Tag Archives: Removal Advice

Storage Tips – Ten Top Tips for Storing Goods

There are many reasons that you might need to use a professional storage service to temporarily store some of your household items. You might be redecorating your house in Maidstone, downsizing in Canterbury or emigrating for a few years from Ashford. Whatever your reason, here are our top storage tips to protect you and your furniture and to help you manage the storage process. These storage tips are there to help whether you are using a professional container storage solution, self-storage or even using a friend’s garage.

Storage Tips - Professional StorageStorage Tips #1 – Dispose or Store

Do you really need to store these items or would it be better to sell them or give them to charity? It can be expensive to store items that you are never going to use again so do challenge yourself on the real need to keep your items. We can help you dispose of any unwanted items by taking them to an auction or delivering them to a charity of your choice.

Storage Tips #2 – Dangerous and Flammable Items

Remove any perishable, flammable or dangerous goods from your storage items as well as any liquids e.g. gas canisters, petrol cans etc. Perishable goods will only rot and damage surrounding items. For safety and fire protection flammable or dangerous goods like acids cannot be stored. If you have items such as these that need storage you should contact a specialist dangerous goods storage company.

Storage Tips #3 – White Goods

If you are storing your white goods you need to make sure they are fully defrosted, drained and completely emptied. Water and food are not good items to store as they can leak and rot, damaging the rest of the items you have in store. To help with this you may wish to hire the services of a plumber to help disconnect your washing machine, dishwasher etc.

Storage Tips - Container StorageStorage Tips #4 – Future Access

Before you pack and send your items to store have a think whether you may need access to any of the items while you are in store. For instance, avoid storing your insurance documents and passport etc. Make a note if there are items that are more likely to be required than others and tell your removal company what these items are so that they can store them in more readily accessible areas.

Storage Tips #5 – Owner Packed Goods

When using a professional removals storage service, we recommend you ask your removal company to pack all the items you wish to store. Removals companies cannot insure items that have been packed by the owner as they cannot confirm the condition of the item nor the quality of the packing prior to removal. We realise that this may be an additional expense you cannot afford and so if you do pack items yourself make sure all heavy items are placed at the bottom of boxes, all items are wrapped and boxes are not over filled. You can also purchase your own insurance to protect yourself if you self-pack.

Storage Tips -Professional StorageStorage Tips #6 – Oversize Items

A professional removal company will take your goods away and store them in purpose built wooden containers. These containers are approximately 7x7x5feet or 215x215x150cm and can store approximately 250cubic feet or 7m3 of goods. Self-Storage units come in various sizes from a floor space of 16 square feet up to 400 square feet. This means any large and oversize items of furniture that cannot fit into these containers or rooms will need special handling e.g. a ladder or a large sofa. Most professional companies have designated areas to be able to store these items. Let your storage company know if you have any oversize items to store so that they can prepare the appropriate space and equipment for your furniture.

Best Piano MakersStorage Tips #7 – Piano Storage & Antique Storage

Pianos and antiques are especially delicate and fragile items that require special handling and storage.  With pianos or antiques we would always recommend you use a professional storage company and mover to transport your goods. They will have the right equipment, skills and insurance to move these delicate and often heavy goods. When you are storing these items ask about heated rooms or environmentally controlled areas to keep your piano or antique in the best condition.

Storage Tips - Container Storage Inventory Storage Tips #8 – Storage Inventory

Once you have decided exactly what you want to store make a comprehensive list of all these items, including their condition and value (for insurance purposes). If at all possible we recommend you take pictures of your items so that you have a record of their condition. If you are using a professional removals storage service your removals company will make an inventory and condition report for you.

Storage Tips #9 – Storage Insurance

When you are selecting your storage company make sure you ask them about their insurance. You want a fully comprehensive insurance to protect you from any accidents that may happen, as well as fire and theft. Accidents are rare but you want peace of mind that your goods are protected should the worst happen. You also need to check that the full value of your goods are covered rather than only part of their full value.

Storage Tips #10 – Pack Early & Use Quality Materials

Packing takes time, it is not a quick job to sort, dismantle, wrap and pack all of your items and you have to fit it around work and family life. As such start your packing as early as possible and plan on doing a little bit each day and week. You can buy packing materials from any reputable removal company whether you plan to store with them or not. If you are sourcing your own materials make sure to buy ‘double-walled’ boxes and strong tape – the boxes need to be strong enough to take all the weight and be built to last. When packing your storage boxes remember they will be stacked together so make sure you fill every box and tape them shut.

