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Moving House Means Moving Gardens

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spring garden at Chelsea flower showIn the wake of the Chelsea Flower Show, many of us are turning to our own gardens with renewed inspiration and dreams of turning our own little patches of earth into the sort of artistic creations that we have seen at the show, in person or on the TV coverage. Gardens can be a wonderful space in which to work and relax, and they can make a real difference to property prices, but all of the time and effort that we put into these green spaces can make it difficult to leave them behind when it is time to move, even though getting our hands on a new garden can be part of the joy of choosing a new home. You might also be able to keep some of your favourite plants with you if you follow these removals tips.

Potted plants can be moved easily at any time, but some prized specimens can be moved from the garden. Bulbs, perennials and deciduous shrubs are likely to cope best with removals, while evergreens and trees will often suffer. Consider taking a cutting instead or collecting some seeds to plant in your new garden.

Larger plants may also have to be left behind, and even those under a metre tall can be heavy and awkward to handle. Digging a trench around the plant a few months before you move can give the plant a chance to recover from any root damage before you move it. Fill the trench in with sand or compost, and then dig around and under the plant when you are ready to move. Slip a sack or tarpaulin underneath to hold the roots together, and keep the plants well watered and in the shade on removals day.

Move your plants in an enclosed removals van, not a car or open trailer. It will give you space to pack them safely, and protect them from being dried out or damaged while you are driving. The air rushing past a moving vehicle can quickly suck moisture out of a plant. Pack pots safely in place, keeping the smaller plants upright if possible to avoid spillages. Taller plants will probably be safer lying flat, if you have enough space.


Unexpected Removals Costs: Will Greater Openness Over Letting Agents Fees Make Budgeting for a Move Easier ?

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Estate Agency Fee'sDeputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s recent announcement that letting agents will be required to publish their fees clearly on their websites and in their offices will be useful for anyone moving into rented accommodation, but agent’s fees are not the only hidden costs associated with moving. Finding some extra cash to cover unexpected bills can be difficult enough at the best of times, but when you have just committed to buying or renting a new home, it can be particularly problematic when removals costs start to add up.

The new policy will make it easier for tenants to calculate the true costs of their new property, by ensuring that it will be easy to find out exactly what letting agents will be charging. The hope is that greater openness about the fees that are being charged will help to keep rates down, as well as helping tenants to understand what they will need to pay. However, discussions are underway to determine whether stronger regulation should be put in place to restrict letting agent fees. An amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill has been proposed that could ban agents from charging any extra fees to tenants for renting them a property. Charges could then be limited to a deposit and the first month’s rent, although some estate agents worry than banning agent’s fees could just result in a rise in rents, as happened in Scotland when similar legislation was passed.

Even if the ban on fees is put into place, there will still be other hidden costs associated with moving that buyers and renters will need to continue including in their budgets:

1. Decorating costs, particularly if professional services are used.
2. Packaging materials for the move, although costs can be kept down by sourcing free cardboard boxes or asking the removals service to help source materials at a low price.
3. Fee for parking the removals van outside your property if you have to arrange a suspension of council parking restrictions to use street bays.
4. New appliances and installation costs, as well as any extra costs for setting up broadband, TV, or even tuning a piano.
5. Extra utilities bills, if services are not switched immediately, or if meter readings aren’t given to suppliers quickly to avoid paying for the previous tenant or owners’ energy use.


One Person’s Junk Is Another’s Treasure

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Wooden treasure chesWhen you finally get around to clearing out your attic or getting rid of the junk that has collected at the back of the cupboard, it is tempting to daydream about coming across some hidden treasure, or suddenly recognizing that the ugly ornament your mother in law gave you is really a missing Faberge egg. Unfortunately, even if we were lucky enough to make such a discovery, most of us would probably fail to notice what we had found, and end up being the person who sold the lost masterpiece for pennies at a car boot sale rather than the one who finds out the real value at the Antiques Roadshow. Working with an experienced house clearance service can ensure that you don’t miss out on any of these priceless pieces, since the clearance team will be able to advise you on the value of your unwanted items and how to sell them on at the best price.

Even with help, few of us are likely to make quite such extraordinary discoveries, but even the oddest pieces that seem like old rubbish to you could be valuable treasures to someone else. The recent unearthing of a heap of old Atari ET game cartridges in a New Mexico landfill site shows just how true this is. The ET cartridges were originally dumped thirty years ago because the game was considered the worst one ever made, but this just made people more interested in finding the cache. Its existence had become something of an urban legend, but this time it just happened to be based in fact. Plenty of other items can also accrue value with age. Broadcasters are often on the lookout for recordings of old TV and radio programmes that they failed to preserve, and people collect all sorts of items that were once cheap and common. A collector or a local museum might very well be interested in your old stamps, LPs, postcards, magazines, coins or even old tins or packaging. You might not make much money from selling or donating these items, but they could bring a lot of joy to someone who is interested in their history. You might even learn something along the way if you do some research or talk to collectors.

