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.

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

6 sure-fire ways to lose your rental deposit

Moving into rented property normally means paying four to six weeks’ rent up front in the form of a deposit, as insurance against any issues at the end of your tenancy. Unfortunately, some landlords and letting agencies can be known to withhold part or all of your deposit for seemingly petty or even absurd reasons.

With a significant sum of money at stake, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep your deposit. Here are six ways that inaction can lead to losing all or part of this investment:

Missing a rent payment

Any missed rent will be deducted from your deposit. If the amount you owe exceeds your deposit, you could even be taken to court. Don’t rely on paying cash-in-hand or remembering to transfer your rent each time it’s owed; set up a direct debit with your bank to ensure the full rental amount is payed every month without fail.

Not checking your inventory

Your landlord or letting agency should provide a list of furniture and features within the property when you move in, which you will be expected to sign. Before you do, read this inventory carefully and note anything that doesn’t match with what’s actually in the property. Also highlight any existing damage or wear-and-tear to ensure you don’t get charged for them upon leaving.

Forgetting to take photos

Another way to protect yourself against false damage claims is to take photos of any existing damage on the day you move in. Any photos taken on a smartphone or digital camera should be automatically time-stamped so you can prove they were taken before your tenancy began.

Neglecting to read the contact

Failing to give the contract your full attention is a risky move, as this will explain exactly what is expected of you regarding the return of your deposit. Make sure you read the entire contract carefully to reduce the chance of any nasty surprises when you move out.

Putting off highlighting issues

Notify your landlord or letting agency as soon as anything stops working or is accidentally damaged. If you put off letting them know, they are more likely to interpret the issue as deliberate damage on your part and deduct the cost of repair from your deposit.

Avoiding the cleaning

Unless the property is spotless at the end of your tenancy, cleaning costs may be deducted from your deposit. But waiting until the last week to do one big clean is a recipe for failure. Make an effort to clean your property regularly so you will have much less to do before you leave.


Ready to move into your rental? Contact Pickfords for a free removals estimate, or request a call from us today and ask about our professional cleaning service at the time of your move.

Moving back to the UK: a repat checklist [infographic]

Has the sun set on your time abroad? Whatever your reason for returning to the UK, there are a number of things to remember as you prepare. Here’s our handy checklist for UK repatriates:

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Looking to move back to the UK? Pickfords repatriates customers from every country across the world to any postcode in the UK or Ireland. Find out more about moving with Pickfords or get a quote today.

Home storage hacks: making the most of your space

After a home move, most of us want our belongings packed and tidied away quickly so we can relax and settle in to our new abode. But faced with an unfamiliar layout, finding a place for everything can be tricky, especially if you want to keep each room tidy and clutter-free. Follow these storage tips to make the most of your space and keep your new home clean and tidy.

Freestanding shelving

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Shelving isn’t just for dusty hardbacks

Don’t let the word ‘bookshelf’ limit your imagination. Freestanding shelving units can be used to display all sorts of household items, including:

  • Small ornaments, artwork or houseplants
  • Framed photos
  • Folded fabrics, linens and pillows
  • Paired shoes
  • Small boxes of jewellery, toys or gadgets
  • Crockery and glassware
  • Dry goods (anything in a sealed box, tin or jar)

Wall-mounted shelving

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Free up floor space with shelving units

If you don’t have the floor space for freestanding storage, wall-mounted shelving is another great option for storing smaller items such as ornaments, houseplants and photos.

Strategically-placed wall mounts can help keep related houseware together: why not keep your cookbooks on small shelves in the kitchen, or install a couple of units in the living room for DVDs and console games? The possibilities are endless.

Bespoke kitchen and bathroom wall mounts

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Hanging storage can help keep awkward utensils out the way

Rails, hooks and other accessories can save plenty of space in your kitchen and bathroom. You probably already have loo roll holders and towel rails, but have you considered wall mounting your soap dispenser, toilet brush or toothbrush holder?

