House moving tips

House moving tips


Article contributed by Fintan Conlon of One Man and His Van 

Turning the nightmare of moving house into a dream

Fintan Conlon of One Man and His Van

Moving house is said to be one of the most stressful things you will ever do in your life. There are so many things to organise, consider and prepare for that it can be a logistical nightmare for a lot of people. Others are such a dab hand at moving that they take it in their stride. That comes down to experience, so for the first time mover the whole process can drive you demented! So many things need to come together on moving day that if one thing is overlooked it can turn what should be a smooth running machine into a runaway train.

What I would like to do is give you a few tips on how to make your whole moving experience as stress free as possible. My experiences come not only from setting up and running my own furniture removals business in 2005, but also from the fact that since I took my first breath on this world I have been like a nomad, as a youngster following my dad’s career and then as an adult following my own, until I met my now wife and we are settled with our two boys in our current home for the last ten years. In all, I have lived in a total of 29 different properties! Is that enough moving experience for you?

In my business, I have moved people to new homes 5 minutes away, and to homes the other side of Europe. But no matter what the move or how complex it was, one comment always got repeated – how I made the move so easy and stress free no matter what obstacle was put in the way. So, here are a few guidelines which hopefully you can use to make you own move a little easier.

Firstly, split up your move into three parts: 1) Before Moving Day 2) Moving Day 3) After Moving Day

Before Moving Day

  • De-Clutter: The amount of times I have moved pieces of furniture, boxes of brick-a-brack or bags of old clothes into a new house, only for the customer to say “why did I keep that” or “that’s for the dump”. Why dump things after you move? For starters you have paid for space in the removals van/truck which you didn’t need. Secondly, you should look at a new home as a new beginning. De-cluttering is a great way of starting fresh.
  • Itemise: Once you have put aside/got rid of the items you don’t want in your new home, make a detailed list of everything else to be moved by the removals company. This can be done on a room-by-room basis. However, once you have your list I would recommend that you rearrange the items so as the largest items of furniture are first and work your way down as the pieces get smaller. The reason for this is that when you go calling around looking for quotes from removals firms, the company will very quickly have an idea about how big or small the move will be from the first 10-15 items on your list and will stop you if it’s not within their capabilities, saving you time on the phone.
  • Over-estimate: Customers are generally unsure about how many boxes/bags will be involved in the move as it is very hard to judge when things are still in cupboards and drawers. An average 3 bed house for a family of 4 can have between 50 – 70 medium sized boxes. However some families may have cupboards jam-packed while others may be minimalistic. Whichever you are, it’s always better to over-estimate rather than under-estimate. While the temptation to under-estimate in order to get a cheaper price may be strong, you definitely don’t want the movers slapping on extra charges on moving day because you have more than estimated, or worse still, find that the movers cannot fit everything in because they only sent a big enough vehicle based on the list provided.
  • Packing Service: Decide at this stage whether you wish the removals company to provide a full packing service or if you will pack yourself. There are pros and cons to both, but the main points you should be aware of is that while a full packing service is considerably more expensive, you get a better level of insurance cover as boxes packed by owner (P.B.O.) would not normally be covered for breakages on the company’s insurance. If you are happy with your own packing skills, then the savings by doing it yourself are massive. You can also decide if you need packing boxes and packing material at this stage as a number of removals firms will also quote for the supply of these and can give you a special rate if you are also using their services.
  • Get Quotes: Now that you have your itemised list, start contacting removals firms. I would recommend that you get at least 3 quotes and make sure that you ask plenty of questions about the firm as you are entrusting them with your most valuable and cherished items. At the very least you should ask about their insurance cover on your items. All reputable firms should have a basic insurance cover as standard. Not only should you give the firm the list of furniture for moving, you should also give as much detail as possible about the move, e.g. whether there are any access or parking issues at either property, or if your move is to/from an apartment – what floor is it on, is there a lift. A good firm should be asking these questions anyway and if they are not, then be wary.
  • Start Packing: If you are doing the packing yourself you should have this started a number of weeks in advance of your moving date. Start with the items that will definitely not be needed before the move, such as ornaments, seasonal clothes, garage or attic items, and allocate a space or room, preferably downstairs, to stack your packed boxes. When packing, use the right size box for the right items. Don’t start packing books into a large box only to find that when half full it’s already too heavy to lift. Fill your boxes out as much as possible for stacking purposes and don’t have them too heavy. A good rule of thumb is this: if you can’t move the box on the floor with your foot then it’s too heavy to lift by one person. Wrap china, glassware, dishes and other breakables in bubble wrap or acid free tissue paper. Some people use newspaper, but just be aware that the ink can sometimes come off and stain some china and glassware. When putting fragile items into boxes, a good idea it to use towels, tea towels, pillows and bedding to fill out the box and avoid breakages.  Mark each box with their room/contents and highlight heavy boxes, fragile boxes and boxes which have to remain upright. Leave closing the last few bags and boxes for the morning of moving day for your bedclothes and your essential bathroom and kitchen items. It is best to empty all wardrobes, drawer units, etc. For the movers as these can be very heavy when full.
  • Contact Service Providers: At least a week before moving you should be contacting all your service providers to arrange moving your service to your new address. Each one will have their own system for moving your service, some may just need to change your details on a computer while others may have to call to your home to disconnect or take meter readings. You may also need to organise tradesmen to come the night before or the morning of the move to disconnect washing machines, cookers, dishwashers, etc., or to take down fixtures and fittings and dismantle beds. Unless previously requested as part of the quotation, don’t rely on the movers to do this for you. While some movers will be more than happy to carry out small jobs, they may not be covered to disconnect plumbing or electrical items. As well as that, some connections may require specialist tools which the movers may not carry.

