Tag Archives: Moving Home

moving home | APDO Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers, is an enterprise unlike any other. Committed to helping individuals and businesses

Headshot of APDO member Lou Shaw of Clutter Freedom

Spotlight on members’ professional development: Becoming a Home Sweet Home consultant

In this series of posts, we’ll be interviewing professional organisers who’ve undertaken additional qualifications or training and finding out how their businesses have benefitted.

Moira Stone of Uncluttered Wales talked to Lou Shaw of Clutter Freedom in London about becoming part of the Home Sweet Home network of professional organisers.

Becoming part of the Home Sweet Home network of professional organisers

Lou runs Clutter Freedom which covers south-west, south-east and central London. Lou herself lives in Battersea in south-west London near the Thames. It’s a very densely populated area but with a villagey feel. There are old Battersea residents, people who’ve moved to the area to bring up children, and a lot of people moving in and out. With its good transport links to central London, easy access to open spaces, family-sized houses and good schools, it’s a popular choice for people moving to work in London for a few years.

What’s Home Sweet Home and how did you get interested in being one of their contractors?

When I did APDO’s introductory training I met Louise Muratori of Be Clutter Free and we hit it off straight away, supporting and mentoring one another. It was through her Lancashire network that I heard that Marie Bateson, of Cut the Clutter, the APDO Director of Volunteers and UK co-ordinator for Home Sweet Home, was looking to build up the network of professional organisers who are APDO members.

Home Sweet Home was set up in Los Angeles in 2004 to simplify corporate moves and save companies money. Originally helping with internal USA and Canada moves, Home Sweet Home now operates in seven countries, serving Fortune 500 companies and their employees. I’ve worked with people from companies like Amazon, Apple, Netflix and American Express, for example.

I’ve always been interested in homes and moving so I love this work! I also believe in recycling and reusing and I’m keen to help my local community, so that fits in too.

Home Sweet Home sponsor logo

Tell us a bit more about Home Sweet Home

There are two main programmes:

  • Discard and Donate is for people leaving the UK to relocate to another country. In normal times, pre-COVID, we would help them declutter their home, working out what they would take with them and what they would leave behind. These are usually pieces of furniture and items with UK plugs like lights, hairdryers and tower fans. But it could be anything and often includes children’s toys and equipment. I then decide where the items can go, to charity or elsewhere. I like the challenge of getting things out there into the local community.


  • Quick Start is an unpack and put away service for company executives moving to this country. We will work in a team, unpacking all their belongings quickly and efficiently and organising their new home. When the executive and family come to their new home to find it ready for them, they’re thrilled! It not only makes the move to a new country less stressful, it also saves them a lot of unpacking time.


Marie organised a team of three APDO members to complete a Quick Start service for a family relocating to London from Spain who had to quarantine on arrival. I worked with Susanna Drew of Home Review and Gill Ritchie of Declutter Dahling, unpacking for a family of five into a large central London apartment. It was hard work and a logistical challenge but, yes, it was good fun too and it gave me a chance to meet other organisers.

Home Sweet Home services are offered as part of the relocation package and paid for by the transferring company. The company benefits because staff are happier and less stressed. They also save money as the number of goods transported is reduced and the amount the company saves on shipment covers the cost of Home Sweet Home.

Helping others

The service also helps the environment as less is transported, less packing material is used and there are fewer fuel emissions. And for every tree saved, Home Sweet Home makes a donation to plant three trees. The aim is for as much as possible of the donated items of furniture, household equipment and clothing to make its way back into the community to be reused or recycled.

I worked with a couple who were moving from a fantastic ninth floor apartment near the American Embassy in London to Tokyo. Almost all the items they left behind were donated to a grassroots organisation working to help get homeless people into new homes and other vulnerable people.

What makes a good Home Sweet Home contractor?

  • Being helpful, friendly and efficient while keeping a professional edge. I’m there representing Home Sweet Home and not promoting my own business.
  • Being a hands-on kind of person.
  • Being able to supervise, if required – packing, cleaning and so on.
  • Having a car is very useful.