In the kitchen, wall mounts such as magnets, polls and hooks can help keep knives, large utensils, spices and other culinary essentials neat and tidy.

Door and wall hooks

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Save cupboard space with coat hooks in your hallway

Hangers and hooks can be used on the back of doors or in your hallway. Use these to keep bulky items such as hats, coats and bags out of drawers and cupboards yet easily accessible. You could also hang tie, belt or scarf racks from hooks on the back of your wardrobe doors for a neat display and easy access.

Baskets, chests and ottomans

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The best ottomans can double as extra seating

These squat storage solutions are ideal for blankets, throws, cushions, towels and bedding. Baskets, chests and ottomans are easily tidied away against walls, under beds or at the bottom of wardrobes, and the more robust designs can double as extra seating or a handy stool.

Drawer organisers

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Keep accessories tidy by using dividers in your drawers

Most kitchens have cutlery dividers in their drawers, but have you ever thought of doing the same across the house? Socks, undies, ties, belts, makeup, jewellery, stationery, and anything else you keep in drawers can be handily organised with plastic or wooden dividers or small boxes.


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

How to Create the Feeling of Home in a New Area

A big move can be a daunting experience, so make it easier for yourself with these helpful ideas

Original article first published on Houzz

Laura Gaskill, Houzz Contributor

If you’ve ever made a big move, whether to a different county or a different country, you are probably familiar with that uprooted feeling that comes along with leaving everything known for something different and new. It can be exciting but also… terrifying. How do you build a life in a new place? When you’re wondering how to find the supermarket, navigate the tube and perhaps even learn a new language, having a warm, cosy, comfortable place where you can rest your head becomes even more important than usual. Making a home away from home is hard — get the ball rolling by trying out one or more of these ideas.

Set up a routine
When you arrive in a new place, whether it’s a different city or a different continent, a daily routine can help create a feeling of normalcy. Seek out a few spots in your local area – a café, bakery and newsagent, for instance – and visit them each day. Smile and say hello (or bonjour or ciao) to the shopkeeper, sip your coffee, eat breakfast and repeat. After a few days of this, you and the shopkeepers (and maybe a few other regulars) will get to recognise one another, making the greetings more familiar and perhaps warmer.

 

 

Shop and cook à la Julia Child
Channel Julia Child, who famously explored France, often solo, while her diplomat husband Paul Child was busy working. Although Julia must have stuck out in a sea of native Parisians, she fully embraced the experience by tapping into her passion for food — something people of all cultures understand. Give yourself a mission to explore the markets and local foods of whatever area you have moved to, whether that’s Paris or Edinburgh.

Learn more about where you are
It’s natural to feel out of sorts when you first arrive in a new place — but don’t let that discomfort turn to feeling judgmental or bitter about the differences between where you are now and where you used to live. Read books about the area and the culture. Sign up for a language course or join a conversation group. Cultivate an attitude of optimism and curiosity about your surroundings.

 

 

Create a sanctuary in your bedroom
Exploring a new city can be exhausting, especially if there are language differences involved. Give yourself the gift of an utterly safe and comforting place in which to land at the end of each day by making your bedroom the ultimate sanctuary. Soft lighting, lovely bedding, a scented candle, cosy slippers and perhaps a small radio or a phone dock so you can listen to your favourite music will help the space feel like home.

Discover tranquil bedroom ideas

 

 

Embrace the local coffee (or tea) break
From English teatime to the Swedish coffee-and-cake break known as fika, it seems nearly everywhere in the world has its own break-time tradition.

So wherever you are, do as the locals do. In Italy enjoy a shot of espresso taken in a single gulp while standing at the bar in the café, like the locals do on a quick break from work.

A small shift in the way you do things, even in your own home, such as taking afternoon tea rather than coffee, can be a gentle way to nudge yourself into a new culture.

 

 

Treat yourself to lots of fresh flowers and candles
A simple but highly effective way to make your new home feel cosy and welcoming is to go a little wild with candlelight and fresh flowers.

