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According to popular opinion, moving home is one of the most stressful life events that people can experience. Hopefully it’s something that most people will only undertake a handful of times, but it is definitely a big upheaval, moving your life and your possessions from one property to another.

It’s perhaps something that may be relatively simply to do if it’s just you and a suitcase, but is significantly harder to do, if you are moving with family, or have spent a lifetime accruing possessions including large items of furniture.

In this instance, it definitely helps to find a professional removal company who can step in and make moving day so much easier, hopefully ensuring that the move from one property to another is as stress-free and simple as possible.

We’ve heard our fair share of moving day stories, so here are a few tips which we hope will help when choosing a removal company!


DIY or hire the professionals?

One of the first things to consider is whether you are planning on packing up your belongings and moving them yourself, or whether you are going to be enlisting the help of a professional moving company to do so.

If you are moving into your first home, or don’t have many belongings to be moving in with, then it might be that using the vehicles of friends and family, a local “man with a van” or self-drive van may work, but do factor in the amount of hard work that this requires you and your willing volunteers to undertake.

Moving day will be so much less stressful with others doing the heavy lifting – especially if it’s not something you are physically in a position to do.


To pack or not to pack?

Did you know that most removal companies offer a service where they will come and pack up all of your belongings on one day, and move them the next?

We would definitely recommend this option as it makes life so much easier for you and also is quicker because removal companies aren’t as emotionally attached to your belongings as you are, so will pack them up a lot more quickly.  

Of course, whilst many removal companies can definitely pack up all of your belongings, they can’t do any of the decluttering beforehand. We would recommend doing this yourself before you move so that you aren’t arriving at your new home or property with unnecessary belongings or clutter which are no longer required or wanted.


The quoting and booking process

Once you are moving further along the process it’s helpful to obtain and compare around three quotes from different companies, so that you know what the costs involved in moving your belongings to your new property will be and what each one includes.  This will help you to compare and see which service would best suit your needs.

The best time to book your moving company for definite is once you have actually exchanged contracts and you have a moving date. Do be aware that especially if it’s a popular day of the week or time of the year, that there is a chance that your preferred company may not be available, so perhaps have a couple to chose from.

Another thing to check when getting a quote for moving costs is whether the company carries insurance for breakages and damages and to understand what will happen if something gets broken or damaged in transit.


On moving day

On moving day ask the company what type of vehicle they will be sending over, so that you know what kind of vehicle to expect, and can make preparations for parking and access to your property either end.

Also, place any personal or valuable items (documents, jewellery etc) that you don’t want to go with the removal company in your car in advance, so that they don’t get lost and wrapped up with everything else.

Similarly having a crate with the kettle some cups, teabags coffee and milk and those all-important essentials and driving them to your new property yourself, means that you will have them handy when you arrive.

When you get to your new property, it’s helpful for yourself or another person to be letting the removal company know where you would like things put as they are unpacked from the van, so perhaps have a plan in your head about where you want large items to go, and whether you want boxes in certain rooms, or all of the boxes in a garage/storage space or loft for you to unpack as you go along.

Obviously, some things may be quite self-explanatory, but there might be other things which require a little more guidance and you don’t want to find that items have ended up in the wrong place. Before the removal company leaves, make sure that you are happy with where everything has been placed so that you aren’t going to struggle to move things around once they go.

One of the best pieces of advice we can give you on anything moving related is to is to go with your gut feeling and to go with the company who you think will be able to look after and take care of you and your belongings most effectively.

This may or may not be the company who is the most competitively priced. If your gut is telling you that you have reservations then you probably have a good reason for them.

So these are a few things to consider when choosing a removal company for your next move. What else would you add?

We’re always happy to advise on all things moving related, so why not give us a call on 01727 221290 or pop into the office to see us as we’re always happy to chat!


There are a multitude of reasons that tenants will choose to rent a home rather than purchasing, including renting to be near a certain location, their family or personal situation necessitates renting, buying a home is not a viable option for them, or they would rather simply be able to be location free and not be tied to a single property. 

As we all know, especially in the current climate, renting may be a good option for many people who may be in the limbo of not wanting to buy something whilst there is so much financial uncertainty around. 

So having good quality tenants is every landlords dream. Tenants who will treat your home like their home, be happy to help maintain and add value to your home as it appreciates leads to lower maintenance costs as tenants are more likely to look after the property, and lower administration costs overall. 

We’ve all seen those TV shows where landlord’s properties are held to ransom by nightmare tenants who wreck the home and this is definitely something most landlords will aim to avoid by ensuring that tenants are properly vetted. 

So how can you ensure that your rental property is appealing to long-term tenants? Here are a few tips…

1. Make your house a home

Tenants who are looking to rent more long-term will typically be looking for somewhere that they can really make their home. They will typically be looking for a property which is decorated to a good standard, maintained to a good standard and (for fully-furnished properties) furnished to a good standard too. 

