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


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.

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

Protecting your possessions in storage and transit


There’s a lot at stake during your move, so it’s important to make sure you are adequately prepared. Aside from the money, time and effort it takes to move home, you need to take into account everything you are moving with you. Your furniture, clothes, and belongings may hold great value, whether financial or emotional. Nobody wants to arrive at their new home to find that some of their prized possessions and treasured memories have been lost or broken during the move.

You may be moving out of one home and into another on the same day, so will only need to protect your belongings during the moving process. Alternatively, you may be moving country, or may have to store your possessions while in between properties, so you’ll need to take this into account when protecting your belongings.

When you move home, make sure your goods are packed securely in clearly labelled boxes. For more valuable items, it’s always best to secure them with padding, such as bubble wrap, to add an extra layer of protection.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends or family, or hire a professional removal company who can make the packing and moving process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

If you need to store some of your belongings during your move, use a company you can trust. Pickfords have a nationwide network of storage facilities, with a solution to suit every situation.

Today is the busiest moving day of the year!

Pickfords’ Move Monitor reveals latest moving trends

On Friday 29th August, the nation is downing tools and turning its back on long weekend lie-ins in favour of moving home!

Today will be the busiest moving day of the year, as hundreds of families choose to move house.

Pickfords tracks around 30,000 house moves each year, and using year-on-year analysis of data can pinpoint which date will see most removal trucks rumbling up and down the motorways helping families to transition to new homes.

Pickfords’ spokesperson Lyndsey Daykin isn’t surprised that the last Friday of August is such a popular time to move:

“We have seen a real increase in movement in the housing market this year and all of our research points to a huge surge in house moves at the end of August.   We believe our customers are keen to make the most of the good weather and with the children off school, it’s the perfect time to move”


Pickfords to feature in new Spooks movie!


Pickfords Removals Birmingham driver Brian Da Costa and vehicle number 6739 were lent out for three days of filming on the set of the new ‘Spooks’ film, ‘The Greater Good’.

Filming on Coventry’s ring road, our truck formed part of a four-lane traffic build-up as part of a dramatic terrorist scene in which actress Tuppence Middleton is hijacked at gun point by terrorists on motorbikes!


Of course we don’t know how much of Brian and our van will be shown in the final film, but we did track down a press photo with our truck in the background (above).

Based on the hit TV series, ‘Spooks: The Greater Good’ will be in cinemas from April 2015.

A feel-good story…

Last year Pickfords teamed up with British racing driver Dean Stoneman to compete in the Powerboat P1 Championship. Dean dominated the season and won the title at a canter – a feat made all the more impressive given that he was taking his first steps back into competitive motorsport after receiving the news that he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer at the end of 2010. Dean had impressed in Formula Two during that season, securing a test with the Williams F1 Team and impressing during his drive in Abu Dhabi, and seemed set for further success when he received the devastating news.

P1 - AquaX - 2012 - Cowes

After two years out of competitive motorsport Dean came back in 2013, competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB series, winning five of 18 races to finish fifth in the championship. He has now announced that he is returning to single-seater racing, competing in the GP3 series that runs alongside sections of the Formula One season. Dean will be on track during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend on 1-3 November and all of us at Pickfords would like to congratulate him on this superb achievement!

Make sure you can get flood insurance

If you’re moving to a low-lying area, flood insurance is something you must consider when purchasing your next home. Water can cause substantial damage to homes and property so make sure you’re adequately covered should the worst happen.

UK Government cuts to funding for flood defence schemes across England and Wales could lead to increased destruction of homes and businesses, the country’s economy, and to coastal erosion.

flood sign

The environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, has acknowledged that the flood risks are rising because of climate change but imposed an annual cut of over 20 per cent on flood defence spending. One in six properties in the UK are at risk of flooding, according to the Environment Agency.

The changes could leave more than 50,000 households unprotected by flood defences. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) issued a press release in November 2010 showing that the cost of flood damage since 2000 has leapt by 200 per cent. Insurers who were heavily hit by claims from recent devastating floods will “inevitably” seek to increase premiums or refuse cover altogether, industry experts have said.

