How to disconnect your washing machine before move day [3 simple steps]

Removal teams will not typically disconnect your washing machine for you. For safety reasons, most crews won’t tamper with mains, and washing machines ideally need to be fully disconnected, drained and dry before the day of your move.

One solution is to hire a professional plumber, but the extra cost for this straightforward job may be off-putting. If you’re feeling handy and want to avoid paying out, you can disconnect your washing machine yourself. Follow these simple steps to prepare your washing machine for move day:

1. Gain access to the mains and water valves

Most washing machines are installed directly in front of the water valves and mains supply. To gain access:

  • Take any washing out of the machine and switch the machine off.
  • Open the door and place one hand beneath the top of the plastic door seal.
  • Keeping your back straight and lifting with your knees, pull the machine up so the front is off the ground.
  • Slowly shimmy the machine forward, being careful not to damage the floor. If you start to get tired, slowly place the machine on the floor and rest.
  • Keep pulling the machine as far forward as you can without putting stress on the hoses or mains wire, until you have clear access behind the machine.

2. Disconnect all pipes and wires

  • Switch off and unplug the mains socket.
  • Turn the hot and cold water valves clockwise until they cannot be turned any further.
  • Place buckets and towels underneath the water valves and washing machine.
  • Unscrew the hoses from the machine by turning them counterclockwise; point the hoses towards a bucket to catch any excess water.
  • Unscrew the hoses from the wall in the same way, and again for the waste water pipe.

3. Prepare the machine for removal

  • Double check both water valves are completely off.
  • Wipe up any stains or spills on the machine, the wall and the floor until everything is clean and dry.
  • Clean the water intakes with a bristle brush.
  • Remove the power cable or securely tape it to the machine.
  • Secure the drum, ideally with the original brackets supplied by the manufacturer.
  • Shimmy the machine back in place, again take to lift with your legs and not to strain yourself.

Your washing machine is now ready for move day!


Pickfords safely and securely packs and moves all your household belongings to your new home. Contact us for a quote or request a call from your local move team today.

Canadian culture: a British expat guide [infographic]

Canada’s open immigration policy, quality healthcare and multi-sector job vacancies makes The Great White North a high-sought destination for British expats.

As with any new environment, expats 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:

Canada expat guide


With partner offices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, Pickfords relocates hundreds of expats to Canada every year. To find out how we can help you fulfil your expatriate dream, visit our website or call 0800 019 8557.

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.

An expat’s guide to American culture [infographic]

Offering a range of work and retirement options, the US is one of the most popular destinations for UK expats. Brits destined for the Land of the Free will enjoy a largely familiar language and lifestyle, lower taxes, cheaper food and, often, better weather.

While all this can mean easier cultural integration compared to other popular destinations, Brits will inevitably encounter a degree of culture clash while stateside. Here’s a few things to look out for:

USA culture.png


With partner offices across the States, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, Pickfords relocates hundreds of expats to the USA every year. To find out how we can help you fulfil your expatriate dream, visit our website or call 0800 019 8557.

12 cost-effective ways to warm your home in the winter

With the cold nights drawing in,  keeping our homes warm can be a challenge. Simply turning up the thermostat is a costly option, both for your wallet and the environment. Follow these 12 tips to keep your home toasty in the winter without the strain on your budget.

Block your chimney
Unused chimneys are just big holes that let cold air in. Invest in a chimney balloon to keep the passage blocked when not in use.

Seal off any cracks
Crevices and cracks are often overlooked as culprits to a chilly household. Look out for gaps in windows, unsealed holes around cabling and gaps in wooden flooring, and fill these with sealant.

Block any other droughts
Look out for other drought sources and eliminate them:

  • Install a flap or brushes over the letterbox
  • Invest in keyhole covers
  • Fill cat flaps with wool insulation or blankets
  • Keep doors closed and place drought excluders in the gaps by the floor

Install double glazing
This can be  an expensive solution in the short term, but double glazed windows have been shown to save money on heating bills. If this is not an option for your home, explore secondary glazing as an alternative.