Having the ability to think on your feet and having a certain amount of flexibility. There might be a suddenly remembered or discovered item to be dealt with immediately. Like the forgotten bike shed – which very quickly went on NextDoor. Or the two storage boxes of shoes found under a very low bed that the packers had missed – definitely wanted and needed by the transferee, who was in Frankfurt by then – that I was able to drive up to the shipping company at very short notice to join the consignment heading for Frankfurt.

Being resourceful with a good network. Covid has pushed us all to dig deeper and rethink our networks now charity shops are often closed. I’ve developed new contacts with Big Local SW11 and Wandsworth Mediation Services which supports very vulnerable families and gets homeless people off the street. There’s also Little Village, a children’s and babies’ clothes and equipment bank, which is great for children’s clothes, cots and buggies. I use my local NextDoor and a WhatsApp group and things go very quickly through them. I use a waste removal service for broken or damaged items, furniture without UK fire rating labels, mattresses and other items that charity outlets cannot take.


a room filled with packing boxes and a mirror standing against the wall

Tell us about training

Marie Bateson, our co-ordinator, trained with Home Sweet Home in Los Angeles so I was rather hoping that I could too! Unfortunately, I had to do it over Zoom…

The training is done by Jeff Heisler, Home Sweet Home’s President, and Marie. It’s free and takes a couple of hours. It’s very straightforward and there’s no commitment. There’s an introduction to Home Sweet Home and what it does, and then a description of the nuts and bolts of how it works.

When you join the network, you get all the help and support you need from Marie. Paperwork is straightforward. The Cost Saving Report, for example, is in an Excel spreadsheet which includes lists of household items, categorised by room/garden and their average weights. You simply list the number of items of a particular thing, for example, 1 three-seater sofa, 6 hand kitchen appliances, 3 large bags of clothing, and Excel calculates the overall shipping weight saving.

What are the benefits to your business of being a Home Sweet Home contractor?

It’s helping me to have a better knowledge of my own area and community and to build up a wider network of contacts. It’s really nice to get to know people. We’re all rubbing along together and are very loyal to the area. I’ve lived here for 20+ years. It’s like an extended family.

What’s your advice to someone thinking about joining the HSH network?

I’d say give it a go. You’re under no obligation, and you can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to any job you’re offered. It does help in quieter periods of your own business.

Clients are professionals who are friendly and appreciative of the service Home Sweet Home offers them. It does take a weight off their minds that the possessions they’re leaving behind are going to a good cause to help people in the area where they’ve lived for the last couple of years.

I’ve been to some amazing properties and recently it’s been nice to have an excuse to zip about London. I’m off to a house in Notting Hill next week. The transferee has provided a list of items so I can plan how to distribute them efficiently. There are always last-minute items, though, that the family decide to leave behind once the packers begin their job so there may be a few surprises.

Training is usually carried out twice a year but if you’re an APDO member and you’d like to get on the books, email Marie as she can often get you on board before the next training session.

Thank you Lou for sharing your work with us and explaining more about the Home Sweet Home network and its services. 

We are delighted to welcome Home Sweet Home as Key Sponsor of the APDO Conference 2021: The Future Is Re-Organised. For further details head to the Conference page!

a house-shaped paper cut out and a bunch of keys on a table top

Downsizing and moving home

Without a doubt, the global pandemic has caused many people to re-think how and where they live and, with the added incentive of reduced stamp duty rates until 31 March 2021, many people are now on the move. In this helpful post, Carol Lovesey of Lovesey Organising shares her tips for downsizing and moving home.

a room filled with packing boxes and a mirror standing against the wall

The key to a successful move

Whether you are downsizing, relocating to be nearer loved ones or moving to a larger property, the whole process can seem completely overwhelming.  The key to a successful move is to plan as much as possible in advance.  Even if you are moving to a larger property there is no point in taking things you never use. It requires excess thought, packaging and energy to pack up things you don’t want, just to have to unpack them in your new home. Moving unnecessary stuff could also increase your moving costs.

