DIY removals

DIY Removals - The essential guide

Moving house by yourself can seem difficult - but it doesn't need to be.

Follow the simple steps in this guide and save hundreds of pounds by doing your own removals - without getting stressed out.

Click here for a printer-friendly version of our DIY Removals Guide


  • Work out how much you have to move and what size vehicle you will need. Click here to find a van hire branch near you.
  • Check that there is access and parking for your chosen size of vehicle at both ends of your journey - remember any height and width restrictions.
  • Always overestimate and make allowances for delays.


Consider making more than one trip with a smaller van if distances are short.

It can make access and loading much easier.


  • Remember that boxes have to be carried, so put a few heavy items (e.g. books) at the bottom and then fill up with lighter stuff, such as clothes or cushions.
  • Colour code or clearly label every box with its contents so you know where it goes when you unload the van.
  • When packing glass or china, wrap each object in bubble wrap or newspaper. Box them carefully so they won't move too much.
  • Set aside a day or two to pack and do nothing else in this time. You'll get it done a lot faster this way.


Buy or acquire plenty of strong boxes in advance.

Online packing stores sell complete sets for quite low prices, saving you hunting at the last minute.

Aim for a mixture of sizes - you can even get 'wardrobe boxes' to hang your clothes in.


  • Put all the heaviest objects - such as sofas and wardrobe - on the floor towards the front of the van. Make sure they cannot move - tie them to the side of the van or wedge them in.
  • Put the lightest boxes and objects highest up but always make sure that nothing can move - a few cheap ratchet straps (available on the high street) are useful for this.
  • Use old blankets or sheets to protect furniture from damage.
  • Box up everything possible - try to avoid being left with any loose, unpacked items.
  • Remember - if it can move, it will move.


Drawers provide excellent storage. To load a chest of drawers, remove all the drawers and carry them out separately.

Then reinsert them and tie them closed or push them against the side of the van - otherwise they will come open when you're driving.


  • Take it slow and steady. Remember that stopping times will be greater than in a car.
  • Always have someone guide you back when reversing.
  • Remember that speed limits are lower for vans - 50mph on single carriageways and 60mph on dual carriageways.


Driving a modern van is quite easy - almost too easy.

Remember to keep your speed down on twisty sections - that way you'll avoid breakages.


  • Take all furniture and boxes straight to the rooms in which they belong - this is easy if you labelled all of the boxes.
  • Once unloaded, unpack one room at a time, tidying as you go. This will save you loads of time and mess.


Decide in advance what order to unpack in.

Then do one room at a time until you are finished.

Got any more questions about van hire, driving a van or the general jargon that surrounds vans?! Then you might find some of these pages useful:

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