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2021 Guide To Moving To New Zealand From The UK

New Zealand is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Full of natural beauty and incredible landscapes, many Brits relocate to New Zealand to enjoy the outdoor environment and more relaxed pace of life. If you’re considering moving to New Zealand from the UK but aren’t quite sure when’s the best time to go, or indeed how to begin the process, the following guide is here to help you out. 

Can I move to New Zealand from the UK during the pandemic?

The process of moving to New Zealand from the UK has of course been complicated by the pandemic. New Zealand has introduced a temporary border closure at this time, which will complicate your ability to obtain a visa. However, if you are hoping to move as soon as possible, keep an eye on the changing situation to see when travel restrictions are likely to ease. You can keep up to date on current entry requirements to New Zealand if you’re coming from the UK via the gov.uk website

In the meantime, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to get organised in order to make this exciting move once the border reopens.

Apply for a visa

If you are planning on moving to the country for less than 6 months then you will not require a visa, however you will need to obtain an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) before you go. If you are planning to stay in New Zealand for longer than 6 months then you will need to gain a residency visa such as the skilled migrant category that allows you to stay in the country indefinitely and access state funded public services. 

Once this visa has expired, you can apply for permanent residency that will allow you to travel in and out of New Zealand without any restrictions. In order to apply for a permanent visa you must be able to complete the necessary documentation and meet the following criteria:

  • Provide proof of identity (2 acceptable headshots / your passport or another certificate of identity) 
  • Be of good character 
  • Hold a valid resident visa or have held one in the last 3 months (provide a resident visa or residence permit & have held continuously for 24 months) 
  • Have met conditions of your current visa 
  • Be committed to living in New Zealand permanently (provide evidence of your commitment to New Zealand) 
  • Non principal applicants should apply at the same time or after the principal applicant, unless a non principal exception applies

Organise healthcare

When thinking about moving to New Zealand from the UK, or indeed moving anywhere abroad, it’s important to be aware of the healthcare options that you’ll have available to you. In order to access public healthcare and register with a GP in New Zealand then you must have permanent residency. 

When moving to New Zealand as an expat, it’s recommended that you join a Primary Health Organisation (PHO) as the application for healthcare can take up to 3 months to process and PHO’s can provide subsidies on potential medical costs. Upon your relocation to New Zealand if you need emergency medical assistance then you’ll need to dial 111 to call for an ambulance. 

Organise your pet’s move

If you’re thinking of moving to New Zealand from the UK, there’s no doubt you’ll be wanting to take your four legged friend with you. In order to ensure that relocating your pet is as stress free as possible, you’ll need to start planning 6 months or so in advance. This will give you plenty of time to organise the necessary vaccinations for your pet and to obtain a microchip for them if they don’t already have one. It’s currently only cats and dogs that are able to be imported to New Zealand and they must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. 

Ship your goods

The cheapest and quickest way to ship the majority of your household goods when moving to New Zealand from the UK, is via a sole use shipping container. If you choose to move your belongings with us at Hackworthy & Sons, we promise to make the process as stress free as possible. 

Your belongings will be carefully packed and wrapped at your home and loaded into an onsite container where it is then driven and delivered to the port. Sole container shipments usually take between 7-8 weeks port to port, and you should allow 2 weeks on top of this for customs clearance and delivery once the container reaches New Zealand. 

Depending on your individual requirements, shipping containers are usually available in two sizes:

  • 20ft. This container holds 1050 cu ft.; large enough to hold a 2- 3 bedroom house.
  • 40ft. This container holds 2100 cu ft.; large enough to hold a 3- 4 bedroom house.

Once your shipment arrives at the destination port, we’ll contact you to arrange a date for delivery to your residence. Our destination partner will complete the stress free process by unpacking your boxes and removing all packing materials from your home. 

To request a quick quote for your overseas removal, you can use our online form, or, for more information on moving to New Zealand from the UK, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

What To Look For When Viewing A House: A Buyer’s Guide

When viewing a house, there’s a lot to think about and so it can be easy for certain factors to slip your mind. You don’t want to come away from a viewing not being one hundred percent sure on whether or not the property could be the right fit for you. That’s why, in order to help you make the most of your next viewing, we’ve put together a handy checklist of what to look out for when viewing a house. 

What’s the area like?

Before attending the viewing it’s always a good idea to have a drive around the area and see if it suits your requirements. Consider the local amenities that are available such as pubs and shops, and look for factors that could cause potential problems such as noise or a lack of public transport links. Having a wander around the local area is also a great way to get a feel for it and to see if you could picture yourself living there. 

Is the building structurally sound?

When discussing what to look for when viewing a house, what’s on the outside is just as important as what’s on the inside. Look for any big cracks and check for signs of damp such as peeling paint or tide marks on the walls. It’s also important to look for signs of general disrepair such as loose tiles on the roof. If you do spot any of these issues, you can ask the homeowner or estate agent about it and then get a surveyor to look into it further at a later point.  

Check the plumbing

Run the taps to check the water pressure and to see how long it takes for hot water to come through. Check that the heating and radiators work and ask how old the boiler is. If it’s an old boiler then it may need replacing soon which will be another cost for you to factor into your budget. 

Check for signs of damp

Damp is one of the biggest inconveniences faced by homeowners which is why it’s such an important factor to mention when we’re discussing what to look for when viewing a house. Peeling paint, stains on the ceiling and steamed up windows are all classic signs of damp that it’s important to be aware of. 

How much storage space is there?

Storage space can be scarce, particularly in new builds. With this in mind, when thinking about what to look for when viewing a house, make sure to take note of the storage options available. Is there enough cupboard/loft/ garage space for you to store all your belongings? Remember that if you fall in love with a property but space is a slight issue, you can always put excess belongings into long term storage to prevent them from cluttering up your home. 

Which way does the house face? 

This might not be one of the first things that springs to mind when thinking about what to look for when viewing a house, however whether the house is north or south facing can have a big impact on the look and feel of the property. A home that is full of light and warmth is a lot more appealing than a home that is usually dark. 

Ask plenty of questions

Get more of an idea of the property by asking the estate agent and homeowner key questions. For example, what are the bills like? How long has the property been on the market for and how many offers have been made?  What fixtures and fittings are included in the price? Ask the owner why they are selling. This could bring to light potential problems with the property. Being friendly and building a bit of a rapport with the seller will also be beneficial if you do end up deciding to put an offer in. 

Take someone along with you

Two pairs of eyes are always better than one and so whether it’s a friend, partner or family member, be sure to take someone along to the viewing with you. They might spot something you don’t , and it’s always easier to have someone to bounce thoughts and ideas off of. 

With these top tips on what to look for when viewing a house, you should be on the way to finding your dream property. For advice on selling your own property quickly and for the best price, have a read of our previous articles on tips for house viewings from a seller’s perspective and how to add value to your home before selling

When you are ready to move, Hackworthy can help make the process as stress-free as possible with over 40 years of experience in removals services. Get in touch to find out more or request a quote directly through our website.

How To Add Value To Your Home Before You Sell It

Adding value to your home before you put it on the market is sure to provide you with a greater financial reward, giving you more freedom to find your next dream home. If you’re not quite sure how to add value to your home then hopefully the following guide should help you out. From larger renovations to small scale tweaks, these are some of the most efficient ways to improve the overall value of your property. 

Increase kerb appeal

First impressions are everything and this has never been more true than when it comes to selling your house. You want potential buyers to fall in love with the house before they even step through the door and so if the front of the house is looking a little tired, be sure to make a few tweaks where you can. Tidying up the front door with a lick of paint and adding a few details such as hanging baskets will help increase the visual appeal of the house, setting the right tone for the rest of the property.

Tidy up the garden

A great garden can be a crucial selling point for a property and so it’s a really important focus point when discussing how to add value to your home. Since the pandemic, demand for larger properties with garden space has also increased as more people are able to work from home without needing to commute to the office. With this in mind, it’s definitely worth giving your garden the wow factor. Tidy up any unwanted furniture, get rid of any weeds or overgrown shrubbery, and fill the space with beautiful plants and features. 

Convert your garage

When thinking about how to add value to your home, one of the main factors to consider is how you can increase the living space in the property. Converting your garage is one option for creating an extra living area that could be used as another bedroom, lounge area or even an Airbnb. However, if you live in an urban area where parking is limited you need to consider whether the garage would be more beneficial as a conversion or as a parking spot. In some instances, a garage may be more valuable when left as a garage, and so it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons before committing to a conversion. 

Convert your loft

If your property doesn’t have a garage or you’re unsure about the benefit of converting it, you can also add space via a loft conversion. Converting your loft is a great way to add an extra room to your home without physically extending the house and encroaching on the garden. This is a particularly smart option in cities where space is limited. A loft conversion can be used as an extra bedroom or office and will provide a wow factor to the home.  You can put any belongings that you were keeping in the loft into storage until you’re ready to move into your new home

Convert your cellar

Another option for increasing the living space in your home is to convert the cellar, if your property has one. This is a big project however when completed successfully can really increase the value of your home. A cellar conversion could be used as an extra living space for lounging or dining, or could simply be used as an extra storage space. 

Improve your kitchen layout

We spend a huge amount of time in our kitchens cooking and socialising. That’s why the kitchen space is such a huge factor when it comes to discussing how to add value to your home. One option is to make the kitchen open plan. This will make the space much more accommodating for entertaining and give the impression of more space which is always a benefit. If you feel like taking on a bigger project, you could also of course get a kitchen extension. 

Emphasise period features

If your home has period features then make the most of them.  Make sure that features such as skirting boards and fireplaces are restored and looking in good condition. Emphasising period features is an easy way to bring out the natural character of the property and buyers will always pay more for a home that has special and unique features like this. 

Freshen up the bathroom

Our final (but certainly no less important) recommendation for how to add value to your home is to improve or replace the bathroom. Simple fixes like replacing the taps and adding a new shower curtain will make all the difference to the visual look of the space, however depending on your budget, you may even want to consider ripping out the existing bathroom and starting from scratch. A sparkly new bathroom is bound to increase the appeal of the property to buyers, particularly if the rest of the house is in the same condition. 

Hopefully these tips on how to add value to your home will help you sell your home for the best possible price. When you’re all set to move into your new dream home, give us a call or drop us a message. With over 40 years of experience in domesticand overseas removals, we’ll ensure the final (and most exciting part) of the moving process is as stress free as possible.

10 Tips For House Viewings From A Seller’s Perspective

In order to sell your home quickly and at a good price, house viewings are really important to get right.  A viewing is an opportunity to show off your property and when it comes to persuading potential buyers, first impressions are everything. Making sure your home is in tip top condition before you invite people to view it will make the selling process a whole lot smoother. With that in mind, we’ve put together our top 10 tips for house viewings to help you get your home ready to sell in quick time. 

Declutter

Clutter makes a space look small and untidy making it difficult for potential buyers to imagine themselves in the space. It can also hide attractive features of the house such as fireplaces and block the light in window areas. The key to decluttering is to start early, before you even put your house on the market. That way you’ll have plenty of time to sort through what you actually need to keep and what you could get rid of. When it comes to moving time, having less clutter will make the whole process a lot less stressful.

Clear away toiletries and personal items 

It’s easy for mountains of toiletries and medication to accumulate in the bathroom. Sort through anything you might not need and store the rest away in cupboards or drawers. One of our best tips for house viewings is to avoid having too many personal items on display like toiletries and medication. Remember that buyers want to be able to picture how they would live in your home, not how you currently live in it. ‘De-personalising’ your home to an extent, without removing the home comforts is the magic formula for the perfect house viewing, and one of our top house viewing tips for sellers that can often be forgotten. 

Let the light in

Another of our top house viewing tips for sellers is to let as much natural daylight as possible flood into the property. Pull back the curtains and move any items that might be blocking the light from the windows such as vases or photo frames on window sills. Bringing natural light into the property will enhance the visual appeal of the place and ultimately make it more inviting. 