Whatever your circumstances, decluttering your home can be physically and emotionally draining.  Little and often is usually much easier than blocking out entire days; you may get halfway through a day and be totally exhausted.

Build “declutter muscles”

With many of my clients I try to start with the least emotive areas such as hall cupboards, kitchens and bathrooms.  Working here allows you to get used to making quick and easy decisions on what to keep and what to let go.  Having managed these areas you will then be able to build up to tackling more difficult places, such as studies, bedrooms and lofts where people often store things away that are just too emotionally challenging to cope with.

Just as you would when you start a new physical exercise regime, start slowly, and build up your “declutter muscles” with easy decisions.  That jug that Auntie Flo gave you 20 years ago which you stashed at the back of the cupboard and can’t stand?  Recycle it or sell it.  Loads of chipped and cracked crockery?  Ditch it.

Set yourself mini, achievable goals which will only take an hour or so. Here are two ideas to get you started:

  • Check your bathroom cabinet. Get rid of all the perfumes you don’t really like, or the endless foot scrubs you never use.
  • Review all the towels you’ve stashed for years with threads hanging off them. Hey presto, your bathroom storage will be done.


Think about how many rooms and storage cupboards you need to clear, draw up a list and start planning, making a noted in your calendar for each task.  Once everything is down on paper (or computer) it’s less of a “monster” and easier to take control of and manage.

a pile of folded jeans being packed into a box

Categorise & sort

Depending on what storage space you have available, possessions and gadgets can end up all over the house. This means it is easy to forget what you’ve got.  Gather similar items together, such as old phones and chargers, tablecloths or duvets, then review whether you need to keep them all:

  • Do you have you enough bed linen for an army to sleep on? – Pass spares to a local homeless shelter.
  • 30 mugs in the cupboard? – Donate some to your local community centre.
  • Old phones and tablets – depending on how old they are, these can often be sold or recycled.
  • Kitchen gadgets – do you use them? More importantly, do they work? If in doubt, cast them out!


As a guideline, separate items as follows:

  • Keep – You have a definite use for an item or it is something you love and enjoy. Which room will it go in in your new home?  If it’s just going to be stuck in a box in the loft for the next 20 years, I would challenge you to say yourself what is the point in keeping the item?


  • Sell – Is the item in good condition? Do you actually have time for the selling process?  Where will you sell your item?  There are plenty of options for selling: social media groups, antique dealers, eBay but it can be time consuming.  Do you know the value of the item? It’s important to do some research; it’s easy to confuse the emotional value we put on an item with the actual re-sale value.  Be realistic on the price and remember to give anything a good clean up before photographing.


  • Recycle/Charity – Better still, donate to a charity shop or check the many social media outlets which have sites for giving away items for free. Due to the current COVID restrictions, if I’m not sure which local charity is taking goods, I often ask on social media groups or phone the local shops direct – this saves trawling round with a boot full of stuff!


  • Bin – Sometimes there’s no life left in things and they just need to be ditched. If you have a lot of stuff for disposal, check with your local council if you need to book a place at the recycling centre.  If using a rubbish clearance firm, be sure to check they are reputable and have a waste carrier licence.


red front door

Motivation – eyes on the prize!

There will be items and furniture you come across in your home that you find difficult to let go of.  It’s important to notice these feelings and question why you are holding onto the items.  Ultimately, these are your things and it is your decision on what to do with them: you must do what is right for you and your family.

  • Be practical – If you have a large 5-bedroom house, garage and garden, think about the property you are moving to. How many bedrooms, reception rooms, etc does it have? What storage is there? This may sound daft but people often half forget that they will have less space when they downsize.  If you currently have a massive corner sofa unit think about whether it will overcrowd your new living room; do you need to sell it?


  • Be imaginative – If you have too many paintings and ornaments why not take some fabulous photographs of them and make them up into a photobook or create one big collage of your treasured memories.


