Movers Guide

European Moving | Our movers guide

Please have a read through this page to ensure that the transportation of your goods is completed smoothly.

International removers are different from local removals, UK to UK or France to France.

It is critical, goods travelling long distances are packed according to the industry standards of export packing and export wrapping.

Items that are moving from the UK to France or Spain will have a longer journey compared to items moving from say Exeter to Edinburgh, so the approach to wrapping and packing your goods prior to transport must reflect this.

This document is for advice only, you do not need to print it, we are happy to ship any items protected or not protected.

Any transit damage will be at your own risk if not packaged properly!

Packing & Labeling for moving part loads (Not applicable for full van loads)

This section is not applicable for full van loads as you will most likely have the van for yourself in this instance. If your goods/items/cargo is booked as a part load then you will be sharing space on the van with other people’s shipments and it is essential that you label your goods with your name and destination address.

Please insure that your boxes are correctly labelled with your name and destination address.

We attach an example shipping label to our fist email sent with this moving guide document but you are welcome to make your own or use our template.

Whatever you decide you need to label your own goods and we would suggest labeling the boxes in the following format:

  • Box 1 of 20
  • Customer Name
  • Number and road name
  • City
  • County
  • Country

Description of goods

General loading of the vehicle

Plan the position of each item like a jigsaw. Heavier pieces, such as wardrobes and sofas, should be placed against the front internal wall of the van and be properly secured with ropes or straps.

Most of our vans will come with straps, if you have particular items need securing then please have some rope handy. Our vans do not come with blankets.

Place larger, sturdier items on the bottom layer, with more fragile things on top, and use smaller bits and rugs to plug holes and fill gaps.

Blankets and sheets are useful for protecting furniture, and long glass materials like mirrors will fit nicely between mattresses and cushions.

Finally, make sure everything is properly secured. Our vans do not come with blankets.

Please see the following YouTube videos for a demonstration on how to load the van on the day;

Beds and Mattress

Our drivers will take the best possible care with your bed and mattress however if you would like your cream mattress and cream bed to arrive in absolutely pristine condition and avoiding the odd scuff and dusty mark, we advise that you wrap the mattress in a mattress cover and wrap the bed in plastic protective sheeting and/or use cardboard corner protection.

Please make sure that the bed is fully disassembled and that all drawers have been removed and/or emptied.

Wardrobes

Please ensure that your wardrobes have been emptied and disassembled.

The Ikea flat pack types of wardrobes do not travel well assembled are unlikely to arrive in good condition at the other end.

We very strongly advise that these are disassembled and flat packed.

We are happy to attempt transport assembled but this is at your own risk.

Please ensure that you have considered the access constrictions for large items such as wardrobes going to your destination property.

We found this useful youtube video for Moving Wardrobes:

General Flat Pack Items

Please ensure that all drawers and compartments are empty.

Drawers and doors need removing if this makes the item too heavy. 

Please note that your flat pack furniture will be subject to minor vibrations over long distances over a number of days.

This can cause some of the screws and nails to vibrate apart from the furniture and may cause slight damage to your goods.

To avoid this we would suggest that all flat pack furniture is disassembled and packaged in cardboard and ensure that the corners are adequately protected to ensure the safe transport.

We and our insurers will not be held liable for assembled flat pack furniture damaged in transit.

Fabric & Leather Furniture

Items such as sofas, 3 Piece Suite, chairs, lounges, sofa beds etc; Our drivers will take the best possible care with your furniture however if you would like your cream furniture to arrive in absolutely pristine condition and avoiding the possible odd scuff and dusty mark, we advise that you wrap the furniture in plastic sheeting and/or bubble wrap and cardboard corner protection.

Please make sure that cushions have been removed and adequately and protected to your satisfaction.

We found this useful YouTube video about packing fabric and leather furniture:

Dining Tables and large Furniture

Please make sure that all large heavy dining room furniture is fully disassembled, legs removed and adequately packaged/protected and labelled ready for road transport.

