Considerations When Choosing Your Removal Firm

When moving home it can be tempting to cut back and to save money. One of the things that I recommend you absolutely do not scrimp on is a removal firm. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that you can do it yourself, just don’t. Yes, they can be very expensive; but if you hire a decent firm they are worth every last penny, and more. We considered cutting costs and hiring a van and doing it ourselves and I am so glad that we didn’t. I genuinely don’t think we would have been out of the house in time if we had done it all ourselves, I’m positive there would have been a lot more stress and I don’t even want to think of the damage!

After researching local removal firms we hired Bennetts Removals*, a Which Trusted Trader based in South Wales. We took a lot into consideration when looking for a removal company and we met with four to five firms before deciding that John Bennett and his team were the firm for us. After a lot of research we decided to go for a smaller firm, we loved that the owner of the firm, along with his dedicated team, would be in charge of packing, removing and unloading our belongings. This instantly reassured us that everything would be well looked after; to small firms this isn’t just a wage, this is their life, their business.

Once you have whittled your choice down to a few firms that you like the look of be sure to check their reviews on places like Facebook, Google and Yell. Also, are they members of any associations? If so, be sure to check their reviews there too.

Make sure that the firm come to your house to size up first. On-line quotes can be great to get a guide price, but firms will use the information provided on these forms to determine what truck that they need to use. If you under estimate you could end up with a truck that is too small for your belongings. Also, check if the mover provides their own boxes. If the mover comes out first they know exactly how many boxes to provide and if you need any specialist equipment for your moving day.

Ask questions, and lots of them. We wanted to know exactly how fragile items such as the TV would be packed. What furniture covers are provided? Bed covers, suite covers, floor protection, hanging robes for clothes – do they provide them?

You will be spending pretty much the whole day with your removers, be sure to go for someone who is friendly yet professional. The last thing you want is someone who is smoking on your front door step and leering at passers by. I’m not stereotyping – I have actually heard of this happening.

Once you receive your quote check it with a fine tooth comb for hidden charges. Does the quote include VAT? Are there waiting charges? We were shocked to check the small print on one of the seemingly low quotes that we received and find that it didn’t include VAT. Once we added this on it became one of the more expensive quotes.

Lastly, but by no means least, remember that cheap isn’t necessarily cheerful. Don’t go ahead and book the firm who comes in cheapest just because they are the cheapest.

See Bennetts Removals in action here :

Watch my house moving vlogs including a house tour here :

*Disclosure – we received removal services in exchange for promotion*

House Tour – Our Forever Home

As I’m sure you are well aware we’ve recently moved home, we have moved into our family home, our forever home (well, assuming we don’t come into loads of money!). While the interior of the house is far from perfect, the house is perfect for us. It is going to take us a long time to get the house exactly where we want it, but we are already settled and very happy here. We have a lot to do (starting with new windows in a few weeks) and are currently living in a tip. I did consider putting off the house tour until we had it at least looking a little tidier, but I figured before, progress and after posts would be lovely to share and for us to look back on.

House Tour our forever home - the living room with kitchen serving hatch, patio doors and toddler play area

The living room is one of my favourite places. I love the patio doors looking out onto our lovely garden and the amazing views further back. We have a serving hatch between the living room and kitchen, I wasn’t sure about this on our first viewing but I have now fallen in love. We plan to buy a new sofa with a chaise lounge on one end and then two seats, which is why we have our sofas arranged in this way to get a feel for it. Behind the sofa we will have a little play area for Aria, the TV will go onto the wall above the fire place and we have a fancy dresser and bookcase coming on Saturday for the alcoves. We will eventually re-decorate and change the flooring, we currently have one carpet placed on top of another which is quite bizarre!

House Tour our forever home - the dining room and office

The dining room and living room have been knocked through into one big room. The dining room is currently a dumping ground, as you can see! This will be our dining room and my office. The white cupboard is where the fish tank will sit and the other alcove will be shelved out. Again this will be re-decorated and have new flooring. The furniture that is arriving on the weekend will allow us to clear some of the boxes out.