Storage Tips - Packing Materials-Colin Batt Removals

Off-site storage can free up important space to give you more room to work, decorate or declutter. Whether you use professional container storage or self-storage you should plan ahead and get prepared, prior preparation really dies pay dividends. Our storage tips will help to get you sorted and ensure your goods are well protected. Give us a call if you have any other questions or concerns regarding storage. We will be more than happy to talk through your issues and help where we can.

Fragile Packing Top Tips

Packing your china, glass and other fragile items for your house removal is a time consuming but vitally important task – packing the box incorrectly can lead to damages no matter how well the box is handled. To help you pack all your glass and china safely we have put together our fragile packing top tips. These are based on all our years of experience with thousands of house moves and are designed to make your removal easier and less hassle.

1. Allow plenty of time

You should allow approximately 20-30min to pack a standard size removal box with fragile items.  In a standard size house you could well have in excess of 10 boxes of fragile items to pack in addition to your non-fragile belongings. This means that you should allow at least a day to pack all of your china and glass.

Fragile Packing2. Fragile Packing Materials

Only use good quality packing materials when fragile packing. You should use double walled cardboard boxes, anything of less quality could well collapse under the weight when carried. In addition, we also recommend you use print free wrapping paper as the print can transfer to your goods. Any reputable removal company can provide you all the professional packing materials for you need to self-pack; from boxes to tape, bubble wrap to wrapping paper and flat screen TV boxes and curtain boxes. Speak to your mover and they can advise on the type and amount of packing materials you will need.

3. Plates & Bowl

First wrap your plates, and similar items such as shallow bowls etc, in paper and then place them in the box vertically on their edge. Plates are strongest in compression and can take weight on their side, any plates placed flat can get cracked from weight above. As with all removals packing, place heavier items at the bottom of the box and the lighter ones at the top.

4. Do not overfill

When packing china and glass do not fill the box completely full with your fragile goods. Fill the box between ⅔ and ¾ full and fill the remainder of the box with soft items such as cushions, blankets, clothing etc. This means the box doesn’t become too heavy, both to lift and for the items you packed in the bottom of the box. It also provides a protective layer to the box when other items are stacked on top of it.

packing service5. Very Fragile Packing

If you have some very fragile items that are particularly delicate or sentimental we would recommend you put extra wrapping around the item. First wrap the crockery in paper and then add another layer of bubble wrap or similar protective material around the item secured with tape. If the item is an odd shape be careful to insure that the item is fully supported in the box by using a blanket or similar as a base. In a similar way make sure that no heavy items are packed above the very fragile piece. You should consider using a smaller box to ensure the item is not overloaded and well protected.

6. Fill Gaps and Tape the Box

Don’t leave any gaps in the box or only half fill a box. Any gaps in the box leave room for your packed items to move about, risking damage. In addition, any internal gaps reduce the overall strength of the box. You can use wrapping paper, bubble wrap or any soft items to help fill the gaps. One the box is full make sure you tape the box shut, do not leave boxes unsecured or ‘open” as items can fall out and the box is difficult to pack on the lorry.

Fragile Packing7. Labels and Inventory

When you close the box make sure you label the box correctly, with a brief description of the contents as well as the room you want the box to be moved to in your new home. If you are going into store for any length of time we would recommend you make a full inventory of every packed item and to give the box a unique identifier (any alphanumeric descriptor e.g. A1, A2, B1 etc.). This will allow you to quickly locate any item you need to retrieve from store before you planned or when you are unpacking many months later.

8. Packing Insurance

All reputable removal companies, including all members of the British Association of Removers, will not insure goods that are packed by the owner (you may see the acronym PBO). This is because the removal company and insurer cannot verify the condition of the item packed nor the safety of the packing. You should check that your building insurance covers you if you pack your own items. Any goods that have been professionally packed by the removal company will be covered by their insurance but do check the level of cover.

We hope our fragile packing top tips have been useful. Remember you can call your removal company if you have any questions about your fragile packing or any other aspect of your house removal. They will be able to provide packing and moving advice and you can also buy professional packing materials from them. See here for the packing materials we can offer you – http://www.colinbattremovals.co.uk/packing-services/packing-materials/

If self packing isn’t for you please ask your removal company about their packing services. You can read more about our professional packing service here – http://www.colinbattremovals.co.uk/packing-services/ – or call the office to discuss your needs 01233 740395.