Make the place smell good

When we view a property we make judgements based upon what we can see of course but also upon what we can hear and smell. If your home smells good it will be instantly more appealing to potential buyers and set the right tone as soon as they walk through the door. On the day of the viewing, open the windows to let fresh air circulate through the property. This is particularly important in the kitchen where there’s the potential for the room to smell of last night’s dinner. Get the windows open, and light some scented candles. As cliché as it is, freshly baked bread and brewed coffee are actually the most inviting smells in a living space, so if you’re feeling up to it, it might be worth doing a bit of baking in preparation. 

Think about temperature

Another really important tip for house viewings is to make sure that your home is a comfortable temperature. If someone comes to visit your house in the middle of December and it’s freezing cold then it’s unlikely they’re going to associate the property with being inviting and homely. Similarly if someone comes to view it in the height of summer and it’s absolutely boiling, that’s equally as uncomfortable. Keep the house warm in the winter and in the summer if it’s a really hot day, you might want to keep the windows open throughout the viewing.  This will make the place smell great anyway!

Remove distractions

During a house viewing, you want the buyer to focus on the best aspects of the property and this is why one of our top tips for house viewings is to remove potential distractions. Making sure the TV is turned off and the radio isn’t playing full blast will help viewers focus on what’s in each room rather than being distracted. As much as we love them, if you’ve got pets it’s probably best to leave them with a neighbour or loved one for the duration of the viewing. Cute as they are, pets can be distracting and certain viewers might have a phobia of cats or dogs. 

Clean and hoover

This one probably goes without saying, but our top 10 tips for house viewings wouldn’t be complete without emphasising the importance of making sure surfaces, furniture and floor space look spotless. Clean up any marks or spills on kitchen surfaces, wash away any bathroom grime and make sure shelves are free of dust. If you clean the house from top to bottom the day before the viewing, all you’ll need to do on the day of the viewing is have a quick whizz round to check all the rooms are looking and smelling great. 

Clear up the garden

If your property has a garden, for many people this can be the main selling point. With this in mind, one of our most important tips for house viewings with gardens is to ensure any outdoor space is looking its best. Remove any old garden furniture that is broken or decayed and clear out any weeds or overgrown greenery. If your garden includes a patio or decking area, putting out some pretty pot plants is a lovely addition to make the space more visually appealing. 

Give the property drive-by appeal

Potential buyers could be walking by your house every day and will often drive- by the property to see what it’s like before committing to a physical viewing. That’s why one of our most essential tips for house viewings is to make sure the front of the house always looks its best. Give the front door a lick of paint if it needs it and make sure the front lawn and hedges are kept in smart condition. It’s also a nice idea to put some flower pots or hanging baskets out. You never know who’s going to drive by, and if the place looks nice it could be your next buyer. 

Put excess belongings in storage

When you’re in the process of decluttering and tidying your home for a viewing, if there are any items that you can’t hide away in cupboard or drawer space then leave them in short term storage. Having an external storage space to use as an overflow will make it a lot easier to get your home looking tidy and in order ready for people to view it. 

At Hackworthy & Sons, we have a range of different long term and short term storage options to suit your individual requirements. Simply get in touch with us to request a quote. We also have over 40 years experience in domestic and overseas removals to make the moving process as smooth as possible. 

7 Tips For Combating Homesickness After Moving Abroad

Moving abroad is an exciting opportunity, however it can take a little while to adjust to life in a new country. It’s perfectly common to feel homesick after moving abroad as you attempt to settle into a new culture, language and environment. The good news is that with a few simple tricks it’s perfectly possible to overcome homesickness and start enjoying your new life abroad to the maximum. If you’re concerned about feeling homesick after moving abroad then it’s worth keeping the following tips in mind...

Create a routine

It doesn’t need to be a strict routine but creating some sort of structure for your week is an important step in establishing your new life after moving abroad. Having a routine is likely to make you feel less lost and more in control which will prevent unwanted feelings of homesickness. If you’re starting a new job, this will provide you with a sense of routine anyway. If you’re not working, creating your own schedule will really help. Just remember to incorporate plenty of fun activities where you can!

Exercise regularly

The physical and mental health benefits of exercise should never be overlooked and when it comes to combating homesickness, exercise is a really helpful tool. Exercise releases happy hormones making us feel better, so if you’re feeling anxious or lonely then going for some exercise is likely to do wonders for lifting your mood. It doesn’t have to be intense exercise;  A short walk, run or cycle will be a huge boost whilst keeping you fit as well of course. If you have the option then you could also join a local exercise group as this will be an excellent way to meet people at the same time. 

Make a discovery list

When you feel really homesick it can sometimes be difficult to remember the excitement of moving abroad. Focusing on all the adventures you can have in your new home is a great way to stay positive and ultimately get to know your new environment so that it becomes more familiar. Make a list of all the coffee shops, parks, monuments etc. that you want to explore and visit a new one everyday. This is a great way to establish your favourite places and in no time you’ll be a regular at your favourite coffee shop or restaurant. 

Meet some new people

One of the main concerns people have about moving abroad is how they will meet new people.  The thought might seem scary however meeting new people is likely to be a lot easier than you expect it to be. If you’re starting a new job then you’ll automatically meet new people through work and in today’s ultra-connected society it’s so easy to expand your social circle quickly. Join local clubs and events and look for expat groups online. Being able to chat to other expats will help you feel less lonely and help you make friends to go and do activities with. 

Use technology to stay connected (but not too much!)

One of the biggest challenges of moving abroad is moving away from loved ones. Luckily with the likes of Facetime, Skype and social media it’s now easy to stay connected with loved ones in different countries. Use technology to keep in touch with people but be wary not to overuse it so that it becomes a crutch. Try to avoid comparing your new life after moving abroad to life in your old home as this will prevent you from fully immersing yourself in your new location. 

Learn a new language

Learning something new will keep your mind active and there’s no better advice on how to move abroad than learning the language. Not only will this give you a distraction from feelings of homesickness, it will also help you combat the language barrier and connect with native speakers and the culture around you. Knowing the language will give you a greater sense of belonging and make life easier on a practical day to day basis.

Acknowledge how you feel 

Everyone gets homesick from time to time when they’re in a new environment and you should never feel ashamed if you’re having a bad time. After moving abroad there can be a lot of pressure to feel like you’ve made the right decision, but it’s important to give it time and let yourself acclimatise to your new home. Talk about how you’re feeling or write it down if you’d prefer to. Moving abroad can be tricky but the benefits are huge and with the tips we’ve mentioned you’ll soon start to thrive in your new home. 

If you’re planning to move abroad, Hackworthy & Sons have over 40 years experience in overseas removals around the world and can offer budgets to suit everyone. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today to request a quote and don’t forget to look at our moving abroad checklist

Hackworthy & Sons' Office Relocation Checklist

We know that moving offices can be a pain whilst trying to keep working as much as possible, that’s why we have put together an office relocation checklist to help you prepare for your move to ensure the least business disruption possible. 

If you’re thinking of moving offices soon, keep reading! 

Leave plenty of time 

First up, is to leave yourself plenty of time to plan your office relocation, by rushing everything in a few days this will leave you with little time to actually work. You’ll likely be stressed trying to pack everything in time for your move, as well as trying to organise everything else that needs to be done before you leave your current office if you don’t give yourself plenty of time. 

Appoint A Project Manager For Your Office Move 

Once you have left yourself enough time to calmly pack your things up, we’d recommend appointing a project manager to oversee the running of your move. This will help ensure that everything is done efficiently and that everyone in the office has their own job to help relocate the office. Again, by a project manager giving each team member a job this will save time for everyone involved meaning there is more time to continue working normally. 

Organise An Office Removals Company 

Next up, on your office relocation checklist will be to organise a specialist office removals company to help with your relocation. By hiring an experienced office removals company, they will know exactly what needs to be done and will do this in the most efficient way possible. At Hackworthy & Son’s we have over 40 years experience in office removals, and we know how important time is in business, so ensure that you are moved as quickly and effectively as possible. 

Offices are obviously home to lots of electronic items, confidential documents, desks etc, and by hiring a office removals company this saves you the hassle of having to move all of this by yourself whilst trying to work and keep all of your things safe and secure. 

Plan Out Timings To Work From 

Once you have a moving date and have organised your removal company it’s worth making a plan for not only moving day but also the lead up to this, to make sure that what needs to be done beforehand gets done. Much like this checklist, making a plan will help you be able to tick off tasks as they are done and leave you relaxed knowing that everything has been thought of has been done or is planned to be done soon. You’ll want to plan when to start packing up your things, what you can pack up first and what will need to be packed at the last minute, as well as how long it will take you to move and the timings involved in unpacking. This plan will also help you to work out the rough downtime you’ll experience moving office, to be able to inform people when you’ll be back open to contact/ visit etc. 

Work Out Where You’d Like Things To Go When You Move 

Not only is it recommended to plan your timings, but it’s also suggested to work out where you’d like things to go when you move before you arrive. You should be able to get a floor plan of the property, so you can use this as rough guidance to work out where things can go whilst you're not physically in the new office. This will also help when it comes to moving as you’ll be able to tell the removals company exactly where you’d like things to go. Another time saving trick when it comes to moving. 

Check Your Lease Agreement 

It’s important to check your lease agreement before moving to see where you stand if you leave the premises earlier than your lease agreement, whilst this can’t stop you from moving you may end up losing your deposit. So, it’s definitely worth checking this to ensure that you are aware of this, should the situation occur. Another thing to check when looking at your lease agreement is whether you are responsible for damages to the office, if you are you may again risk losing your deposit, so it may be worth seeing how much the damages would cost you to fix before losing your deposit to the landlord. Although, make sure that you have the right permissions to get these damages fixed by yourself before going ahead with this as you don’t want to break the lease agreement. 

Notify Clients, Suppliers, (And Any Other Important People) Of Your Move 

You’ll want to think about telling clients, suppliers etc of your move before the big day, in order for them to be aware that you may experience a day or two of downtime, and that they will need to travel to a different place next time they come to visit your office. As well as this, the changing of address will need to be updated with suppliers for billing reasons. 

Buy Furniture Or Declutter 

Depending on whether you are moving to a bigger office or are downsizing to a smaller one with more employees working from home you may need to buy additional furniture for the bigger space or declutter before moving into a smaller space. So, think about researching the furniture you’d like in your new office or use some spare time to get rid of things that you don’t need any more and will take up needed space in your new office. 

Contact Your Providers

As it stands with moving house, office relocation is no different when it comes to informing the relevant companies, providers etc of your office move. You’ll want to contact your phone and internet provider (and organise a new one if you need to), as well as contacting your utilities provider (if you are responsible for this), your insurance company, banks etc. One provider that you might forget but is super helpful is setting up a mail redirect with the Royal Mail, to ensure that any old post that gets sent to your office after your relocation is redirected to the new location. As there is always going to be one or two people that you’ll have forgotten to inform about your move, the redirected mail that you receive will remind you to inform these people. 

Organise Cleaning 

Finally, on our office relocation checklist is, to organise the cleaning of your old or new office. You’ll want to think about cleaning your old office before moving to ensure that you leave it in a good condition for the next tenants, as well as putting your company in good stead to receive any deposit back that you paid when first leasing the property. 

If you can do this as a team that’s great, but many cleaning companies offer a one off cleaning service, dedicated to end of tenancy cleans and will make sure that the property is sparkling clean before you hand the keys back to the landlord. What’s better is that hiring a cleaning company will save your team time to work or finalise the packing/ unpacking of your office. 

If you’re looking at relocating your office soon and would like some advice on the best way to do this and how much this will cost, get in contact with Hackworthy & Sons today and our team will be happy to help. 

 How To Settle A Cat Into A New Home After Moving House

We’ve looked at settling a dog into a new home, but what if you have a cat. Well, we’ve got you covered, in this article we will be looking into how to settle a cat into your new home. 

Whilst some of these tips on how to settle a cat into a new home are similar to that of settling a dog into a new home, cats are very different animals that often roam around the local neighbourhood coming back in the evenings to go to bed and for dinner. So, obviously this means that it’s important to find out the ways in which you can help when moving house with a cat. 