House Tour our forever home white IKEA kitchen copper pans on hanging rail with hanging plants

Here we have another dumping ground in the form of our kitchen. We quite like the kitchen and don’t intend to change much in here, not for a while at least. I would eventually like a new kitchen that is more ‘me’ but there is absolutely no rush for that. We recently added a hanging rail for our copper pans along with some draping plants from IKEA which I am loving, we are waiting for more hooks so that we can add the rest of the pans. The door that you can see in this photo is home to our downstairs toilet, another room that will do for now but I do eventually want to change. Behind the photo is our utility room which hosts our huge fridge freezer, the boiler, washing machine and dishwasher, and currently the cats litter tray. I cannot wait to get the cat flap installed so that we can get rid of the smelly litter tray!

House Tour our forever home - the office

Spencer regularly works from home and has a lot of equipment, so one of our three bedrooms is currently being used as his office. We plan to eventually convert the attic for office use but for now, this will do. This room will eventually be decorated in a monochrome scheme.

House Tour our forever home the family bathroom

We only had one toilet in our old house which was downstairs. It is so nice to have a downstairs toilet and an upstairs bathroom. No more fighting over who gets to use the toilet first! This is one of the nicer, more finished rooms in the house, although the bath is quite stained and I would like a sink with a fitted cabinet, but again, they can wait.

House Tour our forever home - the toddler bedroom

Aria’s bedroom is the first room that I plan to decorate. We are waiting for a new bed hence her mattress sitting on the floor. The green carpets, yellow walls and huge tree just aren’t me. As with all three bedrooms we need to strip the wallpaper and re-plaster this room before we can do any work. My plan is to then have a fitted wardrobe along the back wall (where the tree is), her bed in the middle of the room and I also have my eyes on a cute kids armchair to replace the broken old chair in the corner.

House Tour our forever home - the master bedroom

The downside of coming from a two bedroom house to a three bedroom house is that the bedrooms are smaller. Our king size bed takes up the majority of the room in our bedroom. I quite liked the idea of having a fitted wardrobe where the draws and boxes currently are, but a radiator runs along that wall so I don’t think we can. Instead we plan to have a wardrobe in each alcove and a tall set of draws to replace the existing draws. I love the original fireplace in this room and will be leaving that in, but the rest will change. The heart garland and stickers were left behind by the previous owner, they will eventually be removed and the walls plastered and painted.

House Tour our forever home - the garden and view

Everyone’s favourite part of our forever home is most definitely the garden and the stunning views. Aria loves playing ball out here, we love relaxing out here and discovering the mounds of fruit and veg that is growing in the garden, while taking in the amazing smells from the various flowers.

As you can see, it certainly isn’t perfect, but it is our forever home.


*In collaboration with LOVETHESIGN*

The Home That Made Us

Back in 2008 we bought a house, fast forward to 2017 and we are leaving behind a home. The home that made us. We bought this house as a young couple, just starting out, with no real idea of what the future held, just hopes and dreams. We leave this home as a family. A content and settled family, cats and all.

It will be sad to go, to say goodbye to a home full of happy memories; but it’s the right time for us, it’s time to make memories in a new home, a bigger home, our forever home.

The living room has seen A LOT. It’s been our central hub for nine years. The hub for many a house party, parties which went on until 5am, where we drank, danced and sang (badly). This floor has had A LOT of alcohol spilt on it. Then, once we had settled down, it saw a baby born on it, followed by having plenty of bottles thrown up on it and food thrown on it in protests and rage. The happiest memories of all have been made in the living room.

