Cheap Removals: how to cut the cost of your move in 2017
Moving house is a stressful and time consuming process. Furthermore the costs can add up and make you feel even worse. When it comes to cheap removals you need to be well prepared, so make sure that you heed the advice you can find on this page to avoid tearing your hair out.
The best way to move on the cheap is to plan well in advance and get organized. Although this is a lot of work initially in the long run it makes moving so much less stressful and cheaper. One of the things you can do to make your move easier is to follow the steps on our moving checklist. We recommend planning your move over two months in advance and starting to prepare yourself even sooner than that.
Try to get rid of any belongings that you don’t want to take with you. You can try selling them in the tradition ways such as a garage sale or car boot sale, alternatively you could embrace the digital age and try to sell your things on websites such as Amazon or eBay. If you can’t sell everything then don’t worry, donating your things is also a good option. Even by donating them you are saving money as you’re spending less on the cost of removals and you can feel good about donating to a good cause.
You should also optimize your utility shut down dates so you don’t pay for them after you’ve moved out. It is unlikely that your move date will be the same as the date all your utility bills are due so think about whether theres any services that you can live without for a few days or weeks. Obviously you’ll need water and electricity but you may be able to live without wifi and a TV subscription for a short period of time.
When it comes to moving house cheaply one of the first things that you can do is to cut costs is try to move house yourself. There are a lot of costs to consider so pay close attention to ensure that you plan for them all. Moving yourself means that you save money on packing, loading and transport which are the biggest expenses when moving.
Things to keep in mind for a cheap move
You should use a van that you can pack all of your belongings into in one go. You don’t want to have the added stress of going back and forth as this takes much longer to move your things and can have the knock on effect of having to give your keys to the next residents of your home later than planned.
Additionally moving house is a tiring process. Make sure that the people you ask are fit enough to move heavy objects for the day. Although your grandma might make a great cup of tea and be able to organize your things into nice neat piles you’ll need to have a few guys or girls who can do the heavy lifting. Try and aim for at least 2 extra helpers to do the lifting and 2 more to help packing the boxes getting them ready to be taken to the van. Just remember to consider the cost of getting the drinks in as a way to say thanks!
If you want to move more than a two bedroom house there is a great deal of hassle involved. Really ask yourself if you’ve got the time, energy and discipline to organize a move across the country if you’ve got a job and/or family to look after too. Often the saving isn’t worth the extra effort. If you want to consider the budget for moving your entire home contents then you may as well also ask for free, no-obligation, removals quotes.
Getting a van
The main costs to consider when it comes to moving by yourself is the transport costs. Unless you’re close friends with someone who owns a van, the likelihood is that you will have to rent one.
Companies such as Enterprise and Europcar offer vans. Obviously the price of the van you want to rent takes into account a number of factors such as size and demand. As a rough guide, if you’re 26 or over you can expect to pay around £30 for renting a van of 6cbm for the day and around £35 to rend a van of 12cbm. This price doesn’t include insurance which costs around £10 extra.
If you want go down a different route then make sure that you check out websites such as Gumtree where you can hire a ‘man and van’ service. Although this may cost more than the rental of a van itself they are also likely to be able to help you with some of the packing at a cheaper price than removals companies.
Another factor to consider is the cost of fuel. Vans are much less efficient than cars, especially when it comes to adding the weight of your entire home contents. Smaller vans tend to average between 20-25 mpg and larger vans around 10-15. If you’re moving a long distance then this cost can add up quite significantly so be sure to budget depending on how many miles you have to drive.
Where possible plan your move to avoid rush hour. Fuel mileage is significantly worse in a heavily loaded van so don’t waste your time with the uneconomical standstills of chockablock traffic.
Moving house just wouldn’t be the same without boxes. Although you can buy boxes, either in store or on websites such as Amazon, you can also get them for free if you’re savvy about it. Think if any of your friends have moved house recently and don’t need their boxes or alternatively see if theres any around local supermarkets or restaurants that they’re about to throw out. You’ll need more boxes than you think so remember to take that into account.
