How to stay organised during a home move

Moving home can be a rewarding experience – and hopefully an exciting one too! Staying organised throughout the process will help keep your move pleasant and as stress-free as possible. Below are our top tips for staying organised during your home move.

Think about your overall aspirations for your new home

What you want to achieve during the move process? Doing this exercise will help you to stay focused and make you think practically about your move.

We’ve listed a few examples below:

  • Declutter
  • Deep clean
  • Design for your new home – colour schemes and/ or themes (minimal, modern etc.)

Make a floor plan of your new home

This will help you to visualise your belongings in each room and decide realistically what to take with you.

  • We recommend colour coding rooms (to match your boxes & labelling system)
  • Share your floor plan with your removals company so that they can put the correct boxes in the correct rooms upon arrival (if this is something you want).

Set milestones and stick to deadlines

It may help to track tasks – via your calendar, diary or online.

Being able to see your project and tick off completed tasks helps you to manage the process and stay motivated.

Make sure to reward yourself along the way e.g. when a room is finished!

Work methodically

It’s easy to get distracted, so we advise splitting your sorting and packing into sections – either by room, furniture or items. Doing things methodically will help you to see your progress.

Follow a system: keep, donate, sell, recycle & chuck

Organise, pack and label items you can & want to pack (see point 8)

Donate Find a second home for items you don’t need anymore

  • Find a local charity (here)
  • Find a local food bank (here)
  • Give to friends and family
  • Many charities will deliver bags to your home where you fill and leave outside for collection.
    Some may even collect furniture.

make money from selling your items online or at a car boot sale

Ebay (delivery required), Gumtree and Schpock are all examples of online selling platforms which also have apps. Make sure you stay safe and read their guidelines.

be as green as possible

  • Maximise the use of your regular collection bins
  • Batteries can be recycled (more info)
  • Find a local recycling waste centre
  • UK Gov A to Z of recycling & waste (more info)

always have bin bags on hand!

  • Maximise the use of your regular collection bins
  • Take it to your local tip
  • Hire a skip for large volumes
  • Contact your local council – they can usually pick up large items for a small fee (more info)
  • Electronics must be specially discarded & taken to a local tip
  • Garden waste (more info)
  • UK Gov Waste Guide – more info

Clearly label your boxes/ packing areas

  • Use stickers/boardmarkers to label your boxes/ items
  • It is particularly handy to colour coordinate and link this with a floor plan
  • Removals companies usually supply boxes / packing materials & can give advice on the quantity and different types needed to ensure a safe transit
  • Removals companies can also offer a pack and unpack service

Pack an essentials box for when you first move in

You will want your home comforts at easy reach when you arrive!

Example check list:

  • Kettle and mugs with tea bags
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Toothbrush & Paste
  • Light bulbs
  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Snacks
  • Dishes / cutlery
  • Screws for assembling furniture in 1 place / easy to find

Life admin!

Staying on top of this will make your life a lot easier. Example checklist:

  • Change the address held for you – statements, bills, health docs, schools, work, car etc.
  • Settle all your local accounts – e.g. milkman, newsagents, library books etc.
  • Arrange the switch of your TV, internet & utilities – 1 month prior to move-in date
  • Let friends and family know about your move
  • Organise key info for the new owners – e.g. spare keys, instructions for the alarm, etc.
  • Ideally for security get a locksmith to change the locks of your new property
  • Find out your rubbish collection day (more info)
  • Plan the defrosting of your fridge and disconnecting appliances


Our top tip – make it fun! Put on your favourite music & reward yourself at milestones.

If you want to have things professionally packed and unpacked, Pickfords can offer this service.

If you want a move and concierge service, specialising in fine art and antiques, we recommend our Pickfords Gold service.

How to Add Charm to Your New Build Home

Moving to a new build or planning a large extension on your home? Check out these ideas for adding character to your “blank canvas”

Original article first published on Houzz – Helen Winter, Houzz Contributor

A brand-new house or extension is like having a lovely blank canvas on which to put your own design stamp. However, an empty room can be daunting, and it might be difficult to know where to start. Follow this guide for clever tips on how to get the most from your newly built space.

Pick a palette from a painting
If you plan to start from scratch, with new furniture and accessories, you’ll need a jumping-off point for your colour scheme and room design. A large piece of art can be a great starting point to pull a scheme together.

This evocative seascape is reflected by the sofa cushions and ikat rug to stunning effect. Find something you absolutely love, whether it’s a print or an investment piece, and create a mood board based on the key colours. Make sure you keep the scale of the artwork appropriate either to the size of the room or the piece of furniture above which it will be displayed.


Lay art beneath your feet
A beautiful rug can be almost like a painting on your floor. Whether you buy one off the peg or go down the bespoke route, it’s straightforward to then furnish and accessorise the room using the same colour scheme.

Don’t forget to add small doses of accent colours to avoid the space becoming too bland. The shots of dark wood in this room offset the blue, grey and white scheme.