Considering the cubic size and weight of your removal and selecting the appropriate vehicle

Moving home can be a stressful experience and one of the most stressful aspects is often the logistical test of the physical move itself.

You might not give it much thought to start with; after all, you’ve had to put so much time and energy into finding your new home in the first place but the weight and cubic size of your move needs to estimated properly.

Our vehicle of choice is the 3.5 ton Luton Transit van, it may not have a glamorous name, and probably won’t inspire much poetry, but the 3.5 ton Luton Transit is one of the workhorses of the removals industry.

It’s a very popular removals van for a number of reasons. A van of this size can usually cope with a small- to average-sized house move.

Unless you’re a serious hoarder, you will probably be able to fit your belongings from anything up to a two-bedroom house into a domestic removals van like this.

Another advantage of this type of vehicle is that it’s maneuverable and not too big. It’ll more than likely be able to park in your drive if you have one, making it really easy to get all your bits and bobs into the van without having to carry them long distances.

For this reason, two trips in a smaller van or two vans together can sometimes work out quicker than one trip in a larger one such as 7.5 toner, depending on how far apart the two properties are.

We can also give you a van with a tail lift if requested, this makes getting things like very large and heavy fridge-freezers into the van much easier. There is normally an extra charge for this so please feel free to contact our sales team for more info.

As we have said the payload needs to be estimated properly, we found this online estimator from a removal company in the USA. If you have any doubts about the cubic size or weight for your load then please use this online tool for a reasonable estimate;

https://www.123movers.com/moving-calculator/

We prefer to work in cubic meters as opposed to cubic feet but were happy to talk in either if you wish. Here is an online converter to convert cubic feet to cubic meters.

http://www.metric-conversions.org/volume/cubic-feet-to-cubic-meters.htm

If you need any help with estimating the size of your load then please contact the sales representative who you booked with and they will be happy to help.

They can always forward a copy of your inventory to one of our load planners to work it out for you based on industry averages. We are here to help and make your move as smooth as possible.

Packing Materials

In order to do a good job of your packing you have to start with the right materials!

It should be noted that we DO NOT provide removal blankets unless export packing for specific items are booked with us. All of our vans will come with straps to secure larger items in the vehicle.

Plastic Storage Boxes

Please do not use plastic storage boxes for your removal! These boxes are useful for storage since they are usually transparent and stack easily, but they are not suited to transport at all.

Even in storage we find that they cannot be stacked more than two high without risking the integrity of the lids, which are always very brittle and crack very easily.

Additionally, the plastic walls and base are almost always too thin and also very brittle.

This makes the walls liable to cracking, and more importantly, does not allow enough “give”, which is essential in protecting the goods inside during transport.

It is also very difficult to tape the edges properly so they can’t be made air-tight, which is another problem.

With insufficient “give” in the boxes and no way of making them air-tight, every little vibration on the journey is transferred directly to the fragile items inside.

In short, please don’t use plastic storage boxes for a journey of 20 km, let alone a journey of over 2000 km.

Boxes

There is no point investing a great deal of time into carefully packing your boxes if you have chosen boxes that are too thin or are made of brittle plastic and are not suited to transport.

A great source for free boxes is your local supermarket (or pharmacy).

Sometimes you might have to go during a specific time of the day as some grocery shops receive shipments only once a week.

Collect both large and small boxes and if you happen to know anyone who has recently moved, ask them if they can give you a box or two.

It is OK to use second-hand boxes as long as they are in good condition, not squashed, crumpled in any way or damaged from dampness etc.

They should be fully sealable and not open-topped. It’s best not to use to larger boxes that they are too heavy or awkward to carry.

It is also possible to order specific sized boxes for specific items if necessary (eg: bicycles, fishing rods), although most people make do with normal boxes in order to avoid the high cost of ordering one-offs.

We found this youtube video that shows you how to correctly Pack Boxes:

Packing Tape

Easy to acquire at any DIY or stationary shop, so we trust you’d have no trouble to find these supplies.

Tape is of course critical for taping and sealing the boxes and securing the protective wrapping materials on your furniture.