Having a house full of basic fixtures and fittings may not attract the kind of tenants you are hoping for, whilst ensuring that there is a good central heating system for hot water, functional but stylish kitchen and bathroom suites and that the home is staged in a way that appeals to the kind of tenant you want to attract, can mean that you are more likely to succeed in your search for the idea tenant. 

Staging companies may be able to assist with this if you are trying to attract more high-end clients, as can also having technology integrated around the home which may appeal to a more upmarket client. 

2. Maintain your property

Demonstrate that you have a maintenance plan for your property, or keep a detailed history which shows when the boiler was last serviced, the broadband was last upgraded or the house was last decorated, or even deep-cleaned. Showing that you are proactive about these details is more likely to make tenants want to live in the property as they know that you will look after the property and that it will not crumble away before them. Make it clear in your agreements what you are responsible for in terms of maintenance, versus what the tenant is responsible for. 

3. Be Flexible

Tenants may often want a property which they can “put their own mark on”. This could involve enabling them to be involved in planning soft furnishings for the property, flexibility to decorate within reason, giving them carte-blanche to get creative in planting in the garden, or other avenues which ensure that they can feel that their rental property is also a place that they can call home. 

4. Show your tenants that you appreciate them

Flattery will get you everywhere and although it may sound shallow, showing your tenants that you appreciate them by remembering them at Christmas with a card or even a small gift, around their moving date and any other significant dates could mean that they are more likely to stay remain in the property out of loyalty then look elsewhere. Treating your tenants well and giving them flexibility helps to build trust and credibility between you as the landlord and them as the tenant

5. Avoid Students and the gig economy

If you are looking for long-term tenants, then letting your property to students, or to those working in the gig-economy is not a good idea, as both of these groups of people are more likely to be transient, as they will typically also have ties to other places and be less likely to stay in one place if they don’t have ties to keep them there. 

6. Tell your Estate Agent who you want

It’s always advisable to let your letting agent know that you would prefer a long-term tenant, as they may be able to help you find someone who is looking for a longer term let, and can market the property with this in mind. 

If you have a property that you are considering renting, and would appreciate some help and guidance on how to make the most of it, then we are always very happy to help. Simply give us a call on 01727 221290!



The first day of Autumn this week brings reminders that the nights are drawing in and summer is now set to become a distant memory. No longer will the patio doors be flung open all day long or the garden be an added entertaining area in the home, in Autumn it’s common for us to retreat into our homes in search of warmth, cosiness and shelter from the cold.

So, here are a few tips to help prepare your home for the Autumn season ahead.

Test your Heating

You’ve heard those stories of people who will try and leave their heating off as long as possible, until the cold weather forces them to switch it on, but it can be helpful to have the boiler serviced, and switch the heating on and let it run whilst the weather is still fairly mild, as this ensures that you won’t get a nasty surprise once the cold weather arrives and you realise that your heating is no longer working and you possibly need a new boiler, or your heating fixed as soon as possible. Testing your heating now, means that you are all set for the Autumn and Winter ahead.

Eliminate Drafts

Autumn is notorious for exposing all of those drafty spots that you have in your home, which cold air creeps in through.  Draft-proofing your home now can help to save you money on your energy bills in the months ahead. Use fabric draught excluders, or foam or metal strips to help stop the heat escaping in the colder months. Having long curtains hung on windows can also help to achieve this.

Prepare the Garden for Colder Weather

It’s helpful to put anything that won’t be used in the months ahead (like patio furniture or garden toys) away in a shed or garage, or cover it up. Give the grass that final once-over and do any other gardening preparations that you may need to, before Garden Waste collections stop.

Dig out the Slow Cooker

In the colder months, there’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that you’re coming home to, or looking forward to, a nice warm meal at the end of the day, and so a slow cooker is a great way to ensure that a hearty evening meal awaits. Just a few moments preparation in the morning, or the night before, could mean that you can look forward to a delicious warming meal, ready to serve, with minimum fuss and effort.

Change the Duvet

If you want to sleep well at night, then you need to be warm enough, so now is a great opportunity to change your Duvet for a thicker tog, and add extra blankets and a bed spread to the bed, to keep you warm all season long!

Wardrobe Swap

Autumn means putting away those summer clothes until next year and digging out that cosy Knit Wear and those Boots. Swap the clothes in your wardrobe around, so that the clothes you will need for Autumn are more accessible and don’t forget about Outdoor Clothes too! Swap Flip Flops and Sun Hats by the door for Coats, Hats, Scarves and Gloves and check that you and those in your family have everything they need in preparation for the colder weather ahead, as shopping for new items now will save time and hassle in the long run.

Candles, Rugs, and Throws

Accessories in your home can really help that feeling of “Hygge” in the home as the weather changes. Wooden Floors may be great in the summer months, but in Autumn, a cosy Rug on the floor can really help you keep warm underfoot. Additionally, having a couple of throws handy to snuggle under on those colder evenings will help keep you cosy and warm.

Add a few scented candles, gently flickering away, and you’ve got all of the elements needed to help your home extra cosy and welcoming on a dark Autumnal evening.

