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.

1. Book well in advance

As soon as you know your move date, book your removal company. Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for moving, so book early to ensure you get the dates you want.

2. Choose a morning slot

The night draws in early at Christmastime. Book your move early in the morning to ensure as much daylight as possible throughout the move.

3. Prepare for darkness

If you’re moving long distance or carrying a large household, even an early start may mean your winter move ends in the dark. Pack some torches to help you find the unfamiliar light switches in your new home.

4. Tell friends and family

Make sure all your Christmas cards arrive at your new address by letting friends and family know you’ve moved.

5. Set up post redirection

Even after telling everyone your new address, forgetful friends might still send Christmas mail to your old property. To make sure you get all your seasonal post by signing up to the Royal Mail redirection service.

6. Contact your utility suppliers

With the high costs of gas, electric and water in the winter months, ensure you don’t end up paying the new residents’ bills after you move out. Contact your utility suppliers and let them know when you’ll be moving.

7. Pack a Christmas feast

Don’t forget that shops close earlier over Christmas, so stock up on some essentials before the move, ready for a festive feast after you’ve unpacked.

8. Keep  the kids occupied

Children hyped up on the excitement of Christmas will likely be obstacles to a safe, successful move. Set up a play room or ask a neighbour to babysit until the removal is complete.

9. Ask for help

Even if you opt for a full packing service with your removal company, asking friends and family for a little help with the initial clear-out will go a long way.

10. Keep pathways clear

Most of us pine for a white Christmas, but winter weather can prove disruptive on move day. You can help your removal team by gritting or shovelling any snow or ice clear of pathways and parking areas.

11. Wrap up warm

Moving your belongings in and out means your doors will be open most of the day. Protect yourself against the winter breeze by wearing plenty of warm layers.

12. Invest in seasonal storage

A Christmas move risks exposing Santa’s presents to prying children. Keep your gifts out of the way by placing them into storage for the duration of the move.


Planning a home move this festive season? Book now and Pickfords’ little elves will deliver your belongings in time for Christmas. Contact us for a quote or request a call from your local move team today.

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.

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

Personal storage is an increasingly popular service, providing flexibility for homeowners when moving, decorating, or otherwise organising their belongings. So 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?

Self-store

Self storage is designed primarily for smaller volumes of goods needing storage for a short period. This service is ideal if you

  • Need somewhere to store seasonal items, such as Christmas decorations or outdoor furniture
  • Need to keep some furniture and effects out of the way while redecorating
  • Have a small household and need a stop gap during the move process

Self-store gives you the most control over your belongings. You will typically have ownership over your own packing and storage, and self-store facilities are usually very flexible about when you can access your possessions.

Long-term storage

Storage warehouses are designed to keep a large collection of belongings safe for as long as you need them. Long-term storage is perfect if you

  • Have inherited a legacy
  • Are transforming your home into a rental property or Airbnb
  • Have a large household and need a stop gap during the move process
  • Are moving abroad for a fixed period

Companies offering long-term storage will often provide a packing service to ensure professional protection of your items prior to storage. The container used to store your items should also be sealed at your home for security purposes, and transported to the storage centre for you.


Pickfords provides secure goods storage to customers throughout the UK and overseas, and operates self-storage facilities in key locations across the country. Click here to get a quote for storage, or request a call back.

Clearing the clutter of Christmas past: 9 top tips

Sofa Set

With the holiday season officially over, now’s a great time to declutter your home. Don’t stop with the Christmas decorations, what else can you clear out that provides maximum living space and, if moving home, ensures a tidy home for property viewings and ease of packing?

Here are our top tips for clearing your post-holiday clutter, and beyond:

Take your time

Decluttering can be a mammoth task; attempt to tackle everything at once and you’ll likely fail. Write a plan that covers no more than one room per day during weekends, with smaller tasks (specific cupboards or drawers) reserved for weekday evenings.

Start a room, don’t stop

Once you start a tricky room, such as a study or garage, it can be tempting to give up when the going gets tough, abandoning it for an easier task. Don’t fall into this trap, as it’ll make returning to the job much harder. Once you start a room, focus on just that room until you finish.

Use the gaps in your day

Identify small moments in your routine when you are otherwise in waiting (boiling a kettle, TV ad breaks, downloading software updates) and use them to progress a small part of your declutter, such as organising a drawer or paperwork pile.

Recruit friends and family

Make sure your entire household is involved in the project, with individuals taking primary responsibility for their own rooms and everyone pitching in with shared areas. To really power through, call in a favour from your neighbours to lend a hand.

Get the children involved

Unfortunately most of us don’t possess Mary Poppins’ magic to help clean the kids’ rooms, but you can still help children find the fun in decluttering by making a game of it or offering small rewards along the way.

Use the four-box method

For each room, label four packing boxes and place everything in them as follows:

  • ‘Keep’: items that will stay in the room
  • ‘Store’: items that can go into storage
  • ‘Recycle’: items that can be recycled or donated to charity
  • ‘Bin’: items that can be disposed of

Be ruthless!

Do you really still need last year’s Christmas cards or that ‘spare’ pair of running shoes? Be absolutely ruthless with throwing out or giving away items that you don’t need. If you haven’t used it in 12 months, chuck it. If you have paperwork going back more than a few years, most of it can be recycled or digitised.

