Congratulations - you're finally moving! You've been meaning to find pastures new for a while, and you've now you’ve taken the leap and signed on the dotted line - you're ready to re-locate! You've still got a few months until you move, but soon months turn to weeks, weeks turn to days, days turn to hours, and hours turn to, "Quick, the van's here!!!"
If you're not completely organised it's easy to feel overwhelmed and out of control. You think you've packed everything, and then you find those boxes under your bed...and then there's those shoe boxes full of old photographs at the back of your wardrobe to sort through!
Oh, to sit down with a cup of tea in quiet contemplation, looking on at a serene sea of sealed boxes ready to go a week beforehand. But who on earth can be that smug?! Realistically, it's a last-minute forage for tea bags that have been packed away somewhere, and it's a fight for the last drop of luke-warm milk stored in a bucket of ice water in the sink, while the fridge/freezer defrosts! Anyone who says that their move was smooth sailing probably wasn't even there!
To top it all off the removal men arrive, they take one look at your boxes, hands on hips and shake their heads, "Nope - no way - you've got far too much, we can't do all this." They only agree to help once you've flashed the cash, but then they spend the whole day trudging through your new home in a strop like a hormonal teenager. You soon realise you've booked the much feared ‘cowboy movers’ and all optimism for your new adventure has been eradicated!
We are in the removal business, so we don't like to blast our own kind. But from our point of view, if you don't enjoy removals - you're in the wrong job! There is no point calling yourself a ‘professional removal person’ if all you do is break for tea every ten minutes, moan about your bad back and flirt with the woman you're helping to move! That abominable behaviour should not be tolerated at any cost!
We want you to have a pleasant moving experience and hate to hear of those horror stories, where removal men have stolen valuables, or charged hidden extras, or made rude remarks and patronised you because they are the 'muscle'. They often feel they can ‘peacock’ and ‘parade’ about for a few hours like the Mitchell Brothers, but that’s not us!
We LOVE moving you - we LOVE hearing your life stories and getting you settled and sorted. That’s because we know that we are in the right job! More importantly, this move isn’t about us – it’s about YOU!
We've moved enough people going through all sorts of difficult situations to recognise patterns - and we know from your experiences that it is vital to plan ahead. If not, you suffer the stress of having a hundred and one things to do in twenty four hours – and you’re not jack Bauer!
We've collated a few handy tips to (hopefully) make sure your move goes smoothly, before and after you call us for your move! There are endless tips we could list, but here’s a few to get you started..
1. Embrace change
Here's the thing - change is always scary, but it's inevitable. Whether you like it or not, whether you want to or not, you are going through change - so you may as well enjoy the journey and jump in with both feet! It helps to have support around you from your family and friends, but some situations rely on YOU to be the decision-maker or the 'organised' one - especially if you're a parent or carer. They say moving is up there on the stress level of a divorce, so it’s understandable to feel a little shaken.
It's also easy to dread moving; being surrounded by boxes (sometimes packing into the early hours), remembering to transfer your home insurance and broadband to your new address. However - why worry? Seriously - what will worrying accomplish? What does expecting the worst in a situation ever do for you? It does nothing but cause you to become anxious and immobile - you can’t afford to be a ‘rabbit in the headlights’. It's your move and it matters to your future - so by all means pre-empt the worst, but plan for the best.
Change helps us to grow, to improve, to develop - change is the only thing in life that we can be sure will inevitably occur atleast once a day - so why dread what's coming?! Make lists, think ahead, but if you veer from your packing plan – don’t stress, just take a deep breath and jump back in.
2. Be kind to yourself
Give yourself permission to not be okay..and to eat ice cream if you want to! There are some days where everything goes right for you, and there are some days where everything goes wrong – but how you handle each situation is up to you. You’re not responsible for everyone’s happiness - if you have friends or family who aren’t being supportive during your move then try to limit your time with them. You don’t have enough energy to move house or relocate while worrying what everyone else thinks about it. Pack when YOU have the energy, rest when YOU need to!
Delegate packing certain rooms to your children or family members - they want to be involved and will enjoy feeling trusted by you to help.
Take as much time as you need to organise your things when packing, but don’t go rifling through old diaries or photos of your exes – there’s no time to go through heartache twice! Just pack it and get on to the next thing – stay focused on where you’re going – not where you’ve been.
3. Stay thankful
As a child, did you ever try to leave your dinner unfinished at the table and have your parent say to you, “There are starving children in Africa who would love to eat that!”? Well, you finishing your dinner didn’t help the starving children in Africa, but hearing that fact may have made you more grateful for your meal. In the same way, I know moving isn’t easy – but atleast you are in the position to move. You have the freedom to move where you like – you are not a tree! You have the freedom to get married, or to get divorced, to go travelling, to breath in fresh air, to have a roof over your head!
