Time to downsize the office?

In the modern business world, many jobs can be carried out remotely, which means large office spaces are no longer an absolute necessity for countless organisations. Renting office spaces is expensive, particularly in international business hubs like Leeds, so downsizing your work space often saves money.

While many of us would associate downsizing an office space with a business not doing so well, there are in fact many benefits in choosing to opt for smaller offices. Moving to a smaller work space can help improve employee communication, collaboration and morale, thus creating a happier, more productive workforce. If there is one thing that Coronavirus has shown us is just how much we can do from home so for many companies downsizing might now be on the agenda.

If you have made the decision to downsize here are our top tips:

Remote working

Provided you operate in an industry in which your employees can reliably work from home, then encouraging remote working and virtual offices will reduce your need for physical office space. This is particularly useful if you are planning on hiring more employees as your business grows, but still want to keep your smaller office.

Moreover, employees will appreciate the opportunity to work from home from time-to-time, allowing for flexibility and better work-life balance, which many will view as a work perk, helping you to attract and retain key staff.

Storage

Renting storage space tends to be much less expensive than renting office space, so consider making room for things you do not immediately need by placing them in storage. If it’s just paperwork you need to file away, there are many companies around who offer reasonably priced document storage which is handy for temporarily storing important documents away from the office.

Meeting room

When downsizing, it is a good idea to think about how often you use your meeting room. Are you a business that only has in-house client meetings every couple of weeks? Do your employees prefer to meet in other areas of the office?

If the answer is yes, then perhaps consider renting a small conference room only when it is actually needed. Additionally, encourage employees to embrace alternative work spaces, such as breakout areas, to hold catch-up meetings or scrum sessions.

Meeting room

When downsizing, it is a good idea to think about how often you use your meeting room. Are you a business that only has in-house client meetings every couple of weeks? Do your employees prefer to meet in other areas of the office?

If the answer is yes, then perhaps consider renting a small conference room only when it is actually needed. Additionally, encourage employees to embrace alternative work spaces, such as breakout areas, to hold catch-up meetings or scrum sessions.

 

Whatever your reason for downsizing A Van About Town can help make your move as smooth as possible. We also have storage options available and can help you securely dispose of unwanted documents and electronics. Get in touch with us today for a free quotation.

A Coronavirus Update From Us.

We know that these are confusing times for everyone, for those of you that were halfway through a move the uncertainty of how long this could go on for is only going to add to the pressure.

 

In line with the current government guidelines all of our removal services, including our international moves, have been suspended. Our storage facilities are still available for anyone that needs space to securely store their belongings until we can all get things moving again. Our storage facility is fully secured and monitored so you can rest easy knowing that everything will be safe until you can complete your move.

 

We all want this to pass as quickly as possible but the safety of our teams and our clients comes first so we will not be carrying out any moves until we are given the all clear by the government. Our team are still working hard behind the scenes to make sure that everything is in place so we can be ready as soon as we are given the go ahead.

 

In the meantime if you’d like to get things rolling we are offering free virtual surveys to give you a price for your move. Contact us on info@avanabouttown.com if you’d like to schedule one in with us.

 

Keep safe everyone and we look forward to seeing and moving you all soon.

5 Top Tips For Moving Abroad.

Moving house is stressful at the best of times but take into account that you’re planning on moving to another country and things get a little more tricky. This handy little guide should hopefully make the process a little easier for you by breaking things down.

 

  1. How are you planning on moving?

Are you planning on taking just a couple of suitcases of clothes and starting over when you get there, or are you looking at packing up your whole house? Making this decision early is important as if you’re planning on taking more than you can bring on the plane then you’ll need to hire an international removal company (like us). It’s important to weigh up the costs of paying for something to be shipped over and replacing it out there. Whilst you might be really attached to your Ikea bed the chances are that it’s going to be cheaper to buy a new one out there than ship it over.

 

  1. Get Organised.

Make lists of everything that you need to do and remember to add to your list when something pops into your head. Not only will this help you stay on top of things but nothing beats the feeling of crossing something off a list. Seeing the list get smaller can be really motivational when you’re feeling swamped. If anyone in your family is on medication make sure that you are going to have enough to last you until you get settled. Medical records might take a little while to transfer so don’t get caught short and make sure that arranging your medical cover in your new home is top of your list.

 

  1. Get Connected.

Join the local forums on Facebook or online to speak with people who have already made the move. They can give you insider tips on the local area and might help you think if things that you’ve forgotten. Not only that but moving to a new country can be quite a lonely time so it’s always great to have made some new friends before you get there.