How to Declutter your House – Help to Sell your Home

All the experts say there are huge benefits if you declutter your house which all help with selling your home. By presenting your property in the best light and appealing to the widest audience you can sell your house more quickly and even achieve a higher price,decluttering really helps with this.

One of the biggest reasons people move house is for a lack of space at their current home. Buyers are usually looking for a property with extra space and room to grow. Keep this in mind when you are selling your house, you should always try and “show off” each room and really demonstrate the full potential in your current home.

You should try and display your house in the best light and demonstrate how large your rooms are, this can’t be done if your home is full of removal boxes or large amounts of furniture. You want your potential buyer to visualise their own furniture in your house and picture themselves living there. A busy house that is bursting at the seems it is likely to put off any buyer.

The solution – temporarily or permanently declutter your house.

Temporarily Declutter Your House

A temporary declutter is where you pack up some of your belongings  and place them in storage while you sell your home.  This allows you to keep all your items without having a cramped home. It also has the added advantage that you can slowly and easily pack up your house without having to do it all at the last minute.

There are lots of storage options available to you: borrow a friends garage or loft, hire some space in a self-storage unit or you can hire a removals firm to store your items in a storage container. The best solution depends on what you want to store – a few small items can easily be self-stored or sent to your friends but large amounts of furniture or belongings are best stored professionally. This removes the hassle of moving the items yourself but it also means you will be insured, which may not be the case if you used your Uncle’s garage.


For self-storage in Kent we would recommend either Space-Saver in Faversham, who are open 6 days a week, or we can help you with container storage in our secure facility.

Declutter your House

Permanently Declutter Your House

Permanent declutttering means getting rid of your unwanted or unused stuff. It is always a good idea to have a bit of a spring clean before any move, you don’t want to spend money moving belongings you are just going to get rid of once have moved into your new house. There are lots of options to help permanently declutter your home, you don’t just have to throw your stuff away.

First you can sell your unwanted items; options include eBay, have a garage sale or attend a Boot Fair. There are plenty of auction houses around to help out as well. For instance Swale Auctions in Sittingbourne or Hop Farm Auction Room in Paddock Wood.



Another good way to declutter your house, whilst also helping others, is to donate your unwanted items to a charity. There are lots of charity shops on the high street that will accept most of your goods, these include Save the Children, Oxfam and Barnados. Some will also come and collect your furniture such as The British Heart Foundation and the Heart of Kent Hospice.



Declutter your House

Charities will come and collect your unwanted furniture


By permanently or temporarily removing furniture and belongings you can really improve the appeal of your house and widen the pool of buyers. Any work you can do to declutter your house can really help you achieve a quicker sale and a higher price. The sooner you declutter the better and it will also help with your up-coming move.


Good luck with your decluttering and house sale. We are here to assist you with any of your house removal needs or concerns, including help to declutter your house. Please contact us if you want any removal advice, a quote for storage, a strong-hand moving some furniture or if you need some packing boxes and materials.

Ashford 01233 740395       Canterbury 01227 752901       Maidstone 01622 235630

The 8 Best Books to Help Children Cope with Moving Home

The 8 Best Books to Help Kids and Children Cope with Moving Home

Books are great at the best of times but they can also help children cope with moving home and here we have selected 8 of the very best. Moving house is not just a stressful time for adults, it can also be a very disrupting experience for children. One of the best ways to prepare and help children cope with moving home is to talk about it. We have selected what we feel are the best books to address the natural fears that children and kids have bout moving house. These books act as a great vehicle to highlight and talk through the whole moving process with your kids, making for a much smoother and easier transition into your new home.

Children cope with moving home

The Moving Book – A Kids’ Survival Guide by Gabriel Davis

Age 8-12 Years

This is a great book for all the older kids out there. It is packed full of practical advice and activities to make moving house an exciting adventure, from change-of-address postcards to tips on how to pack.  It is well structured and prepares kids for the trials and traumas of moving house. It deals with the all the worries and the full range of emotions involved with moving, from missing friends to new school jitters, to help kids focus on the positive side of moving.


Children cope with moving home

We’re Moving by Heather Maisner

Age 0-8 Years

Heather Maisner has created a wonderful book for infants and toddlers discussing the feelings and fears of moving house – Amy has to wave goodbye to her best friend and the garden she planted with her father. The illustrations by Kristina Stephenson are charming and add real warmth to the story. The book is designed to encourage younger children to talk about and address any concerns they may have about moving home.


