Use a removals company if you are moving house. This will save you time, energy and stress. But make sure they’re a reputable removals company. And make sure you book them well in advance.

You’ll probably find that having put your house on the market, you start getting direct mail and leaflets through the post introducing removals companies. And you will find your estate agent happy to recommend some too, especially those who receive financial incentives.

But how do you know which removals company to use?

Ask who they employ?

It’s important to know who and how they employ their staff. The ones we recommend employ the majority of their staff on full-time contracts. This means you know they are trained, reliable and trustworthy.

Getting unwieldy items of furniture up and down narrow staircases and around tricky corners is an art. Watching professional removals teams do this is a joy. Watching casual labourers brought in on an ad hoc basis can be terrifying. Do you really want inexperienced movers handle your prized furniture and boxes of precious belongings? Let alone the damage they can do to the fabric of the house.

Some “man with a van” services are great but use personal recommendations. And that means the person recommending them is not their sister-in-law and has actually used them!

Do they sub-contract or use their own employees?

A “cheeky” little practise used by some removals companies so they can be the lowest quote is to sub-contract their work out. That means although you think you might be hiring a reputable brand, in fact they’ve contracted out their work to a couple of lads with a van from Coventry. Nothing wrong with that as long as due diligence is done and you know what you’re getting. Afterall, these people will be moving your lives – is it worth it?

What does their insurance cover?

A lot of removals companies are members of the British Association of Removers (BAR), and carry their insurance. A lot of removals companies are not members of BAR and carry their own excellent insurance cover. Make sure you read the small print and understand what it does and does not cover. It might not cover items that you have packed into boxes yourself.

Very few insurance policies cover jewellery, watches, money, or items over a certain value so make sure you pack these and look after these yourself. If something does go missing it’s almost impossible to prove where it was lost or who lost it – which is why it’s not covered. Also make sure you take lots of photographs of your belongings before they start packing and ask them to show you anything that’s damaged before they pack it so you can photograph. It covers everyone’s backs.

Some policies cover all goods in transit, some cover goods in transit as long as the removals company has packed them.

And check your own household contents – some cover your possessions for a move but only if it’s still valid.

Do they offer a packing service?

The on-cost of having your removals company pack as well as move everything is pretty small in the grand scheme of things. They will come in a day or two before the move. Pack almost everything and load the vans. Just leaving you the bare essentials for your last night.

This means that on the morning of your move, the house will be emptied promptly leaving you time to give it a clean before completion (or get a cleaning company in).

For those tempted to do it yourself. After you’ve bought all your packing supplies, there isn’t much saved. And after you’ve spent every evening and weekend for weeks leading up to your move, remember that once you move, you have to spend the same amount of time unpacking them. You might have better things to do with your time!

With market as it is at the moment, removals companies are fully booked for weeks ahead. Before agreeing to a completion date, check with your removals company that the date is still available.

So if you want to save yourself, time, energy and have a less stressful move, use a removals company if you are moving house.

If you would like a chat about how the Homemover Specialist could help you, contact us on 01483 255895 or by email. For more top tips and latest news make sure you follow our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages