Moving myself?

Choosing between a Moving Company or moving myself ?

Hiring a moving company is a question that comes often for people on the move. And this question is often discussed between friends and acquaintances. When the decision needs to be made the answer should take in account numerous factors such as time, money, difficulty and complexity of the move and will be different to each situation.

As we know time is never right and money is also a big factor for a move and most of the times both factors will be weighted to make an informed decision. The distance you are going to move too is also a factor that needs to be taken in account as well as the size of your move.

If you are moving a one bedroom apartment in town, your move will be very easy to manage and cost and time will be reduced. However moving across country a four bedroom house will have a complete different outlook on cost, time and the logistic involved with it.

If you are willing to haul yourself your moving boxes, carry your furnitures, you will need to hire a truck. Rental companies use a guide and can provide you the right truck for moving from an apartment to a 4+ bedrooms house.

If you consider renting a truck to move from  point A to point B, you’ll need to take in consideration the cost of renting one-way or return, where one-way is more expensive than return by almost 50%. But you need also to account for mileage, if not included in your  truck rental, and petrol cost.

When you have costed the factors of moving yourself you can now look into the cost of hiring a moving company.

Some points to consider, you may find that some companies give you a quote over the phone and some will not. For moving companies having a look at the content of a house is necessary to asses time and volume of the move.

You may want to look online for quotes but these quotes will certainly not be guaranteed, as the information you give may be not accurate.

If you decide to hire a moving company make sure it is a reliable company.

To make the decision of hiring a moving company or moving yourself you may need to look into other factors like hiring a full service moving company that will pack, load and ship, unload and unpack your goods, or hiring just a load, ship and unload your household company, or to do it all yourself.

Some questions you may want to look into and find an answer, like how much time will it take to pack your things, load your things and drive it all to your new destination?

Do you have additional help? Friends, family, neighbours or colleagues that can lend a hand?

Do you have fragile or special items that will require special handling? Can you move these items yourself? If not, what will it cost to move them?

Will you need to rent additional equipment/supplies/hired-hands to move larger items such as appliances?

Are you confident that you can move your household goods safely? Are you aware of hidden costs that can creep into your move, such as additional insurance or packing supplies?

And one last piece of advice: no matter what you decide to do, save all your receipts and make sure you claim your move (if possible) on your tax return.

Deduction of Moving Expenses

Can You Deduct Your Moving Expenses?

Exemptions and benefits for employee’s relocation

For companies providing expenses and benefits in connection with a change in the main residence of one of their employee there are some available exemptions under certain conditions.

The HMRC provides information on relocation and exemption for certain expenses and benefits connected to relocations that are due to employment-related reasons.

You may find some more informations on the HRMC website.

There are four sets of qualifying conditions that needs to be met if you want to claim for a partial tax, NICs and reporting exemption for an employee relocation expenses and benefits.

Known as qualifying expenses and benefits  the four sets are defined under the reason for relocation, the cost linked to the relocation (house sale/purchase, moving costs, travels and subsistence…), the time limit for the claim and the reasonable travelling distance.

First, the employee’s reason for relocation must be one of the following:

  • the employee starting a new job with you
  • a change in their employment duties
  • a change in the place where their employment duties are normally carried out

Second, the expenses and benefits must fall into one of the six categories below:

  • the employee’s sale of their old residence
  • their purchase of a new residence
  • transporting the employee’s belongings to the new residence
  • associated travel and subsistence costs
  • domestic goods for the new premises
  • bridging loans

Third, there is a time limit. To qualify, the expenses must be incurred or the benefits must be provided before the end of the tax year after the one in which the employee’s circumstances changed (as outlined in the first step of this list).

Fourth, the employee’s new residence must be within reasonable daily travelling distance of their new normal place of work, and their old residence must not be within reasonable daily travelling distance of the new normal place of work.

