One of the problems students living in university accommodation have to deal with is the need to move all of their possessions out of their rooms at the end of every term – and then back in again a few weeks later.While this isn’t a new situation – it was the same for me when I was at university 10+ years ago – it isn’t getting any easier to solve.
There are two main problems:
- Where to put all the ‘stuff’
- How to transport it there
Students with their own cars have an advantage over those without – but having your own car isn’t necessarily a solution – many small cars are just too small, especially if two friends are travelling home together.
Instead, I’d like to suggest two possible solutions for struggling students. Neither of them cost the earth and both are safer and easier than a hugely overloaded car:
- Self Storage – Companies like Big Yellow operate affordable self storage units all over the UK (Big Yellow has 72 locations). You only pay for what you use and the minimum term is often just one week.
- Student van hire – although minimum age requirements can be a problem for students trying to hire a van, it may be possible for students heading to the same location to club together and hire a van between 2/3 people – only one of them needs to be old enough to drive it.
You can find out about one-way van hire here and find more details on student self storage and student van hire here.
Finally, in case you are transporting all of your belongings to and from university in a small car, here are a few tips from the IAM to help you keep things safe and legal:
- Pack belongings securely – loose objects can be distracting and if the driver needs to brake sharply unsecured items could fly forward and hit those sitting in front
- Where possible pack heavy items in the boot, and as low as possible
- Loading a car until it’s ready to burst can obstruct the already dangerous ‘blind spot’ view further, making the driver more vulnerable when changing lanes. Loads should be made as small as possible and positioned to enable a clear view. Students should take essentials on the first trip and ask their family to bring more items later if they don’t all fit in
- A long drive can lead to fatigue, so drivers should get plenty of rest beforehand. For the journey wear comfortable, loose clothing. The driving seat should be adjusted to a safe upright position and the heating/air-conditioning set to a cool – not cold – temperature. You should take a break at least every two hours, and driving at night should be avoided
- Having a full car will use more fuel; keep an eye on the fuel level to make sure you don’t suddenly run dry. Running out of fuel on a motorway puts your safety at risk, and it will be very expensive to call out help to top you up
- Check tyre pressures before setting off. Tyres on a full and heavy car usually require higher pressure. The right pressures prevent unnecessary wear, excess fuel consumption and potentially dangerous blow-outs
- Driving on unfamiliar roads can be unnerving. Sat navs can help and enable the driver to re-route quickly and relatively easily, but can be expensive. It’s always best to plan the journey before hitting the road, using a map or online journey planner
If you’re moving house this summer then you’ll need the right packaging.
Online packaging experts The Packaging Store are currently running a great discount code promotion that will help cut the cost of packaging – an essential part of any well-planned house move.
Here are the details:
- Save £15 on any order of £150 or more
- Discount code: PACK4SUMMER
Make sure you enter the discount code into the correct field on the shopping basket page and click “Submit Code” to get your discount.
This code cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount code.
Click here to visit The Packaging Store
This time of year tends to be a popular time to move house. While some people choose the professional removals option, many opt for a money-saving DIY removals job – especially given the current economic situation.
If you’re moving house soon and are planning to do it yourself, then I’d like to offer you a few tips that should make your life easier and reduce the chances of any of your furniture or belongings getting damaged in transit.
These may sound stupid and obvious, but it’s surprising how many people get it wrong:
- Furniture won’t protect itself in the back of the van – it needs to be protected with blankets or it will get scratched
- Your back won’t thank you for too much heavy lifting – beg, borrow or steal a sack barrow so that you can avoid having to carry heavy boxes more than a few metres
- Don’t rely on gravity to stop your stuff moving around in the back of the van – get some cheap lashing straps and tie movable objects to the side or floor of the van (click here for tips on loading a van)
- Boxes of books weight a lot – use small boxes and make sure they are strong (so the bottom doesn’t fall out…)
You may be thinking that all of this is an extra cost – well, perhaps. The good news is that many rental companies (like Sixt) will lend/rent you the straps and sack barrow along with a van for just a few quid extra. Proper removals-strength boxes are also available surprisingly cheaply from companies like The Packaging Store.
It’s well worth spending a few quid and a little bit of time preparing and packing for your move properly – it’s what a removals company would do and it will almost certainly save you from damage, delays and unnecessary aches and pains!
May and June are often the busiest times of year for moving house, resulting in high demand for large rental vans, especially at weekends. This year, the problem could be even worse as the house market shows signs of recovery but some large van rental companies may still be operating slimmed down fleets, as a legacy of the recession.