On Moving Day

  • Get Up Early: If you have hired the right moving company, moving day should be relatively stress free. In the morning get up early, have a good breakfast, then pack away the remaining items before the movers come. Just leave out a few essentials such as kettle, tea bags, milk, sugar, cups, etc., which can be packed away into a container at the last minute. There’s nothing like a cup of tea half way through loading to keep you going.
  • Show Around: When the movers arrive, show them around pointing out everything that has to go, emphasizing fragile or heavy items. Once you have done this it is best to stay out of their way but be on hand in case they have any questions.
  • Direct: When your furniture arrives at your new home, it’s a good idea to delegate one person to stand at the front door directing the movers as to where each item of furniture goes. Try to have this all worked out in your head beforehand as there is nothing worse for a mover than to be standing up holding a heavy piece of furniture while the customer decides where it would look best! If all the boxes are marked then these will be quick and easy to unload.
  • Wait: Don’t go unpacking boxes straight away as this can get in the way of the movers. Wait until they have finished in a particular room and then you can make a start on that room.
  • Trades: Again, you may need tradesmen lined up to connect appliances or assemble beds, etc.
  • Inspect: Once the movers have finished unloading, have a look around that everything is ok and once you are satisfied you can sign their paperwork and sent them on their way.
  • Relax: That evening, I would only be concerned about the essentials: – making the beds, unpacking the food boxes and essential clothes boxes and toiletries, have a meal and then get a good night’s sleep.

After Moving Day

  • Unpack and Put Away: While some people can still be sitting around unpacked boxes 6 months after moving into their new home, I would recommend that you spend no more than a few days getting everything unpacked and put away. It’s a great feeling to be sitting down in your new home with all the work done. You will feel much better for it.

So why use One Man And His Van® for your move?

Don’t let the name fool you. There are plenty of dodgy, unregistered, uninsured man and van services out there trying to make a quick buck who are to be avoided, but One Man And His Van® is different. This business is a fully licensed, fully registered and fully insured professional business without charging the sky high fees that the big movers charge.

The service can be tailored to suit your needs and your finances. You can have the basic One Man And His Van® service where the customer would have everything ready to load and assist with packing the van, or you can request extra helpers whereby the customer would have everything ready but we would carry out all the loading and unloading, or we can provide a full packing and moving service for you which is a premium service without premium prices.

Maybe your move is a short one and you only require us to move the larger items which you can’t fit in your car? No Problem. We can offer you an hourly or half day rate which may suit you better. After all, it’s about saving you money also. We can also quote for moving single items of furniture either on a special or on our more economical shared load service. Stand-up pianos are also no problem. We have all the tools necessary to carry out the move.

We can also supply a wide range of cardboard boxes, moving kits, bubble wrap, packing tape and packing material for your move at unbeatable prices. You can either order by phone or through our on-line shop, and we can ship them to you for next day delivery within Ireland.

Rest assured that by using One Man And His Van® you will be receiving a friendly, reliable professional service without costing the earth. Happy Moving!

For further details visit One Man and His Van.


There are 27 comments for this article
  1. Timothy Lovegrove at 11:46 am

    Thanks for writing this great article for us. I have gained good stuff from this website. Looking forward to your next article. I am happy to share this post to my friends. Keep it up.