Check out more rugs with beautiful designs


Exploit space in your walls
It’s a good idea to think about storage at the planning stage of a building project; there are lots of built-in options your architect or builder can help you with. Here, the recessed shelving is a neat and attractive use of space, and looks even better with the integrated lighting.

Niches like this are popular in bathrooms, and can be fitted fairly easily into any non-load-bearing wall. It can be messy and inconvenient to retrofit them, so it’s much better to plan them in early on.

Get your bearings
In which direction does your home face? This will be a huge consideration for planning the inside and outside flow. The orientation of a room’s windows will affect how you arrange the layout and which paint colours will work best.

Where the sun falls late on a balmy summer’s evening should be a consideration with patio doors, but also take note of prevailing winds – you don’t want your home to become a wind tunnel every time you open the doors.


Scale it up
Play with the scale of your new space. With a vaulted roof light like this, the oversized pendants balance the space above the dining table and look stunning day and night.

If you’re working with an architect, you’ll most likely see a 3D visualisation of your project. Be bold and listen to professional advice, as you might be surprised by how you can change the look and feel of your room.


Love your light
Design your lighting as soon as you have a floor plan. Work out where you’d like your task, ambient and decorative lighting to go, and decide what types of fittings you’d like. Discuss this with an electrician, who can advise you on all the options.

This is a golden opportunity to avoid the messy jobs of chasing in and pulling up floorboards and carpets, which you’ll have to do if you fit wall lights and dimmer sockets down the line.

Check out this beginner’s guide to lighting in layers

Breathe life into the garden

To give a new garden a kickstart, make sure you allocate a reasonable budget for mature planting and shrubbery. This will give a foundation of coverage early on. A professional landscaper should be able to advise on which plants will work best for your garden’s location and soil, and which varieties will really play to your home’s architectural strengths.

Factor in wiring for lighting, a hot tub, pond or water feature, which could add value to your home. These can be planned during the early stages, while the soft landscaping will need to be done after all the builders and tradespeople have left.


Gently break up the space
If your new space is open-plan, you might want to consider ways to break it up. An architect or designer will be able to create interesting room divisions and even offer flexible space with moving walls and room dividers.

Here, an open-plan space has been zoned by a row of long, narrow boards. The effect is simple yet stunning.

Explore more open plan kitchen areas


Big up a beautiful ceiling
A new build or renovation is a great opportunity to create a stunning ceiling. Instead of the usual plain option, you could go for a dropped ceiling, where a panel hangs below the original area. Alternatively, a coffered design features recessed areas.

Other choices include stepped ceilings, or ones featuring decorative plasterwork. An ornate ceiling can work just as well in an ultra-modern home as in a traditional one.

Future-proof your home
Both lighting and home automation technology have made huge advances in recent years, and are only going to get bigger and more exciting. You’ll be able to connect every electrical device in your home to a network and remotely control it from a central computer or tablet.

Research the options available and perhaps start with your TV and audio equipment, or look into how the technology can make your home more secure.

Moving with your Dog

Animals are often sensitive to changes in their routine and surroundings, more so than most people realise. Understanding how a move can affect your dog will help you to plan ahead and make it as stress-free as possible for them.

We’ve consulted our in-house specialists in pet moving to provide specific advice to help your beloved family member feel at ease.

Before the move – plan ahead


  • Register with a local vets in your new area
  • Update the address on your dog’s microchip and/or collar
  • Ensure all vaccinations and paperwork are up-to-date, including any medication stock(s) your dog will need
  • Arrange for any dog escape routes in your new home to be fixed

Top tip: if your dog is sensitive to fireworks and loud noise, avoid moving on or around major celebrations

Moving day

Can your dog stay with friends or family on moving day? It is usually advised, however, if this can’t be arranged please see our advice below:

  • Make sure your dog is well exercised prior to the moving process
  • Set aside a doggy room with their food, water, bed, toys and blankets
  • Put a sign on the door and make sure the removal team are aware there is a dog in the room
  • Assign one person to be responsible for checking up on your dog throughout the day
  • Prepare a box filled with all your dog’s essentials for moving (towel, water, poop bags, treats, lead etc.) and pack these things last

Top Tip: Keep your dog’s routine as normal as possible (walks, feed times etc.) and don’t wash your dog’s bedding prior to moving – their own smell will be familiar and comforting to them.

Travelling to your new home

  • Make sure your dog is well exercised before you travel
  • Keep your vehicle cool and make sure the car is well ventilated
  • Stop regularly for toilet breaks and ensure your dog has access to fresh water
  • Never leave a dog inside a hot car
  • Always make sure your dog is on a lead before you let them out

Top Tip: If your dog is prone to travel sickness, it is advised to not feed him/ her for 3-4 hours before travelling

Arriving at your new home

There will be new smells, sights and noises in your new home, which may take some time for your dog to get used to.

