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I consider myself something of an authority on the subject of moving house, having done it close to 50 times. I lost count after move number 48 (which was an international move, to add to my household removals CV). Not only is moving house considered one of the most stressful life events, it’s also bad for your health (I’ve rarely moved without suffering some kind of heavy-lift-related injury), and it depletes your wallet like you wouldn’t believe. While I can’t promise your move will be a stress-free experience, here’s how to reduce the cost, at least:
Allow time – Try to allow as much time as possible to plan your move. Last minute moves, while a cruel and often unavoidable fact of life, are always more problematic (and expensive!).
Booking your removals van or hiring a vehicle DIY style is usually cheaper on a weekday than on a weekend. Using Hertz van hire as an example, hiring a van for 24 hours on a Saturday costs £70 but just £50 on a Thursday.
Redirection services – Apply for Royal Mail redirection services as far in advance as three months, saving you a hassle in the lead up to your move. The three month service costs £31.99 but it’s only an additional £10 for the six month service, making it worthwhile adding that little extra now rather than renewing it again later at the full cost.
Use a price comparison website such as Removals Quoter to find a low rate for your removals service. By entering details of your move, these sites generate competitive quotes from several local companies, saving you time as well as money.
Meter readings – Remember to take meter readings for your utilities as you leave your old property, and take the new readings on arrival at your new property. This will help calculate a more accurate bill for both places and makes the process smoother. You can also change to a more cost effective energy provider even if you don’t yet have a bill for your new abode. Enter the new address and other information here to see if you can save by switching.
Prevent damage – On moving day, prevent expensive damage by laying down flattened cardboard boxes on the floor at crucial points such as doorways and tight corners. Gouging a wall at this stage could cost you a lot to repair, putting a sizeable dent in your damage deposit. Keep blankets and even large towels handy for lining your car or van while you transport bulky items.
Admin – Take care of admin as soon as you arrive in your new home. Tackle any mail leftover from the previous occupant so that any unpaid bills aren’t associated with you at your new address. Returning their mail to sender is best, as you can’t legally open it, and binning it won’t solve the problem. Register to vote as soon as you can, so that your name appears on the electoral roll – this keeps your credit rating accurate.
Clare Lawrence, nicknamed 'Coupon Clare' at college, lives mostly in Cornwall. Proud mum to Gregory, she'll stop at nothing in her quest to save cash!