Moving home for the first time can be quite an ordeal. That’s especially true if you’re a student and you’re moving to, or within, a big city like London. So let’s look at some of the things you’ll need to consider.
Firstly, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got a range of strong cardboard boxes ready to hand as well as packing material like newspaper or bubble-wrap for the more delicate items and strong tape for sealing the top flaps of the boxes. If you’re not going to need too many boxes then the local supermarket is usually only too willing to let you have a good supply. Make sure that the boxes you choose are a reasonable size for the items you’re shifting but not so big that they’re impossibly heavy when packed. It’s best if they’ve got lids too, since this will make stacking for transit much easier. If you need more boxes than you can get from free sources like the supermarket, there are plenty of suppliers which sell a range of packaging especially built for the job. Remember to label the boxes!
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The means of transport is critical. If it’s only a few items moving to a furnished flat you may be able to beg or borrow the use of a reasonable size car, especially if the distances involved aren’t great and it’s cost effective to make multiple journeys. For most moves, though, a small or medium sized van will be required. You’ll then need to decide whether to self-drive or to hire a man-and-van combo. It’s possible to hire quite sizeable vans on an ordinary driving licence but many hire companies have an age restriction. It can also be a daunting experience trying to handle a large, unfamiliar vehicle on busy city streets, often made more difficult by badly parked cars. For this reason, many first-time movers choose to hire a man with a van. It’s certainly less stressful than DIY and the extra muscle comes in very handy, especially if your new home is up a couple of flights of stairs or if parking locally is an issue. Remember, too that if your move takes you into or through central London, you may need to think about the congestion charge. Details of the charging zone and applicable times are available at the Transport for London website. You’ll also need to watch out for traffic wardens!
It’s obviously a good idea to park as close as you can to your unloading point. This saves time and aching backs. If you can, get a few friends round to help, perhaps on the promise of a few beers or a takeaway afterwards. The expertise of a man with a van can come into its own at the destination, too. These guys are professionals and are able to get your larger items through narrow doorways and staircases that leave mere mortals breathless and cursing. One more thing; make sure that when you packed, you’ve kept the kettle handy!
You and your helpers will need a cuppa at the end of the move