Get thicker curtains
Thermal or three-layer curtains are specially designed to retain heat. There are many different options to suit your requirements and budget.

Install blinds, shades or shutters
Add an extra layer of protection with window coverings. Find out whether blinds, shades or shutters are best for your home, and remember to keep them closed at night.

Open sun-facing curtains
The UK’s strange weather patterns mean the sun often shines in spite the cold. Take advantage of this by opening any curtains that face the sun for a natural heating solution.

Foil up the radiators
Prevent heat loss from your radiators by placing aluminium foil behind them. This reflects the heat back into the room rather than losing it into the wall.

Reconsider the living room layout
Thoughtless furniture arrangements can prevent your living room being properly heated. Rearrange the furniture so nothing sits in front of the radiators.

Set your heating on a timer
Install a timer to ensure you only heat your home when needed. Set it to heat your home just before you wake up, and just before you get home in the evening.

Cover bare floorboards
Invest in some thick rugs or carpets to cover any rooms with wooden flooring.

Invest in insulation
Your whole house can be insulated using cavity wall insulation, but this can be an expensive option. Prioritise loft insulation for effective heat loss prevention.


Ready to move to a warmer residence? Contact Pickfords for local, national and international removals and storage. Contact us for a quote or request a call from your local move team.

We will remember them: Pickfords and the Great War

This weekend, as the country commemorates the end of the hostilities of World War I, we are reminded of the realities of wartime, an inseparable part of Pickfords’ history.

The First World War

The Great War changed the way people and businesses went about their daily lives, as people and companies were deployed to help the war effort. By 1915, most of Pickfords’ resources were requisitioned. Like the London buses, Pickfords vehicles carried the materials of war, as well as troops to the front in France.

The Second World War

Pickfords was again very active during the Second World War. The company sent its lighters (flat bottomed barges) between Solent ports and the Isle of Wight to join the Little Ships that made their way across the Channel to evacuate the beaches at Dunkirk.

The company also helped transport temporary portable harbours, called Mulberry harbours, from throughout the UK to the South Coast in advance of D-Day. The harbours were then shipped across the Channel and rebuilt off the D-Day beaches to allow the Allies to land supplies before they captured one of the Normandy Ports.

This weekend we remember all those who have died as a result of wars, both modern and historic. Let us never forget the sacrifices made by so many.

Long distance moving: how to prepare

Whether for work, retirement or to be close to family, many of us will find ourselves moving from one end of the country to the other at some point in our lives. Whatever your reason, moving long distance takes a bit more planning and consideration than a typical local move. Here’s how best to prepare for your move across the country:

Move in the summer

The summer months provide more daylight hours, meaning you can get more done each day. Plus there’s less chance of having to carry boxes through bad weather.

If you have children, moving in the summer will prevent disruption to their schooling, allowing the kids time to settle in before starting somewhere new.

Plan your journey

Familiarise yourself with your journey before you travel, and plan for rest stops. The AA recommends taking a 15 minute break every two hours, and not driving more than eight hours a day.

Minimise delays by using a satnav or smartphone app that responds to traffic.

If you need to drive over multiple days, book your hotel or Airbnb well in advance to ensure the best price.

Pack the essentials

Load the car with plenty of snacks, music, and entertainment for the children.

Pack a small box with toiletries and a few kitchen basics so your new home will be functional as soon as you arrive.

Choose a national moving company

A large removal company with branches near your old and new address will have strong local knowledge to ensure the best traffic routes are taken, and will be able to manage unforeseen circumstances quickly and efficiently.

Many national moving companies provide local storage facilities to keep your belongings secure for as long as you need.


Pickfords is the UK’s largest removal company. With local branches and storage facilities across the county, we move customers’ belongings from and to every UK postcode. If you are planning a long distance relocation, contact us for a quote or request a call from your local move team.