Give Your Home a Refresh this Autumn

Say goodbye to summer’s lethargy and have a sort-out at home. It’s time to channel that back-to-school-feeling for domestic good!

Original article first published on Houzz

Jo Simmons, Houzz Contributor

Even if your school and uni days are far behind you, there is something about September and October that always feels new and purposeful. The summer is over and the streets are full of young people bustling off to school each morning and adults settling back into a working routine. OK, so you no longer need to organise your pencil case and cover your textbooks with wallpaper, but you can still channel this new-term energy by whipping your home and yourself into shape, ready for autumn. A touch of targeted tidying, some clever organising and a few small lifestyle tweaks should help you start afresh.

 

Take care of yourself
Growing children need new shoes and clothes at the start of an academic year and while your feet may not have gone up a size over the summer, this could be a good time to book in for any key health appointments. Is it time for an eye check? Are you overdue at the dentist? Perhaps you just need a haircut! Channel the new-term feel by booking health reviews, check-ups or personal grooming sessions now.

 

 

Overhaul your diet
Don’t wait until New Year to start a new healthy-eating regime. After a summer of rosé and holiday food, now is a great time to rethink what you eat. Injecting some new, healthy dishes into your tried and trusted repertoire will perk up the shorter evenings and help to ensure everyone in the family is fighting fit and able to cope with school, work and the coming sniffle season.

 

 

Prepare the garden for autumn
Clean and store garden furniture safely for the winter. Leaving wooden chairs out in the rain can damage them and shorten their life, while chairs with any metal detailing can rust. Pack up your barbecue, too, and take down any summer bunting that might not survive the winter. Now is also a good time to hang bird feeders, as the weather grows colder and our feathered friends find their food supplies drying up.

 

 

Look at your lighting
Before the clocks change and we plunge into winter, take some time to think about your lighting. Over summer, we are able to overlook any deficiencies in our lighting, but come the shorter days these become more obvious. Use your new-term energy to tackle lighting now, before autumn fully arrives and you lose impetus. Dealing with domestic problems outside the season when they are most apparent is the smart thing to do, so using that logic, get any roof repairs, draft-exclusion work or insulation done now, ready for when it will be truly needed.

Welcome winter with new lighting products

Blitz a junk drawer
Every home has one, and it could be anywhere in your house (although the kitchen is the usual suspect for harbouring a junk drawer). This space supposedly holds kitchen utensils, stationery or underwear, but in fact it’s become a wilderness of junk, containing everything from elastic bands and takeaway menus to dead batteries and odd socks. Time to take action.

Discover 9 ways to deal with clutter in your home

 

 

Bring winter clothes out of storage
If you have stored winter clothes in boxes over the summer, think about getting them out of storage now. This gives you time to check over your jumpers, scarves and coats to see if any need dry cleaning before the cold weather arrives. You can then whizz through your wardrobe and store any seriously summery clothes away, too.

 

 

Service your bike
You might remember to service the car once a year, but how about your bike? Servicing it will ensure it’s safe to use and can prolong its life, so direct some new-term zeal towards your two wheels. If your children are cycling to school, perhaps after a summer of not using their bikes much, it’s a good idea to get their bikes serviced, too.

 

 

Ditch what’s out of date
Have a new-term tidy up, but give it a focus, too. Chuck out any expired medicines, lotions or bath products. There will be a use by date on medicines but apply common sense with less serious products. If you haven’t used that tube of foot exfoliator this summer, you probably never will. Bin it! Take the same approach with make-up. Old make-up can harbour bacteria and lead to eye infections, so check the labels for how long each item should be open and in use for, and ditch accordingly.

Discover more bathroom ideas

Go back to school yourself
Many adult education colleges are still enrolling for courses, so if you have always wanted to improve your Spanish or learn how to throw a pot, see if you can book onto a course now and go back to school this autumn. Failing that, set aside some time to enjoy learning at home. Create a list of books you have always intended to read, or go online for suggestions. The broadsheet Sunday supplements and review sections often have lists of the best new books – these could become your autumn reading list.