There are several types available – although we tend to use the more expensive type because it is easier to use (it tends not to break and tear-off at an angle as often), it is OK to use cheaper tape if you prefer, as tape can be very expensive if bought in small quantities.

Packing paper

Is very important for wrapping fragile items to put inside the boxes.

The most commonly used variety is sometimes called butcher’s paper or “news off cut” paper, although please note that it is not the same as newspaper.

Please do not use newspaper to wrap fragile items – not only does the ink get all over everything, but the paper itself is not as flexible as butcher’s paper or tissue paper, which means that it cannot be scrunched and molded as easily so it does not do as good a job.

Tissue paper is also very useful – it is thinner than news off cut and comes in two types – traditional and “acid-free”, the latter of which is useful for wrapping silverware and assisting in packing oil paintings.

Any of these three types of paper are suitable – you don’t necessarily need all three types.  Just don’t use newspaper!

Bubble wrap and foam

Can also be used for packing fragile items to go into boxes, but these are not absolutely necessary – in fact, professional removers tend to use tissue paper as a preference in most cases.

On occasion void-filler materials can also be useful, although again these materials are not absolutely necessary if you are doing your own packing.

Wardrobe boxes

Are incredibly useful as they save you having to fold all of your clothes into boxes and iron them again at the other end – instead they can hang safely on a hanger the whole way there.

Protective wrapping materials are essential for proper export wrapping, and should always be used for removals to or from Italy and Greece.

The gold standard product is “bubble blanket”, which is the generic term for Jiffy’s furniguard and furnisoft range.

We find these products to be very good, although they are not as easy to find at small retailers / storage centers.

If you do not have a furnisoft-type product, it is OK to use bubble wrap but we would recommend using at least 2 layers plus a layer of plastic outside, in order to provide more strength to the wrapping.

Bubble wrap alone is usually too thin to provide adequate protection on its own, unless it is wrapped many times around.

Other “nice to have” materials include corner protectors and corrugated cardboard but these are not absolutely necessary.

Please note, as mentioned, blanket-wrapping alone is not sufficient for long-distance overseas removals.

Blankets are a useful tool to provide added protection to furniture which has already been wrapped.

Packing Fragile Items into Boxes

Many of our customers ask us questions about the most appropriate methods for packing china, glassware and fragile ornaments.

With tissue paper you may need an extra layer or two just because it is thinner.

If you are packing any silverware or any items with silver plating that may be affected by acid leaching from the paper, please use acid-free tissue paper for these items.

With particularly fragile items it is OK to use some extra bubble wrap or foam if you prefer, but not at the expense of the tissue paper – particularly the scrunched up “bounce” around and between the items, which fills up the box and keeps everything from moving.

In future videos we will show some examples of packing extremely delicate items, where only one item is packed into a box and it is filled with void-filler, but those situations are very rare.

Export Wrapping Your Furniture

“Export wrapping” is the process of preparing furniture so that it is protected for transport overseas.

In this series of videos we will demonstrate export wrapping techniques for a range of different furniture items, in order to enable you to understand the principles of export wrapping which you can apply to any items.

If you have any questions with specific pieces of furniture, please don’t hesitate to ask us.

How to pack your Kitchen

Start well in advance

If you end up packing in a rush you are likely to regret, it. The kitchen is so full of individual items that unless you are careful you’ll find chaos reigns at the other end and you end up having to open and empty box after box to find the tin opener in a hurry. Therefore planning and organization are key.

Get plenty of boxes and other packaging materials

You will need boxes of various sizes and strengths (some kitchen items can be extremely heavy). Ideally some boxes should have dividers for bottles and the like.

You’ll need paper or bubble wrap, tape and pens for labelling boxes so you can find things easily afterwards. Try to be specific, e.g. write ‘cutlery’ on the box, not just ‘kitchen’.

Tackle one area at a time

In order to minimize the disruption and mess, try to be disciplined about completing a cupboard or drawer before moving on, otherwise you could find that all the difficult items are still lying around at the end of the day.

