Before you take direct action and move any awkward objects you must ensure they will fit into any new designated space. Keep a tape measure handy as part of your moving day kit to ensure you can measure dimensions as quickly as possible.
Plan your journey
At your old house
When you get moving quotes, arrange for the removal companies to visit your property before moving day. They have experience in foreseeing possible problems and may be able to offer solutions that you hadn’t considered.
Always inform your removal company of any oversized or awkward items that could cause problems, so that they can come prepared with the correct tools and equipment in case they need to dismantle anything to make it fits through a doorway. It will save you both time and money on moving day, enabling the removal company to get on with moving your things rather than having to call for reinforcements or go back to get the tools they need.
In extreme cases, a door frame or window will need to be removed or a banister taken down in order to get items out of your property. Obviously it is better to know this is going to happen from the outset rather than to find out at the last minute, thus putting yourself and the removals company under immense pressure.
On your moving day, ensure that the path is clear for you to move any awkward objects without the danger of tripping over any other items. You should also aim to have the space the object is going to in your new home clear of mess to make the process as painless as possible.
Protect in transit
In order to avoid unnecessary damage to your treasured possessions you should use a variety of protective materials to help guard against disasters whilst in transit. If you are packing your own items you may find your removal company can provide you with some heavy duty materials, although you may simply decide to save yourself the stress of packing and pay your removal firm to professionally pack your belongings from start to finish.
If your removals company is going to do your packing for you, they will come equipped with everything they need to handle your move. Make sure you tell them in advance of any unusual items that you would like to move so that they can provide the correct protective materials for the job.
Remember the removal company’s insurance is unlikely to cover items in boxes that you have packed and sealed yourself.
At your new house
Think about how your belongings will fit into your new home. Again, always keep your removals company as well informed as possible. Let them know about any difficult points of entry, e.g. narrow stairwells or doorways, lack of on-site parking etc. The more information they have, the more they will be able to prepare and the more time you will save yourself on moving day.
Moving electrical appliances
Make sure that all power leads and cables are tied up with none left trailing. Failure to do this will present a tripping hazard that could result in serious injury. Cable ties or packing tape should work for this.
If you still have the original box that the object came in, you can’t use anything better to transport it. However if you don’t, then the most sensible way of transporting appliances is to put them into a strong box and pad with soft fabric items, such as pillows. This also helps answer the question of how to pack your bedding! An important point to remember is to never pack any appliance when it is still warm; wait for it to cool down thoroughly first.
Find out more in our complete packing guide.
Moving a large screen TV
Place the television back in its original packaging if you still have it. If this is not the case, use a suitably-sized strong box and wrap something soft around it to prevent it from moving around – again, bedding is ideal. Tape the box up securely and, as with all your boxes, make sure that it is clearly labelled and has the word ‘fragile’ on the box.
Many removal companies can supply the appropriate materials for moving flat screen televisions, so be sure to ask them if this is something they can offer.
Moving a computer
Again, when you buy a computer, it is a good idea to keep the original packaging it comes in as this will prove very useful on moving day. Make sure you keep all the bits and pieces together. Label all the cables and take pictures of the back of the back of the monitor and PC, so that you can easily reconnect.
If you have any special paintings or sculptures in your home that are valuable to you, it would be a good idea to hire a removals company that has specialist knowledge of moving fine art objects, especially if they are to be placed in storage for any length of time. Have a look at our guide to packing your valuable items, including jewellery and fine art.
In addition to fine art, pianos will be considered by your removal company to be a specialist item that needs specific attention. You can read more about moving pianos further down this page.
Moving a sofa
The task of moving a sofa can be a tricky one, as they tend to be bulky, heavy objects that are easily marked or that can mark the walls. A good moving company will be equipped with plenty of blankets to protect your valuable belongings and will be able to pack your items securely into their van so that they don’t fly around in transit and get damaged.
It is best to measure all the doorways in your new property before you decide whether or not to bring your sofa with you. If it is too big for any entry point, this may result in the removal company needing to either dismantle it if possible or take out a door frame or window in order to accommodate the item.
Moving wardrobes and clothes
Many removal companies offer a dismantling/reassembly service for an additional fee, which could be really useful when it comes to moving any wardrobes you wish to bring with you. If you are disassembling your furniture yourself it is wise to do this in advance so you know you will be ready to go when your removal company arrives.