You only have to leave your front door to see people sadly sleeping on the streets; and hopefully you are not in that circumstance so are in a better position to be of help to them and yourself. Simply taking a moment throughout the day to be grateful and to notice all of the good things in your life in that moment, works wonders when in ‘panic mode’. Being thankful for life, your family, your friends, your job, your pets – everything that you can think of will give you the drive and motivation you need to get back up and moving with purpose and positivity. You can do this!
4. Plan ahead
Now here’s the practical bit..I cannot stress the importance of packing atleast 2 weeks in advance. We always think we have enough time, and we don’t have that much to pack. However, we’ve all been there at 2 am with the familiar shrill noise of parcel tape tearing between our teeth! Frantically cramming ornaments into over-packed boxes the night before isn’t fun!
As soon as you know where and when you’re moving, start collecting boxes and tackle one room at a time. Don’t do it all on your own – again I encourage you to recruit people you trust to help you pack when they can.
Do as much as you can do before the removal company get there – unscrew your beds and make sure the exits are easy to access for quick loading if you’re paying them an hourly rate. The removal team will usually load the larger items on to their van first, so have them easily accessible, with the small items able to be loaded on last. Make sure your breakables are clearly labeled ‘fragile’ and use plenty of bubble-wrap! Keep the box with the kettle and snacks to hand so you can access that easily at your new abode too!
We also recommend you bring a moving buddy for moral support so you’re not in it alone. You don’t want to appear vulnerable to movers who think they can slack off if they’re untrustworthy (unless you choose us – we won’t take advantage, just read our reviews!)
It’s also a good idea to lay down plastic sheeting if you’re treading on newly cleaned carpets in your new home. Removal boots have visited many a property, so can’t be guaranteed to be clean! Dirty boot prints and scuffmarks on skirting boards are the last thing you want - so watch out for the walls too!
Now you’re moved in, we recommend you sit down with a cuppa and take some time out! Even better, go out for an hour to clear your head. You’ve achieved a great thing by moving somewhere new, and you’ve got a brand new start ahead of you, so take as much time as you need to settle in and relax with a takeaway!
We hope you’ve found our tips helpful for moving happy! Contact us today to book your next move, we look forward to hearing from you!
There’s a new sheriff in the forecourt, and he’s defending our rights for honesty and integrity in the automobile industry. Offering his limitless advice in a seemingly saturated sales climate, Paul Montagu has been quietly building his business on ethical foundations, prioritising his flare for customer care through client calls and casual coffees - whatever he can do to accommodate your needs.
Paul's focus by which to grow both Little White Van Man and Car Helpers, while continuing to combine his time with family and friends, is always the same - to give and to be of help. His skilful balancing act of advisor, husband and father involves commitment and time management - which fortunately Paul thrives on, and admittedly wouldn't have his working day any other way.
Since stepping back from his career working for the fat cats in corporate car sales, Paul has stepped into the spotlight for our benefit, but shy's away from outdated tactics and transparent ploys used in the industry. Paul isn't selling you anything you don't already need when you call him; his consultation is free and his rates for in-depth advice or accompaniment to your sales meetings are highly competitive.
Paul seemingly knows everything a person can know about cars. He’s skilled behind the wheel, and welcomes you to try out his listening ear and comedy gold! His perceptiveness and friendly demeanour hints towards a career in counselling, but it's his passion for cars that remains his driving force. Should we call him the ‘car counsellor’ perhaps? That’s for you to decide, but most already do.
You only need to take a quick glance at Paul’s Facebook page to notice that he's got a great mind for growing a business with heart and soul. Wearing both the hats of Car Helpers and Little White Van Man alike, Paul also remains a dedicated family man; taking notable opportunities to mention his wife and son with adoration, along with his prize pooch, Chenn.
Now that you’ve already taken a little scroll on Paul’s social media, you may feel that you know all there is to know about him. You’ve got him all figured out, right? Paul recently obliged my request for a blog post, and took a tea break to answer a few quick-fire questions for us blog-busters, in hope clarify any misconceptions about his business within the automobile industry. You see, Paul's no crooked salesman, he’s no Del Boy, he doesn't work on commission either. You call, Paul collects. You book, Paul delivers. Need advice? Paul will make the time and will always be honest. When sending over my questions, Paul happily accommodated and thoughtfully fulfilled my request for answers within ten minutes - now that's customer care!
1). So Paul, how did to end up living in Gloucestershire?
