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.
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 allow 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 – if you pack your own items, 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. Computer 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 tips for packing a moving box.
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
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 or, better still, take a photo of the back of your PC/TV etc. 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. For more information on the removal of pianos and piano movers, our guide to moving a piano can help.
Moving a Settee
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. You can watch this and more on our video guides, full of helpful tips.
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 sandwich bag so they don’t get lost and finally label the bag so it is easy to identify. Once this is done, your bed will be fairly easy to transport.
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.
Watch our video guide – ‘how to move beds and mattresses’ for more info.
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 a Dishwasher/Washing machine/tumble dryer
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.
For tips on minimising the risk of injury on your moving day, take a look at our article, The Health and Safety bit of moving house.