With the Stamp Duty holiday ending on June 30, homebuyers are racing to secure a removals firm. But what if you’re one of those who can’t book a slot because current demand is just too high? Here, we outline what you can do instead.
We, at Macro Removals in Bristol, understand the heightened stress brought on by the Stamp Duty holiday deadline. Currently, we’re working flat out helping homebuyers get into their new properties ahead of June 30. First, we want to apologise for the hundreds of callers we’ve had to turn down. We pride ourselves on taking on all jobs, however small, to help as many people as we can.
So, if we can’t help you by moving your belongings, we’ve put our heads together to help you in another way – by offering a handy tip list to get round this unprecedented problem so you can move yourself.
1. Move all your non-essential items into storage until a removals slot becomes available
If you’re to be out of your existing home and ready to move into your new one on completion day, you’ll need to move your belongings into storage.
Go from room to room cherry-picking only the belongings you need to help you through the next two weeks. Hopefully, by then, removals firms will be taking on more bookings.
Be as ruthless as you can. You’ll be surprised how much of what you own is non-essential. You won’t need your books, heavy winter clothes, garden furniture, rugs, even the wedding dress boxed up under the bed! Your kids won’t need the majority of their toys. Then there’s all that stuff in the garage.
Always keep in mind you’re selecting what you need to live – not what you need to live in luxury. If you’re a family, you’ll need, for example, five or six plates, bowls and sets of cutlery. For night time, you’ll need one pillow and one set of linen per bed.
2. Do a final sweep of items for recycling, to charity shops and the tip
We’re assuming that well ahead of your move you had a big clear out of items, sending them for recycling, to charity shops or to the tip. Be extra ruthless now and see if there are any more items that can go. To keep a lid on how much you pay for storage, you’ll want to reduce the amount you box up. So, do a clear out specifically by looking at what’s been sitting there for months, even years, and crucially, what you haven’t used in ages. If you haven’t used it, it’s probably not needed.
Remember: don’t delay – the less you’ll pay!
3. Hire a man-and-van to help you move your belongings into storage
There are literally hundreds of man-and-van businesses on Gumtree and local Facebook sites. Scour these pages to find anyone available and book someone today. If you ‘um and argh’ about whether to go for this person or that one, you run the risk of losing out. Keep in mind that you’re in a race against time and focusing to make decisions now will reap thousands of pounds in Stamp Duty relief later.
You may find that hiring one man-and-van isn’t enough. To transport all you have may require several, so do what it takes to make sure you meet the June 30 deadline.
4. If you can’t find a man-and-van – or even just a van – then ask family and friends to help
It feels like a double blow: you’ve secured a storage facility but you’ve no way of getting your non-essential items there. Well, there’s no time like the present for pulling in a favour or two from family and friends. You don’t necessarily need a people carrier or SUV; what you need are several vehicles you can load up.
Those supporting you don’t need to take time off work because you can load up in the evenings or at the weekend. What you’re after is 100% reliability: when your family members and friends say they’re going to turn up, impress on them that they absolutely have to.
5. And if you weren’t able to book storage, ask someone if you can use their spare room
Obviously, this option’s only available if you don’t have an excessive number of belongings. But it’s an option nevertheless and this is one way to improve your situation.
Ever read the bestseller ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ by Dr Spencer Johnson? We think this is a great book for highlighting how to think around a problem.
6. Don’t try to move anything above a 3-bedroom house and garden furniture within a day
Be realistic! There’s only so much you can do in a day if you’re not a removals expert. Our team normally takes 2-3 days to move the belongings of anything bigger than a 3-bedroom house and garden furniture – though that’s with us dissembling and packing as well.
So, this is where starting early comes in. The smoothest move will involve you dissembling large pieces of furniture well ahead of time: beds, wardrobes, cabinets, bookcases. Anything that can be taken apart should be considered. If you can reduce the moving space of that item, you’ll fit more of your belongings into a van or your friend’s car.
7. Always aim to have moved out and cleaned your old property by 1pm on completion day
By sticking to the completion timeframe and leaving your existing home 100% empty and clean, you’ll be ready and prepared to move into your new one. Depending on the solicitors involved, key release is generally between 12pm and 2pm. It’s essential you keep to this, even as the Stamp Duty holiday deadline approaches. It’s only fair for whoever’s moving into your old home as this impacts your ability to move into yours.
So, rally family and friends’ round and together you’ll be a great team for moving you in when you complete by, or on, June 30. And as a big thank you, perhaps buy everyone who’s helped fish ‘n’ chips for tea. As you kick back and look at all you’ve achieved, you’ll feel this very stressful period starting to ease.
Disclaimer – This blog should only be viewed as a guide. We cannot be held responsible for any injuries, loss of earnings, or death as a result of following this guide.