Guest Post: Long Distance Removals – Your Budget Friendly Options Explained

Long distance removals, whether its London to Manchester or from the UK to Europe, is a scary prospect. You’ve spent your time making sure you’ve made the right decision, finding school, jobs, choosing areas with good transport links and above all finding your perfect home and now you just need to worry about getting all your possessions there in one piece. For most people, the appeal of packing it all up in to one truck and having it driven to your door is the best option. However, is you are on a budget there are a few ways you can reduce the cost of this and still get the ease of a door to do removal service.

The first and most popular option for anyone relocating long distance is the most expensive as many hire a removal company to move their possessions. This is effective as the companies employees are highly skilled at boxing, loading and transporting you items. They are well equipped to deal with all manner of object from the fragile to large, bulk items of furniture. However, hiring a truck solely for your belongings can be costly, especially if you are re-locating to Ireland, France, Spain etc. Here are two ways you can get the same service, but at a smaller price:

1.     Share your truck

If you choose a smaller independent firm to manage your removal you may find that this is not an option offered to you as they don’t deal with a large enough volume of removals. However, some larger removal companies give you the option of ranting half the space in a larger truck. This means you will be sharing the space within the truck with the possessions of someone else who is also moving in the same direction as you. However be warned that this will impact the timescale you have for your move because you have to take in to account the time it takes to pick up and drop off the other customers items. Some companies may well hold your belongings until they find someone else going the same way, so this is not a valid option if you are working to a strict time scare or need your items quickly. If you choose this item you must also check that this does not invalidate your insurance and you should make sure you inform them that this is the method you are choosing to transport your items. That way you can make sure, if items do go missing, you are covered by your insurance and can claim for the items.

2.     Find a return journey

Again, this is only really an option offered by large removal firms. This is often a popular option for anyone moving from the UK to Europe or from Europe to the UK. This option allows you to take advantage of empty removal trucks that are coming back from delivering their first load at the first destination. If the company you are using has a truck traveling back along the same route you need your items taken they can arrange for the truck to pick up your items on their return and deliver them to your new address. This is beneficial for both parties as it will mean the price of your removal will be reduced and the company will be able to make use of what will have otherwise been empty truck wasting petrol. However, to use this method, you may have to fin either an international removal company or find a removal company in the country you are moving to so that you can take advantage of any of their returning vehicles.

Aside from saving you money both of these options also help to save fuel consumption and will therefore help minimise the environmental impact of your move.


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Guest Post: Top Tips for Efficient Small Business Bookkeeping

Author Bio: Karen is a small business owner who quickly learned the benefits of using professional accountant services when she made errors on her first company accounts and tax returns. Now, she always uses an accountant to ensure her finances are in order.


Keeping track of financial affairs isn’t actually as difficult as many people believe. The main reason people struggle with financials is because they’re intimidated. What if they don’t achieve their earnings target?What if they make a mistake on their tax return and have to pay a fine? What happens if they mess up their company accounts? Getting rid of the negative thoughts is the first thing to do. Park those, and it’s clear to see that all isn’t as difficult as it first appears.

However, there are some top tips you’ll need to keep in mind when doing this. To make it easier to visualize these tips and put them into action, we’ve used a virtual self-storage business as our example.

Keeping It Separate

The big thing many small business owners don’t realize is the importance of keeping personal and business finances separate. If you were running a self-storage business, for example, but you were moving house, you might decide to buy products or services and declare it as a business expense.

Not only is this illegal, but you’re also complicating your business affairs as you won’t have a true picture of incomings and outgoings. Ensure you keep everything separate, even if you make personal purchases that you could potentially pass off as a business expense.

Use Professional Experience

You want to focus on running your self-storage company and maximizing your personal strengths and expertise. Not only will hiring an accountant help you achieve this, it’ll also make it easier for you to get your finances in order.

Saving money is often an excuse given by those who don’t want to call on an accountant, but the reality is the time and subsequently money you’ll save or earn by doing it this way means it pays for itself.