Reorganise as you go

A primary cause of clutter is not having one place for certain things, e.g. paperwork, toys or clothes. Take this opportunity to designate a central new home for items you find strewn about the house, and keep them there.

Leave it to the experts!

Pickfords’ declutter service does the hard work for you. Whether you’re moving house and preparing for property viewings or simply in need of a tidy up, our team will pack and wrap any items you need cleared from your home and deliver them to your nearest storage warehouse until you need them again.


To find out how Pickfords can help you declutter your home, click here to contact us or speak to your local branch on 0800 019 8557.

Are my goods safe in storage? Your 5-point checklist

Storage loading

Long term and self-storage are great tools in the home moving process, allowing flexibility when selling your house or flat and keeping your belongings secure prior to settling into your new home.

Without sight of your possessions, however, it can be easy to worry about their safekeeping. Considering this potential concern, how do you ensure peace-of-mind when moving your belongings into storage?

1. Investigate the company

A reputable, experienced storage company will give you confidence that your goods will be handled with the utmost care. Look out for industry certifications and awards as helpful indicator of a company’s credentials.

Pickfords’ nation-wide storage centres are accredited by the FIDI Global Alliance and British Association of Removers (for warehouse and Self Store), as well as the ISO 9001 and BS 8522 quality standards.

For more information about Pickfords’ accreditations, click here.

2. Ask about the location

Understanding your storage facilities will give you confidence that your goods will be secure, however long you intend to store them.

Self store

For short term storage and smaller volumes, self storage facilities are ideal to pack and store you own belongings, giving you complete control over the process. Self Store also typically offers the most flexibility in accessing your possessions.

Pickfords Self Store provides access six days a week, convenient on-site parking at four accessible, inner-city locations.

Warehouse storage

Storage warehouses are designed to keep your goods safe for as long as you need them. Most warehouses use weatherproof wooden crates, nailed shut to protect against the elements, plus external security such as CCTV and burglar alarms.

Pickfords’ national storage network utilises larger wooden crates than any other removal company, eliminating safety risks associated with over-filling. Our flagship London facility includes Europe’s largest, unmanned, fire-safe warehouse, featuring 24-hour security and metal containers designed to protect items of the highest value.

3. Get help packing

If you opt for self store or otherwise wish to pack your own belongings, make sure you buy the right packing materials and research how to pack different items securely.

Drop by one of our Self Store locations for a wide range of boxes, tape and wrap to protect your goods. You can also visit our YouTube channel to help you pack like a pro!

For the truly professional touch, ask your storage company to pack your goods for you. Pickfords provide expert packing for long and short-term storage, using specialist packing materials and secure containers sealed at your residence for optimum security.

4. Request an inventory

If placing your belongings into long term storage, you may not be accessing them for several years. Arranging an inventory of your stored items means you’ll have an accurate record of all the goods in the care of your storage company.

As part of our long term storage solution, Pickfords create a complete inventory of your belongings in detail so you have complete control over your goods in store.

5. Choose the right insurance

While professional storage centres are designed to keep your belongings as safe as possible, taking out insurance helps protect you in the unlikely event that your goods are lost or damaged in store. A reputable storage company should offer sufficient insurance for your peace-of-mind.

Pickfords’ customers can opt for storage insurance, covering loss or damage excluding fire damage, fire insurance, covering damage by fire, or both. To cover all eventualities, you can also take out insurance to cover your goods while in transit to and from our storage centre.

To find out how Pickfords can help with your storage requirements, call 0800 019 8557 or visit our website.

Protecting your possessions in storage and transit

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There’s a lot at stake during your move, so it’s important to make sure you are adequately prepared. Aside from the money, time and effort it takes to move home, you need to take into account everything you are moving with you. Your furniture, clothes, and belongings may hold great value, whether financial or emotional. Nobody wants to arrive at their new home to find that some of their prized possessions and treasured memories have been lost or broken during the move.

You may be moving out of one home and into another on the same day, so will only need to protect your belongings during the moving process. Alternatively, you may be moving country, or may have to store your possessions while in between properties, so you’ll need to take this into account when protecting your belongings.

When you move home, make sure your goods are packed securely in clearly labelled boxes. For more valuable items, it’s always best to secure them with padding, such as bubble wrap, to add an extra layer of protection.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends or family, or hire a professional removal company who can make the packing and moving process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

If you need to store some of your belongings during your move, use a company you can trust. Pickfords have a nationwide network of storage facilities, with a solution to suit every situation.

A feel-good story…

Last year Pickfords teamed up with British racing driver Dean Stoneman to compete in the Powerboat P1 Championship. Dean dominated the season and won the title at a canter – a feat made all the more impressive given that he was taking his first steps back into competitive motorsport after receiving the news that he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer at the end of 2010. Dean had impressed in Formula Two during that season, securing a test with the Williams F1 Team and impressing during his drive in Abu Dhabi, and seemed set for further success when he received the devastating news.

P1 - AquaX - 2012 - Cowes

After two years out of competitive motorsport Dean came back in 2013, competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB series, winning five of 18 races to finish fifth in the championship. He has now announced that he is returning to single-seater racing, competing in the GP3 series that runs alongside sections of the Formula One season. Dean will be on track during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend on 1-3 November and all of us at Pickfords would like to congratulate him on this superb achievement!