Bring the Outside in

There’s so much opportunity to celebrate nature and decorate our homes with items from Nature during Autumn.

Why not forage for some of the gorgeous foliage which is around this time of year and create a stunning autumn display on a window sill or sideboard. Even a bowl full of conkers can make a great centre-piece at this time of year, or if you’re feeling extra creative, you could create an Autumn Wreath for the door.

If you, or someone you know has an allotment, then Autumn and Harvest are definitely the time for a bounty of vegetables, which you could turn into some hearty soups and store in the Freezer to enjoy over the season.

Autumn is also prime blackberry and sloe berry season, so why not go foraging for berries and get that Sloe Gin collection off to a great start.

Those are just a few tips for you to get Autumn off to a great start in your home.

We’re always happy to advise on aspects of all things home related throughout the year so please do feel free to get in touch if we can be of any assistance on 01727 221290.



Many people spend years upsizing their property from that first room or apartment, to the first family home and then the next larger properties that you may choose to move on to. However, there will typically come a time in your life when kids move out, life circumstances change, or for whatever reason, it’s time to downsize your property from a larger home, into something more manageable for your current situation. 

Downsizing can bring advantages such as the ability to free up equity in your current home or moving into a property which is easier to manage during retirement

However, it also brings disadvantages, like the fact that you may have less space to work with, so will have to spend time getting rid of excess furniture and belongings which will not fit in your new property. 

Alongside all of the physical baggage, downsizing can also bring a lot of emotional baggage with it, as you may be leaving behind a property that you have very happy memories of living in, so it may take a while to get your head around the decision to downsize. 

Living in a smaller property than previously brings its own challenges and rewards, so here are some useful tips to help you navigate the journey of downsizing your property.


Size and Location Matter

It’s helpful to consider what kind of property you are wanting to downsize to, and where you want the location of that property to be. 

If you are moving with someone else, then you may need to have a discussion about what you both feel is an acceptable property size. Do you want a smaller house with a garden, a bungalow, a ground floor maisonette or apartment, or something else altogether? It may be that one of you is thinking a nice small one-bedroom home, whilst the other person still wants to maintain a slightly bigger property for family and friends to stay in, so make sure that you are clear on property size before starting your search. 

It’s then also helpful to consider the location you want to live in. Do you want to be within an easy drive of amenities and on a route with good public transport, or do you want to get away from it all and live further away?  Staying near Family and Friends may be an important factor to consider too. 

Think about whether your new property has potential for future proofing. If you’re planning on staying in your property for the long term, will it still be fit for purpose 10 years down the line?


Downsize Large Furniture 

In order to downsize, it’s likely that you will need to get rid of large items in your home. Write down a list of all of the furniture that you have in your current home, and then all of the furniture that you will need in your new home, and compare lists. Hopefully this will help you to work out what you may need to part with. 

For example, you may currently have a three-bedroom property, with three beds, three wardrobes and three sets of drawers, but now be moving into a one-bedroom property where you only need one bed, one wardrobe and one set of drawers, so some of these larger items may need to go!

Downsizing floor space, but not the number of rooms can be trickier, so you may need to work out whether your larger items actually fit into your current home or whether you will have to purchase new furniture that work for a smaller space. 

Arrange for collection of furniture or equipment you no longer need from a charitable organisation, or offer it family and friends, or for sale or free on selling sites to help you get rid of furniture as easily as possible.  



Like with furniture, your belongings will have typically accumulated over the years, and so downsizing is the perfect opportunity to go through your belongings, Marie Kondo style, and decide what still “sparks joy” and is for keeping, and what you no longer need and isn’t worth holding onto. 

It’s also helpful to consider what equipment you will no longer use. For example, if you are moving to a smaller property or even a flat, will you be using equipment to maintain the garden and if not, is there any point in keeping it? 

If you are keeping belongings or “clutter” for other people, then let them know that you will not be taking their belongings to your new home, and that they will need to collect and sort through their items before you move. 



With modern advances in technology over the years, we’ve gone from things like Videos to DVDs and from Cassette to CDs and now to digital downloads for all types of media. 

It may be that you are holding onto certain technological items which are no longer seen as “advanced tech” for sentimental value. Why not consider turning all of these into digital files so that you still have them available to you in a modern format, but you don’t have to hold onto the physical copies if you want to save space.

Similarly, you may be holding onto lots of old photo albums which could also be digitalised to save space. 


Consider External Storage

If you are downsizing, and have belongings which you absolutely can’t bear to get rid of, but which will not fit in your new property, then you could consider renting a storage unit, so that you have the peace of mind of holding onto your belongings, without the worry of trying to fit them into your new home.

So, there are a few ideas to get you started!

If you are considering downsizing, then we’re always happy too chat and assist with help and advice on whether selling your current property and moving to a smaller property, or moving onto the rental market would be a better fit for you. Why not pop into our offices on Victoria Street, or give us a call on 01727 221290 to find out more.