Pickfords Government Contracts Department sponsors winning youth football team

Wormley Youth Reds romp home winners after a nail biting final!

As part of our commitment to our initiatives to support the communities we serve,  Pickfords’ Government Contracts Department has recently sponsored Hertfordshire based, Wormley Youth Reds under 9’s Football team.

Wormley Youth Reds were one of 6 teams from the Herts area taking part in the Sheredes 3 wishes charity tournament on Sunday 13th May. Following their heartbreak in their League cup final loss on Saturday, the boys showed their resilience and determination to never give up and went in to the tournament with one objective, to bring home the cup!

Two wins, two draws and a narrow loss against the tournament favourites saw them through to the Semi finals but not before there was a penalty shoot out to determine the 3rd & 4th spot due to goal difference. Two terrific saves from the Wormley #1, led to them finishing 3rd in their group games and facing one of two teams playing who were in a league above and 2nd favourites in the tournament, in the semi’s!  A sublime strike from the Wormley #8 helped secure an exciting 1-0 win over Hoddesdon Whites and took them through to the final, which set up a local derby against our nearest rivals, Broxbourne United Oranges.

With the end of full time in sight, very little separated the two teams as they both fought hard, grinding out a 0-0 draw and taking it to penalties, again!

A nail biting penalty shoot out saw some strikes worthy of Wembley and the Wormley goalie again producing some fine quality saves. Following a tense few moments of Wormley having to take a 2nd deciding penalty due to the referee losing track in all the excitement, the Wormley #7 stepped up and smashed his penalty in to the back of the net!! The contest ended 4-2, Wormley Youth Reds triumphant winners 2018!

Well done boys, from all of us at Pickfords!

Pickfords reveals Gender Pay Gap Report

Pickfords’ gender pay gap is less than 1%.

Pickfords, the UK’s largest removals and storage company has released its Gender Pay Gap figures. The company’s statistics show that Pickfords’ gender pay gap is less than 1%.

Pickfords is a transport company with unsurprisingly a higher percentage of male employees. Male employees have roles throughout the company, from removal team operatives, drivers, team leaders, customer service move managers and managers. Women in the company excel at customer service,  move management, sales, marketing, financial and Managerial roles. The proportion of women in every pay bracket is less than their male colleagues,  but women’s mean hourly rate only is 0.9% lower than men’s. This means that  when comparing mean hourly rates, women earn 99p for every £1 that men earn.

Although there is a higher proportion of male employees to female, by the nature of their job roles, a higher proportion of female employees (46%) receive pay above basic salary than their male colleagues in terms of commissions. The statistics show that women at Pickfords are twice as likely to earn commission than their male colleagues.

Director Mark Taylor said:

Pickfords‘ corporate social responsibility programme aims to encourage diversity, to create a healthy and inclusive workplace and to encourage equality.

As a transport company, we have a higher proportion of male employees compared to female employees. However, my female colleagues are the backbone of our customer service operations.

This analysis has confirmed that women’s median hourly rates are lower than their male colleagues,  though their mean hourly pay rate is only slightly behind the men.  We have also noted that although a higher proportion of female employees receive commission, the mean and median average amount paid is lower than male colleagues.

Pickfords is committed to looking at initiatives to close any gender pay gap that exists, to create fairness and equality in our workplace.

Enjoy the Transition of Moving Home

Original article first published on Houzz Jo Simmons, Houzz Contributor

Moving house is so much more than the physical move to a different place. When we leave behind a home, especially one we’ve lived in for a long time, we also leave behind all those years spent enjoying it. Children who were tiny when you moved in have grown into teenagers. Friends have visited, meals have been shared and the small dramas of everyday life have been played out here, so it can be emotional to walk away.

Equally, settling into a new home that still carries traces of its previous owners can take time. So in the rush and chaos of moving, take time to celebrate the home you’re leaving behind and get set to enjoy the place you’re moving to with these tips for easing the transition.


How to Say Goodbye to Your Old Home

Take photos of it
Before everything is swept up into packing cases, take photos of your home. Document each room, so you can revisit it later. If you have children, snap them, too, enjoying the house as usual: drawing at the kitchen table, playing in the garden, chilling in front of the TV. You are aiming to capture an emotional record of your house, as well as images of its beautiful kitchen or big windows.


Hold a goodbye party

Celebrate your home and the life it has given you with a goodbye party. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already started to pack – your guests can happily negotiate a few boxes. String up some lights, play some music and enjoy the house with the family and friends you’ve shared it with over the years.

Discover patio design ideas


Toast your home

Raise a glass to your home, perhaps during your goodbye party or simply with your family. Moving is busy, but it’s important to pause, look around and say, ‘Cheers!’

Stay organised during your home move
Enjoy the challenge and reap the benefits of staying on top of everything. Read our helpful tips here.

How to Settle into Your New Home

Clean up
When you arrive in a new home, nothing looks, feels or even smells the same way, which can feel unsettling. So start by cleaning surfaces, floors and inside cupboards with some familiar, fresh-scented products to help make the place feel like yours.