 

 

Purge the dodgy plastic
Bulky plastic containers are essential for food storage, but many of us are guilty of keeping too many. So have a plastic cull. Ditch any containers that are stained, smelly, distorted or without a lid. Pare down your collection of old takeaway curry containers, too. One or two might prove handy; a whole stack of them will not.

How to make the most of your wardrobe space

A home move is a great opportunity to reconsider the layout of your wardrobe. When unpacking after moving in, it can be tempting to try and place your clothing back as it was in your old bedroom. But with a bit of forethought, you can maximise your wardrobe space and introduce a fresh layout that means you’ll always know where to find your favourite items.

Overhead storage

  • Use shelf dividers to keep bags and other items neatly stacked
  • Keep similar, smaller items together by using separate storage boxes, e.g. for belts, cufflinks, makeup, scarves, purses, hats and jewellery

Hanging items

  • Use cascading hooks or tiered hangers to optimise your hanging space
  • Invest in an over-the-door shoe organiser
  • Hang belts, scarves, necklaces, ties and other long items inside the doors with stick-on or screw-in hooks

Shelving

  • Dedicate certain shelves to folded clothes; keep out-of-season items at the back
  • Stack bulky jumpers and large towels no more than four high, and t-shirts and cardigans no more than five high
  • Make the most of your vertical space by investing in wire shelving units

Drawers

  • Stack clothes vertically rather than horizontally
  • Keep items separated with drawer dividers or mini storage boxes

Floor space

  • Free up floor space with an over-the-door shoe organiser
  • Alternatively, invest in a shoe rack to keep your footwear neat and paired
  • Invest in large storage boxes for bulky items such as bags and out-of-season coats
  • Make use of any extra space with wire mesh drawers or wheeled storage boxes

Need to clear some wardrobe space before your move? Pickfords will collect your unwanted clothing and homeware to raise money for Cancer Research UK!

Contact Pickfords for expert local, national and international packing and removals. Click here for a quote or find out more.

Making the Transition Between House Moves that Little Bit Easier

Say goodbye to a much-loved home and settle in quickly to a new place with these tips for a smooth physical and emotional move

Full article originally published on Houzz

Jo Simmons, Houzz Contributor

Moving house is so much more than simply relocating 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 strapping teenagers under its roof. 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.

Moving to a smaller home? Discover how to downsize happily

Snap it messy!
Take pictures of your home on a typical day, when it’s not clean and tidy. This will provide a more meaningful snapshot of your house and how you used it.

You could arrange all these images in an album, with the address and the dates you lived there on the front. This serves as a lovely record of your time, but also a realistic account. If you have mixed feelings about moving on, honest images of all the good and bad elements of your last place may help you feel more positive about your new home.

 

Leave your mark
Why not leave a little something of yourself behind, before you move out? No, that does not mean a sink full of unwashed coffee mugs! Try something more subtle.

You could go for the classic time capsule, hidden in the loft. Or write a letter to the new owners, welcoming them to the house and explaining what you loved about it. You could even sign your name somewhere and date it, perhaps on the ceiling inside a cupboard or on the rafters in the loft.

 

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.

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

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 very 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

 

Get fresh
Fling open the windows on the first day, too, to air the rooms and freshen up the whole house. In the evening, light a few scented candles.

 

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. When you arrive at your new home, shut the cat in a single room for safety, with water, a litter tray and her bed.

You can let your cat out at the end of the day to explore, but confine her to a few rooms so she doesn’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.

Discover more beautifully designed kitchens

 

Do right by your dog
Dogs should be introduced to the house by you. Keep them on a lead and take them around the key rooms, one at a time, allowing them to sniff and explore, but under your supervision. You wouldn’t expect guests to run all over the house, upstairs and down, the moment they arrived, so don’t let your dog.

Point out where his bed is and even keep upper floors out of bounds at first, so he doesn’t feel overwhelmed by his new territory.

