The Ultimate Guide To Stress-Free Packing & Moving

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Moving house is considered an extremely stressful experience by most people, and is known for being one of the most complicated processes most of us go through in our lives. In fact, on average we move eight times in our lives. Once you’ve done it before, you might pick up a few tricks to make it easier, but the process is still usually a lot to cope with.

That’s why we’ve compiled this straightforward guide to cover all the essential things you can do to make the process easier. Enjoy your (relatively) hassle-free move by following all of these steps…

1) Get professional help from the beginning

Many removal companies will be prepared to assist you when moving between cities, across the UK or even internationally, but it is best to go for a local company if possible because it will be easier to make prior arrangements with them and have your possessions collected from your current home.

Thinking of handling everything yourself? We wouldn’t advise it. The costs of figuring everything out yourself tend to massively outweigh the apparent saving you might expect from not hiring a removal firm. On top of that you have all the added hassle and complication of handling your own logistics. Nobody needs that!

2) De-clutter and de-stress

Once you have had your initial discussions with your chosen removal and storage company, you can get to work on deciding which possessions will end up coming with you you your new home and which won’t make the cut. It’s always a good idea to do this, but if you’re downsizing it will be absolutely essential.

Most of us don’t like having to part with our worldly goods, at least to begin with. That’s why it’s important to start the process with a clear head in a relaxed state. Make a preliminary list of things you can probably afford to get rid of. Give yourself some time to think about it, with a deadline in mind. When the deadline arrives, throw out, give away or sell anything you can live without. You might be surprised how liberated you feel, and how much easier you’ve made your packing.

3) Stay highly organised

An important point to consider throughout this guide is the need for a good, solid working plan. You need to write down the phases of your move, making changes as you go, and always know what’s next on the agenda.

This includes making notes of what you need to arrange before moving. All your utility suppliers will need to be aware that you are moving out, and the same goes for whoever will be sending you bills at your new address.

Whether you enjoy being organised at home or not, you will need to get into the habit if you want to keep track of all your stuff during the move. It’s worth investing in some great quality storage boxes, whether these are simple cardboard ones or a more permanent plastic storage solution.

After that, labels will be extremely important. Never rely on your memory to find everything once it’s been packed away. You will simply have too much on your mind to remember every detail, so why make it hard for yourself? Label everything accurately and you’ll be able to find it again with no trouble

4) Pack items with common sense

We can’t stress this point enough. Even if you have professionals to move your stuff, it needs to be packaged correctly otherwise you risk damaging it. Delicate and unusually shaped items can be difficult to wrap up safely, but there is a technique to get the hang of. For small and fragile items like plates and glasses, layers of paper in between each item will prevent scratches. Stacking them on top of each other is more risky, so try to avoid this.

For larger items that are likely to get damaged or odd-shaped things that won’t fit neatly into a box, you may need to pad them out with specially folded pieces of cardboard before wrapping them up in layers of film or tape to smooth out the edges and create some protective padding.

Remember to never overfill boxes and make them too heavy, or you’ll risk your boxes breaking open at the wrong moment, or even getting somebody injured. It’s better to have lots of small boxes that are easy to move around, as this is safer, more practical and more efficient when it comes to storage space.

If you’re able to complete these four main steps, you are well on your way to a much happier and more manageable move! Congratulations on your new home, and we hope you enjoy it.

Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

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It’s been estimated that at least a third of us enjoy making New Year’s resolutions every time December rolls over to January, but the vast majority of us never actually stick to them. How many times have you found yourself making the same resolution as you made last year, but saying it with a little less confidence than last time?

Unfortunately, a lot of these resolutions tend to be about our health. We’re aware of the problems we may be facing and the risks we might take unnecessarily, but we’re still reluctant to change our habits. Perhaps the problem is we aren’t thinking through the potential benefits of making straightforward, realistic commitments and planning how to stick to them. Here are a few examples that you may benefit from in 2017.

1) Weight Loss

This remains one of the most commonly proclaimed resolutions: next year I’ll be lighter! One of the most common problems with actually sticking to this is that people expect great results very quickly. In reality the process should be as gradual as possible, because this vastly increases your body’s chances of adjusting correctly and not bouncing back to your old eating habits as soon as things get difficult.Continue Reading

Warm Winter Recipe Ideas

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Now the festive period is upon us, but the winter is most likely still going to be testing us well into the New Year. Sometimes on a cold and miserable day the only thing that gets us through is thinking about a great meal we have planned out for later on. A tasty home-cooked meal is the ultimate way to reward yourself and keep your family happy during the cold winter months.

That’s why it’s the perfect time to be thinking about some warming winter recipes right now, so you can start getting some practice in and develop your skills. If you perfect a few of these comforting dishes you might notice you’re suddenly gaining popularity and have people turning up on your doorstep for dinner!

1) Classic chicken pie

You can’t go wrong with this traditional classic. A chicken pie can be stretched out further by packing it full of seasonal vegetables, or you could even replace the meat entirely for a vegetarian version just as easily. You don’t even need to make your own pastry so this tasty, family-sized dish can be made in almost no time. Experiment with your gravy and seasoning to make your pie unique.Continue Reading

Celebrate Bonfire Night Safely

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November is approaching, and traditionally we like to kick off the month with Bonfire Night celebrations! It’s a popular way to add a bit of warmth to the early winter, although safety shouldn’t be forgotten in the process. It’s easy to get distracted by the fun of a fireworks display or a bonfire, but there are some general safety tips you have to keep in mind, especially when there are children around.

Firstly, when it comes to actual fireworks, these items are not toys! They are subject to certain laws in the UK, so make sure for a start you only buy legally safe ones and don’t try to customise them in any way. Nominate someone to be responsible for fireworks and their safety if you are hosting your own display. They should have a dedicated area and the correct equipment for launching them, with a bucket of water and first aid kit on hand, plus all the correct wearable safety gear.

Sparklers are another common feature of bonfire night celebrations, and they’re especially popular with kids, although remember they’re far from harmless! In fact, while it may be close to freezing outside, the tip of a sparkler can easily reach 2,000°C which makes it more than capable of giving you a nasty burn. Again you’ll need a bucket of water nearby to put them out if necessary. It’s essential to always wear gloves when handling sparklers, and never to do so in a crowded area.Continue Reading

Halloween Party Theme Ideas

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Hosting a Halloween party this year, or maybe just thinking about it? Maybe you’ve been trying to come up with an unusual theme that’s appropriate for your guests’ age group – it can be just as tricky to find something fun and original that’s suitable for adults as it is for kids! Here are a few ideas that you might not have tried yet…

1) Ghostbusters

After the massive reboot movie that launched worldwide in July, Ghostbusters is cool all over again and this Halloween is the perfect time to take advantage of that. You can turn your house into the iconic team HQ and the guests can be your invading ghosts and monsters! This works especially well with kids if the adults take on the role of the Ghostbusters to keep them under control.

2) Comic Book Heroes/Villains

Always a great costume theme for grown-ups and kids alike because of the vast number of choices out there! You may opt for an exclusive villains theme this year if your friends are fans of Suicide Squad and other movies in the same vein. Harley Quinn and the Joker are favourites to appear at a few parties this October.Continue Reading