Dedicate A Room For Your Cat To Settle In 

Similar to giving your dog a room to settle in while the rest of the house is busy, this is also important for cats. By providing them their own space, this gives them the privacy and space to get used to their new home before they feel confident enough to move out of the new room and explore the rest of the area and see the rest of the family. 

This is also a great tip if you have adopted a kitten and are bringing them home for their first night away from their mum or the environment that they’re used to. 

Find/ Create Hiding Places 

Finding or creating hiding places in your new home and kitting these out with cosy items such as cushions and blankets are a great way of providing areas in the house for your cat to feel safe and secure whilst they become accustomed to a new property. You may notice that you can often buy cat beds that have a roof, this is because in the wild cats can become prey for predators. Beds or areas in the house that reflect the places that they hide in the wild will help to make them feel that they’re away from danger as they only have to focus on the open area of the space rather than the 360 degrees around them. 

Keep Them Indoors For Around A Month 

Moving house with a cat can sometimes be difficult if they are used to roaming around the local neighbourhood. That’s why it’s important to keep them inside for a month before letting them go out and explore. Not only will this help them get used to the interior of their new home to find places that they can hide in, but will also stop them from escaping the new house and going back to the old house. 

Use A Pheromone Diffuser 

Pheromone diffusers are a great tool to use when moving house with a cat, as these are designed to help reassure your cat by releasing synthetic pheromones. Alternatively, if you’d prefer not to buy one of these, you can do the same by rubbing a cotton cloth on your cat and rubbing this on cat height areas of the house. Essentially, either of these methods helps your cat settle in as they recognise familiar smells around the new house. 

Make Sure Nobody In Your Old Neighbourhood Is Encouraging Them Back 

Something, that’s really important to do before leaving your old house, is to make the neighbours aware of your move and make sure they do not encourage your cat back to the old house. It’s quite common for people in the neighbourhood to feed or give attention to your cat. But, whilst this is ok when you live there, if this continues when you move this could make it very difficult for you to help settle your cat into their new home. 

Make The House Escape Proof 

As we’ve just mentioned, making sure that your old neighbours aren’t feeding your cat and enticing them back to the old house, making your new house escape-proof is another way to help settle your cat into their new home so that they can get used to the feeling of being in their new home and won't risk getting lost in the new surroundings and becoming stressed not being able to find their way home. For more information on ways to introduce your cat outside once they’ve settled in, check out this useful guide by Battersea.

Play With Them On Their Own Terms

You may think that getting your cat to play will take their mind off of the new environment and help them feel at home. But, it is recommended that you let them play on their own terms as they settle in and give them some space to explore the house getting used to the new smells, sounds and more. By letting them come to you when they feel comfortable to start playing, you can be sure that they are beginning to settle in and feel safe and secure going back to their normal routine, albeit in a new place. 

Keep Their Routine 

As we’ve just mentioned, routine is something that everybody gets used to and cats are the same. By keeping the routine of when you feed them, put them to bed etc, this will keep a sense of normality, especially in changing times. This helps them anticipate when things will happen, rather than worrying them about why something is not happening at the time it normally does. 

A lot of tips on how to settle a cat into a new home can also help you if you decide to adopt a cat in your new home as you are still moving them from a location that they are used to, to one that they aren’t. So, if you have found any of these useful when moving house with a cat, be sure to use them if you get another cat. We’d love to hear from you, if you’ve got any other suggestions on how to settle a cat into a new home after moving house, so be sure to share them with us on Facebook and Twitter to help others. 

How To Settle A Dog Into A New House After Moving Home

Settling into a new home can be hard for anyone and for pets it's important that we do what we can to make them feel comfortable and relaxed in their new home. 

We’ve covered the brief things on how to make moving with pets easier, but there are many other things that can be done to help this, and we’ll be covering how to settle a dog into a new house in this article. 

Arrange Somebody To Look After Your Dog  

One thing you may want to think about organising before moving house with a dog is arranging for somebody to look after your dog on moving day. This will help to give you the time and space you need to move boxes and removal companies to get around the house easily without the hassle of the dog walking around your ankles stressed about what is going on and the strangers walking around their home. 

By arranging doggy day care with a friend this will allow the dog to leave their current home in a relaxing time and arrive at their new home once you’re ready to welcome them back into a relaxing environment where you have time to give them attention. 

Keep Your Dogs Belongings The Same

Whilst it may be tempting to purchase a new bed, blanket etc for your dog to match the decor in your new home, it’s recommended to hold off on purchasing these things until your dog is fully settled into its new home. Your dog's belongings from the old house will carry a scent with them that will help them to settle into the new house, so by changing these things it can be unsettling them when getting used to their new environment. 

Keep Your Routine 

Like humans, maintaining a routine with dogs is a great way on how to settle a dog into a new home. If you’re used to letting your dog sleep upstairs or go to bed at a certain time in a crate, it’s important to keep this the same in your new home to avoid too much change for your dog during the move. 

You may want to look at reducing the space that they are allowed in within your new home, however this is something that could be done at a later date once the dog has settled in and has become accustomed to their new home. 

Organising To Be Home In The First Few Days Of Your House Move 

If your job allows you to work from home, one way on how to settle a dog into a new home is by organising to be a home for a few days/week after your move. Leaving your dog in the first few days of your move may cause extra stress and anxiety for them as they get used to their new space. So, by organising to stay home with them, the company will help to relax them as they become accustomed to their new home. 

Explore The Local Area 

Any dog owner knows that the word ‘walk’ is an absolute guarantee to get your dog out of the house. So, why not take advantage of this for both of you and get out to explore the area around your home to help you both become familiar with your new surroundings. 

Set Up Your Dog's Space Upon Arrival 

If you’re unable to find someone to look after your dog on moving day, we’d suggest that you set out your dog’s space as soon as you can on arrival to the new home. This will help to ensure that they have their own space to relax and escape to whilst everyone else is moving around the house unpacking. Somewhere like a utility room or a spare bedroom that won’t need to be visited very much during the house move is a great space to set up your dogs space to relax in, whilst keeping the door open will ensure that they don’t feel trapped and can hear that you are nearby if they feel nervous. 

Pay Them Attention 

Part of owning a dog is paying them the attention that they deserve. Dogs are considered a member of the family and it wouldn't be fair to pay attention to the rest of the family and not the dog. Unpacking your new home can take time, but by paying your dog attention not only can this reduce your pet’s stress, but also your own by taking a break from the unpacking tasks that overcome you. Taking some time out playing with them will help to ensure them that they are still a priority and will help them to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings by doing familiar things with them. 

Stay Calm, Relaxed And Patient 

As we said at the beginning of this article, it takes everyone time to get used to a new house, before feeling relaxed and at home. Therefore, the last thing that we’d recommend on how to settle a dog into a new home is to stay calm, relaxed and patient as your dog goes through this process too. You may have times where your dog has accidents in their new home or does things out of the ordinary but this should pass as they become familiar with their new home. And… don’t forget if there becomes a time where they are really struggling to settle into your new home, there is always the opportunity to contact a dog trainer to help give you tips and advice on how to help them. 

As always, if you have any other tips on how to settle a dog into a new home we’d love to hear them. Make sure to share them with us on Facebook, Twitter to help others going through this process. If you’re more of a cat person and would like some tips on how to settle a cat into a new home, stay tuned. 

Hackworthy & Sons' Moving Abroad Checklist

There is so much to consider even when just moving down the road, and when you throw moving across the world to another country this can become even more difficult to remember what needs to be done before moving. For this reason we thought you’d find it useful to have a moving abroad checklist for you to go through when organising your international removals. 

Visa Requirements 

First up, something that is probably one of the most time sensitive tasks is working out what visa you need for your time in your new home country, the requirements of this and at what time you need to apply for these to obtain them in time for your move. 

Property 

Once you have started the process of applying for the relevant visa, now is the time to start looking for places to stay. If you can’t find the perfect property before you move, you could consider renting property in the first few months, whilst you look at the available properties around the area. This will help to reduce your stress around finding a new home and will allow you to spend time picking the home for you. 

Tax

When moving abroad, you will need to make sure that you have informed HMRC of your move to ensure that you pay the right amount of tax required of you. By not doing this, you run the risk of paying additional taxes that you are exempt from as expats. 

Pet Relocation

Whilst all points on this moving abroad checklist are somewhat time sensitive to be carried out before your big move. Pet relocation is similar to that of your visa requirements which needs to be looked into as far in advance of your move as possible. For example, you’ll find that some countries don’t let in certain pets or breeds, so you will need to be aware of this if your pet is on this list and how you are going to resolve/ manage this situation. Cats and dogs can often be required to have vaccinations as far as 6 months ahead of your move, so by preparing as early as you can to move your pets abroad with you, will help reduce the work later in time. 

Bank Accounts 

When moving abroad it is recommended that you set up an international bank account, this doesn't mean that you have to close your account in the UK, but by opening an international account this will allow you to manage the currency in your new country easier and conveniently. 

Change Your Address 

As with any house move, changing your address on documentation is a must before moving to ensure that your post is delivered to your new address. Although you may cover the basic people to inform such as friends and family, banks, insurance, DVLA etc, it is almost likely that there will be 1 or 2 places that you will forget. You can avoid this by putting a redirect in place to ensure that if anything gets sent to your old address the Royal Mail will be informed that you have a new address and send it to their instead. 

Organise A Removals Company

Organising a removals company is another task that should be done as quickly as you can once you have confirmed a time that you’d be looking to move. This is even more important for international removalsdue to the longer procedure and availability of removals company. 

Arranging Employment 

If your international removal isn’t as a result of a job opportunity, or you are the partner or a relative of someone that you are moving with that has secured employment in your new country, it’s worth checking out the job opportunities around your local area to see what is on offer for your employment. This way you can prepare for the jobs available and know whether you need to travel further out than your home for a role that you are looking for. 

Arranging Healthcare 

Unlike the UK, many countries abroad operate a different healthcare system to us, and do not have an equivalent of the NHS. Whilst there are many other schemes available in other countries, such as Obamacare or Medicaid in America, it is important to research what the requirements are of these before moving to ensure that you can receive medical care when you need it. 

Organising Transport 

You may have organised everything when it comes to arriving at your new home country but have you sorted out your transport. You may look to rent a car in the first few weeks of arriving to give yourself time to look around at the options available and the prices for cars around the area and even whether or not you will need them if you’ll use public transport all the time. 

Learning The Language 

A basic knowledge of the local language is really important when it comes to moving abroad, this will help you tremendously in places with less English speakers and will also help you to become familiar with the language on things such as menus and newspapers. By making this effort this could benefit your inclusion in the local community and help you make the new area your home. 

Education 

Like employment, if you're moving abroad with children of school age, you’ll want to look at the schools in the area, probably even before you find a property. This will not only help you to narrow down the area that you would like to live, but will also assist you in choosing the right school for your child/children. 

Sorting Out Your Phone And Internet 

Before you make the trip to your new home, you might want to check whether your phone is able to be used in another country and whether you need to have it unlocked. As well as this, if you need to use the internet upon arrival to the country you’ll benefit from checking out how to organise the wifi in your new home as well as booking in a time for the engineers to come within the first few days that you arrive in the country. 

Updating Arrangements With Solicitors

If you’re selling you home in England, you’ll want to update the conveyancing solicitor of your international move so that they are aware of the situation. Not only is this important for the conveyancing team, but if you have a will or power of attorney set up, records will need to be updated and you may be required to complete these documents before leaving the UK. Inheritance tax in the UK is still required even as an expat living outside of the UK.

Informing The Government Offices 

We have briefly covered informing the HMRC of your move for tax reasons, however this is not a one size fits all approach and you will need to inform a number of different government offices of your move, such as the pensions centre, the student loans company and more. To find out more and how to inform these people, check out this helpful article by GOV.UK

Update Insurance Documents 

Finally, updating your insurance company of your move is important to ensure that you are not left paying for insurance that is no longer needed or will become invalid if you have not updated the company of your move. For example, you may not require car insurance any longer if you’ve sold your car prior to moving, or alternatively, you may be looking to stay with your life insurance provider and will need to inform them of your move and find out if there is anything they need for this. 

