How to Downsize with Ease

Full article first published on Houzz Denise O’Connor, Houzz Contributor

While it can be a wrench to leave a much-loved family home, there are many reasons why downsizing makes sense. A smaller space means less stress (let’s face it, running a large household can be a headache) as well as fewer rooms to keep tidy and clean. It also means reduced household expenditure and, whether you fancy travelling the world or are planning a more luxurious lifestyle, the extra funds are bound to come in useful.

With some planning and well-thought-out design ideas, you’ll soon make moving into your new home a seamless experience.

 Homerton Warehouse - Paul Craig Photography


Save the sentimental stuff for last

Start with rooms that don’t have as much sentimental value, such as the kitchen. Most of us won’t get too emotional about parting with the Tupperware, although a much-loved collection of Le Creuset saucepans might be another matter!

If you’re downsizing from a house to a flat, target areas such as your garage or garden shed. You might not have any need for things such as the lawn mower, ladders and spades.


Plan well in advance

Getting rid of your possessions is never easy. The best strategy is to plan ahead, even before you put your home on the market. Take some time each day to sort out the different rooms in your home.

Going through things such as papers and books can be very daunting; the best strategy is to tackle these one box at a time.

 

Work out what to keep
Antiques or family heirlooms can also be difficult to part with, so it’s a good idea to have them appraised to determine their value. You might find they’re worth far less than you expected and are perhaps not worth holding on to after all.


Assess the size of your new home

One of the biggest concerns for people thinking about downsizing is whether they’ll be able to fit all their possessions into a smaller property.

Try to get a good handle on how much space you’ll have to play with in your new place. It can be difficult to get a sense of the size of the new rooms, so try comparing them to those in your existing home and you’ll soon see which pieces of furniture fit and which need to go.


Measure the pieces you plan to take

Large furniture items, such as beds, can be hard to part with, but will they work in your new home? Make an inventory of your existing furniture, art and accessories and decide what you plan to put where, measuring everything to see whether it will fit.

Try to find alternative uses for pieces you really love. For example, a large hall table could become a functional desk in your new home.


Plan storage in your new space

As soon as you move in, think carefully about your storage requirements. For example, are the items you need to store being used every day? Things that need to be accessed frequently should be stored in a way that allows you to get to them easily. Creating built-in cupboards in the eaves or under the stairs is a good use of often lost space and they’re generally easy to access.

Browse 12 ideas for loft conversions to suit your budget


Opt for designated cupboards

Let what you need to store dictate the kind of storage you select. Designated storage is an efficient use of space, and will help you fit in as many items from your old home as possible.

The bank of cabinets above the double basins here offers lots of useful storage, while the mirrored doors help to create the illusion of space.

Check out 10 steps to making storage boxes work for you


Make a display

Don’t feel you have to hide everything away, even in a small space. Open storage units can make an attractive feature and are fantastic for displaying treasured collections, which will serve as a visual link to your previous home.

Built-in storage will give you a lot more for your money, as it can be customised to suit your exact requirements. You can also incorporate lighting to create a really elegant feature.

How to prepare for moving in [10 tips]

Once you’ve booked your home move, there are several things you can do to make the day go extra smoothly. As well as preparing your old property for moving out (see last week’s blog), there are things you can do in your new home to prepare for delivery of your belongings:

1. Set out the essentials
Make sure every room has working light bulbs, and pop some loo roll and hand-wash in the bathrooms.

2. Clean everywhere
Pre-delivery is a great opportunity to carry out a deep clean of your new home before your belongings get in the way.

3. Take lots of photos
If renting, be sure to document any existing damage to the property to avoid unnecessary repair fees at the end of your contract.

4. Set up your utilities
Make sure your electricity, gas, water, TV licence and broadband are set up so you’re home is habitable as soon as you’re unpacked.

5. Sort out some snacks
Have some refreshments ready for everyone involved in the move.

6. Plan the new layout
Decide where your furniture and effects will go in each room so everything can be put into place quickly on arrival.

