Useful information and deposit payments

How to pack

Packing is not something that you want to do in a hurry. If possible, start your packing at least two weeks before you move, and start it with the parts of the house that you do not use every day. For example, you can go into the attic, and ensure that everything is boxed ready for the removal firm to take away a long time before you move and no-one will notice. This is often the same for other overflow areas within your home such as the shed, the garage, the cupboard under the stairs and the utility room.

Once the overflow areas are packed, it is worth going around the house and packing items that you will not need for the coming days. For example, you will probably not need the breadmaker and the slow cooker, so these can be packied saving you time later in the move, but you most certainly will need plates and knives and forks so these should be packed at the last minute.

With a couple of days to go, it is time to pack up your books and CD's and other collections/ornaments around the house. This will make your home start to feel properly packed. Ideally, the last rooms to be completely packed will be the kids rooms and the kitchen.

When packing it is best to check how heavy you are making the boxes, a huge box of just books will slow things down on your removal day, so the ideal size of box is around "18 x 24" x 18" , or "medium" as described by the firm you purchase your boxes from. when packing fragile items, there is no such thing as too much packing paper, and it is always worth lining the boxes with bubble wrap before you begin. Please ensure that any boxes are marked "Fragile" if they are full of fragile items and also please label all boxes with the room name that you would like them to go to. Other things that will speed up your removal day are the disassembly of furniture, and also packing clothes and bedding and towels etc into black sacks. For wardrobe clothes it is best to have wardrobe boxes to ensure that they arrive in the same standard they leave your old home in, although wardrobe boxes are expensive (Around £20 each, with at least one needed per wardrobe in the house).

Please mention during your quotation if you would like specific advice on packing your home, or would like us to include packing in your price.

How to complete your own end of tenancy cleaning

Many people under-estimate the amount of cleaning work that will be required to get their deposit back from their landlord or letting agency. We often hear from our customers that "Things were not that clean when I took the place on", or that "I will come back the day after we move and give the place a quick going over". The following list, whilst not exhaustive will give some idea of the workload involved, and we hope, encourage you not to leave things to chance at the last minute.

Oven clean including disassembly of doors etc to clean all areas inside and outside of oven: 4 hours
Internal and external clean of all kitchen cupboards and built in appliances (Fridges etc): 5 hours
Clean of carpets using professional carpet cleaning machine and chemicals: 1 hour per carpeted area (Rooms + Stairs etc)
Full clean of bathroom including removal of limescale from all taps, surfaces, and within the toilet, polish of all tiles, plastics, metals, and ceramics: 3 hours
Full wipedown of all surfaces, walls, skirting boards, to remove all dust and marks: 2 hours


So for example, a normal three bedroom house, with built in appliances, two bathrooms, an average sized kitchen with a normal size oven, and carpets throughout except the kitchen and bathroom will take around 30 working hours to clean to a professional standard. Most people do not have a spare 30 hours the day after they have moved home, which is where we step in.

Choosing a house clearance or waste removal firm

The most important thing to consider when choosing someone to dispose of either waste for recycling, or belongings to be re-used is whether or not the people you are paying to do the job have a duty of care towards what you are asking them to dispose of. They will be registered with the environment agency as licensed waste carriers, and in many cases they will be licensed as Scrap Metal Dealers too (enabling them to properly dispose of anything from non-working washing machines and cookers, to car batteries and rusty fencing).

A professional house clearance firm will almost always charge for their services, as, even with high value items from the clearance to sell, there will inevitably be a certain amount of waste that can only be recycled by being put through the recycling facilities of a licensed waste transfer station. If you recieve a quote that you believe to be too low, or which seems to be much lower than the competition has quoted you then it will be worth questioning the person giving the quote as to how they intend to get the best value out of what they are disposing of. There are still disreputable people around who think that they can get away with fly-tipping, and you can be prosecuted for giving your old belongings to a firm who does this.

Speed of service is something that also needs to be discussed within the price, I have seen examples of house clearance outfits taking weeks to complete jobs that could be finished in a couple of days with the right resources. If you only want someone in your property for one or two days thendiscuss this before you book the job.

It is always worth talking about how different belongings will be handled, some firms deal with local charities and look for a quick turnover of what they are disposing of, some firms have their own shops, and need to run the overheads for this too, so will hold onto your belongings for longer, and some firms will have private buyers for everything already lined up on the day they come to remove things. There is not a right way or wrong way as long as there is a duty of care to the goods and the environment, and as much as possible gets re-used or recycled then the house clearance firm is doing their job well.

So as well as price you should be asking what the recycling route is, how much on average the firm re-used or recycled in the last year, what their recycling and re-use routes are, whether they are licensed with the environment agency, and how long it will take them to complete the job.

Someone who is enthusiastic about their environmentmental responsibilities will always know the answers to these types of question.

New scrap metal dealers act October 2013

In October 2013 the law surrounding the buying and selling of scrap metal changed. These changes are in addition to the "No cash for scrap ruling which came into force in December 2012. Now, anyone who wishes to have the buying or selling of scrap metal, including electrical goods or cars for recycling as a major part of their business now needs to purchase a license from the council(s) that they trade within. In addition to this, all scrap metal dealers must have passed a DBS check (A Dis-barring service check, which used to be known as a CRB or Criminal Records Bureau check), and given a copy of this to the councils that they wish to trade within. All scrap metal dealers must now also keep a record of where they get their scrap metal from, including names and addresses and the amount of money paid, as well as the registration number of any vehicle used to deliver the metal.

This is already resulting in less metal being sold to the scrap metal companies who export directly at Southampton docks, and will have a massive impact on the problem of stolen metal, which can only be a good thing. The theft of useable metal fittings and cables which were then sold in scrap yards has cost businesses millions in the las few years. It will be best to check that you are selling your scrap metal to a reputable dealer. By December of this year, local councils will have supplied all mobile scrap metal collectors with a license that must be displayed in their vehicle. Until then, scrap metal dealers will have been supplied with a letter or some other receipt showing that they have applied for the new license.

Scrap metal dealers must also have a waste carriers license from the Environment Agency, and must also have specialist van insurance that specifically allows trhem to carry scrap metal.

All these things are combining to reduce the number of people who are able to trade in scrap metal, and you may find that your regular collector does not turn up to remove your scrap waste.

We regularly collect scrap waste from businesses in Wiltshire and Southampton, and have registered with both of these councils for the new licenses. We are also registered with the Environment Agency as an upper tier waste carrier and broker, and have vehicles with specialist insurance for the carrying of scrap metal and waste electrical items.