Make it a ‘Must Do’

We’ve all had times where we’ve been behind with finances so have had to sit for hours at a time sorting out the books when we’d much rather be doing something else. Even if you spend 15 minutes on a Monday morning making sure the accounts are correct from last week, it will save you a lot of time in the long run. Missing this out even two or three weeks in a row can see you with a slew of unpaid invoices and problems that are now much more complicated than they should be.

Think About People Costs

Using the self-storage business example it is likely that your labour costs will be at a minimum, as you’ll probably only need to employ people in sales, and even then this might be you plus one. However, you should always think about this in addition to other expenses. If you plan to grow the business, for example, or you know you’re going to be busier than usual with clients in the coming months, think about how the people costs will influence your profit. Many business owners fail to do this and then get a nasty surprise when they look at their bottom line.

You need to remember to pay yourself, too, the method by which you do this can again be discussed with an accountant so both business and yourself are as tax efficient as possible.

Whether you’re running a self-storage business like in our example, or you work in a different industry, keeping control of your bookkeeping and accounting is critical to your success. Ensure you make it happen.

Guest Post: Winter Downtime Can Be Valuable for Boat Owners

Boating is a family affair, and for most of the 75 million boaters in the United States, the season is relatively short — roughly Memorial Day to Labor Day — corresponding to school summer vacation. Roughly half of the 17 million boats registered in this country are less than 16 feet in length, and more than 93 percent are less than 26 feet. They require relatively little effort to winterize, but it constitutes an important task.

In many U.S. ports, boats can be left in the water during the winter months, but the truth is that even larger boats are not used regularly, and some degree of winterizing is necessary, or at least recommended while they float idle. Inactivity is at least as large a problem for most marine systems as cold.


Photo by Verne Equinox via Wikimedia Commons

Systems to Winterize

There are five areas of primary concern for boat owners:

  • Engines and Gear Train
  • Batteries and Electrical Systems
  • Interior
  • Freshwater Systems, including Sanitation Systems and Pumps
  • Exterior

Not all apply to smaller boats; trailerable boats with outboard motors require minimal effort. You can purchase an outboard engine winterizing kit from a marine supply store and use it to add antifreeze.

Adding antifreeze to an inboard engine is a job best undertaken with a helper. Follow directions carefully and you should encounter no problems. You must also fog the engine to protect its moving parts and treat the fuel system. Although experts differ on the best methods, additives are available for both diesel and gasoline engines, and the fuel should be stabilized for winter.

Change all the oil and replace all filters prior to closing up and covering the boat for the off season. Moving parts dry out during inactivity. Hoses and lines get brittle and can crack. Lubrication is important. In warmer climates, humidity control is vital. If your boat is at a slip in a marina, a portable dehumidifier is valuable, but electricity is required. Chemical compounds are also available, and should be placed liberally throughout boat interiors to draw humidity from the air.

Batteries must be filled and completely charged, and it is beneficial to turn systems on periodically to recharge them.

Haul Out or Let It Float

Many boaters, particularly those with larger vessels, subscribe to the theory that boats are meant to always be in the water. If your boat is small, or if you’re new to boating, you may prefer to store your boat in a secure facility. A small recreational boat can easily be housed in a storage unit for the winter. Remove the engine and battery, and keep them ready for the next season.

Winter is a good time for necessary maintenance, including repainting the bottom, accomplishing interior repair or refurbishing, or installing new navigational or operational systems. For owners, winter downtime presents an opportunity to complete skills courses or to take the Canadian online course to earn a boat license for licensed travel in Canadian waters.

In areas where boats can be wintered in the water, notably the Southern U.S. on both coasts, as well as the Chesapeake, and the waters of the Pacific Northwest, winter boating is possible all year. Off-season boating can be delightful, with less traffic and wonderful sights. It can also be cold. Come spring, “summerizing” the boat means the start of another season on the water.

By Walter Adams
Walter is a single dad who loves raising his two boys and writing about sports on the side.