  • Be inspired – Picture yourself in your new home: how do you want your new home to be? Have a look through home magazines or Pintrest or Instagram for ideas.

a doormat with the word "home" written on it


I’ve moved nine times and I know how stressful the process can be.  My advice is: don’t panic, stay calm and put the kettle on, everything always seems better over a cup of tea!

Here are a few things you’ll need to consider.  Please note, this is not a definitive list, it will vary depending on your own circumstances.

  • Good relationships – Build good relationships with the professionals in the process: estate agents, solicitors, mortgage advisors and surveyors. Even if you are frustrated, upset or angry, stay calm because you never know when you will need them to pull out all the stops.


  • Removal team – Even if you are on a very tight budget, it is my experience that these people usually work their socks off on the day. I’d suggest checking the British Association of Removers to find registered movers or get recommendations from friends and family.  If you’re not using a registered remover but are perhaps working with a local tradesperson and van, do make sure they have insurance.  Don’t forget to show them what things have to go from sheds/garages, etc.


  • Supplies – Keep everyone well fed and watered on moving day. Most likely your removal teams will have met for a hearty breakfast before they start, but a plentiful supply of tea and biscuits goes a long way.


  • Pack well, label well – If your possessions are clearly labelled with contents and what room you want them to go into, the process will be a lot easier on the day.


  • Cleaning kit – You never know how the property you’re moving to will be left. Have cleaning products, broom, dustpan and hoover easily to hand.  Not to mention a couple of hard-working friends or family members!


  • Utilities – Make sure you know who services your new home, and sort this out as early as possible. For example, there may be a considerable lead-time for a new broadband install. Take readings on the day in your existing and new homes to update the utility companies.


  • Change of address – Think about everyone you have a contract or account with. This includes banks, insurance companies (car, house, pet, medical), DVLA, TV licence, magazine or lifestyle memberships and subscriptions – they all need to be advised of your new contact details. Royal Mail offers a postal redirection service.


I hope, these have been some useful insights for you. Remember, if you are feeling scared or overwhelmed by the whole process, you can always seek assistance from your local APDO-registered professional organiser who you can find on the APDO Find An Organiser database.

“On moving day Carol helped out no end, settling me into my new flat.
Since moving, I’ve made so many new friends and have a whole new lease of life.”

red front door

What to check before saying ‘Yes!’ to your new home

When you consider a new property, there’s loads to be thinking about, from the fixtures and furnishings to where you’ll eat your breakfast in the morning. In some cases, it’s so easy to visualise yourself in your new home, you miss out on some of the practical problems. In this post, the team at Really Moving show us the “five ‘S’s” to look out for, to make sure your new home doesn’t let you down!


When choosing a new place to live, especially if it’s an area you’re unfamiliar with, you’re going to want to feel safe. Considering the safety aspects of the property will allow you to make an educated decision. You can look at sites like police.uk and see what crimes have been committed in the area (be sure to check your existing postcode too, just in case it seems shocking – you may find your own area had quite a few issues without you knowing!).

If there have been issues near the property, then it’s worth being very careful about security, and assessing the property on a visit.

What is access to the property like? Is there a garden gate to the front, or an easy way to get onto a flat roof? What does the garden back on to?

These don’t have to be deal-breakers, but knowing about access points will make it easier for you to secure your new home. It will also help when getting home insurance, and ensuring you get a great rate.

If you do think the property requires more security, look into what changes you could make, from simple fixes like sensor lights and a visible security system, to improving locks or making fences taller.

bright decluttered organised sitting room with couch


The holy grail of housing – what’s the storage like? If you’re lucky, the property will have built in storage, but if not, look for opportunities to maximise usable space. Window seats with an empty bench, ottomans that can hold blankets, under cupboard areas that could hold shelves or drawers.

Don’t forget to check whether there is a shed (and if it’s included) along with what the loft space is like and if it’s easily accessible and properly insulated.

The best thing you can do when buying a new home is to clear all your clutter in advance of your move. This stops you paying more money to move (and possibly store) your items, only for them to take up space in your new home.

