Alas, in London, there’s no magical way of making renting (or owning, for that matter) an inexpensive undertaking. In fact, recent estimates put the average monthly rental price in London at a blood-curdling £1270 a month. But to help you offset some of that sum and hold on to more of your lucre, there are certain things you can do, whether it’s knowing the best way to furnish a flat on the cheap or making sure you can get your deposit back. Both from personal experience and as london’s favourite movers we’ve put our heads together and come up with some of our favourites.
A dreary, dirty, worn and stained carpet – what could be more of a downer than that? It’s even worse if you’re planning a London move and need to sell up because even if the people who come on viewings don’t notice it, their subconscious might. They’ll leave, perhaps not quite certain why they don’t like your property, but knowing without doubt that they don’t. Spills, thrills, accidents and age all bear down on a London carpet over the years unless you go the neurotic, impolite and inhospitable route of asking people to take their shoes off; that’s even more depressing than a dirty carpet. So it’s always worth having a few tricks up your sleeve for good carpet cleaning. We’ve got plenty and here are just a few of them:
There’s an absolute glut of storage options in the current market and the task of choosing which one to use is therefore not at all enviable. Should you just take pot luck? Go with family’s and friends’ recommendations? Read up on the reviews (bearing in mind that some may be planted)? It’s hard to know where to begin. But there’s one surefire way of paring down the list until it’s quite a lot easier, and that’s by going with your removals company’s storage facilities. For a start, it means not having to deal with an additional company, but there are other benefits to this option and they’re just as compelling.
If you’re suffering from that post-holiday slump, you’re not alone. The tinsel and brightly-coloured wrapping paper, along with all the festive decorations, has been chucked in a box and exiled to the garage or cupboard, and along with it goes some of the joy in our hearts. Early January is never the easiest of times and it’s normal to miss the jubilation and togetherness that’s receding farther into the distance with every passing day. So what better time could there be than to reflect on all that is good? It’s now, more than ever, that we need to keep our spirits aloft and the fact that we live in one of the world’s most exciting cities is cause to celebrate. It’s easy to overlook our good fortune so let’s look at five reasons to be happy we moved to London (or had the good fortune to be from there in the first place).
The post-holiday slump is a feeling that most of us will know at some point or another. While it’s true that, for some, the period stretching from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day is a slog that they’re all too happy to see the back of, for those of us who enjoy the magic, its end plunges us back into the dispiriting and humdrum business of living. The worries that had been put on hold come back to haunt us. The stress of working life gets under way again. The jolly decorations come down as gaiety and jubilation pack their bags and flee, leaving us nursing a terrible case of post-Christmas sorrow. It can feel as if happiness itself is abandoning us once and for all. But we have the good fortune to live in London, where every weeknight and weekend brings with it new possibilities for fun things to do. It’s easy to keep the good feelings going, provided we get out there and do things that generate them. Here are four of our picks:
In past blogs, we’ve looked at great London auctioneers where you can find wonderful pieces from all kinds of eras (mid-century modern is currently the hot period). Whether you’re furnishing a new home or simply refreshing an existing one, getting items of furniture from the past rather than the present is a sure-fire way to imbue your rooms with atmosphere and character. But auctions aren’t the only answer. There are also second-hand furniture shops in London where you won’t have to bid but can simply sweep in, grab what captures your imagination and then sweep out again. Here are three that have caught our eye:
If we’re going to toil on our homes, using our precious spare time to make them better and possibly bigger, then one thing we want to be sure of is that our efforts – all those thankless hours we’ve put in – will pay off. Of course, there’s the pay-off of making our living environments more enjoyable and relaxing to be in. But what about the other pay-off – an increase in the value of our property? This becomes even more important if we’re making improvements before selling up. So what are some of the improvements likely to make our homes more expensive on the market? Let’s take a look at just a small fraction of the myriad ways we can do this. Some are large and require an investment of time, expertise and money – others are quicker and easier. But all of them should help push up the price of your property. Britons are estimated to spend almost £30 billion a year on home improvements – it’s worthy making yours count.
When there’s a London house-move on the horizon, you’ll be faced by a number of decisions, some of them straightforward, others more challenging. There’s a lot to consider and a lot to do and, if attempted all at once, the tasks can leave you feeling snowed under. Far better to break the move down to its individual components and take them one at a time if possible. Fairly early on is a good time to decide what kind of help you need for getting from A to B along with all your belongings and your sanity. This generally boils down to a choice between a man with a van or a full removals service. Here is some guidance to help you work out which one is the right option for your move.
This service is exactly what the name suggests – one man, one van, no lorries, no teams of people at your disposal. It’s absolutely ideal if your move is small – for example, you’re moving from a one-bedroom London flat or a studio to another property of the same or similar size. You’ll be able to keep your costs down and should find that you also have the option of paying an hourly rate. You may be able to join in with the carrying and loading, which means you can shave even more time off the duration of the move. Some man and van establishments don’t come with additional services, so there may not be the option of having someone else do your packing and unpacking, although with Aussie, you can still avail yourself of all kinds of bolt-on services, including cleaning, the supply of packing materials and storage facilities.
This option generally gives you lorries rather than vans, plus a team of people, including project manager, packers, movers, drivers and more. If you’re moving between multi-storey London houses, it makes much more sense than using a man and van service, which would necessitate multiple trips between your old and new property, instead of just one. You’ll be able to get a full, fixed-price quote in advance so you won’t have to worry about the clock ticking or your move inadvertently taking longer because of bad traffic.
It’s impossible to move home by just chucking everything willy-nilly into bags and suitcases. Packing requires planning, forethought and care, without which you’ll pay in myriad ways. Aussie has a packing/unpacking service which has a stress-melting effect for our clients, leaving them free to carry on with their lives while we do the work, and we can also provide them with advice on all matters relating to their move. One of the most important things to get right is the packing up of fragile items – it’s truly devastating to get to the destination point and discover that precious and much-loved possessions are smashed, dinged, bent or broken. It’s all so avoidable. If you’re packing up your own belongings, then it’s worth brushing up on the appropriate knowledge before you get going. Here is some of the guidance that we give our clients.
One of the downsides and potential hazards of moving house or just getting things ready to go into storage is that at some point, it’s inevitable; you or someone in your household will have to lift something that’s either bulky, heavy or – alas – both. And with that activity comes a host of attendant risks to life and limb. You could damage your back. In fact, there’s a long list of potential injuries that could befall you and it’s vital you have the know-how with which to protect yourself. When you’re moving house, you can’t afford to be put out of action, incurring an injury with an aftermath that could bother you for a lifetime. So just equip yourself with the rules for heavy lifting and you’ll be fine. Here are our suggestions for keeping yourself safe while heaving heavy objects.