  2. House Shifting at 11:24 am

    Such a very useful article. Moving into a new house is a huge undertaking. While it should be a source of excitement and celebration, it also has the potential to be stressful and overwhelming.

  3. House Shifting at 11:23 am

    Thank you for sharing such useful tips with us. I would like to add a key point related to checklist. I always recommend people to create a checklist before packing your house. It will help you to organise your stuff and you can even track your moving progress.

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  4. Jacob Smith at 1:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing such useful tips with us. I would like to add a key point related to checklist. I always recommend people to create a checklist before packing your house. It will help you to organise your stuff and you can even track your moving progress.


  5. smithgeorge121 at 8:51 am

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  6. SlothMove at 8:24 am

    Moving is a great opportunity for a clean start. When you’re storing things, sort out the items that you haven’t used in a while. If they are in good condition, give them to charity or have a yard sale and make some money. The Bottom line is, don’t move the stuff you don’t need.

  7. Bernard at 11:31 am

    Great tips for moving house. Thanks for sharing, you make our house moving easier and less stressful!

  8. Rolanda Gentile at 8:59 am

    I believe there are many more pleasurable opportunities ahead for individuals that looked at your site

  9. Aljada at 11:08 am

    Hey! it can turn what should be a smooth running machine (Aljada) into a runaway train.

  10. Edde Gosa at 8:58 am

    I really like that article on moving service because the author expressed cost estimation with packing and wait etc. Thanks for share this information.

  11. best quality mover at 11:38 am

    17 smart packing tips to make moving home a breeze
    1. Bag hanging clothes
    2. Pack a “1st Day Box”
    3. Put things in things
    4. Use coloured tape
    5. Write a list
    6. Label plugs
    7. Protect breakables
    8. Ziplock
    9. Roll clothes
    10. Magic Eraser
    11. De-clutter
    12. Make up your new bed first
    13. Involve the kids…
    14. …or don’t involve the kids!
    15. Order food
    16. Wrap cutlery
    17. Wear comfy clothes

  12. Susan at 8:30 am

    A lot fo great tips James and will be sure to pass the link on to my friends who are currently looking for moving companies and also it will help with the organising of moving house.

  13. Darren Sammy at 12:41 pm

    nice information. . .

  14. Andrew 9Kilo Moving at 7:18 am

    You have given many good points on the blog. I love reading your blog. Before moving, on the day of moving and after moving, what should we do and what things should be taken care of. This so interesting information. I agree with this information. Thanks for such post and please keep it up.

  15. at 1:23 pm

    All these tips really useful to make moving bit easier, especially the tip about “get quote”.

  16. Mover Services Toronto at 4:36 pm

    Step by step guide is good for layman to read and experiment

  17. at 1:53 pm

    To find the best reliable packers and mowers house tips for shifting your luggage in your shifting and making your shifting easy, thank you for posting this information and sharing with us.

  18. at 7:44 am

    Such a very useful article. Great job! Moving into a new house is always very exciting and full of celebration but along with this also there is a stressful.

  19. Elliot Lukas at 2:19 pm

    Sometimes it is very hard to find good content on this topic. But your blog is my way to desired information, it was really helpful tips on moving house Thanks for posting something worth reading. Great work.

  20. Aidan Preston at 11:37 am

    So weird. I was just searching for information about moving house. You must be doing something right. Thanks for such post and keep it up.

  21. Elisa at 4:58 pm

    Following these tips could help a lot actually. Thank you very much for sharing!
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  22. Molly at 6:01 pm

    Luckily, I found reliable and reputable long distance moving companies… 🙂 Btw, great read! 🙂

  23. Amory Jenkins at 2:26 pm

    Such a very useful article. Moving into a new house is a huge undertaking. While it should be a source of excitement and celebration, it also has the potential to be stressful and overwhelming.

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  25. SuperCheapBoxes at 9:58 am

    Set a packing area at your current home. This have to be spacious area where you can transfer everything you want to bring for your move. In this area you will keep the moving boxes, packing materials, along with the sorting materials to help make the boxing process faster and more convenient. You can use an old room, the garage or a roofed area in your backyard.

  26. Gerrie Harrison at 3:35 pm

    Expert tips are the best! Thanks for being awesome and sharing these. I feel much more confident about having a stress free move next month. There is no doubt that I’m sharing this with my fb friends.

  27. boxngoboxesaustralia at 6:14 am

    Have extra cash on hand. It is wise to have extra cash on hand in case some type of minor emergency occurs. Don’t forget to plan for the first night in your new home. One of the most essential thing is to plan for the first night that you’ll spend in your new home.


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