At Hackworthy and Sons, we’ve created a thorough moving abroad checklist which we hope will give you the help that you need prior to moving. However, if you think there is anything that we’ve missed or that you wish you had known before moving abroad, we’d love to know your thoughts to add them to this article to help others. 

The Top 10 Easiest Countries To Immigrate To In 2021

You might recall that we previously looked at the Top 10 easiest countries to emigrate to back in 2020, but has this changed following the BREXIT transition and Coronavirus? Well, we’re about to find out. 

Last year, the easiest countries to immigrate to were: 

  • UAE 
  • Germany 
  • Australia 
  • Canada 
  • Switzerland
  • Iceland 
  • Portugal 
  • Sweden 
  • Costa Rica 
  • Montenegro 

Whilst some of the easiest countries to immigrate to still rank in the top 10, this year there are some new contenders, kicking the likes of Switzerland, Sweden and Portugal off of the list.

Mexico 

Looking to immigrate to Mexico for more than 180 days? You will need to apply for a temporary visa for your stay in the country. Upon the approval of the temporary visa you will be required to renew this each year for up to 3 years.

Following this, if you’re still looking at residing in Mexico, it’s time to apply for a permanent residency, however it's important to remember that this cannot be done before 4 years of living in the North  American country. 

Whilst this sounds easy, and for the utmost part it is, there arecertain requirements that you must meet to be provided with permanent residency, these are: 

  • Having family connections in Mexico 
  • Proof of sufficient monthly income 
  • A regular status of temporary residence 

Some of these may seem impossible, especially if you don’t have any family in Mexico, but don’t panic, meeting just some of these requirements will help you to gain a permanent residency. Let’s face it, it’s unlikely if you’ve lived in Mexico for 4 years already that you haven’t got a sufficient monthly income to live off, that’s two requirements covered right there! 

Singapore 

Unlike many other countries, Singapore has an open door policy when it comes to immigration, so it’s no surprise that there is a large expat population and has a steadily growing number of immigrants in the country. 

If you are moving to Singapore for work, it’s likely that you’ll be amongst some of the highest paid people in the world, and as a result of the low cost of living people can enjoy a high standard of living. We can only imagine that it doesn't take much persuading to move to this beautiful country, making it one of the easiest countries to immigrate to. 

Canada 

Since the announcement of BREXIT, Canada has become a popular destination to immigrate to for British expats, so much so that it has one of the highest per capita immigration rates in the world. 

For anyone aged 18-30, it's easy to move to Canada, all you need is to apply for the International Experience Canada program, where you will be able to get a temporary working visa for up to two years. However, there are only limited spaces on this program, so you’ll need to make sure that you have at least $2,500, as well as a return ticket and proof of health insurance if you are chosen as one of the lucky applicants. 

You’re probably thinking, what about the over 30’s, well they would need to apply for permanent residency, this can be done via the Express Entry route, applying as a federal skilled worker. From here you will be assessed and receive a score out of 1200 based on your education, work experience etc. For more information on the routes into moving to one of the easiest countries to immigrate to, check out Moving2Canada.com

 

New Zealand 

Like Canada, New Zealand also offers a working holiday visa for 18-30 year olds who are looking to mainly visit the country on a holiday but would like to make a little bit of money whilst they are there, a great option for people who are visiting New Zealand for a while whilst travelling around the world. 

Others can gain visa’s through the Essential Skills in Demand lists (ESID); these are the Long Term Skill shortage (LTSSL), the Regional Skill Shortages List and The Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortages List. 

It’s worth noting that if you’re looking for a permanent residency visa in the long run, the Long Term Skill Shortage List policy, may help your eligibility for this, however the other lists may not. 

Paraguay 

Maybe one of the easiest countries to immigrate so far is the South American country Paraguay, with the only requirement for permanent residency being that you only need to have $5,000 (USD) in your bank account, this must be deposited into a Paraguay bank or purchased in local property

British passport holders will be granted a 90 day stay in the country upon arrival, however to avoid fines its very important that you make sure that your passport is stamped, dated and signed by an immigration official

What’s better is that if you want to still be a British citizen, you can have dual citizenship in Paraguay, meaning that once you have permanent residency in the country, you will become one of their citizens as well as any children you may have whilst living there. 

Montenegro 

Immigrating to Montenegro, can be easy with 4 easy steps.

First, you will need to, buy a home, start a company and make yourself executive director, or alternatively arrange full-time employment. Once you have done this, you will then be able to apply for Temporary Residency, this will need to be renewed each year, until you have spent 5 years in the country where you will then be able to apply for permanent residency. 

Finally, upon another 5 years of living in Montenegro, you will then be eligible to apply for citizenship. So, after 10 years in the country you can become a Montenegro citizen.

Whilst that sounds like a long immigration process, in the long run it’s actually fairly easy, which is why it makes the top 10 easiest countries to immigrate to. 

Thailand 

Thailand  is one easiest countries to immigrate to because, like Montenegro, once you have been a resident for a certain amount of time (3 years in Thailand), you are able to apply for permanent residency if you; make a 3 - 10 million THB investment in the economy, be a highly skilled academic (or an expert in a desirable field), are in a relationship with somebody who already has permanent residency in the country, whether they are a Thai citizen or not, it doesn’t matter as long as they have permanent residency. 

For more information about immigrating to Thailand from the UK, check out this great article by the British Expat Guide, who look into the important things such as visa’s, as well as the benefits of living in the extraordinary country such as the cost of living, the weather and more. 

 

Panama 

Thanks to the launch of the Friendly Nations visa, this allows citizens from over 50 countries around the world to apply for a fast track permanent residency, this includes the United Kingdom. So, if you’re looking to immigrate to Panama from the UK it couldn't be easier, all you need to do is, put $5,00 (USD) into a Panamanian bank and establish a company, from then you will be able to get a passport. Although, if you’re retired you can take advantage of the pensionado visa scheme, which if you have at least $1,000 per month from your lifetime pension you can obtain residency. If however, you spend more that $100,000 on a property, you are only required to have a monthly income of $750 per month. 

Qatar 

To enable you to be able to sign a rental agreement, pay fines, and most importantly officially identify yourself in Qatar, you will need to gain a residence permit. This is required for everybody living in Qatar so if you are going to be immigrating with children they will need to have one also. If you’re moving to the country for a job, it is likely that your employer will be organising this for you as your sponsor, this paperwork must be carried out in the country, so you may be required to travel out beforehand.  However, if you are already in the country this can be carried out whilst on your temporary visa. To find out more about what is required when applying for a residence permit, this article from Expatica, has some really useful information. 

All in all, as long as you have employment arrangements, the immigration process to Qatar is very easy. 

Denmark

For those immigrating to Denmark, following a temporary residence of more than 8 years makes you eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit. As with all of these countries, there are many requirements involved in qualifying for permanent residency, in Denmark, to find out what these are, please make sure to check out the New to Denmarkwebsite.

8 years sounds a long time, right? Well… if you meet all of the following criteria, this may make you eligible for permanent residency after 4 years instead. 

You need to:

  • Pass the Danish language test 3
  • Have been employed for at least 4 years in total during your time in Denmark
  • Pass the active citizen exam or have displayed active citizenship
  • Must have had an annual average income above a certain amount

Whilst we’ve looked at the entry requirements making some of these the easiest countries to move to in this article, people may often consider things such as healthcare a reason to be an easy country to move to. Look at it this way, the lifestyle may make the choice to move very easy, or the job opportunities make it a no brainer to move, which overall causes less stress for you and make the choice to move to another country a lot easier. 

Looking at these countries, each of them have a lot to offer when it comes to the lifestyle, weather and quality of life, making them all great options if you’re looking to move out of the UK.

 10 Housewarming Traditions From Around The Globe

As you may already know we’ve previously taken a look into the new house superstitions and found that there are many ways in which people believe that they can bring luck, prosperity, fortune and more into their new home. But, did you know that there are many housewarming traditions that originate from different countries and cultures around the world? 

In this article, we’ll be looking into multiple countries across the globe and the popular housewarming traditions that these possess. 

Russia 

First up, a housewarming tradition that is sometimes considered to be a European tradition is to bring bread and salt as the first two items into your new home. In actual fact, this tradition originated in Russia, these two items are thought to be two cherished symbols of hospitality. With salt bringing a life of flavour and bread ensuring that the home is never hungry, it’s definitely worth trying this housewarming tradition to attract a full life (and a full belly). 

If you’re moving house with a feline friend, have you considered letting them enter the house before anyone else? This housewarming tradition of letting your cat walk across the threshold of your new home is believed to bring good luck, so much so that Russia’s largest bank offered the use of a cat for 2 hours for those that took out a mortgage with them. 

India 

Bringing a cow into the house, sounds ridiculous right? As cows are considered as sacred animals in India, a common housewarming tradition in this area of the world is to walk the cow around the house

Boiling milk and rice is another housewarming tradition that is popular in Indian culture and is believed to bring prosperity of a long life. In our previous article on new house superstitions, we covered the ritual of boiling milk, so for more information on the importance of boiling the mixture of milk and rice until it overflows take a look at this article

Greece 

A popular item often given as a housing warming gift is a pomegranate, the seeds of this fruit have been sacred since ancient times and the more pomegranates gifted are said to be better. Some people may even gift a pomegranate plant to provide a lifetime of pomegranates, representing a lifetime of wishes to have good luck, fertility and wealth

Germany 

Let’s face it, everyone would like to warn trespassers and evil spirits off of their home, so, what if there was a way to do this. In Germany, having a rooster in your home is believed to warn any trespassers away, whilst acorns placed along the windowsills of your home fend off the evil spirits. 

Whilst roosters are thought to have this special gift, having a pet rooster in a busy neighbourhood could pose a problem, as they aren’t the most neighbourhood friendly pets. So, this housewarming tradition has slightly changed, with people often buying or being gifted homeware with roosters on rather than the actual bird. 

Asia 

If you’ve ever heard of Feng Shui, it’s likely that you’ll know that this in itself is a ritual to bring great energy into your life from the way that your home is designed. 

So if you’re interested in Feng Shui, this housewarming tradition is one for you. Ringing a bell is an auspicious ritual that is understood to clear the rooms of your home from stagnant or dying chi. Chi is held by all objects in your home and can be used to bring luck, wealth and opportunity to your home, so by getting rid of the dying Chi, it is understandable how this, in turn, brings great energy to your home. 

A housewarming tradition that needs to be thought of in advance of your move, is to organise your house removals on a lucky date and should be started before noon. This comes from the Chinese almanac, which helps to determine the fortunes of each day. By not picking an auspicious day to move and moving on a day that is not compatible with any family members (according to the numerology) it is believed to bring disasters and illness to the homeowners. For more information on the housewarming traditions popular in Asia, check out this great article by Asian Customs.eu.

France 

The changing of the chimney hook is a common housewarming tradition that is carried out in France, also known as “pendaison de cremaillere”. The hanging of the chimney hook signifies the completion of your new home and the beginning of the meal to thank those that helped. Traditionally, the food prepared for this meal is cooked in a large pot with the temperature being controlled by the chimney hook. 

Philippines

In the Philippines, scattering coins is a housewarming tradition that is thought to bring riches and fortune to the home. On arrival at their new home, Filipinos traditionally scatter the coins into the living room, however, some people look to throw coins into the corner of any room to signify the capital that enters the home. There are no set rules for this tradition, whilst some people may throw all of the coins on move in one day, other people often save them for other days. 

Kenya 

A Kenyan housewarming tradition that was actually presented to Barack Obama when he first took office as president is the gift of a three legged stool and a traditional Luo oxtail fly whisk. 

