Here are some general tips for when you are moving or preparing a move. If you need a van, simply book one here.
If you are carrying out a house or office move by yourself, it will definitely involve a lot of lifting. Here are some valuable advices to make sure you do not injure yourself.
Remember that lifting boxes and furniture has very little to do with raw strength; it's all about technique. You can almost guarantee yourself an unnecessary injury through the wrong lifting technique. Cast your mind back to that compulsory health and safety course: lift with your legs, not with your back. Not only is there much power and lifting potential in the leg muscles, but the back is much more at risk to strains.
So remember to bend your knees whilst keeping your back straight, get a good grip on the item you are lifting, then proceed to lift it by straightening your legs again (still keeping your back straight!)
However picking up is only half the job so here is how to safely put the item down. In fact, during our years experience of removals, we have witnessed more back injuries occurring when the lifter put something down carelessly.
The lower the level at which the object is being placed, the higher the risk of injury. Even if the item is of high value, remember to take care of yourself most of all.
Similarly to picking up, when putting down: keep your back straight, bend your knees, and keep your eyes fixed on a point on in the wall in front of you. Keep on going this way and looked forward to a well-earned pint.
It's every packer's dream to be able to stuff everything in the car without the need for a single cardboard box... but let's face it, this is hardly ever the case. And you don't want to see some of the breakages I've seen that could have been 100% avoidable with some more diligent packing techniques! Trust us, packing efficiently involves a higher level of skill than you might at first have realised, so follow these steps to ensure that you do a great job!
1) The Box
The first and most important task is to make sure you use a good quality box. Box quality varies considerably and our recommendation is to always match the value of the goods you are packing with the quality of box. For example, if you are packing a priceless family heirloom and moving it from one end of the country to the other, it is worth investing in a heavy duty waterproof plastic box that won't compress under pressure from boxes stacked above it. These probably range from around £3.00 - £10.00: not too high a price to pay for peace of mind. However, cardboard boxes are still generally the material of choice in the industry, thanks to their weight and strength, not to mention the ability to tidily stack them away before and after use. Make sure you buy brand new boxes though, however kind the corner shop's offer for damp stock room boxes.
2) Weight Distribution.
"Weight Distribution" is an expression that we use in the man and van industry that means you should never overpack a box. Remember, it is always better to have ten boxes half-filled as opposed to having five overflowing boxes which straining underneath. Over the last few years, we have witnessed many clients that think that over-filling each box is a quicker way to pack up their house. However you won't be smiling when your box breaks and all your valuables falling out the bottom, or when you fall over lifting boxes that are far too heavy! It is actually much more efficient to pack conservatively and carefully, rather than sorting out randomly stuffed boxes at the other end. Weight distribution also means getting as much help from friends or family to help you with the move as you can. Spread the load! Just make sure you take them to the pub afterwards.
3) Object Stabilisation.
This is a rather fancy term that essentially means packing your boxes in such a way so that your goods don't rattle around inside. Just as you wouldn't pack an iPod gift inside a shoebox, or a football inside an oblong box: the snugger the fit, the better. If your boxes are sliding around when you brake, accelerate or steer, you have done something wrong and your property may get damaged. When filling a van, aim to stack sideways rather than on top of one another, and always make sure that the heavier goods go in first. With valuables, wedge them down between the gap behind the driver and passenger seat for support, or better still, carry them on your lap.
Some people think that the man and van industry is all about brute strength, all about lifting heavy objects, depositing them in a van, and driving them from A to B. Well... yes. But the best man and van companies are also highly organised. This is the the reason why our organised professionals get the job done quicker than amateurs. How can you be more organised during a move? Follow our two golden tips:
1) Work room by room. Try and be disciplined by tackling each room one by one. In the madness of moving, it can be easy to become stressed at the vastness of the task in hand. But if you work quickly and smoothly, room by room, you can be satisfied in knowing unpacking will be a lot easier at the other end. Carry a pen behind your ear to mark the contents of each box. This will save you the frantic search for the corkscrew when you want to toast your new home.
2) Don't rush. Remember the old story about the Hare and the Tortoise: "Slow and steady wins the race." No home can be packed up in a single morning so accept this fact. Roll your sleeves up and prepare for a hard day's work! Take it slow, have breaks and drinks plenty of tea. Be the tortoise.
We have seen it all over the years, from cutlery in carrier bags to plates in plant pots. Before you pack a single thing, make sure you have the right materials.
The humble cardboard box is the mainstay for the removals industry. As I mentioned earlier, it's much better to buy brand new cardboard boxes rather than accepting flimsy cast-offs; they must be strong enough to carry a decent amount of weight. For fragile items, investing in a few large study plastic crates for valuables is advised.
2) Extra Strong Packing Tape.
Buy plenty of rolls of these. Go over every edge and lid a few times to ensure the contents will not overflow and spill out.
3) Polystyrene + Bubble wrap.
Just like in the parcels you receive in the post or the packaging around a flatscreen, polystyrene is perfect for filling spaces and preventing damages. Everyone's favourite packing material, bubble-wrap, protects any valuables as well as providing entertainment during tea breaks.
Moving house is not a fashion show. However, while you pack up your wardrobe take a while to consider the best clothing to wear on moving day. It's essential to be comfortable and safe from injury.
1) Wear gloves to protect your hands from dust and loose nails.
2) Wear strong shoes with sturdy soles.
3) Wear natural fabrics like cotton or linen to stop you sweating.
4) Also avoid anything too tight or too baggy.