Start with areas containing rarely used items

There are plenty of things in the kitchen you’ll be able to manage without for a while. These are likely to include appliances such as ice cream, pasta or bread makers as well as cake tins, mixers and so on.

Also large serving platters usually used for special occasions, your ‘best’ glasses and tableware and any extra tea towels, as well as any purely decorative items such as pictures from the walls.

Cookbooks should all be packed together flat to avoid damaging them. Remember they can get very heavy, so be careful not to overload a box of books.

Sort as you go

Have one box to receive anything that is going to the local charity shop (we’ve all got appliances or wedding gifts that are never used – why pay a removals company to take them with you?).

This is also a good time to discard things that are broken or redundant but have found their way to the back of a drawer and lurked unseen for ages, so have a big bin beside you as you sort.

Broken electrical items should be taken to your local recycling centre. Try to keep things together so that they are easy to find and unpack at the other end, e.g. a box for crockery, another for flatware.

Try to use up foodstuffs

Most foodstuffs are not worth the trouble and expense of moving. Remember that removal companies will quote by volume, so you need to reduce the amount of unnecessary items to save money.

By starting to plan early enough, you should be able to minimise the amount of food in the house in the run up to the move.

Don’t forget the contents of the freezer – you can’t transport these unless your new place is very close by, and even then it’s probably not worth the hassle.

If you can’t use it up, give it away or chuck it out. Inevitably, there will be things left over in most well stocked family kitchens, such as spices and spirits which you will want to take with you.

Prepare large appliances

If you are taking things like a fridge, dishwasher or cooker with you, you will need to take steps to ensure this is done safely.

Check the manuals or consult an expert and bear in mind that this could take up to 24 hours, e.g. to defrost the freezer in preparation for the move.

Eat up as much frozen food as possible, as removal firms cannot be expected to move full fridges or full freezers.

Cookers need to be professionally disconnected. Despite their size, freezers are delicate machines, which should be prepared for removal with care.

If possible, start to run-down the contents some time before the move.

We advise that you never move a freezer when full: it is quite easy to damage the frame or interior when moving, and there is always the risk that defrosting will occur on a long journey.

Some removal companies have personnel trained in this area, so ask them first. Otherwise, you will need to employ a CORGI plumber or an electrician to safely organize this.

Consider essentials

Leave out items that you will use right up to the move or want straight away when you arrive.

These are likely to include a small amount of cutlery and crockery, a kettle, and coffee or tea, as well as a few basic cleaning items and foodstuffs for the family.

Paper cups and plastic spoons are useful to save on washing up.

Remember, you could arrive tired and hungry in the middle of the night (even if arrival in your new home with a drink, in which case, remember the glasses and corkscrew!

It’s a good idea, too, to have a knife to open the rest of your boxes, and torches, lightbulbs, candles, matches and loo roll, just to be on the safe side.

Make sure you have a labelled box to put these essentials into at the last minute so that you can locate them immediately on arrival.

That way you can manage without unpacking everything. You may want to keep this box with you on the journey in your car, rather than loading it onto the removals vehicle, so it’s to hand as soon as you arrive.

We found these video on youtube that shows how pack boxes for the kitchen:

Outside furniture & Satellite Dish

Please ensure that all outside furniture is detached from the property and disassembled ready for transit before our vehicles arrive at your property.

Gas and Electrical Appliances

Where necessary have them prepared for removal by qualified service agents.

You may need to disconnect stoves or heaters, bolt down refrigerator motors or washing machine drums, take down electrical fittings (wall heaters, electrical clocks, etc.) that are wired to the mains or get the TV aerial down from the roof.

Fixtures and Fittings

Technically, they are defined as items fixed to the wall, ceiling or floor, but some things such as TV aerials, clothes driers and night storage heaters may not fall into this category.

It’s best to make all these doubtful items the subject of a formal agreement between European Moving and yourself.

It is also worthwhile including items such as fitted kitchens in the agreement.