Guest Post: Guide to Self Storage

People use self storage services for a number of reasons: they may want to store their household items during the removals process; they may want a little bit of extra room around their home; or they may need a storage solution as they are moving abroad. Whatever you need a self storage service for, it is always a good idea to be well prepared. Knowing what you need your storage solution for and what you expect to get out of it is key to getting the best deal. Here, we will discuss a few self storage fundamentals to help you on your way.

How much space do you need?

If you are planning on moving out of one home and into a brand new one, and you’d like to store your belongings in self storage in the interim, measure up all of your goods. Take the measurements of your furniture, boxes, or whatever else it is you want to store. Collectively, this should tell you how much space you will need in your storage unit. If you are planning to use the unit for a long period and want to access your goods quickly and easily, make sure the unit is large enough for you to move around in. However, if you only need it for a few days or weeks, and don’t need to access the unit before transporting your goods, then a smaller unit should be fine. Remember to measure up precisely so that you don’t end up paying over the odds for your storage unit.

Do your research.

There are hundreds of self storage firms out there, so finding the right one is essential. If you shop around not only will you get the best deal but also a price that is sure to suit you. A lot of companies will tie you in to lengthy contracts or charge you hidden fees for their storage services. Be sure to read all of the small print on any contracts before you put pen to paper. Sometimes, if a deal seems to good to be true, then it likely is: so always remember to double check all of the paperwork before you sign on the dotted line.

Get quotes.

Shop around and call various self storage companies armed with your storage needs in terms of size. If you don’t know what storage size you need, how can you expect to get an accurate quote? Find the top storage services that you want to use and gather quotes from them all to compare. If you get a cheap quote from one firm, then mention it to the others- in this way, they may offer to beat their competitors’ prices. Remember, they want your business as much as you need to use their service so try a little bartering in order to get the very best deal on your self storage services.

Find a local storage service.

As there are so many self storage services available, you must make sure that the one you pick is in the very best location. This usually means a service which is in good driving distance to your home or place of work. Surely, there is no point in renting out a storage space which is hundreds of miles away from your home! You will need a space that is quick and convenient for you to use so always look around for the closest space possible and see whether they have any good deals. You will undoubtedly save yourself a lot of money in petrol (not to mention time) when you find a local self storage service.


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Guest Post: Savvy Self-Storage Tips

Many people find themselves in the same situation, having too much stuff and not enough room to store it. While the simple solution would be to donate what you do not want or use to charity, we often find it difficult to part with our items…

So why not invest in some great self-storage solutions and tips instead?

If you are planning to store your belongings, the most important thing to remember is to package them correctly, so that they remain in good condition. The whole reason for you chosing to store your items  after all, is because you want to keep them for a later date, thus you should ensure that they are packaged with quality and in sturdy boxes that will stand the test of time.

It is also helpful to purchase boxes that are all relatively the same size, this will help you utilise the space in the storage facility and make it easier to stack them too.

If you have leather items then you should treat them with a special conditioner for this kind of material, as this will provide the goods with added protection for their time in storage. Another important tip is to wrap things correctly, especially if you have breakables and valuables such as art and ornaments and be sure to carefully wrap them in protective padding such as bubble wrap.

All items that can fit into a box should be packaged into a box, which means avoiding plastic bags and similar materials because they trap moisture inside of them. When it comes to storage, moisture is certainly something you want to avoid, as it can become the breeding ground for mildew and mould, which will not only damage your belongings, but also leave them with a very unpleasant odour!

Something simple that you may not have thought of, but could certainly save you a lot of extra time at the same time, is to place the items that you use the least at the front of the removals van, so that these boxes will be put at the back of the storage facility when they are offloaded. So if you ever need something important from your storage container it will be far more accessible.

However, the most important factor to consider when choosing a storage facility is the environment of the unit in question. You should ask yourself: at what temperature will your belongings be stored? Will they be kept dry?

