Essex Removal Company, A J Stephenson Removals

Welcome to my Blog Site...

My Company A J Stephenson Removals, are founding members of the National Guild of Removers and Storers, and are Ombudsman approved. With over 30 years experience in Removals and Storage I am happy to offer help and advice regarding any aspect of moving you may have. I have written a unique report on removals titled "The Top Ten Removals and Storage Disasters to Avoid"! which is Free and available from my website, or by following this link. I have reciently been awarded the `ACE` Award (Annual Certificate of Excellence) from the Guild, for our consistant customer satisfaction record.

I will post regular blogs regarding different aspects of moving, please follow me and you will recieve these updates as they are posted.

Please look at my website for help & advice and much more.

I Hope you enjoy my posts!

Thanks for your Interest. Alan Stephenson

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Paying for a removal and packing service? What`s left for you to do?

 Deciding to let your remover do the packing aswell as the moving is a really good idea. The advantages of this are many but there is still lots for you to do.
If you are moving direct from house to house locally there are less considerations than if you are moving overseas with a term in storage.
By deciding to have the packing done for you, you can focus on other things such as de-cluttering.
Spend the time before the packers arrive to dispose of unwanted items you dont want in the new house. There are several methods to achieve this:-

Dump rubbish- Take to recycle centre or civil amenity site, or hire a skip if there is a large amount. A tip here is to always get a larger skip than you think you need as it will work out cheaper than getting a second smaller skip. (and theres usually more than you think!) We use Ahern Skips who cover the whole of Essex.
Unwanted furniture- There are several ways of dealing with these items, either break up and skip, arrange for the council to collect (they will usually charge a small fee and you will need to leave the items on the boundary of the property.) They will usually only take a few items, (Handy if its an old sofa and cooker!)  Talk to your remover about this, they may well offer to carry them out for you. Or consider a charity shop or if its valuable an auction. We reccommend Lighthouse charity and Chelmsford Auction Rooms.  Many people also use ebay and Freecycle as another way of disposing of items.
Brick a brack-  Smaller items such as books toys china etc are always welcome in your local charity shop, or if you want to make some money why not try Ebay or why not do a garage sale this can be a lot of fun and a way of getting the kids involved and poss earning some additional pocket money!

Now you've disposed of unwanted items you can focus on all the things you need to do In preparation for moving see our Removal Guide for info on what you need to do. You may have decorating or building work planned for the new house so you may be interested in taking advantage of a Mobile Self Storage option which will solve this problem, or if you don't want to lift the items yourself arrange with  your remover to store it for you.
 When its a few days to go make sure that you know where you want things to go. For example you may want the study items currently in Bedroom 4, put in an outbuilding at the new house. (You don`t want to find all your files are in a bedroom when you need them outside). If there is a difference of locations label the room or leave instructions, as the packers can only label where items have come from not where they are going to.
Finally the day your packers arrive allocate areas where you can accumulate items you don't want packed, I recommend on the beds for clothes bags & essentials (as the packers will not pack the bedding being used, until the moving day!) one bathroom/ en suite for toiletries and an area of the kitchen work surface for other essentials such as kettle, bottle sterilizer chargers etc..  Make sure you have remembered to separate important items such as medicines, keys & paperwork required at short notice. Make sure you keep aside any floor plans or instructions for the removers.
When the packers arrive show them the areas that you have allocated for the items that are not to be packed and then leave them to it!
By now you have probably had your decision to get a packing service confirmed, and if you have also asked the removers to do the dismantling you have nothing left to do, except Relax!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

What is a waiting time charges waiver? And why do you need it?

When moving home you may come across one of these. The whole reason for their existence is because the completion day process is so outdated.
When you buy a new property you could well find there is a delay in the money being transferred through the chain especially if you are some way along. This can be very frustrating as you have waited so long for your new property and after weeks of legal work there is still a delay in releasing keys on the day!
This whole scenario is one that has dogged the removals industry for years and caused stress and expense for many people for many years, but why does it happen?
Once Exchange of contracts has taken place the move is certain and a completion day is fixed, at this time you can confirm the day with your remover. Hopefully prior to that you have provisionally booked this date as you may find that your chosen remover is booked. (see my previous post- "What is the best day for moving house?" )  At that point all the contracts are in order, all the lending has been agreed the searches and surveys complete so it is just a simple task of sending the money through the chain so everyone can move in. Sounds simple?  It should be but for some reason there is usually a delay in the money being released from the first time buyer and further delays from solicitor to solicitor. With today's technology and instant bank transfers this should all be done in a matter of minutes!!  Unless anyone can explain to me the logical reason for this I am going to put it down to the interest the banks & solicitors gain from having large sums on deposit for short lengths of time. There can be no other reason for it, as all the donkey work has been done weeks before.
This is where the waiting time charges waiver can be very useful as you pay an upfront fee (usually between £30-£50) and it will cover you against waiting time charges your remover may charge you. We typically charge £20 per staff member per hour or part thereof after 2pm. So for example if we are all ready to unload outside your new house before 2pm and have 3 crew members present and you finally arrive with the keys at 3.30pm you would be liable for an additional £120 + VAT. (4.20pm would be £180 + VAT) If you have taken out the waiver this would be covered.
We always clearly put our charges on our quotes and offer a waiver, however, some removers are not so open so its a good idea to find out the companies policy for waiting time and preferably get it in writing if it isn't clearly stated in the terms and conditions. For more info on this subject and other problems associated with the small print see number 8 of my report "The Top Ten Removals and Storage Disasters to avoid!"

I hope that has explained what a waiting time charges waiver is and why you may need it. Please remember it is only applicable if you are buying a house and not renting or moving into store.