Guest Post: Less Obvious Ways to Approach Solo Moving House

It often seems like moving house is much too large of a task to handle on your own, and that would be mostly correct. if you live on your own however, and do not have friends or family who are in a position to help you out, then what to do? Well, your removals company will of course be a great source of help, as well as being there to ensure that you are well set to get the move done in an efficient way.

However, the services that you may need from them, like packing and storage, can be rather expensive to get them to do, so how do you work out ways in which to ensure that you can get everything done, without the work load breaking your back!? It seems unlikely, but there are certain methods and ways of looking at the processes at hand that will ensure that you are well set to get your move underway without the stress of being a one man band!

For a start, pretty much every single problem solver needs time to get it all right. You will no doubt want to leave some of the more boring tasks until the last minute, simply because you would prefer not have to deal with them right away. This is the worst attitude you can take with a move, as things take a lot of time if you are doing on your own. Another aspect of the time issue, is that if you give yourself a lot of time, the looming deadline that the removal day is, will lose it’s potency.

You should find, that the idea of getting your house packed up in a month will actually seem pretty easy, but if you have to do it in two weeks, then it is likely to seem like an unbeatable challenge. So, as soon as you know when you will be moving, get started on drawing up a plan of action, which will reduce the amount of work that you have to do in your mind by setting everything out very clearly. It will not actually make the work any less, but at least there is no fear of the unknown.

With this plan, you can split the jobs up in to much more manageable sections, given that you now know how much there is to do. You can designate a couple of hours each evening after work to pack things, and if you do that every day for a month or so, then you should be able to get it all done fairly easily. Doing the packing in smaller periods will ensure that you don’t lose your mind with the boredom of it all every time you try to get something sorted, which will ensure that your packing is effective at all times.

The planning and dividing rule is likely the biggest stress buster when it comes to removals, but it does still mean that you are doing things in the normal way, just more efficiently. Look in to other avenues of removal process to see if you can save money or time. You may be able to find an independent packer who is cheaper than your removals company, or get boxes and tape from those who don;t need them anymore for much less than retail, or even free! before you buy anything new, have a look online to see if it can be had for less, but make sure that you are not compromising the move in doing this!

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Guest Post: Man and Van Tips – What to Look Out For

The world of man and van services can be applied to a great variety of uses; you may need to move a small flat, or you may well just need to get some larger things moved, that will not fit in a car, like musical or building equipment. Whatever the case, you will be paying a decent amount of money for the service, so it is worth knowing what you need to look out for when using them, as there is often a lot to be said for hiring a van yourself, if you can drive. Have a look through the following tips so that you are less in the dark upon approaching the man and van services that you may be dealing with.

Know Where to Look

You will find that the internet is full of removals companies and man and van services that are desperate for your business. It is essentially a jungle out there, with hundreds of competitors in each town and city clamoring to do your job. The problem is, that many of these companies are in fact one man operations that give off the sense of being larger and more professional than they are with advertising. This is not necessarily an issue, as there is a lot to be said for a one man show when it comes to man and van services, but you want to be dealing with someone who is up front and honest, do you not.

Therefore, you should be looking for such qualities when you are reading the adverts. You should be able to gauge whether this is a humble driver looking to do honest work for a decent wage, or whether it is someone trying to dupe you in to an agreement. This means that Gumtree and Google will not necessarily be the best places to look, given as they are so full of competition. Ask your friends if they know anyone, and talk to local rehearsal studios, or art and creative workshops, as these sorts of places will be using such services all the time.

Don’t Get Trapped!

There are many pitfalls to hiring a man and van service, and most of them revolve around how you deal with the payment. Most van men will divide between wanting hourly payment, and a flat quote for the job. If you are looking at hourly payment, you need to be sure that you know what you are looking at in terms of how long the move should take. If you are looking at a quote, then you will likely have to pay more than the hourly rate should take, as you will be paying to cover yourself against any traffic or mishaps.

In both of these situations, there may be dishonest drivers who try to hook you in to paying more than you should be. Sometimes a van man will hike the price on arrival, having seen the load, but if you told them what the load was, this is unfair. Try telling them that you will find someone else, and see if they are being serious or not. Some hourly payment van men will offer a low hourly rate, but then have less obvious add on charges for fuel, lifting, and even going up stairs! If you are aware of such things, you can certainly ensure that you are not duped by any of the service that you go with, as you can clear such things up as you start negotiation.