7. Make room for rubbish
In your layout plan, set aside a place to discard packing materials and keep empty cartons until they can be collected by your removal company.

8. Book any post-move services
Arrange a professional for any items that will require technical installation upon delivery.

9. Check your inventory
Track down your item list and read it through before your delivery arrives so you know exactly what to expect on the day.

10. Plan your evening meal
Sorting through belongings is hard work, so the last thing you’ll want to do is cook. Book a restaurant or track down the nearest takeaway for a post-move-day treat!


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

How to manage your time in moving limbo [infographic]

When moving home, there’s often a gap between the time you sign for your new property and when you actually move in. We call this ‘moving limbo’. And while this waiting period can seem like an eternity, there are plenty of ways to distract yourself and stay productive in preparation for move day:

Managing your time in moving limbo


Moving limbo coming to an end? Contact Pickfords for a complete packing, removal and storage service. Find out more or get a quote today.

How to prepare for moving out [10 tips]

Once you’ve booked your home move, there are a few things you can do around the house to make packing and moving out go extra smoothly. Follow these tips to prepare your home for the big day:

1. Clean your attic or loft
This helps the removal team see everything that needs to be moved, ensuring nothing gets forgotten.

2. Disconnect, drain and dry all white goods
Ensure ease of movement for your fridge, freezer, washer and drier on the day.

3. Take down all curtains, blinds and fixtures
This will save a lot of time on move day. Make sure all pictures, mirrors and other hanging objects are taken off the walls.

4. Fold all bedding and linen
Lay everything out on the beds, ready for packing.

5. Pack all electronic devices in their original packaging
If not possible, your removal team can use specialist packing materials for your devices.

6. Clear out your garage or shed
Clean and bundle together any tools for easy carrying.

7. Arrange for your pets to stay with a neighbour
This prevents them becoming unsettled on move day.

8. Dismantle any fitness equipment
Another great time saver.

9. Wrap plants in newspaper
This protects them from drafts and stops the leaves bruising.

10. Set aside any items for storage
This ensures they can be easily identified by the removal crew on the day.


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

Moving with children: a family checklist

Parents know that trying to organise anything with your children can be a challenging experience. Moving home will probably be one of you kids’ biggest life changes in their early years, so it’s important to get organised and help smooth the transition for them.

While your professional removal company will carry out all the packing and heavy lifting for you, how can you prepare your children for the big move? Here are our top tips for moving and settling in with kids:

  • Pack a moving day rucksack with snacks and entertainment to keep them occupied throughout the move.
  • Allow your children to feel settled in by helping them set up their room first.
  • Let your children pick paint colours and new bedding for their room, to help them get excited about their personal space in your new home.
  • To minimise the anxiety of acclimatising to their new environment, try to keep to the same time schedule to help them adjust quickly, e.g. for meals and bedtime.
  • Help your kids to find new playmates in the area by introducing them to the neighbours and signing them up to after-school clubs.
  • If possible, pay visits to your childrens’ new school to help them get acclimatised to their new environment before term starts.
  • Get involved in parent clubs, either online or locally to your new home, to discover the best kids activities in your new neighbourhood.
  • And of course, don’t forget to childproof your new home!

Ready to move? Pickfords covers every postcode in the UK and move families overseas every day. Visit our Moving Advice Centre for more helpful hints and tips, request a call back or get a quote from our website.

Questions to ask when choosing a removal company

House.jpg

When preparing to move home, you want to make the whole process as simple as possible. The best way to streamline your move is to enlist a professional home moving company. But with so many removal companies available, how can you know which one you should ask for help?

Once you’ve made a shortlist, ask each company the following questions to help you find the best possible company to carry out your move:

Are you members of the British Association of Removers?

The British Association of Removers (BAR) is an organisation dedicated to promoting professional excellence throughout the removals industry. All members must adhere to the BAR Code of practice, which requires the highest standards of service, materials, vehicles, warehousing and training. Working with a BAR member provides assurance of a high quality, reliable service.

What insurance do you offer?