Browse these ecofriendly cleaning tips


Grab a few goodies

Piles of packing boxes and empty rooms do not help a house feel like a home, so treat you and your new place to a few goodies that will make it feel special. Arrange some fresh flowers, simply bought at the garage on the way to the house or picked from the garden, or buy some quality hand soap or a few new towels. When you are facing days of unpacking chaos, these little touches can really cheer you up.


Don’t forget the pets!

Dogs and cats may also take a while to settle into a new home, so try to ease the transition for them, too. Read our tips for moving home with your dog here.

You can let your cat out at the end of the day to explore, but confine him/her to a few rooms so they don’t feel overwhelmed. Cats should be kept in the house for a week or so to prevent them trying to return to your old home.


Host a house-warming

Sharing your new home with family and friends can help you to bond with it, so host a party – no gifts required. You might like to invite new neighbours, too, as a good chance to get to know them, or simply keep it small and intimate.

How to Downsize with Ease

Full article first published on Houzz Denise O’Connor, Houzz Contributor

While it can be a wrench to leave a much-loved family home, there are many reasons why downsizing makes sense. A smaller space means less stress (let’s face it, running a large household can be a headache) as well as fewer rooms to keep tidy and clean. It also means reduced household expenditure and, whether you fancy travelling the world or are planning a more luxurious lifestyle, the extra funds are bound to come in useful.

With some planning and well-thought-out design ideas, you’ll soon make moving into your new home a seamless experience.

 Homerton Warehouse - Paul Craig Photography


Save the sentimental stuff for last

Start with rooms that don’t have as much sentimental value, such as the kitchen. Most of us won’t get too emotional about parting with the Tupperware, although a much-loved collection of Le Creuset saucepans might be another matter!

If you’re downsizing from a house to a flat, target areas such as your garage or garden shed. You might not have any need for things such as the lawn mower, ladders and spades.


Plan well in advance

Getting rid of your possessions is never easy. The best strategy is to plan ahead, even before you put your home on the market. Take some time each day to sort out the different rooms in your home.

Going through things such as papers and books can be very daunting; the best strategy is to tackle these one box at a time.

 

Work out what to keep
Antiques or family heirlooms can also be difficult to part with, so it’s a good idea to have them appraised to determine their value. You might find they’re worth far less than you expected and are perhaps not worth holding on to after all.


Assess the size of your new home

One of the biggest concerns for people thinking about downsizing is whether they’ll be able to fit all their possessions into a smaller property.

Try to get a good handle on how much space you’ll have to play with in your new place. It can be difficult to get a sense of the size of the new rooms, so try comparing them to those in your existing home and you’ll soon see which pieces of furniture fit and which need to go.


Measure the pieces you plan to take

Large furniture items, such as beds, can be hard to part with, but will they work in your new home? Make an inventory of your existing furniture, art and accessories and decide what you plan to put where, measuring everything to see whether it will fit.

Try to find alternative uses for pieces you really love. For example, a large hall table could become a functional desk in your new home.


Plan storage in your new space

As soon as you move in, think carefully about your storage requirements. For example, are the items you need to store being used every day? Things that need to be accessed frequently should be stored in a way that allows you to get to them easily. Creating built-in cupboards in the eaves or under the stairs is a good use of often lost space and they’re generally easy to access.

Browse 12 ideas for loft conversions to suit your budget


Opt for designated cupboards

Let what you need to store dictate the kind of storage you select. Designated storage is an efficient use of space, and will help you fit in as many items from your old home as possible.

The bank of cabinets above the double basins here offers lots of useful storage, while the mirrored doors help to create the illusion of space.

Check out 10 steps to making storage boxes work for you


Make a display

Don’t feel you have to hide everything away, even in a small space. Open storage units can make an attractive feature and are fantastic for displaying treasured collections, which will serve as a visual link to your previous home.

Built-in storage will give you a lot more for your money, as it can be customised to suit your exact requirements. You can also incorporate lighting to create a really elegant feature.

New country manager for Pickfords Sweden

Press Release

Pickfords has appointed Martin Orrmo as the new Country Manager in Sweden.

Martin has over 30 years experience in global logistics, working across the shipping and forwarding industry.   In 1999 he took on the role of Terminal Manager for the newly installed traffic lane between Södertälje and Rostock in Germany.  Martin has worked in the International Moving and relocation business since 2006 in various roles within the industry in Sweden.

Working in a General Management role, he will take responsibility for the Stockholm operation and all areas of the business.

Martin lives near Stockholm with his fiancée and two children.  He is working on a Bachelors degree in Modern languages, and has previously studied IT and Logistics as well as International removals with FIDI.   He will be based at Pickfords’ warehouse and office facilities in Österhaninge, just south of the centre of Stockholm.

Moving Services Director Kevin Pickford said:

“We are delighted to welcome Martin Orrmo to Pickfords. He brings a wealth of experience and market knowledge, and will provide invaluable leadership and support to our existing team in Sweden.”

For any enquiries

Contact Martin on email martin.orrmo@pickfords.com or telephone him direct on +46 70 754 90 20

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


Keep
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.


Sell
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.


Recycle
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)


Chuck
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

Checklist

  • 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.”