 

  1. Do Your Homework

Make sure you’ve looked into any vaccinations you might need for you and any pets that you are taking with you. It’s worth noting that some vaccinations need to be done several months in advance. If you’re unsure what you might need contact the local embassy for clarification.

 

  1. Try Before You Buy.

Whilst a resort can seem like heaven for a weeks holiday the reality of living there might be very different. If you can try to make a few trips in high and low season so you can get a feel for what it will be like. It’s also a great chance to meet some of the new friends you’ve made from tip number three!

 

A Van About Town are always planning new international routes so if you’re planning on moving within Europe and would like a professional, fully insured reliable driver to help you move then contact us for a free quotation today.

 

Why should you choose us to move offices?

If you’re a business owner, you’ll know that it’s crucial to be as productive as possible. That means being as efficient as possible, in addition to avoiding lengthy delays or extended periods of downtime. If your company is planning on relocating, then it’s essential that you use the right removals company.

There are a lot of removals companies around that will take your money and tell you to want to hear. And when the big day comes, they turn out to be anything but reliable. That’s why A Van About Town should be your only choice for your office move. We turn up on time, and we deliver what we promise.

Reduce Downtime with A Van About Town.

With us it’s all about the details. To be able to provide the right service, we get as much information as possible. We assess every aspect of your office relocation so that we can put together a service individual to your needs.

That means the right vehicle, equipment, and team to make sure that everything is done as efficiently as possible. We take the information we gather from your first contact and arrange a full assessment. By the end of this process, we will have everything in place to complete the job with as little downtime as possible. One of the key things we pride ourselves on is our planning skills, your project manager will set out times that not only work for you as a business but will avoid any traffic to make sure we get you where you need to be on time.

Our Range of Services

When you book with us, you will receive the right service for your company. Our Man & Van service is ideal for smaller enterprises who don’t have a lot of equipment to relocate. For medium to larger companies, we will assess the most efficient and cost-effective way to undertake your office removals. That could mean a few trips with our Man & Van service or do it all in one go with a larger vehicle. We can cater for all commercial relocations, including trade and retail stores. We have moved a huge range of companies and you can rest assured knowing that we have the right equipment and solution for you.

A lot of our clients use our storage solutions as well, if this is something that you need just let us know and we will work it into the quotation for you.

A Van About Town prides itself on the knowledge that we can provide a high level of customer service, as well as offering competitive rates. This makes us the ideal company for any business that needs to relocate to a new office or premises.

We work with dozens of business customers every year, and we learn something new from each company we work with. So if you’re a business owner and you’re planning on moving offices, there is only one company you need. Contact us today, and we’ll guide you through our range of services.

Three Good Reasons To Downsize.

Downsizing always has the image of people in their later life moving to a smaller home attached to it. In reality there are lots of great reasons to downsize, from decluttering your home to reducing your carbon footprint, downsizing can be a great way to make a fresh start. Plus it all comes with the added bonus of saving the pennies to spend on something that you’ll love!

First up, what actually is downsizing. Whilst we all might do it for a different reason the idea behind it is the same. Downsizing, in a nutshell, is making do with less, moving to a smaller home in order to live a more simple, more cost-effective and less cluttered lifestyle. Below are three of the top three reasons we think downsizing might work for you.

Embracing a Minimalist Lifestyle.

Thanks to Marie Kondo there is a huge buzz around decluttering at the moment and it’s fast becoming one of the best and most simple ways for you to shake up your space. Maybe you’re tired of rifling through countless clothes while you’re getting ready every morning, or you’ve got extra pots and pans clogging up your cupboards, downsizing is a great opportunity to let go of all the unnecessary clutter you’ve accumulated over the years. You might even find that downsizing helps you cut down on the amount of material possessions you’re buying once you’re settled in your new home, making your minimalist lifestyle a long-lasting possibility.

If you’re not sure the minimalist lifestyle, but you’re not quite ready to let go of all your possessions just in case its not for you have a chat with us about long term storage options for your treasured possessions.

Freedom to Move

Do you ever feel like you are tied down by all of your things? Does the prospect of having to pack everything up hold you back from following your dreams? Take the plunge, there’s an ever increasing number of people that live very minimal lives so that they can pack up and move around at a moments notice. This is obviously easier if you are renting but there’s nothing stopping you from exploring that wanderlust it might just take a little more preparation. Sometimes a change of scenery might be just what the soul ordered so don’t let the thought of packing put you off, we offer an end to end service. Just tell us what you want packing and leave the rest to us.