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An Interview with John Gerrard from Self Storage Southampton in the UK

The Self Storage Industry has been a growth industry recently in the United Kingdom, with more and more operators opening facilities over the last couple of years.  One such new operator on the scene in the UK is the Self Storage Southampton Company.  We spent a couple of minutes interviewing their general manager John Gerrard to find out a little more about them, and how they are using the Internet to promote their business online.

Hi John, how long have you been in the self storage industry and how did you get into the business?

My background is actually in Internet marketing believe it or not. It’s something I studied at University on the south coast of England and to be honest, it’s what I thought I would be doing until the end of time.  However, a couple of years ago a friend of mine invited me to invest in his self storage operation and get more involved with the business. From that point on I kind of got hooked and then then about 12 months ago decided to go it alone – which is when I decided to plan and launch the Self Storage Southampton Company.

How has your background in Internet Marketing helped you in the self storage industry?

Interesting question!  Well, I believe it’s given me a great head-start because ultimately I believe that most customers looking for a storage solution will now look online first.  Due to my knowledge of search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media I’ve been able to give the company a really good and solid online footprint in advance of our physical launch in a couple of months’ time.

I’ve spent hours creating videos for our YouTube channel which are now ranking very well in Google, as well as reaching out to some selected partners globally in the storage industry to look for linking opportunities.  Evidently, the more relevant a website’s back-link profile the better for your Google rankings so that’s a real focus of mine at the moment.

What are the unique selling points of Self Storage Southampton and how do you differ from the competition?

It’s hard to differentiate yourself sometimes in such a competitive business, so what we are going to try to focus on is customer service.  I am telling all of the staff joining us that a friendly service is what we want to become most reputable for.  From my experience, the first impression is always key with any business that you deal with.  If we can make a great impression with our customers, whether face to face, on social media, email, or over the telephone, then we’ve already won half the battle to get their custom.

Do you have any tips for readers of the Storage Auction Kings website who want to find some hidden gems or make some money with storage auctions?

Oh yes, definitely. I’ve seen some people find some mad items when abandoned storage units are opened up and auctioned off.  Here’s a quick list that might help:

  1. Build relationships: If you are new to the game then arrive early and try to engage the other auction hunters in conversation. Some might not be that friendly, but most will and you should be able to pick up some good hints and tips from them in order to learn for the next time.
  2. Bring a torch / flashlight: Some storage operators will only have one bulb illuminating their storage units (and some might not even be working) so have a torch with you could mean you get a bit of a head-start on the competition.
  3. Bring a good padlock: If you win a storage auction, that unit will immediately be yours.  The old user’s padlock will have already been removed by the storage company so make sure you lock it up.  If anything gets stolen then it is not the responsibility of the facility.

There’s just a few tips.  I am sure there is loads more relevant information on this website so I don’t want to bore your readers too much!

Finally John, what do you have planned for the Self Storage Southampton Company over the next 12 months?

Well, we are close to launching our actual facility so are going to be very busy this year and in 2014 making sure that everything is running smoothly.  Obviously with the increasing popularity of storage auctions we are going to look at taking advantage of that with listings on our website.  The listings will appear on our storage units page so if you are based in the UK and Southampton make sure you bookmark it and keep checking back for any forthcoming auctions!

Thanks to John Gerrard for this interview.  The Self Storage Southampton facility will be based in the Docklands area of the city and is due to launch in mid December of 2013.

Guest Post: Man and Van Hire – The Ideal Moving Solution

When moving to a new home, there are a variety of different issues which are likely to present themselves, and which many of us are simply not prepared to deal with. These can range all the way from choosing the right removals service (or even deciding whether or not to use a removals service at all) to handling the specific paperwork and admin which each move requires, and many more things besides.

A common issue which tends to present itself to us during a move (and which many of us are unsure of how to handle appropriately) is the issue getting our belongings moved from our old home to our new one in a cost-effective and straightforward way. The options often seem pretty clear cut: either we pay for a big-name professional moving service to do the job for us (and in doing this we buy peace of mind and, hopefully, a high level of professionalism). On the other hand, we can try and do the whole process “DIY” and get as much of the removals process done by our own hands as possible.