Europe 

Whilst candles provide a beautiful atmosphere and relaxation to any room it’s no surprise that they are often bought as a housewarming gift. But, they are also part of a housewarming tradition in Europe, where lighting a candle on your first night in your new home is believed to repel evil spirits and dismiss darkness from the home. Another tradition very similar to this, that could be seen as the origin of the word “housewarming”, is the lighting of a fire in the fireplace, a tradition that came from medieval times.

If you’re moving to one of these countries, we’d love to hear if any of these housewarming traditions are carried out in the local community. And don’t forget if you haven’t arranged a removal firm yet, Hackworthy and Sons carry out international removals as well as european removals, just get in touch with our team today to discuss if we can help. 

6 New House Superstitions To Ensure Good Luck When Moving

Have any of your family and friends ever wished you good luck in your house move? Whilst this is likely a caring comment from your loved ones, for some people luck means more than that and some people may go out of their way to attract luck to their lives and home through following new house superstitions. 

Much like, breaking a mirror is supposed to give you bad luck for 7 years, there are many new house traditions that we’ve looked into to help those superstitious people out. 

Leave Your Old Broom Behind

It is a common new house superstition that you should purchase a new broom, leaving your old broom behind at your previous house. You will have swept up dirt in your old home and it is understood according to Feng Shui principles that your old broom carries all the negative aspects of your life. Nobody wants to bring negativity into their new home, so leave your old broom behind to avoid this. 

After cleaning up your old home following the move your broom is likely to have gathered a lot of dirt and dust, so even if you don’t believe in new house superstitions, it’s still a great tip to ensure that your new home is spick and span. 

Boil Milk 

If you’re looking to bring good luck into your new home, a common Hindu tradition is to boil milk on your new oven and let it boil over the top. This is thought to bring good energy and money, as well as symbolising prosperity and abundance. 

Although the phrase “don’t cry over spilt milk” typically means not to cry over something that’s already happened. It has true significance to this new house superstition, why cry over spilt milk if it’s going to bring you good luck and energy. 

Burn Sage 

You may have heard of burning sage to get rid of the bad energy surrounding you, but have you ever thought of doing this when moving into your new home, to get rid of the bad energy that has lived there before you. This new house superstition is said to keep your home safe from unwanted visitors but has also been recognised to reduce bacteria in the air by 94%. So whether you are superstitious or not, burning sage in your new home is guaranteed to provide some benefits. 

Paint Your Porch Ceiling Blue

Whilst we see many trends when it comes to colours within your home, painting your porch ceiling blue is actually a new house superstition that has been around for many years. The haint blue colour is thought to scare spirits away, as a result of the water-like shade that they are afraid to cross. Haint is the Gulla Geechee pronunciation of “haunt” or spirit, that of which cannot cross water, so to avoid mischievous and dubious spirits entering your home, the blue shade tricks them into thinking that they need to cross water and are in turn steered away from entering the house. 

Spread Out Salt 

Much like a lot of the new house superstitions, spreading salt in the doorways of your new home and over the threshold, it is believed that this will fight off evil spirits in your home. By vacuuming up this after 24 hours you not only clean up the mess that it's made but also vacuum the spirits away. 

Moving House On A Friday or Saturday

A common new house superstition that many people believe, is to avoid moving house on a Friday or Saturday as it is thought to prevent you from being able to settle into your new home and can be unlucky. However, these are amongst the most popular days to move, so if you’re a superstitious person you may even find more availability during the rest of the week, whilst also avoiding the potential of bad luck. 

Whilst we have covered many of the common superstitions of ensuring good luck in your new home, there are so many more housewarming traditions across the globe that are thought to bring good luck. 

We understand that superstitions aren’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a reliable removal company, Hackworthy & Sons can help, all you need to do is contact us today for a quote.

The 8 Best Home Office Accessories For Remote Workers

As we all know remote working has seen a hugely significant increase over the past year, with all those with the ability to work from home being told to work independently away from the office. Let’s face it, we all thought that we’d back to work within a few weeks when we were told to work from home, but as the year has gone on we can only but dream of going back to the office at the moment (although, it’s beginning to look like more of a possibility soon). However, as we’ve previously looked at, many businesses are going to be looking to downsize their office space, since they have seen how productive their employees can be working from home and working in a small office environment.

In this blog, we look into the best home office accessories for remote workers that could have a positive impact on the productivity of your workforce. Interested to find out more? Keep reading!

Ergonomic Desk Chair 

Comfort is key to everything when it comes to sitting up at a computer all day, so an ergonomic desk chair has to be included on our list of the best home office accessories. Without an ergonomic chair you can risk causing problems with your posture and getting back pain. Let’s face it no one can fully concentrate if they are in pain, but you can help avoid these issues by using a chair that has been specifically adjusted to fit your height etc. This obviously benefits the employee, but employers can also benefit from ergonomic chairs, as a study found that productivity can increase by 17.7% with the use of an ergonomic chair, as a result of experiencing fewer negative symptoms throughout the day. 

Comfortable Desk 

Following on very suitably from a comfortable desk chair is a comfortable desk that is at the correct height for you. It might come as a surprise to you but you can actually overwork your shoulder and arm muscles if your desk is too high, and cause strain in your shoulders, upper back, neck and arms if your desk is too low. So if you’re looking to begin taking up more remote working or would like to improve your current remote working set up, take a look at this article from The Entrepreneur Handbook for more information on the desk height you should be aiming for and even the benefits of an adjustable or standing desk. 

A Speaker / Smart Assistant 

From a survey carried out in 2019, it was found that around half of the 2,000 Brits regularly listen to music whilst they work, and 2 out of 5 of these believed that it helps them get more done. So, what better way to put this to the test and reap the benefits than investing in a speaker to blast the tunes out whilst you work. What’s even better is that if you invest in a smart assistant, such as a Google Home or an Amazon Alexa, you can listen to music as well as setting yourself reminders and more. Think of it as your very own artificial PA! 

Plants

Most people are likely to enjoy having an aesthetically pleasing desk space, not only to keep their mind focussed and organised but also to have something to look at and add some personality to your desk. A plant provides exactly that and more, including benefits to your health! Yes, you read that correctly! They can improve air quality, reduce fatigue and sickness as well as reducing stress within your workspace. 

If you're keen on the idea of a desk plant, but aren't sure what one to get, check out this great article by Ambius, who has put together a top 10 of the best plants for your desk at work

Coffee Machine or Teapot 

No matter what your drink of choice is in the office, making tea or a coffee is a great way to take a 5 minute break and re-energise yourself for the tasks ahead. By having a coffee machine in your remote working environment you’ll not only benefit from a break but you can also increase your productivity from the short time away from your desk. Employers can also benefit from this, as it will reduce the time away from your desk that you may have otherwise spent going to the local coffee shop near the office, as well as boosting your health thanks to the health benefits that coffee can provide. 

A Door Hanger

It sounds bizarre, but until 2020 many of us would have thought what on earth do I need a door hanger for when working from home. But, with many people having a full home during lockdown, things can get noisy and it helps to make people aware when you are in a meeting so that no-one gets interrupted. We’ve all seen the interview in the past year where someone gets interrupted in the call, by hanging up a door hanger to let people know this helps to avoid the inevitable. This might even make number one spot on this list of best home accessories for remote working. If you’re interested in purchasing one of these, check out this great one for Zoom meetings on Etsy.com.

A Ring Light 

You might have seen people use ring lights to achieve the best selfies or film videos and until we all started remote working, this was probably the most popular use. But now, if you’re going to be working from home on a more regular basis, a ring light might be something that you look into purchasing to ensure that you everyone can see you well on a zoom call and you're not affected by the miserable weather that is happening outside. 

This will also come in handy for any occasions where you need to take a photo for work.

Wireless Phone Charger 

Finally, on our list of best home office accessories for remote workers, is a wireless phone charger. Nowadays laptops and computers require an adapter to plug in more than one or two other devices, leaving you with a choice whether to charge your phone or plug your mouse and keyboard in. With a wireless charger, all you need is a socket to plug into the electrics and you can place your phone on top to charge, avoiding the need to fuss around with leads when the phone rings but ensuring a fully charged phone for your calls. 

With more of us inevitably going to be working from home more frequently than before even once the pandemic is over, it’s obvious that there is and will continue to be a lot more home accessories out there for remote workers and their employers to benefit from. 

But these are some of our favourites that we’ve found and think will be really useful for benefitting the productivity of your business. 

Is your team going to be working from home more regularly after the pandemic is over and are you looking at downsizing your office as a result of this? At Hackworthy & Sons, we can help with your office removals, if you’re interested in finding out more contact us today. 

5 Things To Know When Moving From Big City To Small Town

We’ve looked at moving from a small town to a big city, but what if you’re considering moving from a big city to a small town you may ask. 

Well, we’ve also taken a look into that, so if you’re debating between the two be sure to check out both of these blogs to help you weigh up your options 

Save Money 

First up, when moving from a big city to a small town, you can be sure to save money, whether that’s socialising with friends or even rent/ mortgage payments. By moving from a big city to a small town, you are likely to receive more for your money when it comes to buying/ renting a property,  thanks to the lower cost of living that a smaller town has. Where you may be only able to afford a 1 bedroom house in a large city you may be able to afford a house with more bedrooms and facilities for the same price in a small town. 

Less Traffic 

Living in a big city, you’ll be used to seeing a lot of traffic and public transport due to the large population that big cities host. It might sound obvious, but by moving from a big city to a small town you will find that there are far less public transport options available and less traffic on the road. With this in mind, you are likely to save time getting to and from places so will have more time to spend on other things, whether this is having more time to spend with friends or having the ability to book appointments within the times that you may have otherwise been travelling within a big city. It goes without saying that you’ll still likely experience rush hour around the times that people finish work and school etc, but probably not to the extent that you have at the moment living in a big city. 

More Space To Explore 

Whilst there are often a lot of parks and attractions to visit and explore in a big city, moving out of the city will bring you closer to nature and natural spaces and away from the concrete jungle that big cities can often feel like.

As a Plymouth removal company, moving clients away from Plymouth city centre to a town such as Tavistock, provides the large landscape of Dartmoor that surrounds the small town, coming with its beautiful views, fresh air and a relaxing environment to explore. 

It’s been found that reduced access to green spaces can be a factor in being at greater risk of mental health problems, so if you feel that you’re missing something from living in a big city, you might look to consider moving somewhere closer to natural spaces. Although, this doesn't have to be the case for everyone, as many people living in a big city can also experience mental health benefits from increased opportunities for socialisation, education, employment etc. Ultimately, this is something that you would need to analyse to work out exactly what you want from moving house. 

Slower Pace Of Life

Within a large city, you can always guarantee that there is something going on in the area, whether that be a party, an event or a sporting fixture, if you’re looking for something to do you’ll always be sure to find something. However, if you’re getting fed up with the fast-paced life, have you considered moving from the big city to a small town where you can be guaranteed a slower pace of life without the need to rush around. 

Close-Knit Community

If you’re looking to become part of a close-knit community, moving from the big city to a small town can often provide this. We’ve previously looked at having more privacy if you move from a small town to a big city which if you’re looking to start on a clean slate is a great option. However, if you’re moving from a big city to a small town and looking to meet new people and build new friendships you can be assured that moving to a small town you will soon get to know the local community and bump into them on a regular basis. With the big cities covering a lot of space, it’s unlikely that you bump into people you know very often, but thanks to the smaller area that the town covers, more people will accumulate in the area. 

As a Plymouth removal company, we have seen many people moving from a big city to a small town and vice versa, and ultimately the choice is up to you. We’d recommend that you consider what the reason is that you are looking to move to help you decide what your best option is. We’ve looked at the things that you should know when moving from a big city to a small town, and each of these come with advantages and disadvantages depending on what you are looking for in moving to a new location. 

If you’d like advice on UK removals from a big city to a small town, our specialist team at Hackworthy & Sons can help, just get in contact with us today. 

5 Things To Know When Moving From Small Town To Big City

If you are looking into moving from a small town to a big city, it’s important to remember that although they may contain some similarities, at large they are often vastly different places to live (and we aren’t just talking about the geographical size of the area!). 

