6 great ideas to ensure an eco-friendly house move

August 30th, 2015

6 great ideas to ensure an eco-friendly house move

Green moving van illustrationimage

When I had to relocate because of a change of job, the first thing that crossed my mind was the amount of ‘stuff’ I would need to move. All the things I’d collected over decades would now need to be moved across the country, all the way from my seaside home to the bright lights of the big city. Being conscious of the environment, I could see my carbon footprint being mapped across the country; and that got me thinking about how I could reduce it. I could do nothing about the journey itself, but I knew I could control some aspects of the move. Thus, how and what I packed became a mission to be eco-friendly with the move, and here are a few of the ideas I came up with to help me on my eco-friendly removal adventure.

Garage sale of various house contentsimage

Reduce the load

Perhaps the best way to make your move friendlier to the environment is to make sure you move as little as possible. I took this opportunity to clear out all the things I had been hoarding for years, and recycled everything else. Usable items (I didn’t want) I either sold (actually paying for the move), or gave to thrift shops or local schools. By reducing the amount to be moved I cut down on the packaging required and reduced the need for excessive transportation. This was the perfect first step.

Room contents being packed upimage

Calculate your removal needs

Once you have finalised everything that is going to move with you, you will need to know how much packaging and the transportation capacity you will need. To do this, I simply called one of the most reputable removals companies in Brighton and organised for a home visit from my final choice. I explained my packing plan, and they gave me an estimate of the number and types of boxes I would require; and even offered to supply them. They also estimated the minimum square footage I would need for the transportation, and thus ensured that I left the least possible impact through transportation emissions.

Parcelled up carboard boxes on a pavementimage

Generate your packaging

As I was planning well ahead, I now had the opportunity to find the packaging I would require without buying new. The average number of boxes used in a household move is an incredible 60 boxes (check out this great infographic on recycling moving boxes) so I wanted all mine recycled or reused. I asked everybody from friends to local shopkeepers for their boxes, and found an ample supply. I also collected wooden crates and as much paper as I could too. All of it would be used for my final pack, and I could recycle it all again later.

Roll of Geämi paperimage

Environmental packaging ideas

A friend had told me about using alternate packing materials, so I did a little research and found some great alternatives I could use. To separate individual items in boxes I used a lot of paper, the clothes I was moving anyway, and my towels and bedding. When it came to packing up my furniture, to stop scratching and dents, I found a great alternative to bubble wrap, and used a product called Geämi paper, which is a fantastic green option. I really did feel that that taking control of my packaging choices helped me with my environmental moving crusade.

Eco cleaning productsimage

Cleaning products

Another way I tried to stay eco-friendly with my move was through my choice of cleaning products. I generally only use green products anyway, but in the massive clean-up that took place before my move, this was even more important.

Wickes energy-saving tips infographicimage

A lifestyle change

No matter how hard you try, a move like mine will have an impact, but all is not lost because of the move. To make up for the damage you have caused, you should take a look at the way you manage yourself in your new property. Now is the time to think about insulation, lighting, and heating options; and how you can reduce your energy use in the future. Take steps to reduce your energy consumption now and you can be forgiven for the damage your move may have caused.


Home Tones: Bubblegum pink

August 29th, 2015

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bubblegum pink floor and stairscredit

Pink doesn’t have to be all girly or sickly. Some men can look very smart and sophisticated when they wear pink. The same goes for home interiors.

Team bubblegum pink with bright white, charcoal grey or ‘nearly black’ and the results can be stunning. Or how about contrasting it with tangerine or turquoise for a really tropical, South East Asian feel?

So banish those thoughts that pink may conjure up of Frenchie from Grease, Pepto-Bismol or pink-dyed poodles topiaried to within an inch of their lives!

Bubblegum pink desk chaircredit

Bubblegum pink bathroom shelf surface & backsplashcredit

Bubblegum pink kitchen counter tops, sink and kick boardcredit

Turquoise upholstered sofa with bubblegum pink trim and cushionscredit

Bubble gum pink radiator, toilet brush holder and hand towel on a cloakroomcredit

Bedroom decorated in shades of grey with bubble gum pink rugcredit

Young person's bedroom with bubble gum pink feature wallcredit

Why cities like York offer a great investment opportunity

August 28th, 2015

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City of York plaque on a gate in the citycredit

Our post about investing in property outside of London generated a huge amount of interest. It seems that many of our readers were interested in the idea of avoiding the extraordinarily high property prices of the capital and wanted to look into investing in other places. This prompted us to do a bit more research and expand on the subject.

Here we’re going to look at investing in other city locations using York as an example. We’re in regular contact with several letting agencies in York, so know already that the city is a good place to invest. In addition, the latest statistics indicate that rental rates in the city have recently risen by over 20%. It’s a great example of somewhere outside of the capital where property investments have really paid off.

Several cities in the UK have the potential to take off in the same way as York. Below we take a closer look at why York has become such a good place for people to invest in property.

York Universitycredit

York is a university city

Demand for student accommodation is definitely growing in the UK. Up until this year, the number of students each university could take was capped. This limited the number of people who could study in the UK, but despite this cap demand for student accommodation outstripped availability everywhere. Now that the cap on student numbers no longer exists, demand for accommodation in university cities can only increase even more.

Red York CitySightseeing bus in front of York Castlecredit

York is a tourist city

The city of York is a big tourist destination that is becoming more & more popular. This year visitor numbers are up by 10% and that’s the 5th year tourist numbers have gone up.

Increasingly, visitors to the UK are rejecting hotel & bed and breakfast accommodation. Many are opting instead to rent houses or flats and tourists are now renting individual rooms in people’s homes.

This has created another pool of potential renters for both home-owners and landlords in the city. Tourists visit the city of York all year round and they pay well for accommodation, so it easy to make a profit leasing out holiday properties in the city and the surrounding area.

Street scene in York city centrecredit

York has a growing population

Property prices and rent have risen so much in the South East that many people can no longer afford to live there. People are increasingly moving further north and York is proving to be one of the most popular destinations for people looking for a new place to live.

York Train Stationcredit

York has fantastic amenities

York has great links with the rest of the UK. London is just a two-hour train journey away and Manchester is just an hour and a quarter away.

The fact that it is a student city and a tourist destination means that there is no shortage of things for people to do and see in the area. This makes it very attractive as a place to live for young people who cannot afford to set up home in the South East.

Several other cities in the UK tick the same boxes as York. Edinburgh, Oxford and Coventry are just three of them and all of them offer great value for money when it comes to investment property.