Cluster candles on trays, put one on your bedside table and line them up at the centre of your dining table.

Visit a flower stall or grocery store and treat yourself to fresh blooms once a week. When your mood needs bolstering, light all your candles, put on some lovely music and inhale the scent of the flowers gracing your space.

Check out how to display flowers

Connect online with people back home … but not too much
This is the digital age, after all – you might as well take advantage of it! Connect with friends and family through video calls and social media, if you like. But remember, connecting with long-distance loved ones should be a nice treat, not a substitute for getting out there and building a satisfying and interesting life in your new area.

 

 

Put personal treasures on display
Books, photos, artwork and other personal items become even more important when you’re in a new place.

Take an afternoon to display your things in your new place – hang up photos of friends and family, organise your bookshelves and put your favourite linen on the bed.

 

 

Reinvent your style … if you want to
You’re in a new place, and no one knows you yet. Why not take this as an opportunity to try out a new look? Edit your wardrobe, organise your wardrobe and go shopping. Besides, shopping is a great excuse to get out there and explore a new area.

 

 

Make a personal connection in the new place
Easier said than done, but well worth the effort. If you’re finding it hard to meet people, try seeking out a local group related to one of your passions or hobbies. Take a class, volunteer for a local charity or attend an event that sounds interesting. If you’ve moved to a new country, connect with the local expat community. If you’re a parent, seek out a play group to join. Once you’ve made one connection, it’s bound to lead to others.

 

 

Tend a garden
Planting something, even a potted garden on your balcony, makes a statement that this is a place you plan to stay in for a while.

If you love gardening but don’t have a garden of your own, see if there is a local community garden where you could get a small area to tend — it could also be a great way to connect with other like-minded people.

Get more garden inspiration

Collect moments of beauty
Of course, there are places we immediately think of as beautiful, but every place has its own charm. Grab your camera and head out on a daily walk, snapping pictures of the little things that catch your eye.

If you want to make it interesting, issue yourself a creative challenge – take photos of a single colour, or find the first letter of your name or a heart shape. The creative project will loosen you up, and you may end up with some frameworthy shots to boot!

Reignite your wanderlust
Plan a day trip to a region you’ve never explored. After the shock of being somewhere totally new, you may realise that the place you come back ‘home’ to feels exactly like that … home.

Make your home feel sweet, even if it is temporary
Those who move frequently, learn that home is where you make it. No matter how long you think you’ll be staying where you are, you might as well make it the best possible experience while it lasts.

Christmas traditions around the world [infographic]

Going overseas for Christmas, or looking to expatriate in time for next December? With Yuletide celebrated across so much of the world, what festivities might you expect in your host country?

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Moving overseas this Christmas? Pickfords delivers our customers’ belongings to every country across the world. Request a quote today to avoid disappointment.

Moving home advice: 2017 roundup [part 2]

(Click here for part 1.)

This year we’ve been sharing a wide range of tips and advice to help you make the most of your home move. Here’s part 2 of our 2017 roundup:

Moving in the UK

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.

Self-store v long-term storage: what’s best for me?

What’s the difference between the two main types of storage, self-store and long-term storage? What’s best for your living situation, and what are the benefits of each? Find out more.

How to prepare for moving out [10 tips]

Once you’ve booked your home move, there are a few things you can do around the house to make packing and moving out go extra smoothly. Follow these tips to prepare your home for the big day.

How to prepare for moving in [10 tips]

As well as preparing your old property for moving out, there are several things you can do in your new home to prepare for delivery of your belonging.

How to manage your time in moving limbo [infographic]

When moving home, there’s often a gap between the time you sign for your new property and when you actually move in. We call this ‘moving limbo’. And while this waiting period can seem like an eternity, there are plenty of ways to distract yourself and stay productive in preparation for move day.

Moving home at Christmas [12 top tips]

With presents to wrap, cards to write, decorations to hang and food to prepare, it’s easy to get a little tense during the festive season. But there’s no reason why your home move has to add to the pressure. Follow these 12 tips to ensure your Christmastime move goes without a hitch.