If you finish your clearout without finding anything that will make you a millionaire, try not to be too disappointed. Sorting through our accumulated junk is likely to turn up a few items that have some value, if not to others, then at least to ourselves. Finding an old childhood diary, forgotten photos of our parents, or love letters sent between our grandparents can remind us that treasures can take many different forms.


Moving House: Keeping Everyone Informed

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Moving House: Keeping Everyone Informed

 

When you move house it’s really important to ensure you inform anyone and everyone of your change of address. Failing to do so can lead to lots of different problems – especially when important letters don’t reach you through the post. In this blog we’ve drawn up a quick checklist for you to run through, helping you to ensure that you’ve informed all the relevant companies and organisations that you have moved house.

 

1.      Utility companies (gas, water & electricity)

2.      Cable/satellite TV company

3.      Internet & telephone provider

4.      Mobile phone provider

5.      Bank and/or building society

6.      Credit card and/or loan companies

7.      Any finance agreements (ie, for cars, furniture, etc.)

8.      Insurance companies (car, home, pet, mobile phone – and every other insurance policy that you hold)

9.      Local council

10.   DVLA

11.   Employer

12.   Children(s)’ school(s)

13.   Doctor

14.   Dentist

 

That’s quite a list to get through – and no doubt it’ll seem daunting at first. The problem is, changing the address that these people have on file is not optional – it’s something that you have to do. If you don’t, your cable TV could stop working, insurance policies may be invalid, and important reminder letters about dental check-ups will go to the wrong address.

 

After the excitement of moving home and packing everything into boxes (and unpacking them again), the last thing you’ll want to do is to spend hours on end writing to and calling companies to let them know of your change of address. Sadly, it’s just something you’ll have to get done – so put on some nice music, or turn on the TV in the background and start letting people know!

 

The best thing to do is to call companies first to let them know – they’ll usually require you to confirm the address change in writing. Most of the time this has to be done via post, but sometimes they’ll allow you to do it via email. Because a lot of companies and organisations are only open during business hours, you might have to think about taking a day’s leave from work in order to get your addresses changed. Remember it’s not just your own address changes that need to be made – your partner or spouse will also need to change their address on things like their bank account, and with credit card companies.

 

The sooner you let everyone know that you’ve moved home, the sooner you can start settling in properly, knowing that everything has been taken care of for You.


Five Top Tips When Hiring A Removals Company

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Five Top Tips When Hiring A Removals Company

 

OK, so you’re moving house in the near future and you need to find a professional, reputable company that will transport your possessions safely to your new property. In this blog posts we’re going to look at five top tips that every mover should consider when hiring a removals company – no matter where you are in the UK !

 

Hire locally

 

It’s a good idea to hire a local removals company for a plethora of different reasons. Local companies know the area – they know the best and easiest route to get from your old house to your new house. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to hear recommendations and feedback from other people in the area that have used the firm in question too. It’s always nice to hear other people’s experience of the company.

 

It might be tempting to hire a national firm because they have flashy TV adverts or an amazing website, but the simple fact is that national firms can’t pay as close attention to detail as smaller, local firms can.

 

Check you’re insured

 

Insurance is really important on many different levels. First and foremost you need to be 100% sure that your possessions are fully insured against loss or damage during the removal process. Sometimes you’ll be insured through your own house contents insurance policy (look for the “in transit” clause). If not, you need to ensure the removals company you use has adequate insurance for your possessions.

 

As well as insuring your personal possessions you also need to make sure the removals company has liability insurance to cover their employees and the general public.

 

Hire a remover in good time

 

There’s no use hiring a removal company just a few days before you move home. It can cause unnecessary last minute panic and stress. Always look to hire a removal company in good time – at least a few months ahead of the removal date where possible.

 

By hiring a removal company in advance you can get on with other aspects of arranging your house move – you can rest with peace of mind that transporting your possessions is all in hand.

 

Decide what level of service you require

 

Different removal companies offer varying levels of service. Some companies will offer a full service including the packing of your possessions. Others will collect your possessions form your doorstep, and deliver them to the doorstep of your new property. Decide exactly how much (or how little) assistance you require and hire accordingly. Remember it costs more to have a removal company pack your belongings for you too – so if you’re on a tight budget it may make sense to do it yourself.

Be careful !

Hiring a removal company has the potential to go wrong in a very big way. There are lots of cowboys out there – so hire carefully! Here at TH Removals we’ve got a track record of providing an exemplary level of service to our customers. We offer competitive rates and we strive to be the very best. So if you’re based in or around the St Albans or Watford area and you need to hire a reliable removals company, call us without delay !