Most people will want to decorate their new home in a different way to their previous one, or if it’s your first property, you’ll have the chance to co-ordinate and decorate as you like. In many cases, your older items don’t fit with the new aesthetic. If you know you’re planning to completely start over in your new home, don’t bother bringing all your old items with you.

If you’re upsizing, you may be surprised at how much space you have for all your items, but if you’re moving to a small flat, or downsizing from a bigger home, be sure to invest in furniture that doubles up as storage.


A Chartered Surveyor will able to tell you how structurally sound the property is. Issues like damp or subsidence can have a long term impact on how liveable your property is, and how its value will change over time. You can also take the opportunity to consider any structural changes you might like to make to the property, and what’s possible.

If you’re considering buying an older property that will need some TLC to turn into your dream home, a Building Survey is probably your best option. These are for older properties, or ones that have had significant work done to them, or you will do work to in the future.

An in-depth survey also gives you negotiating power with the seller – if you will need to spend money to fix elements of the property before you move in, you could use the survey to ask for a reduction in price. Your survey will often also tell you how much those improvements might cost.

bright decluttered organised hallway


Speaking of costs, do you know how much your property will cost you long term? No, we don’t mean the mortgage payments. By checking the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of your future home, you’ll be able to see how energy efficient the property is, and how you can save money on your bills. The EPC will tell you what improvements could be made to make the home more energy efficient, from big changes like solar panels, to the small ones like energy-saving lightbulbs. An EPC needs to be updated every 10 years, so make sure your seller’s one is up to date, so there are no nasty surprises down the line.


When it comes to what makes a home, space and light are key. But don’t forget that even the smallest space has the opportunity to be improved – painting a room a lighter colour, introducing hidden storage spaces and not over-filling the area with clutter can make a big difference. That’s why we always recommend clearing as much as you can before you move, so you can decide how to make the most of the space your new home affords.

By looking into whether your future home could be extended, and whether there are any planning permission issues, you’ve effectively planned for the future and added value to your new home already. Space is always a good thing, and so looking at your potential new property with an understanding eye, and being willing to do the work and make compromises will set you up in a home you can enjoy for years to come.

If you need help decluttering your home before you move, you can find your nearest APDO professional organiser here.

If you are considering buying a new home in 2019, reallymoving.com are a moving home comparison site, providing instant quotes for conveyancing, surveys and removals, along with helpful guides and tips to make moving home stress-free.

Really Moving logo

red front door

Staging your home for sale

Selling your home can be an emotional and long process. Professional organiser Zoe Berry of Life / Edit shares her home staging tips in this blog post, to help make the process as stress free as possible.

Selling your house is well known to be one of life’s most stressful experiences, so anything you can do to ease the process must be a good thing. Home staging is something which is a standard part of the home selling process in some places (like north America) but here in the UK we are only just learning what a difference it can make both in terms of the speed of sale and profit you can make from your home. It’s amazing to think that buyers form an opinion in your home in around 10 seconds of walking in the door, so with that in context it’s incredibly important to make the right first impression. I recently staged a home for sale in Dundee and with a few tweaks and a keen eye, the property achieved 10% more than the pre-staging evaluation, and I only spent approx. 1% of the sale price on the changes.

Here are my top tips for getting the most out of your property when you are selling:

Start with your kerb appeal

There’s no point spending ages making the inside of your house look desirable if the outside isn’t up to the same standard.  It’s important to make your home as eye-catching as possible from as soon as potential buyers first see it. So tidy up plants and lawns, give the front door a lick of paint and make sure your door furniture is looking super shiny.

Declutter and depersonalise

The most important thing you can do to showcase your home to its best standard is to declutter, as many people simply cannot see past someone else’s possessions. It is important that buyers can imagine themselves living in your house which is more difficult if your surfaces are full of your family photos and mementos. One or two carefully chosen pictures and ornaments are great – you don’t want it to look stark, of course.  Cast your eye around and check that your surfaces and floorspaces are clear.