Owners of properties next to the Thames will be most at risk, but premiums across London could rise by as much as 10 per cent. The insurance industry has pledged to guarantee cover even to those living in flood-prone areas, under the Statement of Principles on Flood Insurance, but this runs out in 2013. Malcolm Tarling, of the Association of British Insurers has been quoted as saying “The environment Agency has said flood spend needs to double each year just to keep pace with current flooding.”

Read the rest of this post on the Pickfords Moving Advice Centre.

How to choose a removals company

Moving house is a massive event and it’s crucial to get the right removals company to help you. As the old saying goes, not all removal companies are the same and there’s plenty of choice out there in the market, so here are a couple of pointers to help you decide.

Moving DayTake a recommendation
Word of mouth recommendations are a great way to find a reliable removals company. You can also look at social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to see how frequently each company engages with its customers and how they handle queries or issues raised via these sites.

Getting in touch
A reputable removals firm will give you as many options as possible to get in touch, hinting at a business that has the resources to handle you professionally. If the only contact information you can find on their website is a mobile number, think twice about making the call.

What insurance do they offer?
Any handling of goods is a risky business so household effects are at risk during a home move. Different removals companies offer different cover, so it is worth taking some time to understand the difference, as not all removals insurance is the same.

Do you have valuable or, fragile items?
We all have something that is particularly special to us, so check to see how your moving company handles fragile and valuable items. Most professional companies will use different packing materials to protect unusual items and may use export packing or crating to protect the goods.

Do their customers back up their claims?
Positive endorsements of a product or service are one of the strongest factors in making a decision to buy, so when doing your research pay attention to what people say about them.

How do they approach security?
There aren’t many occasions when you freely welcome complete strangers into your home so you should feel comfortable that they are well-trained, professional and above all, trustworthy. Check to see whether their staff are CRB-checked – this is a process administered by the Criminal Records Bureau, a government agency, and ensures that businesses are aware of any convictions held by prospective new recruits.

Do they have quality standards?
Many removal companies use quality management systems as a management tool to ensure they deliver consistent service. Check to see if the company has a formal approach to managing quality, or carries a quality accreditation to help them maintain their quality standards

What is their approach to the environment?
Dealing with a company that is sympathetic to the environment should not cost you any more. Check to see that the company recycles packing materials and timber and has a system in place to ensure its business does not impact its local community.

This post was taken from the Moving Advice Centre on To read more useful hints and tips around the moving process, just click here.

Top tips for home buyers

Buying a house is one of the biggest and most complex things you’ll ever do. One of the main things that you need to organise is a survey of your new home, which will help identify any issues which you might not have been aware of prior to moving in.

We’ve teamed up with MAP Surveyors to provide you with a few pointers as to why getting a survey is a good idea.

MAP Surveyors

Click Here to contact MAP and get your Immediate Free Quotation online

Your mortgage provider will not do a survey
Mortgage companies only insist on a valuation. This is definitely not a survey. Often the valuer will be asked to use standard phrases or even just tick boxes with no room for comment. The valuers client is not you the purchaser, it is the mortgage company.

The valuer for the mortgage may not even be qualified to carry out a building survey
Surprising but true. Many valuers don’t undertake building surveys as they don’t have the expertise required to carry out surveys of that kind.

An estimated 200,000 homes will no longer be insurable against flooding in 2013
With MAP Surveyors new flood report service you can tell whether cuts in flood defences are likely to be a problem for you. It’s not just properties near rivers and the sea that are affected.

Nobody is acting on your behalf if you buy without a survey
The estate agent you buy your property through has a professional duty of care to do the very best for their client – the vendor. MAP Surveyors will be the professionals serving your best interests as the purchaser on the other side of the transaction.

Any property built before 2000 could contain asbestos
This is just one of many things you may be unaware of. Your MAP survey will guide you through the complex process of homebuying giving you full knowledge of many different and equally important things which as your professional advisers we are on hand for to ensure you can have confidence in making the biggest investment of your life.

Click here to get a free quotation online from MAP Surveyors.