If you’re planning to move house this summer we would suggest booking your hire van well in advance – you don’t want to end up with a van that’s too small or even no van at all when it comes to moving day.
If you are unsure what size van you will need, then have a look at our van size guide for some advice on sizes and what they’re most suitable for. As a general rule, if you’ve got much furniture then a Luton van is much easier to fit a lot of stuff in than a panel van. They are also available with tail lifts, which makes lifting heavy items in and out much safer and less back breaking…
Here at vanrental.co.uk HQ, we’re firm believers in the benefits of using good quality, appropriate packaging. (Check out our Packaging Guide for tips on packing your stuff when moving house.)
As if to illustrate how important this is, I’ve recently had a spare part delivered for a piece of kitchen equipment. It was a flexible piece of metal that was easily bent but came wrapped in just a single sheet of bubble wrap and then put in one of those floppy plastic envelopes.
Needless to say, the first one I received was bent. I complained and was sent a second one – that was even more bent. I’ve now emailed the company concerned and told them to stop wasting their time and money – if they won’t package things properly, there isn’t much point in sending them to people. I’ll have to straighten out one of the ones I’ve got as best I can and make do with that.
Anyway, back to the point of this post. Our favoured packaging supplier is The Packaging Store, who make good quality packaging to suit all requirements – including packaging kits to suit house moves. The Packaging Store is currently running a series of discount codes that might be on interest to you if you need any packaging (remember, all orders qualify for free UK mainland delivery):
Spend £70 ex VAT & Save £5 – CODE: VANMAN (valid until 30/06/2010)
Spend £100 Ex VAT & Save £10 – CODE: MARCH10
Spend £150 Ex VAT & Save £15 – CODE: MARCH15
Spend £200 Ex VAT & Save £20 – CODE: MARCH20
As an additional bonus, The Packaging Store now provides free furniture bags with 2 bedroom house moving kit and 3-4 bedroom house moving kit.
Click here to visit The Packaging Store
Save £5 when you spend £70 (ex VAT) – Discount code: VANMAN (valid until 30/06/2010)
If you are planning to move house soon, then you will be in need of a large amount of packaging (unless you’re paying removal company prices for someone else to do it all).
Although some people take the DIY/recycling approach to packaging, building up supplies of used cardboard boxes and old sheets of bubble wrap and newspaper, this is a frustrating a time-consuming way to go about it and, more importantly, may leave you with packaging that simply isn’t up to the job.
Not all cardboard boxes are create equal and some are much stronger than others. This is particularly important if you want to be able to stack them in your hire van when moving house – a bit like this:
Boxes need to be strong to be stacked safely - especially if they're heavy
We’ve teamed up with The Packaging Store to offer a great deal to all vanrental.co.uk visitors – simply enter the discount code VANMAN when making your purchase and you will save £5 on purchases over £70 (ex. VAT). All UK delivery is free and they offer complete house-moving kits for different-sized houses – including boxes, bubble wrap and parcel tape.
Click here to visit The Packaging Store now
Buying a set of purpose-made removals boxes and packaging when you move house can be the most effective way of getting the packaging you need.
Kits are available to suit all sizes of houses, along with all the other packing accessories you’ll need – such as parcel tape, bubble wrap and much more.
Our packaging partner, The Packaging Store, is currently running a discount code for packaging customers. Spend more than £100 (exc. VAT) on packaging and you’ll receive a £10 discount – and remember that all orders are available with FREE standard delivery.
The discount code you need is BOXES and it is valid until 31st December 2009.
One of the reasons people give for not employing a removal company and not moving house for themselves is that they don’t want any of their possessions to be damaged. Fair enough, who would?
However, it’s not as difficult to protect and safely package your belongings as the removals industry would have you believe. In fact, it’s fairly simple, especially if you equip yourself with the right packaging materials, like those used by removals companies.
Strong, correctly-sized cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, parcel tape and furniture bags can make all the difference. Throw in a wardrobe box or two for suits, formal dresses and the like and you virtually have your own removals operation! Picture frame boxes will keep your pictures safe and speed up packing, as will bottle boxes for your wine and spirits.
Of course, it isn’t that simple, but it isn’t really that difficult, either. Preparation and planning really do make all the difference when moving house and you can save a lot of money over the cost of using a commercial removals company by doing the move for yourself.
To learn about different types of packaging, visit our packaging page.
For tips on planning and executing a masterful DIY house move, visit our DIY Removals page and download our free, A4-size guide to moving house for yourself.
Finally, to make sure you load your van successfully, take a look at our How To Load A Van page.