Check your flooring

What state are your carpets in? Are they patterned and dated? Or have they worn and need to be replaced? What about your wooden floors? Do they need to be re-varnished? Remember the more jobs people mentally tot up in their heads when looking round a property, the more likely they are to be put off from making an offer.

organised entrance hallway decluttered

Is your décor up to date?

When selling your home it’s best to consider a neutral palate. That crazy feature wallpaper might be your taste, but to appeal to the widest possible cross section of people it’s best to go sophisticated. A subtle background means that people can imagine their belongings in your home more easily. Make sure that curtains and blinds are in good condition and fit properly. Long curtains can make windows feel larger and blinds can be a good option for replacing dated curtains as low cost.

Check each room one at a time


Buy a new doormat for your porch and clear all the usual shoes, coats and bikes away. A top tip for the hall is to hang a mirror on the wall to bounce light around.

Sitting room

Really look at your furniture placement. Yes, that might be where you have always had that chair but could it be repositioned to show the room off more? Make sure your sofas are in good condition and brighten them up with some new cushions. Clear magazines and books off shelves and from under coffee table and put back only what looks good: a few mags on the table and some carefully chosen pieces on the shelves.

APDO - staging your home for sale decluttering organising kitchen

Dining Room

Consider how your dining table looks with no one seated at it. A runner and a bowl of fruit or some flowers make it look inviting. Make sure you show the room size off as much as possible. If this means playing about with the positioning of furniture then do!


When decluttering and depersonalising, all the same rules apply to your bathroom as elsewhere in your home . For a bathroom it’s also key to clear away any ‘functional’ items such as cleaning products, toilet brushes, weighing scales and toothpaste and toothbrushes. Update even a tired looking bathroom with fresh new towels, well-chosen toiletries and fix anything that needs updating such as grout/sealant etc. This way you show the buyer the potential of your bathroom without breaking the bank.


Make sure you bed is in the right position to show buyers the proportions of your bedroom. Declutter and stage the room channelling  ‘nice hotel room’ i.e. make sure the bedding is clean, ironed and the bed made well. Make sure your bedside tables and dressing tables are clear, with just a few photos and carefully chosen possessions on show which compliment the décor.

Kids’ stuff

Children’s toys should be sifted through and, although you can’t disappear all of them, a large amount should be put away for when buyers are viewing.

APDO staging your home for sale organising decluttering playroom

Appeal to all the senses

Make sure you home is warm enough, clean and as bright and cheerful as you can make it. If it’s a dull day and your house is dark, make sure you have replaced lightbulbs. If you have a pet you need to eliminate any associated odours by washing upholstery, cleaning carpets and using air fresheners and giving the house a good airing.

And finally

You are trying to make your home seem uncluttered, have plenty of storage but also loved and lived in. It’s a fine balance and it’s a difficult one to achieve when it is your own home – which is why you might consider employing a professional organiser who specialises in home staging. It will be totally worth it when your house sale goes through. Happy selling!

If Zoe’s post has inspired you to stage your home for sale you can find more information about your local professional organiser here.

forgotten moving house costs

5 forgotten costs of moving home

Moving house can be an expensive and stressful experience, that much is a given. But with 40% of buyers overspending on associated moving costs, it’s important to organise your finances by putting aside enough to help your home buying along, as well as making sure you’re getting a good deal.

Reallymoving aims to make moving home easier, and make those costs transparent, helping you to get quotes for surveys, conveyancing and removals. Once you’ve saved up the deposit, here are their 5 top areas you’ll likely need funds for and whether you can get a better deal:

Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid when a property is bought. The amount you pay is based on the price of the property, and is fixed by the government as follows:

Purchase price bands (£) Percentage rate (%)
Up to 125,000 0%
125,001 to 250,000 2%
250,001 to 925,000 5%
925,001 to 1,500,000 10%
Above 1,500,000 12%

Changes to Stamp Duty in the 2017 autumn budget mean that first time buyers are now exempt from paying Stamp Duty on properties up to £300,000, and will not pay any on the first £300,000 of a property worth up to £500,000.

