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Revealed: The Hidden Cost Of Losing Possessions When Moving House (Plus How To Avoid Misplacing Them!)

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Published date: 05 January 2022

January is the busiest time of year for the UK property sector. With Christmas out the way and New Year's resolutions in place, many have their sights set on making the big move. Rightmove received over 200 million website visitors in January, amounting to a collective 3,000 years spent on their site by enthusiastic homebuyers!

That's a lot of movers with a hefty sum of possessions to neatly (or haphazardly) box, package, organise and transport on moving day. And among the frenzy and excitement of buying a new home, as many as 25% of movers don't get insurance to protect their possessions should anything go wrong in transit. 


Every year, hundreds of thousands of items are misplaced by Brits moving house

If we knew the stats around how many items people lose while moving house, we'd maybe think again about not getting moving house insurance. According to insurance provider Admiral, nearly half of UK homeowners (47%) lose possessions while moving house. Of this, 21% have misplaced an item with a high price tag, 3% have lost an item worth over £1,000 and 12% have lost something of sentimental value.

Overall, this amounts to at least 407,000 lost possessions every year, including around 182,000 expensive items and over 104,000 sentimental items.


How many boxes do we lose while moving house?

The average UK home uses 33 cardboard boxes while moving house: 22 medium boxes and 11 large boxes. With 47% of movers losing possessions during the move, that's as many as 408,000 boxes going amiss.

This might not seem important, but if you add together the cost of cardboard boxes, around £189,000 is lost just on moving house boxes every year in the UK!

And, of course, there's what's inside the boxes…

What possessions are most often lost while moving house?

We all know how easy it is to misplace keys or lose a remote down the side of the sofa. Unsurprisingly, it's smaller objects like this that go missing during moving day too – and some of them are more costly to replace than others:


List of costs of items commonly lost while moving house

List of commonly lost items based on Admiral and Share to Buy.


Of the above, the following items are particularly easy to lose during a move, so make sure you put them in a safe spot:

ItemMovers who say they've misplaced it (%)
DIY Equipment16%

Based on data from Admiral.


These top 5 items are estimated to cost UK movers £23,611 every year. And while books and DIY equipment may be easy to replace, it might not be the same story for family photographs, fine jewellery and expensive pictures and frames – so keep an eye on these during your move!

How to avoid losing items while moving house

One method movers use to avoid losses of possessions is to use a professional removal service. Half of UK homeowners use a removal service to help them move their possessions, costing an average of £555. But is it worth it?

The average moving house insurance claims level against removal companies is 8%. Considering that 47% of people say they've lost something during a move, this suggests removal companies hugely reduce the likeliness of losses or damages. Additionally, the added security of having house insurance when moving home means where items do go amiss you can claim your money for the item(s) back.

Other ways to avoid losing items while moving house include:
Create a full checklist of everything that needs packing and carefully work through it room by room.
Use small grip seal bags for small items and furniture fastenings like screws, nuts and bolts.
Keep anything very expensive or sentimental on your person or in a safe place rather than allowing it to get lost among the rest of your furniture.
Label your boxes to avoid any confusion. Plus, add ‘this side up’ labels to reduce the risk of breakages.

Find cardboard boxes for moving house and packaging for your big move

Challenge Packaging is a one-stop-shop for quickly ordering sustainable packaging of all shapes and sizes, including single wall boxes, double wall boxes for more delicate items, moving house wardrobe boxes for clothes and more. Shop boxes for moving house online today.



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