Wooden furniture, like wardrobes, can be easily scratched, so make sure your removals company takes proper precautions when moving it. Most removal firms can provide protective materials to wrap your items in when moving them, thus preventing any possible damage.
It’s worth asking your removal company if they have wardrobe boxes available. These are tall cardboard boxes fitted with a rail. These boxes are perfect for easily transporting your clothes as you can just transfer your clothes on coat-hangers straight onto the rail inside.
To keep your garments clean, you can cover them with bin liners. One bin liner will easily fit over several clothes hangers and you can poke holes through the plastic to put the hanger hooks through.
Moving a bed
The first thing you will need to do is strip the bed and remove the mattress. You can prop the mattress against a wall to save some space while you set about dismantling your bed frame. Tools you may need include an Allen key, a screwdriver and perhaps a hammer.
Take note of how the bed was originally put together, and keep all the nuts, bolts, screws and wooden dowels together in a labelled sandwich bag so they don’t get lost. Once the bed has been dismantled use tape to secure the parts together and tie the sandwich bag to them. Once this is done, your bed will be fairly easy to transport and when it comes to putting it together, everything you'll need will be in one place.
Cover your mattress in old sheets, blankets or a plastic sheet so that it won’t get marked on its way to your new home. If you have a divan bed, tell your removal company prior to your move, as sometimes these can prove difficult to fit down stairs and through doorways.
Moving a fridge freezer
In the weeks before your move, run down your food supplies in the fridge freezer by creating a meal plan to help you use everything up without wasting too much. Soups, stews, curries and chilli dishes are a great way of using up large amounts of frozen vegetables you may have.
Defrost the fridge freezer in advance. Here’s how:
Remove all remaining food and transfer it to a cool box.
Turn off the power, leave the door open and surround it with old towels.
Keep checking its progress periodically to make sure that there isn't too much water on the floor.
Once all the ice has gone, clean each drawer and replace.
Remove and clean any glass shelves and transport these separately.
Leave the doors ajar until you move to prevent mould growing.
Tape the doors shut using masking tape and wrap with a soft blanket to prevent scratching. Your appliance is now ready to transport. Never transport your fridge freezer while it is still full of food; the resulting mess will be a much bigger job to clean up than if you just defrost and clean it properly to start with.
When you reinstall the fridge freezer in your new property, make sure you leave it to stand upright for long enough before you switch it on. This allows the liquid inside its mechanics to settle back down. A period of 24 hours is usually enough, but you should consult your manual you’re not sure. If you switch it on too soon, it may not work.
Moving dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers
Appliances like this are very heavy so be careful when moving them that you do not injure yourself. The washing machine must be transported standing upright to minimise risk of damage.
It may seem obvious, but don’t take it for granted that your new kitchen will have a ready location to plumb your appliance into straight away. Check first if you are unsure and hire a handyman or plumber if necessary to connect them up to the water supply.
Some removal companies will have a team member qualified to undertake these types of moves, so ask in advance and be prepared to pay for the extra service.
Pay special attention to your appliance for the first wash after it has been installed in its new location so that you can be sure the move has not caused it to leak.
Moving an oven
It is not advisable to try to connect or disconnect an oven yourself, especially if it is gas-powered. Get the help of a qualified engineer to make sure that this is done safely.
Clean the oven thoroughly before you get started on moving it and remove any non-fixed items that might fall off, like gas rings and store them separately in a clearly marked box. As with the fridge freezer, tape the doors shut with masking tape and wrap it in a blanket.
The oven unit may be fixed to the wall to hold it in place, so any screws will need to be removed before it can be pulled out of position (but this will probably have been done when it was disconnected). Some ovens have built-in wheels to enable ease of movement.
It's easy to forget that items in your garden will need packing, and often will need to be cleaned. Removals companies will not take dirty or full lawn mowers or any other items that could cause damage in the van. Be sure to make a list of everything you need to move and give yourself time to clean.
Dismantling the greenhouse
When dismantling a greenhouse, it is important to have a flat area to lay the glass whilst taking apart the panels. You may wish to interleave these panels with layers of newspaper or cardboard. It is ideally a two-person job as you can both remove glass and work methodically downwards from the roof to the floor. You will find that the frame can be dismantled very easily after removing the glass.