Children cope with moving home

Little Princess Story – I Want to Go Home by Tony Ross

Age 2-5 Years

A lovely book to show that home is where your family is, not just bricks and mortar. Packed full of humour with simple language this book helps explain to children that once you move your old house is no longer the same. Great illustrations help tell the story and, if you already have some Little Princess book, your child will feel at home with the character.



Children cope with moving home

My Best Friend Moved Away by Nancy Carlson

Age 3-5 Years

Whilst not solely focused on moving home this picture book deals with one of the biggest fears that children have when moving – losing their best friend. Nancy Carlson’s heartfelt and colourful book highlights friendship in all of its beautiful moods. The story helps sooth the pain of losing a friend and has a positive finish that shows that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.


Children cope with moving home

We are Moving by Mercer Mayer

Age 4-8 Years

The Little Critter series are a big hit with children and this book focuses on Little Critter dealing with the challenges of moving. Mercer Mayer has being writing and illustrating children’s books since 1966 and his experience and skill are clear to see.  Little Critter faces his fears – what if his new school is full of bullies? What if his new neighbours are monsters? – and learns that moving isn’t so bad after all.


Children cope with moving home

The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day by Stan & Jan Berenstain

Age 3-7 Years

An easy-to-read book written in a language that toddlers and infants will understand. By leading the reader through the issues of moving house the book provides a platform for parents to talk through their children’s own concerns about moving. It provides reassurance that some things will remain the same and that all their possessions, toys, clothes and books, will be coming with them. A delightful book that helps children learn that every cloud has a silver lining.

Children cope with moving home

Alexander, Who’s Not Going to Move by Judith Viorst

Age 4-8 Years

Another book in the Alexander series which sees him dealing with the trials and tribulations of moving home. Judith Viorst skilfully uses her trademark humour to discuss the issues surrounding leaving friends, favourite teams and generally being separated from all he knows. It covers a wide range of feelings that kids may be going through and addresses their fears and frustrations.


Children cope with moving homeBig Ernie’s New Home by Teresa Martin

Age 2-6 Years

Teresa Martin has written a great little book about moving house for pre-schoolers. Whilst young children cannot grasp the permanent change of moving home the different sights, sounds, smells and even tastes of a new abode can be unsettling. Big Ernie’s New Home normalises the extraordinary situation that moving can be for kids by addressing the fears, anger, sadness and anxiety that children feel during and after a move. The book promotes the positives of new opportunities and adventures that a move can bring. In addition Dr Jane Annunziata gives extensive ‘Notes for Parents’ on moving and provides a plethora of suggestions for smoothing the transition.

We are here to help you and your children cope with moving home. Please get in touch if you have any questions before, during or after your house move. We have more guidance and advice if you’re moving with children here –


Moving Home Top Tips to Save You Money

Here are some moving home top tips and handy hints to help you plan your house removal. Remember prior planning and preparation really does pay dividends when it comes to moving home.

Moving Home Top Tips #1 -Timing

Fridays, the last week of every month, and around Bank Holidays are a removal companies busiest time and so tend to be the most expensive. Moving house outside of these times will reduce your costs and improve your choice. Work with your solicitor to fix a date that suits you as soon as possible and let your remover know.

Moving Home Top Tips #2 -Declutter

Removing unwanted items before you house move always saves money. Local charities are always grateful for everything from shirts to sofas, DVDs to desks. You don’t want to pay to move some items of furniture that you know won’t be needed at your new property.

Moving Home Top Tips #3 -Packing

Packing yourself will help save the pennies but you’ll need to factor in your time, the stress and extra hassle. You should also bear in mind that items packed by the owner are not covered by removals insurance. In the long run it may work out cheaper to ask your removal company to do the packing for you, it is definitely less stressful.

Moving Home Top Tips #4 – Quotes

We always recommend getting at least three on-site quotes from members of the British Association of Removers (BAR). Online quotes may seem cheaper but they lack detail and you can get late notice charges if all the information hasn’t been provided upfront. Also it is worth remembering that the lowest price doesn’t always mean the cheapest removal in the long run – damages and delays can increase your costs. Always choose a reputable company and see what their previous customers have said about their service. You can find all our reviews at Referenceline, a third party independent company that tracks our reputation and provides customer feedback.



For more house moving advice check out our helpful hints page on http://www.colinbattremovals.co.uk/house-removals/helpful-hints/