Moving Home the Stubbs Way – Moving house checklist
The initial enquiry to our removals company usually comes in via phone call or email, I take all the details to include name, address, phone no, date of move, delivery address. Type of move eg. Direct move, via store, overseas, rough size of move (how many bedrooms). Nine times out of ten I will agree a survey date there and then or will get back to them when I can arrange a date where I can link it in the same area with a minimum of 2 or 3 other companies moves.
Once a survey date has been agreed I give a rough time of when I will call ie. 9-10am and let them know my name, however these days there are a lot of working families who don’t get home till after 5pm so I sometimes have to accommodate them.
I arrive at the house in my best suit and tie, armed with survey folder, brochures and business cards carefully noting the access to the property for a large removal van and the condition of the ground, are there any steps gravel or grass which will affect walking stability then knock at the door, upon answering I give the customer my company business card to identify who I am. On entering the house I am looking for potential hazards such as narrow doorways, stairs, low hanging lights, pets, and children. The next step is to put the customer at ease and gain their trust by asking general questions about the move plus a bit of chatting up once this has been achieved we start upstairs noting access up the stairs turns, ceiling height in case excessively large items such as wardrobes need to be carried down.
The main bedroom starts first taking note of the wardrobes and asking if they came up in one piece, if not do they want us to dismantle them as well as the beds hwever we can only do basic stuff, anything which requires the supplier to fit will need a specialist to do which we can give a price on usually around £120 per day, then I ask permission to look inside cupboards, drawers and wardrobes, do they want wardrobe cartons and show them a picture of them in my survey folder, if so I explain that we bring them on the removal day and take them back at the end of the day, if they want to keep them there will be a £5 per carton charge.
My next question will be, do they want us to pack everything that will fit into a box and if not do they want us to supply packing materials such as cartons, tape and paper to protect delicate items, we try to deter customers away from bubble wrap as it is overkill and not environmentally friendly, I also explain to the customer to remove pictures and hooks from walls before the move to prevent damage when carrying goods downstairs, clothes can usually remain inside drawers however anything heavier must be removed.
Once all the bedrooms have been covered I have made a note of the volume of furniture in each room as well of number of cartons required for each category such as clothes, books ornaments as different sizes of cartons are required. I ask what is in the loft and can I have a look, if not get a description and are they bringing the goods down or if boarded do they want us to do it ?.
Next destination is downstairs into the kitchen again check contents of cupboards and ask if they are disconnecting the washing machine, dishwasher fridge freezer etc if not we will do it but not responsible for leaks as we are not plumbers, the same goes for electrical items.
When looking in the cupboards I advise that any liquids not to be moved due to possible leakage if they break, for example a leaking bottle of bleach or red wine could cause havoc if in a box in the top of the load and leaks onto the suite. Fridges and freezers to be run down and emptied as they cannot be carried full however we can lift out the baskets or drawers in a freezer then put them back in once the freezer is on the van as long as it is on the back end and the move isn’t long distance depending on the time of the year. Another thing I explain to customers is about the insurance, it is a bespoke policy covering loss or damage on an indemnity basis ie it is a repairing policy and not new for old however this is available at an extra charge, there are also a number of exclusions especially sentimental value so photos and keepsakes are best kept by the customer, also money and jewellery are not covered a full list of exclusions is sent with the quote. Then next port of call is outside and in the garage, starting with the garage, I always advise customers not to move paint or similar liquids as it can leak on to the furniture, sometimes motorbikes can be moved and light machinery, our vehicle use ramps so if it can be wheeled or lifted by 2 men then we’ll shift it.
Next is the outside, plants are always being asked to move, we will move them as long as they can be carried in their pots or wheeled on our sack barrow which we carry on the truck, garden hammocks and child’s frames can be moved but will probably need dismantling which we can give a price for.
The final destination is the lounge where I can sit down with the client who usually disappears into the kitchen to make me a cup of tea while I add up the volumes and work out timings and a schedule.
When the customer returns with my tea, they sit down with me and listen to my recommendations and ask various questions, the main one being waiting for keys at the delivery address, our policy on this is quite simple, we insist on keys being available by 1pm after that it is £30 per hour waiting time. Another question I always ask at this point is what is the access like at the new address and show them a picture of the van. If the access is poor then they have the option of hiring a small van themselves to transport the goods from the nearest point the van can get to or we can include this in the price. I also advise the customer to remove any items form the property which are not to be moved as they could get packed or moved by mistake with the exception of large furniture which must be clearly labelled. I give the customer our standard brochure which covers all the benefits of being in the National Guild of removers and storers and explain I will them a quote in pdf format and send a copy in the post with a moving house checklist.
I return to the office and prepare the quote and posting in a posh folder with the copy by email, when and if the job is accepted the customer usually phones me and tells me we are the preferred mover, at his point it is unlikely a date has been agreed so I ask the customer to wait till they have a date and avoid moving on a Friday as everyone moves then and they get booked up fast, in the meantime I will drop off packing materials after getting the signed contract acceptance (supplied in the quote) and deposit.
When moving date is agreed we agree a rough time of when van will arrive on moving day at the collection address then arrive. The first thing we do is make the van can get outside the house or up the drive if possible, the removal crew introduce themselves and agree how often they need tea or coffee which is often, the crew then lay down carpet covers and walk round with customer noting what is to be moved, dismantled and packed and items not going, once this has been established the crew prepare the working area, removing obstacles pictures and hooks, low hanging lampshades.
If the job is to be packed we either pack the day before depending on size or put a third man to pack while the other two load.
Packing is carried out using cardboard cartons and white paper inside for protection, each individual item (plate, cup, ornament etc.) is wrapped individually and put on a bed of scrunched up paper inside the carton or sometimes linen is used. The carton is packed using layers of protection until full then labelled with marker pen as to which room it is packed.
The loading crew usually start with some boxes to clear the area a bit then usually the 3 pc suite, from there it is pretty much down to the crews discretion as to what goes on next, sometimes doors of the house need to be taken off to get large items like suites but they will be put back on.
Once the truck is loaded the crew ask the customer to check round the house to see if everything has been moved then proceed after lunch to the delivery address and wait for keys then once access is gained the carpet protection goes down and unloading begins together with any furniture assembly, wardrobe cartons unpacked sometimes and preferably by the customer, however normal cartons are not unpacked as it causes too much disruption as the customer is usually too busy making sure the crew put the furniture and boxes in the correct rooms and the furniture is in the right place, this is usually done by the customer over the next few days, when we can collect the materials when required.
The customer has a final check round to see if everything is where it should be then give the lads a tip, job done