The sun is shining, spring is in the air – and it’s house moving season. This is the time of year we start to see more houses for sale. If you are planning on moving house this year, you’ll want to have your home looking it’s very best for a fast and easy sale.

No doubt you’ve heard that you should fill your home with the smell of baking bread, but if cooking is not your best skill, what else can you do?

cleaning items on table

First impressions matter

It’s hard to see your home through a stranger’s eyes, but to really see where to start, you need to take a step back. If you can, ask a friend to come over and help.

First impressions count, so take a good look at your home from the outside. Do you have kerb appeal? Is the lawn mown, or are the weeds overgrowing the pathways? A quick touch of paint to the front door and clean windows can make all the difference, turning your home from shabby to welcoming.

A lick of paint

The same applies to the inside of your home. You might love the wall murals, and be so used to the rip in the wallpaper you don’t even notice it anymore, but to a prospective buyer it means decorating and work.

Changing lightbulbs, mending dripping taps and fixing the broken step – all of these minor DIY tasks that you’ve been putting off for years now have to be done.

De-personalise the rooms

A prospective buyer needs to be able to see the space available, and imagine their own furniture in place. So if you can, remove as many personal items as you can.

Have a look at all the stuff that you can live without for a few weeks. Your family photographs, football trophies and CD collection, books and ornaments all make your house your home, but will be very distracting to viewers.

While you’re clearing out the house it’s a great time to sort and pack for your own move. Sort your items into things you can sell, or give to charity. Box up everything else and place it into short term storage units, to keep it safe and dry until you move into your new home.

teenager in room

Make more space

If you do use a storage unit, move some of your extra furniture into it as well. If you can reduce the amount of chairs and tables taking up space in your home, the rooms will look larger, and buyers will be able to visualise their own furniture in place instead.

Garages and sheds often become hoarding places, filled to the brim with bikes, sledges, old toys, lawn mowers, boxes of clutter and so on. If you are taking it all with you, placing this in self-storage will help make your outbuildings look tidier and more welcoming as well.

Make sure everything is gleaming

No matter how house proud you are, every home builds up dirt and dust in the corners. Wipe down the skirting boards, clean the lampshades and wash out the oven. Check every corner for cobwebs and make sure the windows are sparkling to really show off your views.

Not only will your house sparkle, it will smell fresh, a far more inviting scent than last night’s dinner and the dubious odour of pets – who, by the way, should be kept out of the way while viewers are looking round.

house for sale

Let them relax and enjoy your home

On the day you have viewers coming, open the windows for a bit to let some fresh air in, particularly if you have the heating on so it’s not too warm. Open all the curtains wide to let in the sunshine – and if you want to, get that loaf in the bread maker for a delicious, homely smell.

If you’d like to talk about short term self-storage or our free collections service, helping you to make your house move hassle free, then call us today on 0121 250 5055.

Buddy Bag Foundation bag pack

Our warehouse team are quite used to carrying large boxes into storage, but it’s rare we have to actually pack them ourselves. This February we teamed up with EcoMaster to pack something a little different – around 200 bags for The Buddy Bag Foundation – and to find out a little more about the work this fantastic charity does at the same time.

Buddy Bag Foundation bag pack

The Buddy Bag Foundation

Imagine that you have to leave your home without warning. You don’t have time to pack – you just go.

As a child this is an incredibly frightening experience, but it happens every day. Hundreds of children are taken into emergency accommodation by a parent, usually the mother, leaving behind everything they own and all sense of security.

The BBF aims to provide a sense of safety and normalcy to these children by providing a few essential items – the things you wouldn’t think about until you didn’t have them – like a clean pair of pyjamas and a toothbrush.

Buddy Bag Foundation bag pack

The Buddy Bag Brigade

On 15 February the team from Cookes Storage and our partners from EcoMaster, led by Paul Gresty and Jenny, joined the Buddy Bag Brigade by packing around 200 bags to be sent off to emergency refuge around the country.

The BBF holds bag packing events every month, and everyone is welcome to join in. Not knowing what to expect, we assembled together on a Friday afternoon to have an introduction by BBF founder, Karen Williams. Our bag pack was the 95th – Karen aims to hold the 100th bag pack this year.

What would you need?

It had not really occurred to us before what children might miss when they leave their homes. Friends, yes; but we’d not really thought about the need for a clean pair of underwear or a hairbrush. It might be obvious that younger children need pyjamas, but not that teenagers need deodorant and face wipes so that they can start a new school without having to worry about personal hygiene on top of everything else.

items places in Buddy Bags

All of these things have been carefully thought of for the Buddy Bags, as well as simple colouring activities to occupy younger children and give mum a rest, books for older children, and a pencil case and basic implements for school children.

Each table in the room was piled high with donated items, split by age. Our teams separated out to pack every bag – a picture frame to record a new memory, a postcard to send back to BBF, and the one vital thing in every bag –  a lovely teddy bear for comfort.

Crank up the music

Despite the importance of the work done by the BBF, a bag packing event is a friendly and relaxed day. We cranked up the music and enjoyed a change of pace from the usual working day, plus the chance to spend a bit more time with the team from Ecomaster, furniture and French polishing repair specialists.

Thank you to the BBF for inviting us to join in. We’re sure we’ll team up again for more events soon.

Buddy Bag Foundation bag pack