A removal service provider should offer some form of insurance, giving you peace of mind that your belongings will be protected in transit. Different providers will offer different forms of cover, so make sure you find out what cover you have access to before making a decision.

How will you pack and secure my belongings?

If somebody else is packing and transporting your prized possessions, you want to know they will take the same level of care and consideration that you would. Don’t be afraid to ask about the packing and moving processes they will use with your belongings.

Can you give me more information about the moving process?

It will be useful to know how many people will be working on your move, how long it is estimated to take, what time the crew will be arriving, and whether somebody from your home needs to be there.

Do you provide national and international removals?

Some home moving companies only offer local moves or moves within the UK. If you’re moving outside of your local area or even to a different country, check that your removal company is experienced in moving customers to your chosen destination.

Membership of the BAR Overseas Group or the FIDI Global Alliance  are strong indicators that the company provides a high standard of overseas moving services.

How long have you been in business?

One of the best ways to be sure that you are working with a trustworthy and reliable removal company is to ask about their history. If a business has been around for a long time and built up a loyal customer base, you can be more confident that they will be able to handle your requirements.

Do you offer local storage services?

If you need to store some of your belongings during the removal process, a removal company with a storage centre near you makes it far easier to access your goods whenever you need them.

Meet Daniel Maples

Meet Daniel Maples. This brave 3-year-old has a rare condition called lamellar ichthyosis, causing his skin to become thickened and cracked.

Daniel’s skin sheds six times faster than normal, leaving a thick build up underneath the top layer.

Daniel’s father, Pickfords Home Moving Consultant Steve Maples, has to smother Daniel in medical jelly every four hours to stop his delicate skin from cracking.

Steve will be taking part in ‘Itchthycyclotron’ next month to raise money for the Ichthyosis Support Group, dedicated to providing support for affected families and funding medical research to help fight the condition.

Please click below to help Steve reach his £500 target and show your support for Daniel and this great charity.

http://bit.ly/1Tay0IDaniel Maples.jpg

The 60-year-old promise

When Vivian Curnow was a child, his grandmother would always write in his birthday card “Pickfords to follow with a truckload of gifts”. Grandma Curnow never did contact Pickfords; this was just her wicked sense of humour!

The phrase stayed with Vivian throughout his life. He would often recount the story to his wife, Janet.

Some 60 years later, Vivian decided to find out if Pickfords would deliver on his grandmother’s promise!

Vivian called his local Pickfords branch in Truro, asking if they could surprise his wife Janet on her 68th birthday by delivering a bunch of flowers and a cake.

And as you can see, they were happy to oblige!

Pickfords Birthday Surprise.jpg

Pickfords nominated for Best Removal Company 2015!

Pickfords is delighted to be nominated once again for ‘Best Removal Company’ by the Association of Relocation Professionals (ARP).

Following our win in 2014 in the category of household goods movement, we look forward to the Awards Dinner on 10 September when this year’s winner will be announced.

ARP is the professional body for relocation providers in the UK and overseas. Their annual awards recognise removal companies for their uniqueness, added value and contribution to the wider removals industry.

This year’s Awards Dinner will take place at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, Western Central London.

 
 
 



See also:

Is there a best time to move home?

Walk By

For many of us, our home move is dictated by the time it takes to sell our property, find a new home, agree on a price, exchange contracts and the chain remaining in place to allow you to complete.

For those lucky enough to be in control of your move date, the best times of year to move are generally early in the year, and just after the summer holidays. Demand for removals services peaks in the summer and slows at the end of the season, so the costs of moving home is likely to be lower. Most people want to move on a Friday,  so it is more cost effective to move mid-week.

If you have children in school, it’s best to schedule your move around the school calendar. Summer is ideal, as it won’t disrupt the school year and gives the children plenty of time to adjust to the idea of moving, say goodbye to friends and adapt to their new surroundings before school starts again.

Whenever you decide the move home, hiring a professional removal company will help take the strain and ensure your move goes without a hitch. Pickfords, the UK’s largest removals and storage company, move tens of thousands of people every year, all year round, so you can rest assured you’ll receive a highly professional service, whenever you decide to move.