Packing Tips

Non-Allowable Items

Most removal firms have a list of non-allowable items which they consider unsafe or unsuitable to move.

  • Dangerous Items - Hazardous or radioactive materials can't be transported for obvious reasons, although many people don't realise that a number of common household items can be dangerous if handled incorrectly. Some removal companies will refuse to move household items like:
    • Nail polish remover
    • Lighter fluid
    • Gasoline
    • Oxygen bottles
    • Propane cylinders
    • Motor oil
    • Paints and paint thinner
    • Matches
    • Fireworks
    • Radio-pharmaceuticals

These items should be safely disposed of in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

Licenced gun owners in possession of a firearms certificate in the United Kingdom have a legal obligation to inform the chief officer of police by whom the certificate was granted of any change in permanent address. Most removal firms will agree to transport firearms if this has been done, although some might refuse. If you are moving abroad you must comply with the legislation in the country to which you are moving.

  • Perishable Foods - Food shouldn't be packed for transportation on a removal van because it can quickly go off and attract insects and rodents, so you should try to use up your supply of food before moving day. Rather than throwing unused food away, offer it to friends and neighbours, or give it to a charity. You should also make sure your fridge and freezer are cleaned and defrosted to avoid leakage while moving.
  • Pets - If possible, pets should be left with friends or family on the day of the move. However, if this isn't possible you should keep them with you. The temperature in a packed removal van can get dangerously hot for animals. Your vet will be able to tell you if your pet has any special requirements.
  • Plants - Most plants are fragile and easily damaged. They can also be quite heavy and take up a lot of precious space in a removal van. Consider giving them to neighbours or friends as a parting gift.
  • Valuable Items - Irreplaceable items such as jewellery, photograph albums, and birth certificates should be packed separately and kept with you. You should also make sure any items of great value are covered by your insurance provider before the move.

Fixtures and Fittings

To avoid any potential conflicts, it's wise to draw up an inventory of items to be included with the property and attach it to the contract of sale. This can be done either by you or through a solicitor. Printable Fixtures and Fittings Inventory Agreements can easily be found on the internet.

If you don't complete an inventory it is generally assumed that all fixtures will remain in the property, although ownership of the fittings is usually assumed to remain with the vendor.
Below, we explain the difference between fixtures and fittings.

  • What is a Fixture/Fitting? - Although there is no legal definition to differentiate between fixtures and fittings, it's generally understood that a fixture is anything that is physically attached to the floors, walls or ceilings with nails or screws, while fittings are not. Fixtures would therefore include:
    • Light fittings
    • Plug sockets
    • Curtain rails
    • Kitchen and bathroom units
    • Built-in wardrobes and cupboard
    • Central heating, boilers and radiators
    Fittings include the following:
    • Carpets and rugs
    • Curtains
    • Furniture
    • Light shades and free-standing lamps
    • TV aerials and satellite dishes

Without an inventory, a buyer is within their rights to claim for any missing fixtures and fittings which it was generally understood would remain in the property. This means the seller would then have to compensate the buyer for the value of any replacement fixtures and fittings.

The Value of Fixtures & Fittings

Fixtures and fittings can add up to £15,000 worth of value to a property, so it's important that both parties in a move are fully aware of exactly what will remain with the house and what, if anything, will be taken.

Some people might believe it's cheaper to buy new furniture for a new property rather than to move their own, but given the massive savings you can make on removal costs by comparing quotations through Removal Quotes this really isn't the case.

Negotiating with the Buyer

Given the value of fixtures and fittings, it is advisable to try to negotiate in person or over the phone where possible. In doing so, you'll give yourself a clearer understanding of what you're comfortable including in the inventory, and what to cost to the buyer. If your unable to come to an agreement, or you feel the buyer is becoming difficult, it is worth asking your solicitor or estate agent to act as a middle man. At the end of the day, a vendor is entitled to remove whatever they want from the property as long as the buyer has been forewarned.

Compare Removal Quotes

Compare up to 6 removal companies in minutes