The dining room doesn’t see a lot of action, it’s just an extension to the living room and usually a dumping ground. Though it is where I hosted my very first Christmas dinner, spilling across both the dining room and the living room as there were quite a few of us. It is where Aria opened her first Christmas presents, her first Birthday presents and subsequent presents thereafter.

country style ikea kitchen

The kitchen, my precious kitchen, how I will miss you so. If I could take one room with me it would be you. Though narrow and not quite perfect you are beautiful. I hated you for so many years but then came 2014, the year that we decided to make you over, to extend you and give you a new lease of life; and my how you thrived. I love my new IKEA kitchen and am so sad to say goodbye to you.  We anxiously and nervously picked each part of the kitchen, piece by piece, and just hoped that it all complimented each other, and that it did, you are a thing of beauty. Excitement soon turned to frustration when the work started, I was pregnant; tired and sick. The last thing I needed was to be living in a building site, especially one that I had to cross each time I needed to go to the bathroom, which was a lot. Frustration soon turned to excitement again when things started to take shape, and then I fell in love.

I wouldn’t usually expect many tales to come from the bathroom, but in this house there are a few! You see, I almost gave birth in that very bath. I spent a lot of my pregnancy in here to be fair, I was sick most days during my pregnancy, often several times a day. Then came the unplanned homebirth, when the hospital sent me home and told me to relax in a warm bath I never dreamt that I would soon be led in that very bath; wet, cold and naked, water drained and wanting to push; furiously sucking away on the gas and air handed to me by the fairly shocked and concerned first responder. Thankfully the midwives came and managed to move me to the living room where my darling daughter was born.

bedroom with white wooden flooring, white brick wallpaper and fitted wardrobes

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you those kind of bedroom tales. The bedroom has had many a makeover, it’s so nice, light and airy, and is home to two of the prettiest things known to man, my cluster lights and my dressing table. I am sure that these will look just as pretty in the new home. This bedroom is where I came shortly after giving birth, I was bathed and so was Aria, then we went up to the bed with the breastfeeding specialist to get comfortable as we were having problems breastfeeding. We spent hours in that bed and eventually we were happy that Aria had fed. The bedroom is where Aria slept for the first two months of her life, by my side in her moses basket. This bedroom is where Aria first discovered lipstick, and decided to cover herself and the floor with it. To this day she still frequents this bedroom in the evenings, those evenings when she just won’t settle so sleeps in the big bed in-between mammy and daddy.

nursery with white wooden floor white walls and white furniture

Aria’s bedroom started as a dumping ground, somewhere to store all the crap that we really didn’t need. Then it progressed into my dressing room. A room where I kept my clothes and my make-up, with a feature wall especially decorated for posing in front of. Then it found it’s true purpose, a nursery and then a little big girls bedroom, fit for a Princess. This room has seen a lot of joy, and also, a lot of frustration. It’s where I sat for hours upon hours attempting to breastfeed Aria, for her to fall asleep or fail to latch. It’s where I made the decision that breastfeeding wasn’t going to work for us. It’s where Aria said her first word, where she first slept in a cot and where she first slept in a single bed. We’ve had many sleepy cwtches here, and also sleepy protests. It’s been a rollercoaster of a room and it’s been perfect.

converted attic with wooden floors perfect office space

I didn’t truly appreciate the converted attic for many years, as soon as we saw the house Spencer claimed it as his ‘games room’ and that was that, it was somewhere for him to escape and play the computer and for me to fill up with clothes horses full of soggy clothes. More recently I’ve discovered your potential. I’ve added my own desk and computer, along with pretty accessories. You’ve become my attic office. In recent years I’ve been desperate to paint you, to let you live up to your true potential, but then the house went on the market so there was no point. Unfortunately you remain yellow and neglected, though I am sure that your new owners will change that given time.

July 2017 is where our story ends, when I say bye to my first home and hello to my new home, my family home. Thank you for the memories.


Moving Home Hacks from Expert Home Tips

The time has come, after waiting for what seems like forever we are finally in the process of moving home. I am more than likely up to my neck in boxes right now, in one of two houses. For possibly the first time ever I have been organised and I have some fantastic guest posts lined up for while I am away. All centred around moving home, of course.