How to prepare your home for a child

Welcoming a child into your home is an exciting time, but most properties need a bit of work before they’re ready for little ones. Here’s how to prepare your home for a new arrival.

What to do before you move: 6 essentials [infographic]

While your removal company will take care of everything on the day, there are a few things to take care of beforehand to ensure your move goes without a hitch. Here are six pre-move essentials to make move day a breeze.

Moving overseas

What to do before you move abroad: 6 essentials [infographic]

If you are planning to live overseas, there are a few things to check off the list before you take the trip.

The most visa-friendly careers in New Zealand

One of the most popular destinations for UK expats, New Zealand offers a spectacular scenery, a high quality of living and a wealth of employment opportunities in key industries. To help you decide whether New Zealand holds the key to your next career move, we’ve listed the biggest job sectors of this beautiful island nation.

10 reasons to work abroad

As a working expat, little else will open so many doors, personally or professionally. Here are 10 great reasons to take a job overseas.

Emigrating to Spain: what you need to know [infographic]

Whether you’re emigrating for work, retirement, or just a change of scenery, there are a few things to arrange before making the move to Spain.

How to prevent the expat blues

There are many great reasons to move abroad. But like any major life decision, there are also potential downsides. Get ahead of these possible drawbacks by following our top tips to avoid the expat blues and make your overseas experience a positive one.

What plug? An expat guide to power outlets [infographic]

When moving abroad, most electricals are compatible between different countries, but only with the right plug. Stay ‘current’ and find out which adaptor you’ll need with our handy infographic.

Shipping goods to Australia: an expat guide

When planning what to move to Australia, you should be aware of the various taxes and duties applied to certain goods, as well as the accompanying paperwork that ensures the smooth transition of your belongings through customs. Find out more.

Canadian culture: a British expat guide [infographic]

As with any new environment, British expats in Canada will face a number of cultural differences that may jar at first, but over time will serve as a positive reminder of why you originally decided to emigrate. Find out more.

Emigrating to Australia: what you need to know [infographic]

With good wages, a high standard of living and a laid back culture, Australia is by far the most popular destination for British expats. Here’s what you need to know before making the move Down Under.

 


Looking to move home in 2018? Pickfords offers a wide range of domestic and international removal services for customer across the UK. Visit our website to find out more.

How to Turn Your Home into a Haven

Create a welcoming haven every time you open the front door with these tips for designing a home that makes you smile

Original article first published on Houzz

Amanda Pollard, Houzz Contributor

It’s where you come back to at the end of every day, and the first place you see in the morning, so it’s important that where you live brings you joy. Follow these inspiring ideas to spread a little happiness in your home.

 

 

Let in the sunshine
Nothing will lift your mood more than sunlight beaming in through your windows. So to ensure your home gets its full quota of rays, keep the glass clean and free from streaks and finger marks.

Of course, for the outside it’s best to call in a professional, but the insides are easy to clean yourself. Use a dry brush to sweep away dust from the frames, then sponge the glass with soapy water. Finally, remove the water by making ‘s’ shapes on the window with a squeegee. Windows need to be cleaned at least twice a year. Don’t think yours are dirty? Give them a clean and you’ll immediately notice the difference.

 

 

Promote a warm welcome
Ensure you feel good every time you come home by creating an inviting hallway. You’ll need some good storage for all your outdoor paraphernalia, so that the entrance is tidy as you enter. Include some hooks for your coats, a shoe rack and some baskets for scarves, gloves and umbrellas.

Freshen up the area by painting the walls and door. Here, everything has been kept white to make it feel really bright and airy. However, a bold colour would work just as well. The key is to choose a scheme that makes you happy. Add some mood-lifting extras such as flowers, a mirror, or a beautifully scented reed diffuser.

