying up.

 

 

Look at your lighting
Before the clocks change and we plunge into winter, take some time to think about your lighting. Over summer, we are able to overlook any deficiencies in our lighting, but come the shorter days these become more obvious. Use your new-term energy to tackle lighting now, before autumn fully arrives and you lose impetus. Dealing with domestic problems outside the season when they are most apparent is the smart thing to do, so using that logic, get any roof repairs, draft-exclusion work or insulation done now, ready for when it will be truly needed.

Welcome winter with new lighting products

Blitz a junk drawer
Every home has one, and it could be anywhere in your house (although the kitchen is the usual suspect for harbouring a junk drawer). This space supposedly holds kitchen utensils, stationery or underwear, but in fact it’s become a wilderness of junk, containing everything from elastic bands and takeaway menus to dead batteries and odd socks. Time to take action.

Discover 9 ways to deal with clutter in your home

 

 

Bring winter clothes out of storage
If you have stored winter clothes in boxes over the summer, think about getting them out of storage now. This gives you time to check over your jumpers, scarves and coats to see if any need dry cleaning before the cold weather arrives. You can then whizz through your wardrobe and store any seriously summery clothes away, too.

 

 

Service your bike
You might remember to service the car once a year, but how about your bike? Servicing it will ensure it’s safe to use and can prolong its life, so direct some new-term zeal towards your two wheels. If your children are cycling to school, perhaps after a summer of not using their bikes much, it’s a good idea to get their bikes serviced, too.

 

 

Ditch what’s out of date
Have a new-term tidy up, but give it a focus, too. Chuck out any expired medicines, lotions or bath products. There will be a use by date on medicines but apply common sense with less serious products. If you haven’t used that tube of foot exfoliator this summer, you probably never will. Bin it! Take the same approach with make-up. Old make-up can harbour bacteria and lead to eye infections, so check the labels for how long each item should be open and in use for, and ditch accordingly.

Discover more bathroom ideas

Go back to school yourself
Many adult education colleges are still enrolling for courses, so if you have always wanted to improve your Spanish or learn how to throw a pot, see if you can book onto a course now and go back to school this autumn. Failing that, set aside some time to enjoy learning at home. Create a list of books you have always intended to read, or go online for suggestions. The broadsheet Sunday supplements and review sections often have lists of the best new books – these could become your autumn reading list.

 

 

Purge the dodgy plastic
Bulky plastic containers are essential for food storage, but many of us are guilty of keeping too many. So have a plastic cull. Ditch any containers that are stained, smelly, distorted or without a lid. Pare down your collection of old takeaway curry containers, too. One or two might prove handy; a whole stack of them will not.

An expat’s guide to American culture [infographic]

Offering a range of work and retirement options, the US is one of the most popular destinations for UK expats. Brits destined for the Land of the Free will enjoy a largely familiar language and lifestyle, lower taxes, cheaper food and, often, better weather.

While all this can mean easier cultural integration compared to other popular destinations, Brits will inevitably encounter a degree of culture clash while stateside. Here’s a few things to look out for:

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With partner offices across the States, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, Pickfords relocates hundreds of expats to the USA every year. To find out how we can help you fulfil your expatriate dream, visit our website or call 0800 019 8557.

12 cost-effective ways to warm your home in the winter

With the cold nights drawing in,  keeping our homes warm can be a challenge. Simply turning up the thermostat is a costly option, both for your wallet and the environment. Follow these 12 tips to keep your home toasty in the winter without the strain on your budget.

Block your chimney
Unused chimneys are just big holes that let cold air in. Invest in a chimney balloon to keep the passage blocked when not in use.

Seal off any cracks
Crevices and cracks are often overlooked as culprits to a chilly household. Look out for gaps in windows, unsealed holes around cabling and gaps in wooden flooring, and fill these with sealant.

Block any other droughts
Look out for other drought sources and eliminate them:

  • Install a flap or brushes over the letterbox
  • Invest in keyhole covers
  • Fill cat flaps with wool insulation or blankets
  • Keep doors closed and place drought excluders in the gaps by the floor

Install double glazing
This can be  an expensive solution in the short term, but double glazed windows have been shown to save money on heating bills. If this is not an option for your home, explore secondary glazing as an alternative.

Get thicker curtains
Thermal or three-layer curtains are specially designed to retain heat. There are many different options to suit your requirements and budget.

Install blinds, shades or shutters
Add an extra layer of protection with window coverings. Find out whether blinds, shades or shutters are best for your home, and remember to keep them closed at night.

Open sun-facing curtains
The UK’s strange weather patterns mean the sun often shines in spite the cold. Take advantage of this by opening any curtains that face the sun for a natural heating solution.

Foil up the radiators
Prevent heat loss from your radiators by placing aluminium foil behind them. This reflects the heat back into the room rather than losing it into the wall.

Reconsider the living room layout
Thoughtless furniture arrangements can prevent your living room being properly heated. Rearrange the furniture so nothing sits in front of the radiators.

Set your heating on a timer
Install a timer to ensure you only heat your home when needed. Set it to heat your home just before you wake up, and just before you get home in the evening.

Cover bare floorboards
Invest in some thick rugs or carpets to cover any rooms with wooden flooring.

Invest in insulation
Your whole house can be insulated using cavity wall insulation, but this can be an expensive option. Prioritise loft insulation for effective heat loss prevention.


Ready to move to a warmer residence? Contact Pickfords for local, national and international removals and storage. Contact us for a quote or request a call from your local move team.

We will remember them: Pickfords and the Great War

This weekend, as the country commemorates the end of the hostilities of World War I, we are reminded of the realities of wartime, an inseparable part of Pickfords’ history.

The First World War

The Great War changed the way people and businesses went about their daily lives, as people and companies were deployed to help the war effort. By 1915, most of Pickfords’ resources were requisitioned. Like the London buses, Pickfords vehicles carried the materials of war, as well as troops to the front in France.

The Second World War

Pickfords was again very active during the Second World War. The company sent its lighters (flat bottomed barges) between Solent ports and the Isle of Wight to join the Little Ships that made their way across the Channel to evacuate the beaches at Dunkirk.

The company also helped transport temporary portable harbours, called Mulberry harbours, from throughout the UK to the South Coast in advance of D-Day. The harbours were then shipped across the Channel and rebuilt off the D-Day beaches to allow the Allies to land supplies before they captured one of the Normandy Ports.

This weekend we remember all those who have died as a result of wars, both modern and historic. Let us never forget the sacrifices made by so many.