Today Collen is sharing her moving home hacks. Colleen is addicted to biscuits. She is also obsessed with recipes, cooking and eating. Half of the day Colleen spends researching the best life tricks for Expert Home Tips, the other half is spent finding all the free stuff on the web for Magic Freebies UK.

Use a Bin Liner to gather your hanging clothes

Don’t worry about taking all your clothes off the hanger – using a plastic bin liner over the bottom of your hanging clothes, pull them up with your clothes inside. Tie the handles around the hangers for extra support. Once you’ve arrived at your new home then hand up the clothes and remove the bag – easy!

Pack a First Day Box

Grab a small box and fill it with all the items you’ll probably need when you first arrive at the house. This includes helpful items like toilet roll, teabags, milk, a couple of mugs, scissors, bin bags, baby wipes. Keep it close to you on the journey to your new home to whip out as soon as you get there.

If you would like to see more tips form Collen do check out Expert Home Tips and Magic Freebies UK.

The Ultimate Moving Day Survival Kit

Our move is progressing well and we are hoping to complete next Friday (!); we are yet to exchange contracts but all parties are agreeable to the date and so it is time to get prepared.

It’s no secret that moving house is up there on the list of life’s most stressful events, and with moving day looming, my stress levels are slowly but surely going through the roof. As a result I intend to take all the advice that I can in a bid to keep stress levels to a minimum, including this fab ultimate moving day survival list which should help us combat moving day like pros.

1. Food & Beverages: Moving day can be pretty strenuous, which means keeping hydrated and well fueled is vital. Set aside the absolute essentials like tea/coffee, mugs, the kettle, plastic cutlery & plates, snacks, cereal bars, crisps, fruit and bottled water.

You may want to keep a few take away menus handy – cooking dinner will be the last thing you’ll want to do once moving day is done.

2. Tools ’n’ Stuff: It’s amazing the things you’ll find yourself needing on moving day; torches, lightbulbs, packing tape, candles, screwdrivers and penknives are among a few of them. Just think of this part of the kit as a mini version of what’s in a ‘man draw’ and you’ll be fine.

3. Toiletries: Let’s start with the basics – toilet rolls and soap – plenty of both, trust me. Next is toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and other bathroom essentials. It might also be ideal to buy some miniatures for this to save on bulk and you may want to add in a mini first aid kit, just in case.

4. Cleaning Clobber: Whether you’re cleaning your old or new house you’re going to need a good multi-purpose spray, paper towels, washing-up liquid, anti-bac wipes, bleach and plenty of sponges. Chances are you’ll have packed your bin, so keep a roll of bin liners with these items too for any rubbish.

5. Bedding: One thing you’ll need more than anything at the end of moving day is your bed. Avoid having to trawl through boxes and add a set of bedding to your survival kit – you’ll most definitely thank yourself for it.

6. Documents & Digits: On moving day you’ll be conversing with every man and his dog, so having contracts and contact details for your removals company, the bank, your surveyor and anyone else you might need to hand will save a lot of faff. Put them in a clear expandable file with labels and dividers so they can be easily retrieved, and chuck in a few pens too.

Having a checklist with these documents is also advisable for recording things like final meter readings which you’ll be taking on moving day.

7. Phone Chargers: This one is pretty self-explanatory but is absolutely necessary; you’re going to need your phone and it’s going to need juice.

8. Clothes Change: Let’s face facts – you’re going to be cleaning floors, doors, kitchens, bathrooms, shifting boxes and making countless trips up and down the stairs, so it’ll be pretty hard to keep clean during moving day. Having a pair of clean clothes to change into is a must!

All you need to do now is stick all of the above in a moving bag and you’ll power through moving day without a hitch. My personal recommendation is to add a bottle of bubbly into the mix so you can celebrate once you’re in your new home. And lastly, Good Luck!

*Disclosure – Collaborative Guest Post*