  • Make sure your dog is kept on the lead when first arriving at your new home
  • Unpack the doggy box you prepared and make sure they have their bedding straight away
  • Let your dog outside (advisably on a lead) to explore the new environment

Top Tip: It may help if someone stays at home for the first few days to help them settle in. Make sure you look out for signs of dog anxiety, such as a loss of appetite, uncharacteristic behaviours or whimpering/ whining more than usual. Consult your vet if you have any concerns.

We wish you a very happy move with your dog! At Pickfords, we understand that all dogs are different. Should you have any questions, or would like more information on our pet moving service within the U.K or overseas, see here.


Outward-Facing Book Spines – A New Storage Trend?

Original article first published on Houzz – Victoria Harrison, Houzz Editor

It’s a topic that’s getting homeowners in a spin: should you always display your books with their colourful spines facing outwards or is it ever acceptable to arrange them with the spines facing in? Let’s consider both sides of the story…

The status quo

The most common way to display books at home is, clearly, like this, with their colourful spines facing outwards, allowing for easy identification as well as making a beautiful feature of the bright colours and decorative artwork.

So far so good, but a recent trend of homeowners storing their books with the spines facing towards the wall has ruffled feathers. Don’t know what we mean? Take a look at the next photo…

The disrupter

To some, this is a neat, uniform way to stack books that have either already been read, or are clearly organised in indexed categories, without all the visual noise and stimuli of the coloured spines. For others, however, this arrangement is a total no-no.

Where do you stand on this debate? Here are a few different points of view to consider.

The case for spines:
Book covers are a work of art in themselves
The mix-and-match nature of these books creates a bright, cheerful display when set against the crisp white shelves. In a room with as many books as this, they naturally set much of the tone for the décor in the rest of the space.

This arrangement also, obviously, allows for book identification at speed, as well as allowing visitors to nose through your collection when you’re out of the room. Classics to the front!

Browse a huge range of bookcases in the Houzz Shop

The case for pages:
It’s visually calming
How do you feel about this room with the books turned spines to the wall? While detractors of this trend may well point out the tricky nature of locating a book at speed, there’s no denying there’s something deeply soothing about this snug sleep space, and that has much to do with the soft caramel tones of the books stacked up, pages facing outwards, as it does with the crips white bedding and minimal styling.

Shelves full of colourful book covers would create a very different look and feel in this compact little bedroom.

The case for spines:
It allows for colour-coding
Apart from the obvious reasons for facing books spines outwards, this arrangement also allows for endless creative opportunities. For the neat freak, there’s the chance to sort either by colour, creating a rainbow feature wall, or by height, publisher, topic…

In fact, true bibliophiles will probably admit to rearranging the books on their shelves on a regular basis, as a pleasurable and therapeutic activity.

See 11 creative ways to display your books

The case for pages:
It harks back to leather-bound tomes
Consistency of colour is nothing new. Bound tomes in soft shades of natural leather are a literary classic and many collectors find it soothing to have neatly ordered rows of discreetly bound books lining their shelves

To the organised mind, turning spines away can be seen as a way of tapping into this level of visual conformity, but it does take some planning. You would need to have a foolproof indexing system in place, allowing you to track down the book you need at speed.

You could also use it as a way of keeping track of novels you’ve read (turned to the wall) and those you still have to tackle (facing out).

Where do you stand?

So there you have both sides of this papery debate. Now it’s your turn to weigh in…

Pickfords turns its small print large to help customers avoid the unexpected

Pickfords, the UK’s largest and best known removals company, has abandoned the traditional practice of small print by making its terms and conditions into large, easy-to-read print, encouraging its customers to read and understand important points that they should note when moving home.

Peter Gower, Pickfords’ Legal Services Manager, championed the project following a series of customer issues that could have been easily avoided if the customer had fully read the terms and conditions of their contract.

The new terms and conditions have been written to reflect the current legal landscape with the introduction of the Consumer Rights Act and new data protection legislation which will come into effect this year, the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation.

Peter said:

“It is really important that customers understand what they are signing up to. Although there are more pages, its easier to read because the print is larger and the most vital sections are clearly highlighted.”

Pickfords’ Interim Managing Director, Mark Taylor, welcomed the initiative:

“The Large Print has made it easier for employees to learn and understand our terms and conditions and clearly explain the details to their customers. By championing this initiative, we aim to reduce the misunderstandings and miscommunication that can occur when customers do not fully read the terms and conditions of their removals contract.”

Moving home: 19 tips for settling in [infographic]

Once the moving vans have left the driveway and you’re all unpacked, what’s next? There are a few bits left to do; some fun activities, some things that might feel more like chores, but all important to help you settle in well. Here are 19 tips for a worry-free post-move:


Settling in tips

Ready to move? Contact Pickfords for a free removals estimate, or request a call from us today.


Starter home appliance checklist [infographic]

Moving into your first home means purchasing a lot of appliances and accessories to ensure each room is fully functional. But even with careful planning, it can be easy to overlook a few things when shopping for your homeware essentials. Follow our checklist to make sure each room in your new home is well equipped for you and your visitors.

Starter home appliance checklist.png

Ready to move to your first home? Contact Pickfords for a free removals estimate, or request a call from us today.