Fewer Maintenance Costs

One of the most obvious reasons more people are considering downsizing is that it’s a great way of dramatically cutting costs. The first big cost to be reduced when you’re downsizing is your mortgage/rent payments. Moving to a smaller house naturally leads to reduced outgoings every month, perhaps meaning you can live mortgage-free. Lets face it, life is expensive an we would all love a little more free cash to spend on doing the things we love!

The reduced outgoings that come with downsizing mean you can save some money when it comes to your energy bills too. Day to day living costs like your water bill, heating and electricity are all reduced when you move, alongside costs of repairing bigger building. If you’re beginning to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle downsizing can help you streamline your carbon footprint, using less energy and having less of an impact on the environment.

Moving With Pets.

We did a blog a while ago on how to help your children when it comes to moving house that proved really popular so we thought we would do another one for the furry children in your life.

  1. Make a plan – the sooner you can start planning, the better! When you’re moving with pets, there’s a lot to be done. Pets usually sense that change is on the horizon, and may show their anxiety by acting unsettled or clingy.
  2. Make arrangements for moving day – are you moving locally or longer distance. If it’s a local move look into a dog sitter or a friend that can have them for the day, this will free up your time but also be far less stressful on your pets. If it’s a longer distance move then plan a route with lots of stops at pet friendly spots along the way. If you are moving abroad then make sure you book flights as far in advance as possible as most planes can only accommodate a set number of animals at a time.
  3. Settling in – when you arrive at your new home, set up a quiet spot for your pet away from the unpacking activity. Creating a refuge with his bed or crate and a few of his favorite toys will help him relax and settle in.
  4. Prepare an overnight kit – make sure that it has enough dog food, cat litter, toys and grooming tools to sustain your pet and keep them comfortable during the first few days of unpacking.
  5. Cats need a little extra care – it’s important that your cat stays confined to the house for at least two weeks as this will allow them time to get used to their new territory. If they get out any sooner there’s a chance they will be confused and attempt to find their way back to your old house.
  6. Are you planning on moving with fish – fish respond strongly to stress and a move can be traumatising, if not fatal. It isn’t ideal, but you can transport them short distances in bags filled with their old tank water (check with your local aquarium store for supplies and more details). If you have a long distance to travel it’s best to give them a new home with a friend, empty the tank, and buy new fish after you unpack.
  7. After the move – make sure you update their tags or microchip information to the new address and phone number.

Hopefully these tips will help your furred, feathered or scaled friends settle in a little faster. If you have any tips feel free to share them with us as always.

Time for a declutter….

If you have ever thought to yourself, I need to declutter the house but never seem to find time to do it, moving to a new house is the perfect opportunity to do it! This blog is going to give you some top tips and reasons why decluttering should be one of the top things to do on your list.

  • Decluttering can impact your budget so if money is tight this could be key for you. By getting rid of unwanted items you can cut down on your removal costs, there’s no point in packing and paying for things that you don’t want in your new house to be moved. It’s also a great opportunity to sell anything you don’t need putting money back into the moving kitty. You know what they say, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure!
  • If car boot sales aren’t your thing and eBay seems like a lot of effort then how about donating your unwanted items to charity, some of the bigger charities can organise a collection from your house which will save you time during those busy last few days before you move.
  • Start with the harder things to part with, a lot of us hold onto unwanted gifts from friends or family for fear of offending them, the reality is when it comes to moving house if you don’t want it or need it then get rid of it. It can be really hard to let go of sentimental items like old school uniforms or school reports, whilst holding onto memories is important if not kept in check one box turns into ten and before you know it the loft is full of things you’ll never look at again. Parting with things like this can be an emotional time, if you start with these things you can do a little each day without becoming overwhelmed.
  • No idea how to start the process? Then just ask yourself these three questions, do I really need it, why do I need it and if I don’t need it why am I holding onto it?
  • Use the four-box method.  This is the most popular (and arguably effective) method of decluttering, label up four large boxes – keep, sell/donate, storage and throw away. Go around your house one room at a time and put everything you don’t need immediately into the right box.
  • Moving is the perfect opportunity to clean out your wardrobe too! Are you holding onto jeans that you haven’t worn in 5 years just in case you fit in them again? Get rid of them!
  • If you’re getting too close to your moving date and are still struggling to get through things, put everything that you know needs sorting into storage. It means that it’s not cluttering up your new house but also means there is still time constraint on getting things sorted out. No one wants to be paying for storage if they don’t have to.