Although it is wise to get the best packing materials that you can afford there are some cheap hacks that you can do when it comes to moving abroad. Wrapping certain delicate objects in blankets of thick jumpers is a good way to save on bubble wrap but use your judgement and do this at your own risk. Newspaper also works well so make sure that you save up a few weeks worth of the Sunday papers.
Leave things in drawers and wardrobes. They’re designed as storage so feel free to utilize them to save some extra money. It will make them lighter to unpack them as you move them in and out of the van so bear that in mind and make them accessible. Even removing the drawers completely is a good idea as they may jump out at you when you pick them up.
How to pack
The process of packing boxes yourself is the most time consuming part of moving. It is also one of the most crucial parts as getting it right can make the process so much easier. Its wise to start in advance to reduce the stress of doing it all last minute. Heed the following advice for an easier move:
- Label your boxes – theres a number of ways to do this. You can label the room, write down whats in it or even colour code each room with tape and stick a bit onto each box.
- Protect your things – use bubble wrap, towels or clothes. The important thing is that your things arrive at your new home in the same condition they left your old one.
- Don’t pack boxes of more than 20kg – unless you’re a body builder you won’t want to carry super heavy boxes back and forth all day. Boxes also have a breaking point, if the contents are too heavy they will break. With this in mind try to avoid grouping together heavy things such as books, although it might seem logical you might injure yourself when packing the van!
- Fill the spaces so that things don’t wiggle around. This is how delicate items can get broken.
As a side note – be sure to check your insurance. Moves are often covered in home insurance but only if they are packed by professionals so you may have to take out additional insurance.
There are ways of moving cheaply even with a removals company. If you’re moving a lot of things or simply don’t have the time to plan moving yourself then a removals firm is also a good option. In many cases it won’t cost significantly more than moving by yourself. When moving cheaply through a moving company you still need to be smart about how to save money.
How to choose a cheap removals company
When it comes to finding a removals company that offers competitive rates the most important recommendation that we have is to shop around. Make sure you request multiple quotes. One of the ways that you can do this is to use Sirelo’s online quote form to compare the price and service of different companies.
If you’re worried about reliability then ask if they are members of the Redress of Ombudsman scheme. These schemes are third parties that deal with complaints of all involved. Alternatively you can look at the company’s reviews on a website such as Sirelo.
Timings are crucial
The timing of your move is crucial to the price. Although you may not expect it, the removals industry is seasonal. The cheapest time to move in the UK is between January and March. Furthermore you should also try to avoid moving on weekends, school holidays and bank holidays. This is the case year round so be sure to plan in advance to avoid paying a premium price.
Time is money – the cliche is true. The earlier you start to plan something the more you will save. You won’t be pressured into whatever is left. The same is true for how long you are able to wait, if you need to get things fast then you’ll likely pay more than being flexible with the delivery time.
Split a container or lorry
Certain companies save money by pooling resources. If there are smaller moves going between nearby cities at similar times then you can find a company that shares transportation costs. Although this is cheaper you are trading speed and flexibility so if there is anything you need urgently on the other end of your move make sure that you have other arrangements in place.
Whether or not it is possible for you to share a move depends on the volume of things that you want to move. Normally you can only share a move if you are moving a small amount of things and are not close to filling the lorry.
Removals company offer extra services in order to make your life easier when it comes to the hard work assoicated with moving. Unfortunately, these do have costs associated with them. The most common extra services include:
- Renting a storage unit
If you want to save then you can try to do these yourselves. Although there is a technique to packing it isn’t rocket science, a few hours or days on the internet can give you all of the expertise you need. The same goes for reassembling furniture. Having said this, there are times where you won’t be covered on your insurance if you pack boxes yourself so be sure to check the price of additional insurance compared to the cost of movers. Of course you could take the risk of not getting insurance however we don’t recommend this as accidents do happen.