If you're not quite sure about moving to a big city and are looking for information on this, look no further. We’ve put together a list of things you should know which should help you come to a decision. 

More Opportunities 

Probably one of the best reasons for moving from a small town to a big city is the increase in opportunities that a large city has to offer. Whether this is job opportunities, schools, places to eat and visit, etc., a larger city naturally has more space to hold these additional opportunities than a small town does and in turn, is home to a larger population that requires this range of opportunities. 

Often, people choose to move to a large city for their career, but this doesn’t mean cities aren’t also great for family life. As we’ve just discussed, due to the larger population of these cities, it requires the need for more schools for the children living there, meaning that you will have more options than you would in your small hometown. 

More Privacy 

As a local Plymouth Removal Company, we can tell you it’s very much a small world in Plymouth, where you’re likely to have mutual friends with someone you know and be able to find out things happening in your local area quite quickly. However, moving from a small town to a big city like Manchester or London, this is not so much the case and it’s unlikely that you’ll know what’s going on in the area unless you look for the information. 

With this in mind, you’ll probably find that you have more privacy in a large city, which sounds odd considering there are more people in the area, but if you’re looking to start your life on a clean slate where nobody knows you, moving to a big city could be the route for you. 

Higher Wages 

It is well known that by moving from a small town to a big city, you will see an increase in wages, largely due to more competition and higher productivity in the area. However, a study has found that the size of your birth city can have a significant impact on your earnings later in life. It also suggests that the more amenities, larger choice of schools, more options for things to do in the neighbourhood and bigger social circles you have can have a positive effect on your earnings in the future.

So if you are planning on moving your family to a large city, you can be sure that there are benefits for them as well as you. 

Higher Cost of Living 

With large cities boasting a higher level of wages in comparison to the small town that you work in currently, it’s worth bearing mind that this also comes with a higher cost of living. Just going for a drink in the local pub, or even parking your car will likely cost you more than you are used to, and that’s without thinking about the rent/mortgage prices that you’ll be required to pay in a large city.

You may look to downsize your home when moving from a small town to a big city, as what you thought was a reasonable price to pay on your rent/mortgage in your current house is likely to see a significant increase if you are looking to have a similar size house. That said, if you want to continue paying a similar price, it’s best to balance that with reducing the requirements you are looking for in your new home. 

More Traffic / More Public Transport  

As obvious as it may sound, when moving from a small town to a big city, you’d expect to experience more traffic on the road from the larger population that big cities are home to. With that comes more public transport opportunities, take a look at Manchester for example who have trams, and London with the underground on top of all the normal public transport that other towns and cities have.   

Although public transport helps to reduce your carbon footprint by sharing your journey with others, the more traffic in the city creates an increased risk of air pollution. So, if you're thinking of moving to a big city, think about using public transport as much as you can to help contribute to creating a better/healthier environment. 

Pushes You Out Of Your Comfort Zone 

As we’ve already mentioned, a small town can often mean that you always know someone that knows one of your other friends and moving to a larger city can often mean that you don’t feel like you know anyone, unless you move to be near friends and family. Situations like this, although may feel uncomfortable to start with, can often be a real benefit to your move by pushing you out of your comfort zone to do things on your own that you may not have done otherwise. Not only will this push you into new experiences, it should also help increase your confidence around doing more things on your own around your new home. 

At Plymouth removal company Hackworthy and Sons, we have helped many clients moving from a small town to a big city, whether this be from Kingsbridge to Plymouth or Plymouth to London, we’ve done it. If you’re looking for help in your move to a big city, contact us today or get a quote online.  

4 Benefits Of Working In A Small Office Environment

With many people having worked from home for nearly a year now, it comes as no surprise that businesses are considering downsizing their offices. For employees to have adapted to working from home so efficiently and productively, this truly goes to show the benefits of working in a small office environment that they otherwise wouldn’t have. If you’re considering offering a remote working option after the pandemic is over, keep reading to find out what the benefits of working in a small office environment are and how this can help you reduce costs. 

Although there will still be a need for office spaces once the global pandemic is over, a staggering one in three small businesses are said to be planning to downsize but what are the benefits? 

Lower Costs 

Well, first up and maybe one of the most obvious benefits of working in a small office environment is the reduction of costs. By reducing the size of your office space, not only will you reduce the cost of your rent, but you will not have to spend so much on heating a large space, cleaning costs will be lower with fewer rooms and less space to cover and if you’re lucky you might even downsize to a location that has free parking. 

Better Productivity 

Several studies have shown that productivity levels have significantly increased by 47% while working remotely during the Coronavirus pandemic. So, by downsizing your office and giving your employees more flexibility and choice to work from home you can help sustain the boost in productivity and see the true benefits of this option. It’s also likely that your work from home set up is in a smaller environment than you are used to, so, many benefits of working in a small office environment at home strongly correlate with that of working in a smaller environment once you can go back into the workplace. 

Environmentally Friendly

A benefit of working in a smaller office environment and giving your employees the freedom to work from home more regularly is the positive effect it can have on the environment. The more people are working from home there is less need to commute to your workplace and meetings, meaning that you can help reduce the number of harmful emissions and somewhat unnecessary journeys that you would have made previously. 

Increased Flexibility 

As we’ve already briefly discussed, the flexibility of allowing your employees to work from home means that as a company you can reap the benefits of now having the ability to downsize. But, this means flexibility in itself is a great benefit of working in a smaller office environment. By increasing your flexibility around people working remotely, you can also increase your businesses offerings further afield and even hire new employees from wider geographic locations. 

2020 has definitely taught everyone a new way of working, especially for those who have an office-based role, but we’ve adapted so quickly and the situation has highlighted some great benefits we otherwise wouldn’t have noticed. If downsizing is something you're considering after seeing the benefits of working in a small office environment can have on your business, take a look at the other things to consider from relocating your office and your options around office removals

At Hackworthy & Sons, we have vast experience in office removals, including clients that have downsized, so if you’d like more information get in contact with the team today. 

5 Top Tips On How To Downsize Your Home When Moving

Looking at downsizing your home? It’s likely that where your living currently is too big for those of you living there, with that you probably have way more things in your home than you need. If you need advice on how to downsize your home effectively, you’re in the right place as we provide you with our top tips on how to downsize your home. 

Declutter

First up on our list of top tips on how to downsize your home has got to be, decluttering. Without decluttering your home before you move house you run the risk of bringing unnecessary items with you to your new house that you don't have room for. Not only will this give you less space in your new home, but it’s also likely to cause you stress and anxiety that your move wasn’t the right decision. If you’ve decided downsizing to a smaller home is the right steps for you, be practical with what you take with you to your new home. Think to yourself; Do I really need this? What do I need this for? When was the last time I used this? Asking yourself these questions will help you to work out the things that you use and whether they hold enough value and use to take with you to your new home. 

For more tips on how to declutter your home, check out our recent article here.

Use Storage Units For Items You Are Unable To Fit In Your Home 

If you are downsizing to a smaller home that has fewer storage areas, such as a garage or shed but still need somewhere to store these items away from the inside of your home. Have you considered storing these items in a nearby storage unit? You can store almost anything in a storage unit and can choose from a variety of sizes to suit the amount of space required for your belongings. Items such as garden furniture could be stored in a unit during the winter months and collected in the summer when needed. 

Make Use Of Multi-functional Furniture 

Wondering how to downsize your home with a multitude of furniture to move? If so, items such as sofa beds have a number of uses which means that you don’t need to buy two different pieces of furniture for the same purpose. Have your children moved out of home but you still need to have somewhere for them to stay when they visit? Where you may have had a chair and a bed in one room, why not get rid of these items and make use of your sofa bed? Not only will this make your room look bigger in your new home but will also be more inviting with less clutter around the room. 

Utilise Storage Space

Upon deciding that you will be downsizing to a smaller home, whilst viewing potential houses to move to, it's worth keeping a lookout for the storage spaces available in these properties. No matter how much preparation and decluttering you can do before downsizing your home, it won't be until you have moved in that you know how much or how little will fit into your new home. So keeping an eye out for properties with a lot of storage space will help to ensure that there is room for things to be put away once you have moved in. 

Digitise Photos, Paperwork, etc 

Finally, a tip that can be used across multiple areas, is digitising things that you need/own. For example, if you have lots of old photos that you’d like to keep but don’t need all of the repeats and negatives etc, think about getting these uploaded onto a hard drive so that you can view these on the computer, saving room in the house where these would be stored. 

Other steps you can take are moving to online bank statements and any other paper communications you have with people, this will not only reduce clutter but you’ll play your part in saving the environment.

At Hackworthy & Sons we have carried out many UK removals where people have been downsizing to a smaller home, so if you are considering this move and have any further questions on how to downsize your home, get in touch today. 

9 Tips For Decluttering Your Home In The New Year

Are you feeling a little demotivated after Christmas and out of sorts from the clutter that's built up in your home over the last few weeks. It’s time to start working on decluttering your home, think Marie Kondo and you’ll be done in no time. If you’re not sure where to start, keep reading to check out our list of useful tips for decluttering your home in the new year. 

Make A Plan 

Although this list is in no particular order we would recommend that the first step you take to decluttering your home is to make a plan. Once you’ve made a plan this will give you something to work towards and tick off to see the progress that you’ve made over time. This can be a very loose plan listing the order of rooms that you’d like to work in or can detail the specific tasks that you’d like to get done in each room.

Work In One Room At A Time 

As we’ve just mentioned, making a plan of the order of rooms to work in will help you see the progress you are making in decluttering your home, this leads onto another tip of only working in one room at one time. There is nothing worse than having your whole house turned upside down because you're on a decluttering spree. You can avoid this by starting and finishing one room before moving onto the next room, this way each of the tidy rooms that you see will help to motivate you to keep going with those that you have left. 

Use Hacks When Tidying Things Away

There are so many hacks out there for everything from cleaning your windows with vinegar to storing your bed sheets into it’s matching pillowcase to save space and keep everything in one place. When decluttering your home, life hacks are your best friend, defined as “a simple and clever tip or technique for accomplishing familiar tasks more easily and efficiently”, why wouldn’t you want to make things easier for yourself. We know how annoying it can be to put things away every five minutes, especially when children are around, so why not try labelling some boxes to keep in the house where you can filter all of the things that need to be moved into the relevant boxes. Think of it as filing your belongings away, you might consider labelling your boxes with; things to put away, donations and things to sell. This hack will help you decide quickly where things should go, you should follow your instinct when it comes to putting things into these boxes as this will help you declutter your home of things that you don’t need or have value to you. 

Set A Timer To Declutter Each Room 

If you’re someone who dreads the thought of decluttering your home and can find it hard to pluck up the courage to start, why not try setting yourself a short time limit to work towards getting as much done as possible in this time. By setting yourself a time limit, this will help you move your focus to how much time you have left rather than the work that you have to do in the room, helping you work more productively. 

Keep Your Mind Decluttered 

It sounds really odd, but by making sure other areas of your life are not cluttered will help you when it comes to decluttering your home. Other areas of your life that can be decluttered are; to make sure that your emails are tidy and easy to find, ensure that all messages are read and you don’t have heaps of spam emails that never get read. Cleaning other areas such as your car that you regularly spend time in will help to not only keep your environment decluttered but also your mind. Nobody wants a cluttered mind do they? 

Designate Specific Areas For Things 

By designating specific areas for things such as children's toys, paperwork, cleaning equipment etc this will help you know exactly where things need to go when decluttering your home. In turn, helping you to get the task done quicker as well as avoiding shoving stuff into an area just to tidy the areas visible to people. By doing this everyone in this house will know where things need to go so there is no confusion between those tidying things away.  

Check Expiry Dates On Items 

You might be thinking, how will checking expiry dates on items help when decluttering your home? Well, by throwing out all of the items in your house past the expiry date this will ensure that you are not hoarding items of food, toiletries, makeup etc that you won't be able to use. Freeing up space that can be used more efficiently. 

Discard Things That Don't Spark Joy

Marie Kondo who we briefly mentioned earlier, has a hit Netflix series which uses tidying expertise to help those she visits to declutter their home. The method she advocates is to discard items that don’t spark joy to your life, ensuring that all the items you own have a purpose and will be used. 