Carpets and Decorations

If you are laying fitted carpet, painting or sealing the floors in the new house, this is best done before the move. If you have rugs, curtains, chair covers, etc., it’s a good idea to have these cleaned and/or altered – in advance.

Personal Travel Arrangements

If you’re moving out of the area, decide now whether you are going to need overnight hotel accommodation en route and/or for a day or two at the other end, before you actually move in yourself.

The Car

If you’re driving, consider getting the car serviced now. Before the move, inspect the car and perform routine maintenance checks with extra thoroughness.

If you are going to pack a heavy load, increase the tyre pressures as advised in the Owner’s Handbook.

If you are using a roof rack, check what weight you can safely carry.

Keys

Solicitors normally advise clients to hand keys over only on or after settlement. Although this can be inconvenient, it does prevent possible concerns.

Your solicitor or the estate agent can usually assist in ensuring handover of keys at a time and place convenient to your schedule.

Please contact European Moving if there are any delays with the destination as soon as possible as this will affect your move.

Personnel and Goods Access

Please ensure that you have checked the access requirements and restrictions at both the loading and unloading ends.

I.E if doors and windows need removing, these need to be completed before our team arrive at your destination.

Please ensure that you have made arrangement for free movement of goods from and to your property when our vehicle arrives.

If inadequate or undeclared access issues become apparent, I.E if you are on the 3rd floor of a building and do not have a lift and you have not advised us of this, then extra charges will be incurred.

Please ensure that you have adequate man power to load all of your items onto our vehicle/unload at destination if you have booked our TRANSPORT ONLY level of service.

Manuel Lifting

 One of the biggest causes of back injury at work is lifting or handling objects incorrectly.

Learning and following the correct method for lifting and handling heavy loads can help to prevent injury and avoid back pain.

Check out these safe lifting and handling tips, recommended by the Health and Safety Executive.

Think before you lift

Plan the lift. Where is the load going to be placed? Use appropriate handling aids where possible.

Will help be needed with the load? Remove obstructions, such as discarded wrapping materials.

For long lifts, such as from floor to shoulder height, consider resting the load mid-way on a table or bench to change your grip on it.

Keep the load close to the waist

Keep the load close to the waist for as long as possible while lifting.

The distance of the load from the spine at waist height is an important factor in the overall load on the spine and back muscles.

Keep the heaviest side of the load next to the body. If closely approaching the load isn’t possible, try to slide it towards the body before trying to lift it.

Adopt a stable position

Your feet should be apart with one leg slightly forward to maintain balance (alongside the load if it’s on the ground).

Be prepared to move your feet during the lift in order to maintain a stable posture.

Wearing over-tight clothing or unsuitable footwear, such as heels or flip flops, may make this difficult.

Ensure a good hold on the load

Where possible, hug the load close to the body. This may be a better option than gripping it tightly with the hands only.

Don’t bend your back when lifting

A slight bending of the back, hips and knees at the start of the lift is preferable to either fully flexing the back (stooping) or fully flexing the hips and knees – in other words, fully squatting.

Don’t flex the back any further while lifting

This can happen if the legs begin to straighten before starting to raise the load.

Don’t twist when you lift

Avoid twisting the back or leaning sideways especially while the back is bent.

Keep your shoulders level and facing the same direction as the hips.

Turning by moving your feet is better than twisting and lifting at the same time.

Keep your head up

Keep your head up when handling the load. Look ahead, not down at the load once it has been held securely.

Move smoothly

Don’t jerk or snatch the load as this can make it harder to keep control and can increase the risk of injury.

Know your limits

Don’t lift or handle more than you can easily manage. There’s a difference between what people can lift and what they can safely lift.

If you’re in doubt, seek advice or get help.

Lower down, then adjust

Put the load down and then adjust. If you need to position the load precisely, put it down first, then slide it into the desired position.

We found these 2 videos on Youtube about manual lifting

If you at any time wish to upgrade your Service Level Package and for us to provide the labour for loading and unloading, please do contact our office as soon as possible.