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Forging A Good Relationship With A Berkshire Moving Company

Posted on March 1, 2017 by Peter Donaldson

There’s no need to repeat the rather worn and tired stuff about whether or not moving in Berkshire (or indeed anywhere on the planet) is stressful. Many, many things in life could warrant that adjective – but it doesn’t mean they’re not worth doing. One aspect of uprooting yourself from one house (or flat) to another is that it’s bound to bring you into immediate contact with a lot of people – strangers, most of them. While it’s good to be assertive about what you want and what you’re looking for in such situations, it’s also necessary to keep things reasonably harmonious. Removal companies may have the advantage in that they move people every day, but it’s also worth bearing in mind that they – being human – experience stress, too. Here are some of our gentle suggestions for helping your chosen removal company because, after all, that way they’ll be better able to help you. 

1. It’s hugely appreciated if you’re able to apprise them of all the parking restrictions/options/details near your property. If it’s not easy to describe the kind of access there is to your front door/garage, you can always take photographs and send them by email. Without these steps, the risk is that your moving vehicles will arrive and only then will it be discovered that there’s a host of parking impediments. If your removals team is forewarned, they’ll be able to come up with a solution, saving time in the long run.

2. Giving your removals company an inaccurate idea of how much stuff needs to be moved can be disastrous and costly to both parties. If you can’t work it out yourself, then let the company come and do a survey, making sure you flag up the out-of-sight stuff like belongings in attics/cupboards/garden sheds. 

3. While, fortunately, it doesn’t happen too often, there are times when clients forget that their removals teams are highly trained men and women who know what they’re doing. Consequently, they talk to them dismissively or in a manner that is blunt, imperious and haughty. It goes without saying that a good Berkshire removals company will still do a fantastic job even in such circumstances, but to get the best out of anyone, it’s always a good idea to extend to them a manner that is – at the very least – courteous.

Eco-friendly Decorating

Posted on January 13, 2017 by Peter Donaldson
Eco-friendly Decorating

If you’ve moved to Berkshire and are on the verge of decorating or redecorating a new home, then doing it the eco-friendly way is a fitting choice, especially if you’ve moved from city to countryside. Making your Berkshire home a lovely place to be while simultaneously being kind to Mother Nature is the way more and more people are going. Joining them doesn’t have to be a slog. Even if your home is partially eco-friendly, that’s going to be better than not at all.

  1. Re-everything. From reclaiming to recycling, reusing and repurposing, if you can get the prefix ‘re’ on to it, then so much the better. A bit of DIY know-how here and there means you can create new items out of old. You can spruce up previously owned items from second-hand shops and find hidden treasure in skips and scrapyards. At the same time, you’ll be bringing real personality into your home instead of tepid, identikit auras. Whether it’s a coffee table or a headboard, if it’s reclaimed and restored, you’re being planet-conscious.
  2. Try to determine whether any new wood you might need has been sourced ethically. There are bodies such as the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) which give approval to some products and not to others. As long as you’re not contributing to deforestation, you’re on the right track, and it’s possible to work this out as you go along.
  3. Indoor Nature. Freshen up your home with indoor plants as much as you can. The air in every room will benefit, and the sight is relaxing, homely and sensual. Plants combat the bad effects of air conditioning as well as diminishing pollutants and releasing oxygen. There’ll be less carbon dioxide in your home and everyone wins.
  4. Stay aware of what your friends and neighbours are doing, so that when they throw things away, you can retrieve them. Most people prefer to pass items on rather than consign them to landfills and dumps. And if you yourself are chucking stuff, use neighbours, charity shops and online auctions rather than the rubbish bin.
  5. Go local. Using suppliers and companies nearby has a positive impact on the community. There’ll be a smaller carbon footprint in your wake because the goods won’t have to travel as far to reach you and you’ll also be spreading money around in the immediate community.

Moving House in January/February

Posted on January 5, 2017 by Peter Donaldson
Moving House in January/February

Moving house during January and February, the final throes of winter, may not at first glance seem like the best option, but – approached the right way – there is no reason why it should be any harder than moving at any other time of year. Depending on where you are in the country, the icy temperatures, adverse weather conditions and reduced daylight can all pose complications, but none of them are insurmountable. And then there are the actual advantages, foremost among them the fact that removals companies are less booked up so you’re more likely to be able to get hold of the one you want at the time you want it. We don’t always have the luxury of choosing the precise time of year at which to move. Compelling circumstances often force our hands or conspire to make a winter move unavoidable. Here’s some guidance to get you through:

  1. Via your estate agent, it may well be possible to have the heating left on low in your new home before your arrival, so that the space feels completely habitable from the first moment onwards.
  1. A 24-hour box. It’s good to have an essentials box that can be easily identified and opened straight away, no matter what time of year you move. When it’s winter, it becomes even more important. Flasks, milk, tinned goods such as soup, a kettle, tea bags, a pot or pan, towels, toiletries and a change of clothes are just some of the things you can include.
  1. Daylight. Since there’s less of this precious stuff during winter, it makes sense to use it sensibly. You may only have eight or so hours of daylight, so organise your move to begin as soon as the sun’s creeping up, with the aim of being completely installed and able to relax the moment that twilight descends and curls its grey tendrils around the day.
  1. Advice. Your removals company will have the benefit of wisdom and know-how accumulated through years of removals. Don’t stand on ceremony – ask them exactly what the advantages and drawbacks are of moving in winter. Take full advantage of their wisdom.