She also suggests working by categories when decluttering your home rather than room, so if you’re not a fan of choosing one room at a time this may be the option for you. 

Purchase Some Storage Solutions 

To help organise your belongings, you may find storage solutions useful to help separate draws and cupboards into creating more spaces to store your items. These can often be found in IKEA and other homeware or discount stores.  

Alternatively, if you have larger items that require storage solutions, have you considered self-storage facilities? This way you’ll be able to keep larger items that are not currently needed, away from cluttering up areas of your home. Check out our sister company Plymouth Self Storagefor more information. 

From your clearout, you may be left wondering what to do with unwanted items and furniture, don’t worry we have you covered, check out our website to find out what you can do. Overall you can see that there are many tips that can help when decluttering your home this new year and we’ve just covered a few. If you’ve found any useful tips when decluttering your home be sure to share these with us Facebook & Twitter to help pass the message onto others currently in this process. 

6 Things To Consider When Thinking About Office Relocation

We know moving can be a hassle at the best of times, but office relocations can be even more worrying to some people due to the move affecting more people. We wanted to make things easier for you, so we’ve put together a list of things you should consider when thinking about an office relocation. It's very important when planning an office move to take your time and prepare as this will help to cause the least disruption as possible, for office removal preparation tips check out this article. 

Location, Location, Location 

One of the first things and most might say the most important thing to consider when thinking about an office relocation is the location’. A lot relies on the location of an office, from the employees to the clients who will be visiting the office. When looking at the location of your office relocation, you’ll want to consider whether there is parking available nearby, the public transport links that people may need to use to get to you and also how central you are (nobody wants to be searching around looking for your office in the middle of nowhere). Your office may be in a central location but is it easy to find for those who are not familiar with the location and it’s their first time visiting? These are all the things you should consider before making a decision on your new office space. 

If you like to change up the location of your meetings and meet clients in a coffee shop to get away from the office for a bit or have a confidential meeting, we’d recommend checking out what places you have around your potential new office to find out if the surrounding area has what you need. 

Does The Office Space Have The Facilities You Require 

Does your new office meet your requirements in terms of size and location? That's brilliant. The next thing to tick off of your list is whether the office relocation has all of the facilities required for your business to run. Things you might want to consider are whether the office has a kitchen for you and your employees to use, whether bills are included in the rent price, whether there is internet access already there, whether there are parking facilities available and much more. It’s suggested that you make a list of all the things that you’d like from your office relocation before jumping in to view places that may not have anything you are looking for. 

What Is Your Budget? 

Much like, working out what facilities you require from your office, you should consider how much you can afford and whether this fits in with the requirements that you have for the office relocation. 

Organising An Office Removal 

Once you’ve made the choice on your new office, now is the time to consider arranging your office removals, and gather quotes from office removal companies once you’ve done this and decided on the removals company for your office relocation you can then get a removal date booked in the diary that fits with your agreement with the landlord.

Making A Plan 

You might want to think about making a plan for your office move, not just of how and when your office relocation is going to happen, but how you are going to inform everyone involved in the business of your move. Obviously informing your staff will be fairly easy, but when it comes to informing you clients and suppliers it's worth working out the best way of doing this and how much notice you will need to give them of your move. 

What Needs To Be Purchased

Office furniture & equipment - do you need to buy any additional furniture for your office if you’ve taken on new staff or your office layout doesn't work with the current furniture 

If you’re upgrading the size of your office space to make room for a bigger team, then it’s likely that you’ll need to purchase more furniture and office equipment. This is something to consider before you move so that you are prepared and know exactly what needs to be bought on arrival to the office. You may even consider ordering this a few days before your move to arrive as close to moving day as possible. This way it won’t take up room in the removal van, but you’ll have everything in your new office without the worry of thinking what needs to be bought after you’ve moved. 

At Hackworthy & Sons we have vast experience in office removals, so if you’re looking for a Plymouth removal company to help you move into your new workspace get in contact with us today for a quote. 

Move House Before April 2021 & Enjoy A Stamp Duty Holiday

As a result of the 2020 pandemic, many initiatives have been brought in to help improve the economy, with one of these being the stamp duty holiday.

What Is Stamp Duty? 

Essentially, stamp duty is a tax (SDLT) that applies to everyone who purchases land or property within England or Northern Ireland, this includes buying freehold properties, a new or existing leasehold, buying through a shared ownership scheme and transferred land or property in exchange for payment. 

Generally, when you buy a property, you will be required to pay stamp duty on any properties over £125,000 for those who’ve previously owned a property. However, the stamp duty holiday was brought in to last until 31st March 2021 to help support the property market and the economy accordingly. Typically, in normal circumstances, you will be required to pay a 2% charge on the part of property between £125,000 and £250,000. As well as organising your home removals upon completing on your house, if you’re required to pay stamp duty, this will need to be paid within 2 weeks of the completion of your house via your solicitor. 

If you’re a first-time buyer you might be wondering do I have to pay stamp duty? Well, the answer is yes! However, only on properties over £300,000, which in comparison to home movers who are normally required to pay stamp duty from anything above £125,000, this threshold is a great advantage for first-time buyers who can purchase a property above £125,000. So, does this mean I can benefit from the stamp duty holiday, you may ask? With the average first-time buyer paying around £208,000 for the first property, it is unlikely that as a first-time buyer you will benefit from the stamp duty holiday unless your home is valued at £500,000. 

Due to the difference in legislations around property taxes across the UK, it’s important to bear in mind that rates may vary on the stamp duty holiday. For example, when moving within England and Northern Ireland, you will only be required to pay stamp duty on homes over £500,000. However, in Wales and Scotland, you will need to pay 5% stamp duty on homes over £250,000. Although, these all share the end date of 31st March 2021, so get in quick if you want to benefit from the stamp duty holiday!

What Is the Stamp Duty Holiday?  

The stamp duty holiday was introduced in the summer to encourage people to move house, saving home buyers money as a result if the property that they wish to purchase is less than £500,000. With many people saving an average of £4,500 it’s no surprise that 90% of transactions are no longer required to pay stamp duty. 

Calls For Extension To The Stamp Duty Holiday

This is not the first time that there has been a stamp duty holiday to help improve the economy. Back in 2008, there was another stamp duty holiday for a whole year on properties worth up to £175,000 which was brought in to lift the market following the financial crisis. However, due to the pandemic, and the stamp duty holiday this has seen a huge increase in property sales meaning that resources are strained across solicitors, estate agents, lenders, etc to carry out the formalities, resulting in calls for the stamp duty holiday to be extended. 

If you’d like more information on the stamp duty holiday, we’d recommend getting in contact with a conveyancing solicitor who will be able to explain how this relates to your personal circumstances and whether or not you will be required to pay this on your new home.

However, if you’re looking for a Plymouth removal company to carry out your home removals, Hackworthy & Sons can help. 

Get in touch with us today for your home removal quote. 

9 Tips To Make Moving House Over Christmas Less Stressful

Moving house can be stressful on its own can be stressful for some people, but with the added stress of Christmas on top, so we’ve put together a list of useful tips to help make moving house over Christmas more relaxing. 

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare 

As obvious as it may sound, preparation is key to moving house over Christmas. If the contracts have been handed over to you in the lead up to Christmas, the first thing you should do is choose your home removals company. During the festive period, there is likely to be fewer slots available for house removals as a result of businesses taking a break over Christmas. So, as soon as your house has been secured you’ll want to get in quick to obtain your home removal quotes in order to move house as soon as possible. Just think, if you can make moving house over Christmas possible, you’ll be able to go into the new year in your new house with a fresh mind not having to worry about an upcoming house move.

This tip is especially important for those looking at moving house over Christmas to an overseas country. The reason for this is that there are many other things involved in international removals that will need to be arranged and it can take a lot longer to organise dates, exchange contracts etc when moving to another country. With this in mind, you’d be looking to prepare a few months in advance for moving overseas during Christmas time, as opposed to the few weeks preparation required to move house domestically. 

Put Together A Plan 

Something that will help you to prepare for your festive house move is putting together a plan. By outlining a fairly detailed plan of what needs to be done in the lead up to your move and the things that need to be carried out on the day, this will already help relieve the stresses of moving house over Christmas. Essentially, whatever makes things easier for you is the way to go, by planning in advance you can be sure that you’re not going to miss anything on the day.  

Prepare For Bad Weather 

As we aren’t often blessed with the weather in England, preparing for bad weather is something that we cannot recommend highly enough. Our Plymouth removal company is used to the unpredictability of the weather that can affect house removals and is vastly experienced to deal with most challenges. However, if you can help us prepare for bad weather by informing us of the challenges, such as icy roads etc and help assist in these by laying down salt etc we can all try and ensure a stressful situation is avoided. 

Use Storage Facilities To Ease The Stress Of Unpacking 

No matter how much decluttering you do before moving house, you’re always faced with a pile of boxes to unpack. Depending on how close to Christmas you are moving, it might be worth placing some of your items into a self-storage facility. For example, if there are boxes of things that needed to be sorted as you are unpacking and aren’t essential in making your new house feel like a home, why not move these into a storage facility to ease the stress and the number of boxes required to unpack before moving. Once the rest of your house is unpacked and Christmas is out of the way, you can move your belongings back into your home and unpack at your own leisure without the time constraint. 

If you’re keen on the idea of putting some things into storage to reduce the stress of unpacking, visit the sister company of our Plymouth removal company, Plymouth Self Storage for more information. 

Arrange Childcare 

If you’re moving house over Christmas, it’s worth trying to organise the move on a school day so that you don't have to worry about looking after the children during the removal. If you have friends or family asking if you need any help, why not use this opportunity to ask them for help picking your child/children up from school and looking after them until you’re ready for them to come back to the new house. This way you can reduce the worry of having to get most of the move done before school finishes as you can be sure that your loved ones are being cared for. 

Pack A Box Of Food And Drink Essentials  

We recommend this for home removals throughout the year, but packing a box of food and drink essentials that you’ll want to access throughout the day will enable you to find the box easily and keep your energy levels up for unpacking. Although, what’s better when moving house over Christmas is you can fill this up with loads of Christmas goodies to enjoy, think chocolates, mince pies etc. Some might say they’d rather move at Christmas! 

Keep Your Christmas Decorations To Hand To Decorate Your New Home 

Do you ever feel the dreaded hatred of having to find the Christmas decorations each year? Well, a benefit to moving house over Christmas is that you’ll know exactly where they are and decorate the house as you are unpacking your new home. 

Not only will this save you time searching the attic, decorating your new home will help make you feel at home and what better way to take the stressful moving thoughts away than looking at the beautiful Christmas tree in your living room. 

Buy Christmas Presents Before Moving House 

Depending on how close to Christmas you are moving, it might be worth doing your shopping beforehand. This way you won’t have the added worry of having to buy presents as well as unpacking the house. If you’re really organised you could even wrap and label them so most of your Christmas tasks are done before you even move. 

Although, it’s worth noting that if you plan on buying everybody’s presents before, to put all of the presents into boxes together so that none get lost in random boxes during the move. There’s nothing worse than trying to find a present that you’ve hidden “safely”. By putting them all together they will be easy to find at the new house and be put straight under the tree. 

Order A Food Shop To Arrive At Your New House 

Finally, a tip that we think is really helpful is ordering a grocery shop to arrive at your new house within the first few days of moving. This way, you can focus your attention to the unpacking rather than making a list for the supermarket. 

If you’ve found moving house over Christmas to be stressful before and have any other tips that you would have found helpful, we’d love to hear from you. Share your ideas with us on Facebook or Twitter and we might even add them to this article. 

What's Involved In A Typical Removal Company Home Survey?

First time moving house and wondering what is involved in a removal company home survey? Well, we can’t speak for everyone but we thought you may find it helpful to know what is involved in a Hackworthy & Sons home survey

We believe that the best way to get a removal company home survey is by visiting the house of those looking to move. This is the easiest way for both parties to determine what needs to be moved and gives the opportunity for everyone to ask questions as and when they come up throughout the survey. 