Non-qualifying expenses and benefits

A relocation expense or benefit is ‘non-qualifying’ if it doesn’t meet the four sets of qualifying conditions outlined above.

Examples of non-qualifying expenses and benefits include:

  • mortgage or housing subsidies for an employee moving to a higher-cost area
  • mortgage interest payments for the employee’s existing home
  • compensation for any financial loss to the employee on the sale of their home
  • compensation for other losses, such as penalties for withdrawing a child from school weut sufficient notice
  • re-direction of mail
  • Council Tax bills

Tax deduction for employees

Relocation expenses and airfares

Up to £8,000 of reimbursed relocation expenses are exempt from UK tax when you take up your assignment. Relocation expenses incurred before the start of your assignment must also be take into account against the £8,000 limit. If your return relocation is guaranteed under your UK assignment, a further £8,000 of expenses and benefits may be received tax-free when you return home.

Most of relocation expenditure qualify for exemption, subject to the £8,000 limit. Exemptions include UK Storage costs, the cost of temporary accommodation for your family on arriving in the UK, and the cost of duplicate items such as kitchenware or electrical appliances in the UK.

More complete information are available on the HRMC website.

Organisation the key to stressless moving

Moving a complete family to a new environment will induce some level of stress and some people will argue that moving is the most stressful situation you can be put through. However, moving should be something other than a stressful situation, because looking forward to changes is a rewarding experience.

The question is how can a stressful situation become a rewarding experience?  Here are some advices on making your move less stressful, everything is just a question of organisation.

Foremost take a deep breath and start looking at your cupboards, draws and other places where everything started to get cluttered. A move does not just jump on you, it is something that with a bit of sound judgement you can prepare in advance. Even in the most peculiar situation you will not have to move from one day to the other. If you have planned to move away and you are waiting for an answer from an official department, you know already that you may move fast. So get ready, don’t pack right away, just do a bit of due diligence and give away to charity things that are cluttering the top cupboards.

That little bit of time taken now to clear away some unnecessary goods will play a big role in your time management at a later date. If you can plan your move then try to allow yourself at least between 2 weeks for a one room flat to eight to twelve weeks for a full 4 bedroom house.

Stress is related to poor organisation or a lack of global overview of a certain situation. Get your project management pad out, a piece of paper and write on it everything that you need to do. Then put it in a comprehensive list and divide it into weeks and keep track of what has to be done or not.

You have already done a big task with getting rid of unwanted things, now plan the next step and get help. Friends, family will help you pack and prepare for the move. If you are hiring a Moving Company speak to the foreman and get some advice, they are more than helpful and they will not spare you with good tips.

If you are hiring a packing company hey will give you some schedules, otherwise if you pack yourself remember to write on the boxes the content of it and the destination room. It will be easier when you arrive to send the boxes to the right room and not have to carry everything twice. While you are packing also try not to leave boxes everywhere, try to keep one room without boxes where you can sit down and breathe. You need some space for yourself and your family, and if you have kids they will need some «normality» in the chaos.

Taking care of yourself and your family will make it easier to manage the stress that moving brings with it.

So you are organised and have planned everything, but things may turn out not as planned. If you have added some days for rescue then you have already saved most of the damage. Stay calm and look at your list and see what can be changed to ensure the move gets forward.

Check again that your moving van will be there on the day, and plan for a subsidiary if this should fall flat. Moving companies are professionals and they will be there, but it may happens that something goes wrong and they will provide a solution. In case you need to find a last minute solution, your short list of moving companies and rental companies will be your alternative solution. If you are fortunate to have family that can help you out with a van, keep them informed too.

If you feel that you are not getting on top of it that’s normal. You have your list so keep looking at it and knowing that you are organised, your move will go ahead and you will be reassured that it will be done.

Arriving at the new place will feel strange and not at home, that is part of the natural pattern of feeling uprooted. Take the time to feel your new home grow on you. Unpack and take time to settle in your new space, go outside and discover your new environment.