When you prepare to move garden tools from your greenhouse (e.g. forks, rakes, spades, etc), make sure all blades and other sharp or pointy edges are covered with bubble wrap (pieces of old blanket or linens also work well) and that they are secured firmly to the handles. Gather up all tools of equal length, and bind them together using secure plastic cord. This should guard against any serious injuries whilst moving your tools into storage.
Garden furniture and lighting
If you have garden tables and chairs sitting in the back garden it is important to pack these away as neatly as possible to ensure they take up minimal storage space. Most garden tables have folding legs ensuring they can be stored away horizontally, along with chairs. Garden lighting such as lanterns or spotlights can also be packed away and transported easily in cardboard boxes.
Are you a young family moving to a new home? The chances are you will have garden games housed in the back garden. Whether it is a trampoline, paddling pool or even a climbing frame, ensure these items are dismantled and packed away at an appropriate time in advance of your move – i.e. when your children are not present.
If your lawn mower is a manual hand-propelled or electric one, it is no problem to transport it as it is; just make sure it is as clean as possible so you don’t end up with dried grass everywhere, and tape any wires securely to stop them from trailing. However, if you have a petrol powered mower, you must drain the petrol tank before you move it. This is very important, because your removal company will refuse to transport it with a full tank as it would be highly dangerous, and illegal.
As with your mower, a strimmer should not be difficult to transport. Just make sure that it is clean enough so that it does not get any of your other garden tools dirty. Be sure to wind up the power cord thoroughly and securely to make sure that it doesn’t trail and pose a hazard to both you and your removals team on moving day.
How you will move your barbecue will largely depend on the type of barbecue you own. They are usually quite sturdy, so will be simple to transport. Firstly, brush out any remaining ash in the tray. If you have a gas barbecue, make sure that the gas is disconnected and that all safety catches are used. Some barbecues also have wheels attached to make them significantly easier move into transit.
If you have any gas cylinders, you will need to check if your removal company can transport them or not.
If you have any garden heaters, you must make sure that all fuel is removed before you move them to avoid risk of them accidentally igniting along the way. You may also consider investing in a heat protective cover to protect your heaters in transit. These can also be used when storing heaters away throughout the winter months.
Moving a piano
If you own a piano, you will most likely be aware that they are very heavy. Combine its heavy weight with a rather awkward, bulky shape, scratchable exterior and complex internal workings, you have a puzzle on your hands when it comes to the removal of your piano for your house move.
It is highly recommended that you use a piano mover to transport your piano to your new home.
Pianos need extra special care when they are transported. Based on the size and type of your piano, it could measure up to half a ton in weight, so unless you have Incredible Hulk style strength, it is best to leave moving your piano to professional removal companies with all the necessary equipment to get it safely out of your old home and into to your new one.
Pianos can be sensitive instruments, with a complicated internal mechanism that is easy to upset, and an awkward shape. On top of all of that, the wooden casing can be easily scratched. Some removal companies specialise in moving pianos, so before you book, why not ask to see testimonials or references from previous customers that have used their services for piano removals?
There are a number of additional questions you should consider asking your removal company before hiring them for you house move. To be sure that you’re using a professional, reliable removal firm, find out the important questions to ask your removal company.
Piano mover’s equipment
Many removal companies have specialist apparatus in order to move pianos and other large musical instruments safely, without major physical strain. These items may include dolly trucks and piano trolleys that removal men will be fully trained in using to safely remove and store pianos in transit.
When you get quotes for removals, check that the removal company has experience of piano removals and the appropriate equipment for moving pianos.
You may find that after your move, your piano has slipped out of tune. This is quite normal, and a piano tuner will be able to sort this out for you without too much difficulty.
Should I move a piano myself?
If you are thinking about cutting costs and transporting your piano yourself this is a very risky operation. Ultimately many people that do attempt to cut corners by moving their own piano find that it is not a risk worth taking as damage to a piano can lead to expensive repair bills.
Carrying such a heavy piece of equipment can also lead to injuries if you do not carry it in the correct manner – leave it to expert piano movers!
Got any more tips for packing up akward items when moving home? Let us know in the comments below!
Updated March 2020