What If You Regret Moving House?

Posted on November 25, 2016 by Peter Donaldson

A quick glance at different corners of the internet is all it takes to see that, alas, some people move house and then deeply regret it. From our experience, it’s only a small proportion of movers who go through this kind of anguish. They’re consumed by the feeling that the grass they’ve just left was greener than that at which they’ve arrived. Sometimes, this is just an undefinable feeling of something not being quite right combined with a rose-tinted view of the past. It can catch you unawares, especially when a decision is as big and momentous as that of moving house. Change isn’t always easy and will quite frequently bring up desperately conflicting feelings. The good news is that all you have to do is ride the feelings out and they will dissipate.

Often, the worry and regret can be alleviated just by getting on with acclimatising yourself to your new surroundings, forging local links and creating new friendships. There will, no doubt, have been very good reasons that prompted you to make the move in the first place. Simply reminding yourself of the pros, rather than the cons, can work wonders; make a list in writing to refresh your thinking and put it on a more positively plane.

Another possible aspect of house-moving regret is the notion that the grass is greener at neighbours’ properties. As you start acclimatising, your attention is drawn towards houses on the same street and your mind alights on one thing after another as it tries to build up the idea that these houses are better, whether that’s better structurally or in terms of condition and layout. Try to step back from the thinking and see it for what it almost always is; your mind playing games. You don’t need this self-torment and it isn’t serving you in any way.

Provided that you take certain steps and protect yourself before the move (stay within budget, conduct a structural survey), then any regret afterwards is no more substantial than vapour. It may seem heavy and convincing when it strikes but you will find that, on scrutiny, it evaporates, leaving you free to enjoy your wonderful new home.

How Do You Tell Which Removals Companies Are Good?

Posted on November 7, 2016 by Peter Donaldson

You’re on the verge of planning your move and it hits you – how on earth are you meant to tell which moving companies are good and which ones are perhaps best avoided? It may be your first fully independent house-move, so you’ve got no frame of reference. Or you may have moved before, but now live in a completely different area and have no first-hand knowledge of the local removals companies. But somehow you’ve got to tell good from bad from indifferent. Every company is, of course, going to tell you that it’s the bee’s knees, so you’ll have to look for other signs to help you make up your mind. Here’s some guidance: 

Websites: Look beyond the hyperbole and the exaggerated promises, (in fact, be sceptical about those because if it’s not in writing in your contract with the removers, then it really doesn’t mean anything). Are there action shots of the company at work? Do their vehicles look branded and in good condition? If the photographs look like stock, royalty-free images from photo libraries, beware!

Governing bodies and memberships – Is your company part of the British Association of Removers (BAR) or a similar body? If so, it gives you, the client, certain protections and assurances. Other business memberships displayed on badges may be irrelevant, so if you’re not sure, look them up.

Location – Look up the address of your potential removals company, using Street View if necessary. By doing this, you can glean how serious and established the company is. If, for example, it turns out that their HQ is a residential home, rather than a proper commercial premises, you may want to consider giving them a wide berth.

Contracts and quotations – Does the company issue you with proper, printed quotations and contracts, outlining everything clearly? Or is it just a small slip of paper with a handwritten price on it? By now, you should be getting a good idea of how authentic and professional they are and be well on your way to making a decision.

Housewarming parties

Posted on October 14, 2016 by Peter Donaldson
Housewarming parties

Housewarming parties

 

There’s one aspect of moving that we can keep in mind so that we have something to look forward to, something to help us get through the tougher and more challenging moments. Yes, it’s the housewarming party! It’s the moment when all the tireless work is over and we celebrate our new habitat with friends and family. We let the stress fall away and throw open our homes to loved ones and neighbours who join us in marking the start of a new chapter in our lives. Here are some of our ideas for making your housewarming party a night (or day) to remember.