 

Personalise the place
Paint a wall, hang up photos or order some new blinds. Even if the rest of the redecorating will take months, a few small tweaks can really help you start to stamp your personality on your new home.

Find lots of wonderful home products on Houzz

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 prepare for moving in [10 tips]

Once you’ve booked your home move, there are several things you can do to make the day go extra smoothly. As well as preparing your old property for moving out (see last week’s blog), there are things you can do in your new home to prepare for delivery of your belongings:

1. Set out the essentials
Make sure every room has working light bulbs, and pop some loo roll and hand-wash in the bathrooms.

2. Clean everywhere
Pre-delivery is a great opportunity to carry out a deep clean of your new home before your belongings get in the way.

3. Take lots of photos
If renting, be sure to document any existing damage to the property to avoid unnecessary repair fees at the end of your contract.

4. Set up your utilities
Make sure your electricity, gas, water, TV licence and broadband are set up so you’re home is habitable as soon as you’re unpacked.

5. Sort out some snacks
Have some refreshments ready for everyone involved in the move.

6. Plan the new layout
Decide where your furniture and effects will go in each room so everything can be put into place quickly on arrival.

7. Make room for rubbish
In your layout plan, set aside a place to discard packing materials and keep empty cartons until they can be collected by your removal company.

8. Book any post-move services
Arrange a professional for any items that will require technical installation upon delivery.

9. Check your inventory
Track down your item list and read it through before your delivery arrives so you know exactly what to expect on the day.

10. Plan your evening meal
Sorting through belongings is hard work, so the last thing you’ll want to do is cook. Book a restaurant or track down the nearest takeaway for a post-move-day treat!


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

How to organise your home library

Despite the popularity of digital downloads, physical books have made a comeback in recent years. So whether or not you’re an ebook fan, chances are you still have a decent collection of paperbacks and hardbacks lining your shelves.

Moving home is a great opportunity to reorganise, so follow these steps to sort through your collection and create the perfect home library:

1. Gather all your books into one place

The first step is to know what you’re working with. Find all your books from across your home and put them in one big pile.

2. Purge

This is the hard part. Chances are you have at least some books you can live without. Go through every single volume, identify those you’ll never read again, and get rid.

👉 If you decide to purge your collection before moving home, Pickfords will collect your unwanted tomes and donate them to Cancer Research UK.

3. Decide on a system

There are plenty of ways you could organise your collection. Here are just some ideas to get you started:

  • Alphabetically by author
  • By genre
  • By size
  • By colour

You may even decide on a different system for fiction and nonfiction, or to change it up for different rooms. Whatever you choose, try to strike a balance between what looks great, and what will make your collection easy to navigate.

4. Spice it up

Once your books are back on the shelves and in the order you want, it’s time to get decorative. For each shelf, choose a few volumes to either stack horizontally or face outwards. This will help draw the eye to some favourites and keep your shelves aesthetically interesting.

5. Dot some volumes around the house

What’s the point in all those books if you don’t share the love? Pick some interesting volumes to place on coffee tables, in guest bedrooms and (perhaps controversially) in the loo. This will keep your visitors entertained and kick off some great conversations.


Need a new home for your growing book collection? When it’s time to move, Pickfords will expertly pack your home library into specialist media boxes and safely transport them to your new property. Click here to find out more, or request a quote today.

Going it alone: the pitfalls of DIY moves

When moving a small household locally, it can be tempting to hire a van and do everything yourself. At first this might seem like the cheaper option, but moving without expert help is risky and may end up costing you in other ways. Here are the main pitfalls of do-it-yourself moving:

High risk of breakages

Moving yourself means moving without professionally trained removalists or high quality packing materials. Different household items require different packing techniques and materials to ensure maximum security and minimal risk of breakage. Without knowledge of these techniques or access to the highest quality materials, you run the risk of damaging your belongings.

Lack of necessary equipment

Chances are you don’t have specialist moving dollies, carts, blankets, hoists, straps, or any of the other equipment professional removal companies use to transport customers’ belongings safely and with ease. Most van hire companies won’t provide these either.