Some research should be taken when considering which kind of storage facility to use; your best bet is to opt for a climate controlled room. These facilities are usually kept at a steady temperature of 55–80° and use ventilation such as central heating and air conditioning. This ensures that you avoid humidity, extreme temperatures and any damage to your valuables.

It is also important to consider the space of your storage unit, start with estimating how much space you think you will need for your items by creating a list of the items you are planning to store and then continue to group these items according to how you will organise them.  When deciding on a storage unit, try to leave some extra space because this  will allow ventilation to flow through your belongings as well as giving you easier access to your items when you need to get to them.


Last but not least, remember to never store anything that is flammable, such as paint and chemicals because this could result in an accidental fire hazard or damage to your property. It is also important to avoid storing perishable goods, as these will develop mould growth which will damage your surrounding items.


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Guest Post: Student Storage

As exciting as moving to university can be, there’s no doubt it causes a lot of stress too, not only for you but for your parents and anyone else involved in the ‘big move’ too. What they don’t tell you is that all of the bags, boxes and the over packed car journeys are all avoidable hassles. Especially for students living a long distance from their university and therefore renting storage space should definitely be a considered option.

There is a false concept in most people’s minds that renting storage space is an expensive business to get in to but with more and more companies acknowledging the need for student renting, particularly over the summer holidays, there are a  number of student deals set up to help you out financially. If these deals still aren’t within your allocated budget, you can always double up with a friend and share the price between you. You can rent this space for as long or short term as you like for your convenience. These companies are very simple to use, you can pay for a certain square foot you require instead of a room or locker of a set standard size. This way you won’t be spending your savings on literally nothing more than a waste of space.

From the moment you set foot into your university life, I guarantee one of the biggest warnings you’re given is ‘keep all of your belongings secure, thieves will take anything they can get their hands on.’ This is very true and is something you should remember not only for your time as a student, but for the rest of your life too. Storage companies will all have their own security measures and they will all vary. Not only do most of them have 24/7 surveillance, but they will also offer you an independent insurance deal for all of your belongings for that extra bit of security and help put your mind at ease. You are the only one to have access to your space so no one can get in or out without the all clear from you. Having restricted access to your possessions is a common concern for many people, however this is a misconception as for most of the time, you are able to go into storage 7 days a week to pick up anything you may need and drop off anything you don’t.

Now you’ve probably gone along and noticed quite a large drawback to this whole storage concept. To get your things to and from the location, you still have to collect those boxes, load up your car and take that treacherous journey all cramped up in your over packed vehicle, which is the exact thing we were trying to avoid in the first place. Conveniently enough, they’ve thought of that too! For a small fee, there are a number of options of hiring both removal packaging such as boxes and bubble wrap as well as a van to take all of your belongings to and from your storage location. All of this is sorted out by the same company that are offering you your storage space so there is no confusion in any part of transporting your possessions. Why get a number of companies involved and make things complicated when you could get it all sorted by just one?

So before you move all of your things back home this summer, give self-storage a quick look over and see if there’s anything that catches your eye, there are a lot of options out there and a lot of good offers for students just like you.


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The Art & Skill of Seasonal Motorcycle Storage

For motorcycle enthusiasts whose bikes are their babies, now is the time to start preparing for winter storage. Early prep helps prevent a useless battery, rusted gas tank, clogged up carburetors, permanently flat tires, and rusty exhaust pipes that are corroded. Storage experts at Storage Auctions Kings contend that it’s not such an onerous task if you know what to do and how to do it. Industry authority Bike Bandit Motorcycle parts highlights the following as among the most vulnerable components to protect:

Battery: Wanted, Dead or Alive

Whether your bike is a conventional type, vented with manual refill, or the new maintenance-free battery, the idea is to limit discharge.

Preserve your battery in the following two ways:

  1. Fill it with water, fully charge it, put it into a suitable container, and store it in a refrigerator.
  2. Install a battery maintenance charger, which keeps the battery at maximum charge. This method applies to conventional and maintenance free batteries.