Essential style tricks to give you hallway a boost

 

 

Make your bed
A good day needs a cheery start, so one of the most positive things you can do at home is make your bed. By tidying your sleeping area when you wake up, you’ll begin your day on a good note. This simple act will make you feel super organised and ready for action.

Then later on, when you head sleepily up to bed, you’ll find a restful space to relax in.

Get a good night’s sleep
To make sure your sleep is even more restful, it’s best to be in a completely dark room. When it’s dark, our bodies produce more of the hormone melatonin, which makes us feel tired. Light, on the other hand gives powerful cues to the brain that it’s time to wake up. To stop street lamps or early- morning sunlight poking in, put up blinds or curtains with a black-out lining.

Similarly, keep a low-wattage incandescent lamp on your bedside table to help you wind down before you go to sleep.

 

 

Bring in fresh flowers
A vase of beautiful flowers instantly cheers up a room, and lifts the mood of whoever is looking at it. By putting some flowers on your kitchen table you will connect with nature every time you come into the room.

Your choice of flowers can be anything from a huge mixed bouquet, to a simple seasonal sprig. Start in January with some early daffodils and hyacinths, then keep checking what’s around throughout the year. If you have some outside space, try growing flowers that you can cut. A great choice are pretty, fragranced sweet peas, which you have to cut every day to encourage growth.

Find beautiful vases for your flowers

 

Photo by Life on a Wall

Fill it with happy memories
Display things around your home that remind you of friends, family and places that you’ve visited. Put travel souvenirs where you can see them, to remind you of experiences, and to perhaps prompt you to make new plans.We all have hundreds of photos on our digital equipment nowadays, but we often forget to print them out. Put an evening aside to sort through them all, get a selection printed and plan a creative way to display them. The bright photo-collage on the back wall of this kitchen has really brought the room to life.

Discover dining room design inspiration

 

 

Share it with animals
Want to instantly de-stress after a long day? How about curling up on the sofa and stroking your pet. Studies have shown that the simple act of cuddling an animal releases the chemical oxytocin, which makes us feel calm.

The benefits don’t stop there though. By keeping a pet at home, you’ll have the opportunity to form a new relationship with another creature, and hopefully you’ll be rewarded by lots of fun and cuddles.

Do those quick fixes
Those troublesome household irks, such as leaky taps and broken door handles shouldn’t be ignored. Every time you come across something that needs fixing, you could find yourself irritated by it. So rather than putting these annoying jobs off, get stuck in instead.

A little effort will result in a well-run home with no tricky hindrances, and you’ll get a welcome feeling of accomplishment to boot.

 

 

Make a space for you
In a busy household it’s important to find a place to gather your thoughts and spend a few minutes by yourself. Being alone for a while will allow you to recharge, and get ready to face the world again.

If you can’t grab a whole room for yourself, a cosy corner will do fine. Here, the armchair is ideally located next to the fire, with an angled table lamp placed perfectly for reading.

If you have a hobby, such as crocheting or painting, create a designated space for it. Devise storage that will keep all your equipment to hand, so you can easily dip in and out whenever you have some spare time.

Connect with your neighbours
What really makes most of us happy are our relationships with other people. By making friends with your neighbours, you’ll be able to nurture those relationships every time you’re at home.

Make the effort to start a conversation every time you see your neighbours, offer to water their plants while they’re away and invite them round for a cuppa. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to turning your street into a real community.

Discover ways to nurture a happy neighbourhood

 

 

 

Make healthy eating easy
Encourage a positive lifestyle, by making sure healthy food is within reach. The most obvious way is to put a bowl of fruit on the table, but there are other things you can do.

Avoid last minute dinner decisions by displaying a meal planner in the kitchen, with nourishing options for the whole week. If you have children, get them involved by asking them to contribute their ideas.

Think up ways you can make it easy to choose a wholesome snack. Keep nuts and granola bars in tempting glass jars. If you’ve invested in a juicer or yoghurt maker, don’t let it languish in the cupboard. Make room for it on the worktop so you’ll be more inclined to use it.