I'm not originally from here as you know, I'm from Liverpool actually but we left when I was very young. My Dad got offered a job as Headteacher at St Peters High School, so we moved from Norwich (where I grew up in my younger years) and then settled here. I eventually met my wife and we had my son Theo, and I love Gloucestershire – it’s home to me and always will be.
2). What is your favourite aspect of your job?
That answer is easy! The interesting people I get to meet, as well as the knowledge that I’m actually able to help someone is priceless. The satisfaction I get when I help to find the ideal car or sell a car for the best price, or just to even be a listening ear is so fulfilling. As I used to work in car sales I still have the ability to sell – and I can do it really well, so I enjoy that too! I love being the middle man and getting the best price for my clients. I created both of my businesses to put my knowledge and experience to good use for the sake of others, and I haven't looked back since!
3). What is your passion in life?
That would have to be my family and my dog, Chen Dog - he’s family too! My other passion is listening to people and trying my best to help them. I’m a real people person and the feelings of others matter most to me. I also really enjoy making others laugh, so usually do something a little silly or zany, but not too ‘out-there’! I have very strong spiritual beliefs and a moral compass that I follow in my personal life and in business, and the two areas often overlap because an aspect of my day is working from home, and I think with my heart as well as my head. I appreciate that this life is shorter than we expect, so it’s important to enjoy the company of everyone we meet (if we can). Money and things can never replace people, that stuff’s temporary in the grand scheme of life.
4). If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Hmm..a holiday home somewhere hot would be nice, wouldn’t it? But then again I love Liverpool (although it's rarely warm there)! My place of choice is my true love - Glos Vegas!! It feels like home now, that’s Gloucester by the way!
5). If you could have any superpower what would it be?
I would be able to cure all illnesses and alleviate suffering; whatever it was – I’d just take it away.
So there you have it, Paul Montagu clearly values the true meaning of life as he sees it, and encourages us to look a little deeper, not forgetting to have a little sense of humour!
For advice about your car sale or purchase, or for a fast and efficient collection, removal, or delivery service, call Paul. I’m sure if he could take away your every care, he would kindly have a service for that too.
Hi - thanks for stopping by the Little White Van Man blog! We welcome you to sit back in your comfy chair with a cup of tea, and pop your feet up for a few moments. Take a relaxing scroll through our humorous and heartfelt blog posts; written especially with you in mind. We hope you like what you see, and what you read…
‘We like to move it-move it!’ We really do! We absolutely love what we do, and we see the honourable opportunity to be entrusted with your possessions as an important job. In fact, for us this isn’t just a job. This is a way of life. I realise that may sound a little ‘cliché’, but it’s true! We do all of this to meet people; to hear their stories, and to hopefully improve their day.
We like to warn potential clients that if you want an ‘S.A.S’ style service, then you’ve come to the wrong removers! ‘Speed, Aggression, and Surprise’ may be the motto for professional assassins, but it certainly isn’t one for these professional movers! We prefer more of a ‘fun, friendly and effective' approach. We won’t stand around all day long chatting about the weather, but we will ask you about your day, and we'll listen for as long as you need us to.
You see, we’re just like you. We’ve been in need of an extra hand, which is how Little White Van Man was born. Like the proverb says, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention', we felt inspired to get us started in the industry as there wasn’t a removal service within the South West area that we felt offered the exceptional level of customer service and commitment as we could. We saw the need and wanted to fill the gap in the market, so we invented the solution - in the form of a little white van!
As our popularity grew, so did our choice of van sizes! We now also offer a larger Mercedes van for bigger removals, which is often used for transporting furniture, taking unwanted items to charity, or for collecting shopping purchased locally from Gumtree. We have also have been in the position where we didn’t have room in the car to transport our unwanted table and bookcase, and where we had one too many boxes to take to the skip after the annual spring clean! However, now we have trusty vans that can transport all of that for us!
We like to think we know how you feel when it comes to moving your sentimental items too, where transporting valuables carefully without damage is vital for the sake of your goods and the good memories they conjure. You can tell us if the item is special to you and we’ll treat it like it’s our own - dedicated to moving it safely from A to B on your behalf.
When you book us, know that we won’t press you for a cup of tea. We won’t even talk about the sad demise of Bake Off on the BBC, unless you us want to! We’re local, recognised guys living in the Gloucestershire area, who want to set the standard for reputable removals and rise to the challenge; whatever your challenge may be. We don’t charge extortionate rates because simply put, we don’t want to and ethically we can't justify it. We don’t travel all over the UK either, because we like the lovely, local folks around here just fine, who also value the meaning of family, friendship and home.
So, for little and large removals, or whatever else you need, give us a call and we’ll see what we can do. Who needs a plane, train, or automobile, when you’ve got the Little White Van Man?