What many of us fail to realize is that there is an option between those two extremes – one which is the ideal solution for the vast majority of us. That option is using Man and Van Hire in order to get our cherished belongings transported successfully from “point A” to “point B”.

Think about this way, it’s really the most logical conclusion: Attempting a DIY move is difficult. It’s often many times more difficult than we tend to believe, and when all is said and done, the vast majority of us simply don’t have the resources or skills necessary to pull it off without stumbling at every hurdle along the way and quickly realizing that the whole thing is much tricky than we would have liked to believe.

For example – how many of your belongings can you really fit into your car? (Assuming you have a car. If you live in the city you might very well not) Or, how many of those belongings can you fit in your car in one trip? How secure will they be? Is the chance of damage high or low?

For most of us, these kinds of questions lead us to realize that we’d have to be very creative indeed. Usually we’d end resorting to jamming our furniture into our half open boot, or tying it to the top of the roof of our car, in order to manage the move at all. Not to mention that we would likely sacrifice so much time and money on journeys between our old home and our new one, that we’d quickly end up spending more time and money on the whole process than we ever planned.

So what could possibly be the ideal solution for the bulk of us who are looking to move homes?

Well, as we’ve seen, DIY moving is out as an option. How about a professional removals firm with a big truck? A bit too over-the-top and expensive, probably.

Well, here’s the secret:

The ideal solution for almost every homeowner is Man and Van hire.

Look at it this way: You pay a moderate price, for an experienced removals man and a vehicle that will have a much larger capacity than you’re likely to already have at your disposal. It’s a win-win situation and it spares you from a huge amount of the headache that you would otherwise have to face when making this decision.


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Guest Post: Preparing for a Move

Whether it is moving home or relocating your office, you will have to take many steps before you can enjoy the advantages and excitement new building. There is a lot of work that must be done before the real work even begins and so you must be prepared to work hard in order to get things done. However, with a little help and guidance, your move can be successful.

Preparing for a move thoroughly will ensure that the entire process goes well. Having access to what you need and the knowledge that is necessary will allow you to complete each task without worry, use all of you time efficiently and allow things to go smoothly. The first thing you must do then is learn about the moving process. Look at different websites and articles to what others have done and what are the best ways to go about it. Discoverer what steps have to be taken, how long each one takes to complete, what items you need, which techniques to use and so on. Familiarise yourself with the procedure as much as possible until you can jump at any task without doubt or hesitation. Doing all this will give you the confidence and knowledge necessary to tackle your move.

Looking at and talking to moving firms can be one of the best ways to get ready for a move. Most firms will give you advice and information about the process for free, so calling them up will allow you to learn more without any cost. These are people who handle moves everyday so they know exactly what the best way to do things, what to use, etc. While talking with them, you will likely learn of all the advantages that having access to the firm can offer and so you may contemplate hiring them. A professional moving team can manage every aspect of a move successfully so if it is something you are interested it, then talk to them more about their services. Request a free quote to ensure you get what you need and for a good price.

A schedule will keep everything running smoothly so it can be most advantages to write one up. Assigning each tasks specific times and dates will prevent your from forgetting certain aspects, not having time for them, rushing through things and so on. You can also use the schedule to work to when you will need specific services and materials for, so you will never be without what you need. A list of things to do will enable you to prioritise each chore, and work out how much time to dedicate to it. Ask people familiar with relocations, such as a friend, family remember or colleagues who have moved recently about their experiences to get a gist of how long things will take. Write up a rota to assign different tasks to members of your household or workplace, so everyone gets involved.

Getting the packing materials you need beforehand is very important so you must know exactly what to buy. You will need bubble wrap, tissue paper and cloth, all of which can be purchased easily. You may to need it though because you may have old clothes, newspaper, sheets, etc already available to be used. You will need many boxes, so you should ask at stores if they have any unused cardboard boxes you can take from them. Plastic boxes can also be used but while they have several advantages, they are much more expensive.

So follow these steps and you can be prepared of everything your move throws at you.

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