We know that some removal company home surveys are a way of hard-selling their service to the customer, but we aren’t about that at Hackworthy and all of our surveys and home removal quotes are provided free with no obligation. Moving house is stressful enough as it is, the least you need is your removal company home survey to add to the stress. 

Typically a home survey with us will involve a member of the team visiting your home to view the contents and assess what access is needed to the property ( for example, is there a parking space for the removal van to use? Or is the property above ground level etc). By carrying out a home visit, all you need to do is be at the property to let us in. We would recommend that you walk around the property with us, this enables us to be aware of any areas which have things in need of moving that aren't obvious to those who don’t live in the home. However, if you’re busy with children or work from home, then we can survey the house on our own and come together with you at the end to ask/answer any questions and discuss the next steps in the process. Our home surveys usually last between 15 and 45 minutes, depending on the size of your property, so we’d recommend putting aside about an hour or so for this. 

Following our survey of your home, we will send you a written home removal quote for you to consider in your own time, to help you choose the right removal company for you. However, during this time please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions that come up during your decision process and we will happily help.

Hackworthy & Sons understands that life responsibilities can mean that you don’t always have the time to do these things at a convenient time for both parties. If you lead a busy life or just aren’t keen on home visits at the moment, we can offer you a visit-free removal quotation. Whether this is doing a virtual survey or filling out our online quotation form, the choice is yours. 

Overall a Hackworthy removal company home survey offers you:

  • The chance to ask any questions and queries relating to your move 
  • An experienced team member surveying your property, whether this be a home visit or a video survey 
  • Hassle-free, no-obligation service
  • A written quotation for your consideration, with support at the end of the phone

To book in your removal company home survey with Hackworthy, get in contact with us today by calling 01752 546143 or email enquiries@hackworthy.co.uk

Get A COVID-Safe, Visit-Free Removal Quote From Hackworthy

Let’s face it 2020 has been far from what we expected, so far that some people might say on another planet. The entire population has been faced with major changes to their day to day life with all businesses requiring to adapt the way they work to continue operating. 

Don’t worry, we aren’t going to bang on about the dreaded C word, instead we wanted to let you know how we’ve adapted to allow social distancing, and how we can provide you a visit-free removal quote on your journey to choosing a home removal company. 

We are pleased to offer visit-free removal quotes as an alternative choice to our usual site visits. So, if you’re looking for a home removal quote but aren’t comfortable with people coming around to your house, keep reading to find out how you can get a visit-free removal quote. 

There are two options for a visit-free removal quote to be provided, in the form of a virtual survey or our online survey form. 

Own a smartphone or tablet? You can benefit from our video surveys which allows you to show our surveyors around your property to price up the cost of your removal. Not only is this a great option to get a home removal quote in the current climate, but it’s also a considerably suitable option for those who are looking to move to Plymouth or lead a busy life. 

Organising a video survey for removals couldn’t be easier with Hackworthy & Sons, all you need to do is call up and we will book you in and send you a link to the online meeting. From here, you will be required to do a walkaround of the house showing the surveyor each of the rooms in the house so that they can see how much needs to be moved. You will be asked questions as you go around the house about packing and dismantling and may be asked to show areas of the rooms, such as storage areas that aren’t fully visible to see from the call. That’s all we need from you for the video survey! Following the completion of the survey, our team will be able to calculate the service that you require, sending the completed inventory for your reference, along with a written quotation in a few days. 

Alternatively, another way to receive your visit-free removal quote is by filling out our online quotation form. The form has been created into sections of the house to help you easily identify what needs to be moved from each room, enabling you to walk around the house whilst completing the form. We’d recommend setting plenty of time aside to walk around the house to ensure that nothing is missed off the inventory list. 

With each of the sections in the form you will be able to tick the items that you need moved, but it’s important to remember the boxes that will be required to put the contents of items such as bookcases in. If there are any items that you have in a room that aren’t on the list of inventories, you must make sure to add these into the notes section in order to receive a valid visit-free removal quote. Once a visit-free removal quote form has been completed you can expect to receive a full written quotation and an inventory of your furniture within a few days. You can find more information on how to fill out our online quotation form on our website or by calling the Hackworthy team today. 

Obviously we cannot offer a visit-free removal, but you can be sure that all of the  Hackworthy & Sons removals procedures are in line with the latest government guidance. To ensure we meet the standards of a COVID-19 Secure Business and keep our customers and staff safe, we regularly review the COVID risk assessments and update our team with any changes. If you’d like more information or have any questions about obtaining a visit-free removal quote from Hackworthy, please do not hesitate to contact us today and we will be happy to help. 

2020's Top 5 Best Places To Retire In The World

Let’s face it, we are all counting the days until we retire and can visit anywhere in the world, without a care in the world. But have you considered living abroad once you retire, as an overseas removal company we wanted to take a look at the top best places to retire in the world and we sure wouldn't be fussy about living in any of these places. 

1. Portugal 

First up, is the European country famous for its beaches and home to international footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal. 

Recently, Portugal has become an increasingly popular place to retire, most likely to do with the low cost of living that Portugal has traditionally been seen to have. However, this can depend on the areas that you live. The main cities in Portugal typically have a higher cost of living in comparison to the rural areas of the country. Although substantially lower than other western European countries, is the cost of food and drink.

If you’re looking at retiring to the top best place to retire in the world from the UK, you can be sure to benefit from the 32% lower cost of living and 51% lower cost of rent that Portugal offers.

2. Panama 

One of the safest countries in Latin America and the 2nd best place to retire in the UK is… Panama. 

Panama offers a great retirement program, which provides easy residency to expats that are looking to retire in the country. This is known as “Pensionado”. With discounts offered to pension holders on utility services, medical expenses and entertainment, you can see why retiring to Panama is popular with expats. To benefit from this visa scheme, as an individual you’ll need to be receiving a minimum of $1000 per month, and $1250 as a couple. 

Thanks to the steady income and well paid jobs that The Panama Canal offers, along with Panama being the 2nd largest free trade zone in the world, this creates a significantly stable economy. This stability is not only a great benefit to Panamanians but also those who decide to retire to this wonderful country. 

3. Costa Rica 

If you’re currently living in America and are looking at retiring to another country, Costa Rica is a great option to consider out of the top 5 best places to retire in the world. As a result of the proximity to the US, this makes Costa Rica a perfect location to move to but be close enough to visit those family and friends that you’ve left in your home country. 

Costa Rica has a hugely established community of expats and is no stranger to being an international destination for retirees to move to.

One point that really stands out as a reason to retire in Costa Rica, is the low cost of healthcare that it provides. With citizens able to receive free healthcare and residents having only needing to pay a small cost to join the national healthcare program, you can be sure that you won't have to worry about healthcare when it comes to moving to this North America country. 

4. Mexico 

Are you looking to enjoy and savour an active lifestyle as a retiree? Mexico is the place to be, which is probably why the country is regularly found in the top best places to retire in the world. 

Mexico tends to be a very popular place for Americans and Canadians to travel to in comparison to the amount of Europeans travelling to the country. 

With favourable climates all year round, why would you want to stay and retire in a country where you have to wait for the warm times of the year? When you could be in sunny Mexico enjoying the warm weather throughout the entire year. The country is considered to be the perfect location for low- stress living as a result of the friendly people that live here, welcoming culture that they provide and of course the beautiful weather.

The cost of living in Mexico is a great opportunity to move to the country, as although dependent on your lifestyle can be a relatively reasonable place to live if you're happy to live on a fairly moderate income.

5. Columbia 

Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, with 3 ranges of Andes mountains running through the country and home to 10% of the Amazon rainforest on its borders, do we really need to explain why Columbia is amongst the top best places to retire in the World?

Well… as Columbia is the 2nd most bio diverse country in the world, the country can offer anything from warm tropical locations to spring like cities and even to cold mountain locations. So whatever climate and lifestyle you’d like to choose to retire to Columbia has everything to choose from that you can ever imagine. 

Like Panama, retiring to Columbia you can also benefit from the ‘pensionado’ visa, but only have to prove a minimum monthly income of $700 from social security, rather than $1000 that Panama requests. 

So, this list could go on looking at 2020’s top best places to retire in the world, but we don’t want to bore you. However, if you’d like to check out what other countries have been listed as the best places to retire to, check out this great post by Business Insider

If you’re looking at retiring abroad currently and are looking for some information on overseas removals, be sure to get in touch with Hackworthy & Sons today by contacting us here.

What To Do With Unwanted Furniture When Moving House

When moving house you can almost guarantee that you’re going to want to buy new furniture or replace some existing furniture that you don’t want to keep anymore. But, what do you do with the unwanted furniture, you may ask? 

Well, the first thing you need to do before moving house is to work out the furniture that you’d like to get rid of, as this way you won’t waste much-needed room in the removal van that could be used. Now, let’s take a look at what to do with unwanted furniture from your house move. Some of these options may be quite obvious, but there are some really handy schemes that you can help others with. 

1. Sell 

The first thing that you might want to look at doing with your unwanted furniture is selling it. If your furniture is still in good condition and could be used again by somebody else, you could look at selling this onto others. For people who are buying their first home may be looking for some second-hand furniture to start furnishing their home before saving up to buy new furniture. 

There are many places you could sell your furniture with the most obvious ones being online marketplaces, such as Gumtree, eBay and Facebook Marketplace. Alternatively, if you don't want to sell your unwanted furniture online, you could take it along to a car boot sale or perhaps sell it onto a second-hand furniture store. 

2. Give Away To Friends Or Family

Has any of your friends or family ever admired pieces of your furniture? Consider first asking them if they would like any pieces of furniture before you clear out these pieces. This way you can know that your furniture is going to a good home and your friends and family will appreciate this gift. 

3. Donate To Charity Or A Theatre Group (for sets)

There are many charities that have their own separate charity furniture shops that are home to a variety of second-hand furniture for people to buy raising money for charity. So, when you are looking at what to do with unwanted furniture and would like to support the local community, why not donate the furniture to charity? If you donate furniture to the British Heart Foundation, they will even come and collect the furniture for you for free. So you don't have to worry about organising how you are going to get the furniture to their shop. 

You might also want to consider donating your furniture to local theatre groups who may appreciate these pieces to create sets for their performances. If this is something you’d like to do, it’s worth contacting a few of your local theatre groups to see if they could make use of your items. There are also places such as Freecycle which is a non-profit organisation that can take things off of your hands and keep off landfill sites. 

4. Dispose Of At The Recycling Centre 

If your unwanted furniture is not in the best condition for people to use again, you could dispose of this at your local recycling centres. Although, it's worth checking out the requirements of your recycling centre first, to make sure that they can take this. Nobody wants to waste a trip and find out that they won’t actually be able to take your items! 

5. Arrange Collection From The Local Council 

Unable to get your furniture down to the local recycling centre and wondering what to do with unwanted furniture? Don’t panic! You can arrange old furniture removals from your local councils, that come with a small cost. To apply for a special collection of large waste, you can visit GOV.UK for more information.

6. Sofa Rescue Schemes 

A great initiative that DFS has created to help reduce landfill and reduce harm to the planet is the Sofa Rescue Scheme which aims to recycle old sofas. Although this furniture removal service is only available to recycle sofas at the minute, if you have any unwanted armchairs, sofas or sofa beds that you want to clear out this is an option to consider. For only £89, you can get rid of up to 3 items of furniture (more with prior arrangement) and help save the environment in the process. We think that is money well spent! 

So, if you’re not sure what to do with unwanted furniture in your home, we hope this has given you some helpful advice on the steps that you could take to clear this out. 

We’d love to hear from you if there are any other options to get rid of your unwanted furniture that we haven’t covered here and we might even add them to this blog. 

Hackworthy & Sons have been carrying out house, office and international removals for over 40 years, and being the largest independent removal company in the South West we have lots of tips and advice for you. So, check out our blog or follow us on social to get organised for your house move. 

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