  1. Invitations – If you’re sending out printed invitations, consider personalising them with a handwritten note. This is particularly important if you’re inviting neighbours you may not yet know properly. They’re more likely to come if they feel they’re genuinely wanted and a bit of handwriting on the invitation (even something like, “Really hope you can come”) will increase the likelihood of that happening.
  1. Sit-down versus drinks party – There are advantages and drawbacks to both of these options. A formal sit-down dinner gives you control over seating arrangements and also allows people prolonged contact with each other, but it’s also more intimidating and harder work. A drinks party lets everyone mingle, allows people the option of popping in quickly or staying the full course, and has a pleasing informality. However, it’s less intimate and the inter-personal contact can be more superficial.
  1. Directions – If you’ve moved to the wilds of the country, sending or emailing directions, perhaps with a printed or hand-drawn map, can be a welcome kindness. There are still plenty of places in the country where GPS becomes imprecise or downright misleading.
  1. Friends’ friends – If your housewarming party is an informal, drinks and snacks event, why not take the opportunity to expand your social circle by letting friends bring their friends? This is a particularly good idea if you’ve moved to somewhere where you have no prior connections.
  2. Guestbook – Make sure you’ve bought a nice, proper-bound guestbook so that everyone can leave you their details as they leave. This will pay dividends if your guests are new neighbours and friends of friends with whom you’re unfamiliar. At the end of the night, you’ll be left with their up-to-date contact details and will be able to call on them for support

How to make packing feel easy – Part 1

Posted on September 30, 2016 by Peter Donaldson

Who said that packing was a horrendous ordeal that leavesy you both physically and emotionally fatigued? Practically everyone who’s ever done it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Of course, for a completely relaxed packing experience, it’s best to hand the job over in its entirety to your removals company, provided they offer such a service. Camp Hopson has a full packing/unpacking service and we use packers who understand everything from fragile goods, like China plates, through to grand pianos and valuable artworks. But if you’re going it alone, we can also offer advice to see you through. Here are some of our tips for making light work of packing so that it doesn’t overwhelm you or leave you feeling crushed and dispirited. We can’t promise that it’s ever going to be hugely enjoyable, but with a bit of insider knowledge at your disposal, it doesn’t need to be as taxing or tedious as you might have feared.

  • – Label all your boxes on every side, not just the top or one side as so many people often do. This will pay dividends at the other end of your journey because no matter where a box is unloaded, you’ll be able to see where it goes. Without doing this, you run the risk that the box will be placed with its label against the wall or another box and before long, confusion reigns.
  • – Declutter as you pack, so that you end up taking only what you actually use/need/want to your new home. Packing up a house is the perfect time for being briskly unsentimental and getting rid of things you haven’t used in years, simultaneously making your move lighter and easier.
  • – Turning to the clothes you keep on hangers, slide a bin liner over as many as will reasonably fit (perhaps five or more), tie up at the top, leaving the handles sticking out. Then repeat and repeat and you’ll find that within minutes you’ve packed a vast amount of apparel with absolutely no folding or sorting required.
  • – There’s a neat trick for storing tech wires and cables. You can roll them up and then stuff them into used loo rolls. Then, on the outside of the cardboard roll, write down which tech device they belong to. Alternatively, tape the loo roll to the appropriate device.
  • – When you’re dismantling anything, for example furniture, and you end up with screws, nuts, bolts etc, place them in a translucent bag (e.g. small freezer bag) and tape it to the applicable item.

These hints are just the tip of the iceberg – we have many more which we’ll share with you right here very soon.

Cleaning house before a move

Posted on September 16, 2016 by Peter Donaldson
Cleaning your home before a move

It’s almost as inevitable as death, rain and taxes – if you’re about to move house, then at some point you could well be responsible for doing a deep-clean of your old property. This can be the case whether you’re leaving a rented home or selling an owned one. It’s a thoughtful and considerate thing to do for the people who’ll be moving in after you’ve left and, in the case of rental properties, if you don’t do it, you could compromise the return of your damage deposit. If you’ve been renting, you may well find that your contract stipulates the degree of cleaning that’s expected before you vacate. This is often along the lines of ‘leave it as you found it’ so, in the event that it was a poorly-cleaned tip when you moved in, you won’t have to do much at all. But it’s more likely that it was handed over to you in spotless condition and it is now up to you to restore it to the same state. We suggest going in the order of kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, sitting room, hallways/landings/corridors.

  • Why not start with the kitchen, wiping everything down, cleaning cupboards, and blitzing any appliances that are going to be left behind? Then it’s time to turn to the floors, sweeping and mopping all over and then leaving to dry.
  • In the bedroom(s), do a good dusting of furniture that’s staying put, dust the ceilings, vacuum the floor (not forgetting beneath the beds).
  • Bathrooms – take out all mats, rugs, towels, toiletries and products, use hot water on the shower, tiles, tub and use a dedicated tile-cleaner if necessary. Mirrors, sinks, toilets, shower racks must be sparkling, and taps should be left shiny. Leave a window open so that you’re not left hoarse from breathing in cleaning products
  • In the sitting room/drawing room/living room/lounge, dust furniture (or use the furniture fitting on your vacuum cleaner). Remove furniture temporarily from the room so that you can clean better. Ceilings, walls, fireplaces need special attention so that