Fuel Tank

If exposed to air, gasoline will gradually deteriorate. First it loses its potency and then becomes thicker because of the evaporation of lighter chemicals — eventually turning into a gummy sludge.

Prevent this degradation by:

  1. Filling the tank 90 percent full.
  2. Adding a dose of fuel stabilizer.

Carburetors & Fuel Injectors

Any gas in the float bowls will become useless slime over time. When you first hit the starter button, the slime will suck up into the carb or throttle bodies and clog the pilot jets or injectors. Then your carbs or injectors will need to be cleaned, which can get expensive.

Tips to circumvent this nastiness include:

  1. For a manual petcock on the tank, turn it OFF.
  2. For carburetors, drain the float bowls. There is usually a screw on the bottom of each bowl. Loosen or remove it. If you can’t find any drain screws, start the bike and let it run until the float bowls are empty.


If you leave your bike on the side stand, your tires could develop flat spots on the bottom. Now and then, these depressed areas will “work themselves out” after riding the bike a hundred miles or so. The flat areas never completely smooth out by riding though, and you will need new tires.

Eliminate this grief by:

  1. Putting the bike up on its center stand. If it doesn’t have a center stand, hoist it onto a milk crate.
  2. Running a strap through the rear rim and attaching it to a heavy object, such as a cinder block. Tighten the strap until the front tire is off the ground.
  3. Inflating the tires.

Paint, Chrome & Exterior Finishes

Do you keep your motorcycle inside a garage? All you need is a cover. If you keep your bike outside, you’ll want to:

  1. Wash the motorcycle and add a protective coating with a wash kit.
  2. Clean and lube bikes with a chain by using a chain maintenance kit.
  3. Protect it with an outdoor cover.

Ricky Green

Ricky loves working on and writing about American cars.

Guest Post: Tips on Office Relocation

Before the Move
Office relocation can be an extremely stressful event for a company to have to go through. After all, it can be quite a lot different from a domestic removals job. In order for your company to continue to be productive, it is essential that everything goes according to plan. There are so many things to think about and do at this time that it may seem an impossible task. That is why we have compiled these easy tips for you to consider when you are doing your office removals. Here, we focus on the things that you need to get right before you move.

Arrange Visitations
To ensure that you get the very best deal for your office relocation, it is essential that you shop around. Contact a few local firms after conducting some initial research and then invite the selected companies to view your old and new office spaces. This will give the companies an idea of the job in hand and help them to provide you with a free estimate. Keep these quotations so that you can compare them and also to give you leverage in asking for a better price.

Ensure Your Moving Company Are the Right One
Because offices are often full of important items such as computers and storage systems, you will need a removals company who are used to doing such work. Ask relevant questions about your move and enquire whether they have done this type of work much before. Ask for references and ensure that they know what needs to be done in order to get the very best office removals results. By asking questions like these at such an early stage, you can ensure that you have the very best office relocations firm working for you.

Measure Up
Visit your new premises and draw up a flooring plan, measuring every square inch of your new space. By doing this, you can ensure that all of your old furniture and equipment will fit comfortably in your new office. Not only that but you will undoubtedly get a better idea of what needs to go where when you actually come to move. It is only more stressful when you have no idea where all of your furniture and other items need to go so this step is essential for a quick and easy office removals job.

Get Connected
Businesses live or die by how effectively they communicate. Because of this, it is vital that you have already arranged for your new office to be hooked up to the internet and phone lines well in advance of the move in date. Relocating your office is hard enough and causes enough disruption as it is, without the added stress of not being able to access the internet or receive phone calls. Remember, that it can sometimes take weeks for internet and phone companies to set up your network, so always plan this step well in advance to ensure a smooth transition.

Talk to Your Staff
Moving offices always causes quite a lot of upheaval, so when you come to plan your new look office, talk to your staff and get input into your new design. Having a workforce who are happy with their environment is essential for any business, so asking their opinions on the new office layout is a great idea. Once everything has been decided upon, your staff will feel minimal disruption as they already know what to expect from the office move. They will know where they will be working and so will get to work straight away.

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