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Moving home or office can be an extremely stressful time. With so much to consider and remember to do, is physically moving everything yourself the right thing to do? As a specialist removal company, we would obviously recommend that you do your research and hire an expert team to support you. Weather you book a full service or decide to do the packing yourself, having professional removal experts there on the day will save you time, money, and a lot of stress, both physical and mental. As professionals at moving people’s belongings, removal teams know how to move items more easily. They also have insurance for when things do go wrong.

If you do decide to take on the job of hiring, loading, and driving the removal van yourself, we’ve put together a couple of handy hints & tips to help you.


Choose the Right Van

Before you go looking for quotes, you need to know what you are looking for. You need to know how much stuff you have to move. A good way of doing this is to walk around your home or office and list everything you want to take with you. There is always more that you initially think there will be.

Measure the furniture so you know what space each item will use up in the van. Remember that you can stack items too: a couple of bed side tables goes nicely on top of a sideboard, for example.

With smaller items, work out how many boxes you will fill and then how much space you need for the boxes in the van. (Be sure to use sturdy boxes, Triple walled cardboard is a good choice) If you’re unsure what will fit into a box, it’s a good idea to pack a couple very early with items that you rarely use and wont miss. This will give you an idea of what fits in a box.

Once you have your list of items you can start looking at vans, check out our guide to van sizes. If in doubt, go a little bigger. It’s better to have a little wiggle room and only need to do one trip than to have to do multiple runs.

Remember to check the access to both properties. A large van may be needed to move everything in one go but there may be no space close to where you’re moving to. In this instance it may be necessary to hire a smaller van and make multiple trips.


Choose the Right Hire Company

It can be a mine field out there! Larger national companies usually charge significantly more than local companies, but you do tend to get a better quality of van. It’s best to spend a few hours searching on the internet: better deals tend to be found out of cities or build up areas. Companies with offices at airports usually have the most competitive pricing.

Read reviews. It goes without saying that almost every van rental company will have some one star reviews, but look for trends. If a company has several complaints that they provide a dirty, rusty old van or that they like to keep your £1500 deposit, maybe its best to look elsewhere. Even if they are the cheapest upfront.

Check out what our customers have to say about us


Pack Well Before Moving Day

Pack before moving day. Still being distracted with packing and the mess it causes on moving day often causes accidents and mistakes. Best practice is to pack the last of your belongings the night before you move. This way, on moving day, you only have to pack up your bed and a couple of essentials before the move begins.



Make sure you’re happy with the insurance the hire company provides on the van. Be ready to pay a heft excess or a hefty deposit, usually between £1500 and £3000.

When you pick up the van make sure you walk around it with the hire company representative and point out every little mark, and make sure they record them on the hire sheet. They should give you copy of the hire sheet – keep it safe. You don’t want to get caught out when you return the van.



So, you’ve got the van you need from the best company, at a fantastic price. You’re all packed up and ready to move. Before you start loading the van with all of your possessions though, it’s best to make sure you’ve a few things to protect you and your belongings whilst in transit. Here are a couple of essentials:

  • A good pair of work gloves – lots of people think these are to protect movers’ hands, and it’s true that they do help to keep hands clean and safe, but the reason removal teams wear them is for grip. Work gloves are rubber on the palms and improve grip, reducing the risk of items being dropped.
  • Blankets – Professional removal teams have lots of padded blankets to protect surfaces from scratches. If you don’t want to buy these, you can use bedding or winter clothing.
  • Bungee cords – Even in the best packed van, items will move and fall if they’re not secured. Bungee cords are a great way of binding items together or to the sides of the van.
  • A hand truck – The trick to moving heavy items is wheels. Hand trucks can be bought for as little as £50 but its best to check the maximum weight they can carry is enough for what you want moving. These can be dangerous if not used properly, but they will make moving items like washing machines and fridges much easier.



As with every job in life, its easier to do if the work space is clear. Before you load anything, make sure there’s a clear walkway with enough room for what you’re moving.

There’s no set rule for what goes into the van in what order, it’s usually a judgement call. This is where a professional removal persons experience comes into play. But here’s a general guide:

  • Save room at the front for the delicate items.
  • The best way to load a van is to start with the flat items that stand against the side of the van. Think mattress, table tops, etc. Remember, protect the surfaces and secure the items as you go.
  • Next, it’s big, heavy furniture. Washing machines, sideboards, wardrobes, etc. Put the taller items at the back and the lower ones towards the front. This allows you to put smaller pieces, boxes, and bags on top. Remember to secure and protect the items as you load
  • Then go in the smaller items, stack up as high as safe to do so. It’s a good idea to keep bags of clothes, cushions etc. for the very top. When stacking, items should decrease in weight and size, the higher up they are.
  • Last on the van should be the fragile items: mirrors etc. Wrap them up and secure them to the sire of the van. Stand them straight, not on an angle and not lay down.
  • Check everything is secure and won’t move during transit and you’re good to go!