Decluttering your house might take longer than you think, especially if you have lived there for quite a long time. As soon as you know you are moving it’s best to start the process straight away. By getting rid of all your old and unwanted items you’re freeing up space to create a brand-new style in your new home. Minimalist, modern, cosy cottage the choice is yours!

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Best Commuter Towns In Leeds

We spend so much of our time at work the last thing that we want to do is spend our valuable free time sat in traffic. That’s why we have put together this short list of some of the best commuter towns for Leeds. We’ve taken into account transport links and the time it will take you get into the city, let us know if you think we have missed anywhere of the list.

Kirkstall and Burley

If you’re desperate to escape the hustle and bustle of the city after work but not quite ready to give up all the perks that being close to the centre has to offer, then take a look and Kirkstall and Burley. Kirkstall is around 2.7 miles from the centre whereas Burley is even closer at 1.6 miles. On a usual day it shouldn’t take you any longer than 10 minutes to drive into town, however, if your office (or chosen bar) doesn’t have parking then fear not as both towns have their own train stations and excellent bus routes. Both areas have a huge range of shops, bars and restaurants though so whilst they aren’t quite as lively as the city centre you won’t feel totally out of the loop.

Horsforth

A little further afield but still within easy reach of the city, Horsforth regularly tops the best places in Yorkshire to live. It’s about a 20-25 minute drive into the centre but again there are great bus links and a train station if you would rather use public transport. Packed with great schools, restaurants and shops Horsforth is also a great choice if you have a family.

Guiseley and Menston

If total escape is what you are after then look no further than Guiseley and Menston. Both of them are around 10 miles outside of the city centre so still an easy commute via train (approx. 25 mins) or in the car (40 minutes) but their proximity to the country is the main draw for people here. Set in gorgeous rolling Yorkshire fields and dales you’d be forgiven for thinking you were miles from the city. With amenities aplenty in both towns we know where we would choose to live if we could.

Helping Your Children Cope With A Move.

With Christmas just around the corner children are taking centre stage and their excitement is obvious. When it comes to moving though it’s easy for them to get overlooked with everything else that’s going on. Moving house can have a bigger impact on our little ones than we think, especially if they are moving schools and leaving friends as well. Below we’ve listed out some top tips for helping the youngest members of your family adjust to their new surroundings.

  •  Plan ahead – talk to your children about what the move will be like before it happens, it’s much easier for them to process things if they have time to think about it before it happens. It also helps to get them involved in the move, one of the biggest anxiety points for children around moves is that they feel like everything is out of their control. Get them involved in the packing or let them choose the colour of their new room it all helps to make them feel part of it.
  • Communicate – let your children know that they can talk to you about anything that concerns them about the move, ask them what you can do to help make the move easier on them. You might be surprised at their answers.
  • Routine – if you have a routine at home around meal or bed times then stick to it. It might seem like an impossible task when surrounded by boxes but keeping to your routine will really help them settle in much faster.
  • Stay positive – when you are talking about the move don’t let them hear any of the stressful parts of it. Just focus on the good things like the bigger house, being closer to family or the great parks in the area.
  • Fill the house with familiar items as quickly as you can. Try to make your new house feel like home as soon as possible so unpack family pictures and favourite toys as soon as possible.

Hopefully your little ones are as excited about the move as you but if not then try some of the tips above to make your move run as smoothly as possible for the whole family.

Why Hire Professional Movers?

When you are getting ready for a move you’ll probably be surprised at the amount of details that need taking care of. Hiring a professional moving company can help take of a lot of the stress for you.

There’s a lot of choice when it comes to removal companies so make sure you do your research and find one that is fully insured, for a short while they are going to have your life in their hands so you want to make sure its safe with the professionals. You’ll also need decide what you are looking for in the moving company that you hire. Think about all the things that you are going to need done and what you are going to be willing to pay for.

Some moving companies only provide the transportation part of the move, this means that you will have to do all the packing and the wrapping, you might even be expected to load the van. Others like us can offer you a full end to end solution which includes the pack of your items carefully and then loading them on to our fully-equipped vehicles. A lot of people are opting for this service, and whilst yes it does cost a little more, the stress and time saving aspect of it make it all worthwhile. Our expert team even go the extra mile to label up all the boxes with not only where they go but what is inside them, this great time saving step which we spoke about in our top tips recently.

Whichever of our services you decide to go with you can rest assured that our dedicated team will go out of their way to make your move run as smoothly as possible. We offer free no obligation quotes so why not get in touch with us today.