Saving Money with DIY Moving
By now your bank account may be looking rather anaemic from lack of funds. As a buyer you will already have had to set money aside to pay for things like stamp duty ‘land tax’, mortgage arrangement fees, valuation fees, surveys and of course conveyancing.
So if you don’t have gargantuan amounts of clobber then it can make sense to save yourself a grand or two by doing your own removals.
It also helps if you’ve got lots of mates and family members who are willing and able to join in the fun. And it’s likely to be a more realistic proposition if the new place isn’t too far away, so you can make multiple trips in less time.
Even then, doing your own move is never easy. Apart from saving money the main advantage is that it’s a sure-fire way to quickly lose weight (but then the same is true of slave labour). So prepare for several days of seriously hard graft.
Before committing to the DIY route it’s important to do your sums up front. First, you’re almost certainly going to need a van, preferably one that’s super-sized. And after accounting for the costs of van hire, petrol and hiring of cartons and chests, and buying lunch and drinks for your mates, the net savings might not be so convincing.
If you do go for this option, book your van directly your moving date has been agreed and is legally binding. Hire the largest vehicle you can, as everyone underestimates the sheer volume of stuff that needs to be transported. With a normal car licence the largest van you can hire is a 7.5-tonne box van.
Larger vehicles require an HGV licence. Preferably opt for a model with a ‘drop-down’ tailboard, or ideally an electronic tail winch, to make lifting stuff in and out easier. When you go to collect the vehicle, you’ll need to provide suitable ID and a clean driving licence. Some firms provide the Full Monty, including boxes and trolleys. On the day of your move, be sure to make a very early start – the job will inevitably take longer than you imagined.
Somehow we always imagine that packing all our stuff can be accomplished in the space of an afternoon, or perhaps even the night before the move after a couple of fortifying beers down the pub. In reality this is a gruelling process that can drag on for days if not weeks, consuming phenomenal quantities of boxes, containers and sticky tape.
Of course, it doesn’t help if you’re tempted to fondly examine ancient photo albums and browse through all your old books. What you don’t want to find is that you’re still desperately cramming things into boxes with the removal men downing their eighth cup of tea and your purchasers hammering at the door.
So it pays to start packing non-essential items as early as you can. A few key things can be left until the day before you move, such as spare clothes, food and kitchen essentials. Make sure each box has plenty of protective padding and clearly mark any that contain fragile or hazardous items, indicating which way up they should go.
Pack the heaviest objects at the bottom and the lightest on top and don’t overfill boxes. The last thing you want is the bottom dropping out, or your dad suffering a slipped disc. Don’t forget to mark on each box where it’s supposed to go upon arrival at your new home. Make sure you clearly label boxes; ideally they could even be colour coded for quick reference.
Doing your own packing means getting organised with all the necessary packing materials:
* Cardboard boxes (order more than you think you’ll need!)
* Plastic storage boxes
* Brown parcel tape and plain sticky tape
* Padding – bubble wrap, styrofoam ‘beads’, shredded paper, old newspapers etc
* Marker pens
Remember to pack all the essential ‘hand luggage’ items that you’re likely to need together in one box. By the time you arrive at your new home it may be quite late, and you won’t want to be searching round for kettles, toothbrushes and duvets.
Our next blog – coming soon …….
Conveyancing – The Final Stages
Check out our Rightsurvey blog page for more industry tips and secrets written by property professionals to help put you in control.