How is a first time buyer defined? You can never have owned residential property before, either in the UK or abroad. If you are buying with a partner you both have to be first time buyers.

If you are buying a second home, or a buy to let property, a 3% increase on Stamp Duty has been introduced.

You must pay your Stamp Duty within 30 days of completing on your new property, and it can be paid through your conveyancing solicitor.

Conveyancing Fees

A conveyancing solicitor, or licensed conveyancer, will be able to formalise your sale, dealing with transferring money, paying fees and organising the transfer of the deeds. Conveyancing costs will include the time of your conveyancer, but also ‘disbursements’- these are fees associated with your purchase, that the conveyancer pays on your behalf. These include things like local searches of the property, paying estate agent fees, land registration fees and if you need to pay it, Stamp Duty.

You can work out an approximate cost of conveyancing using our moving cost calculator, as it will depend on whether you’re buying, selling, or both.

decluttering services


Getting a survey is one of the most important things you can do when buying a property, and remember, a survey is NOT a valuation. A mortgage lender will offer a valuation to assess how much they are willing to lend you. A survey however, carried out by a Chartered Surveyor, will check the quality of the house, from the foundations to the wiring, and make sure your investment is solid. A survey will tell you what issues may arise and how much it might cost to fix, giving you room to bargain when buying.

There are two main options: a HomeBuyer’s Report and Building Survey. A Building Survey is more in depth, recommended for older properties, those that have had a lot of work done to them, or ones you intend to do a lot of work on. A HomeBuyer’s Report has been recommended by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) as a good, in depth option for most other homes. You can chat to your surveyor about which one suits your property.


You want to choose a great value removals team who can be depended on to turn up, but there are a few ways to manage costs and make sure you get the best deal. Choose a removals team who will survey your property – they can see how big the home is, if there’s any issues with access and parking, and can assess how much stuff you have and how long it will take to move. This means a more accurate quote and no nasty surprises.

Get rid of as much stuff as you can – throw away those old children’s toys and clothes from years ago, or even better, donate and sell stuff! Removals are charged based on the amount of stuff to move – the less you have, the cheaper it is. Engaging an APDO declutterer and organiser could help you reign in your belongings and help you identify what’s truly needed in the next phase.

Think about which items need to be disassembled in advance, and give your removals team notice that this is needed. Make sure you know exactly when you’re picking up the keys. Delays in conveyancing on the day can keep a removals team waiting around for hours, which you’ll be charged for.

Also work out if taking advantage of a packing service is better for you. A professional team know what they’re doing and can work efficiently, meaning safer items and less stress for you.

If there isn’t any crossover between leaving your old home and moving into your new one, paying for storage will be necessary. Look for companies that have great security at their units and maybe pick a removals company that can offer this along with their main services – it may work out cheaper for you. Consider if you need access to your items between moving days and if so, what times of day or the week you’d want to get in. As a rule of thumb, storage is more expensive the more flexible access you require.

house has been sold


When getting a mortgage, you will be required to purchase buildings insurance, starting from the day of exchange. Confirm with your existing insurers if you can transfer your home and contents policy to the new premise or if there are any admin charges to set up a new policy. Decide if you want to pay these policy costs upfront for the year or make monthly direct debits to manage cashflow during this period of heightened expenditure.

Most removals companies will have removals cover, but check their small print so you know the process for making claims, and whether this still applies if you have packed the boxes yourself. Be sure to make a list of any furniture/large items as well as your boxes (or better yet, number them as well as naming them with the contents, so you can tick them off on arrival). Be sure to compare removals companies’ rates and reviews, so you know you’re getting the best deal.

Planning for these supplementary costs can make your moving experience much more manageable; do your research well in advance so that you know likely timeframes when each cost will hit your bank balance. Always compare services to make sure you’re getting the best deal and avoid any unexpected extras.

Best of luck in your new home!