Extra time required

Hiring a van adds extra time to the moving process, as you normally have to collect and return the vehicle at the hire company’s convenience. Many companies require you to top up the van’s fuel, and you may need to spend time figuring out a new set of controls before you can confidently drive it.

Packing yourself is also time consuming. Sourcing the right materials, planning, emptying each room, constructing boxes, wrapping and packing each item, and taking multiple trips to the hire van with heavy cartons, all adds up to a long, knackering day.

Stress

There’s a lot to consider when moving yourself. What items did you pack into which boxes? Did you wrap the crockery or glassware carefully enough? Is the van’s fuel tank full? Do you know the route to your new home? Are you confident driving a three tonne transit van? All this can create unnecessary anxiety on moving day.

Exhaustion

Moving yourself is incredibly hard work. If you’re not used to moving hefty boxes, prepare to become exhausted very quickly. It’s easy to pack boxes too heavily, which can cause injury, or not full enough, increasing the number of trips to the van and wearing yourself out.

 

Avoiding the pitfalls: a better solution

A reputable removal company will use trained, experienced removal crews who know how to take the best care of your belongings. They use professional packing techniques and quality materials and equipment, tailored to your individual requirements. A professional company knows how to pack and transport with efficiency and care, eliminating the stress, exhaustion and hassle of moving yourself.


Moving locally on a budget? With Pickfords Man and Van, you benefit from a professional crew at an hourly rate; great value for small, short distance moves. Find out more or get a quote today.

6 reasons you should move to Glasgow

Scotland’s largest city attracts thousands of people from across the world every year. Many seek new career opportunities, while for others it’s a leisure destination or a change of scenery. So what is it about Glasgow that makes over 600,000 people proud to call it home?

The growing jobs market
Glasgow’s economy has experienced rapid growth in recent years. In the UK, it is second only to London at 4.4% per annum, while in Europe the city ranks amongst the top 10 highest growth. Glasgow’s largest job sectors include manufacturing, retail, finance, business services and healthcare.

Affordable living costs
Scotland’s largest city is remarkably affordable. Glasgow’s average property rental sits at £720 per month, compared to £1,392 in Edinburgh and £2,697 in London. Glasgow’s average house price is £163,004, while Edinburgh sits at £247,342 and London £605,684. Transport, dining and other living costs are also reasonable.

Natural beauty
While known as a hub of industry, it may be a surprise to learn that Glasgow is also home to over 90 parks and gardens. Among the most visited are:
  • Kelvinsgrove Park, featuring the beautiful River Kelvin and bordering Kelvinsgrove Museum
  • Pollok Country Park, famous for Pollok House and its iconic Highland Cattle
  • Rouen Glen, an award-winning hub of wildlife, plants and greenery
Shopping!
Fashion lovers will feel right at home in Scotland’s style capital. Visit Argyle, Buchanana and Sauchiehall Street for the ultimate shopping experience. Glasgow’s ‘style mile’ boasts over 200 boutiques, designer stores and speciality shops.

Amazing, FREE museums
Art and culture is largely free of charge in Glasgow. Among the best free museums are:
  • The Gallery of Modern Art, exhibiting international artists with Glaswegian interests and influences
  • Riverside Museum, home to some of the world’s finest cars, bicycles, trams and locomotives
  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, displaying extensive armour, artwork and natural history collections
Gorgeous architecture
Discover Glasgow’s distinctive architecture dotted throughout the city. Most famous are the works of Alexander Thomson (1817 – 1875 and Charles Rebbue Mackintosh (1868 – 1928).
Observe Thomson’s Greaco-Egyptian style by visiting:
  • St. Vincent Street Church
  • Great Western Terrace
  • Holmwood House (Thomson’s villa)
Examples of the Mackintosh ‘Glasgow style’ include:
  • Willow Tearooms
  • Scotland Street School
  • Glasgow School of Art

Considering a move to Glasgow or the surrounding areas? Contact Pickfords for a free move consultation on 0800 019 8557 or request a call back.