Staying sane whilst moving house..

March 31, 2016

I've been meaning to write this post for a while now, it's been 10 days since we moved house already! But the renovations have taken over our lives. Literally a million decisions to make all of a sudden and a building project to manage, it's all very exciting but exhausting too. I'd rather have the actual move day 10 times over! So, before I forget some things that made it less stressful for us, and some things we'd do differently next time {although there will be no next time, I'm never moving again!!}...

  • We actually only hired a removal company the day after we exchanged. Up until then we stupidly thought we could just hire a couple of vans and do it ourselves with some help from family and friends. When we actually started to look around at the sheer amount of furniture over three floors, half our kitchen to remove with a narrow access way {plus a garden full of heavy pots and a whole shed full of stuff} thus we quickly realised how foolish we'd be. We'd need at least 2 vans over a course of three days, plus pay for some extra muscles so hiring a whole firm wasn't much more expensive in the end. And boy was it the best money we have ever spent. To be able to sit back and watch a team of guys do all the heavy lifting and save our backs! Plus the way that they stacked it filled the vans in quickest and most efficient way. They do it day in day out. Seriously, if in doubt book the proper guys. It cost us £750 plus VAT for our 3 bed house. And they're insured if anything breaks during the move.
  • However it really depends on your moving time frame. When we moved into the house we just left we hadn't sold our flat in London and there was no onward upper chain. So we got the keys and spent a few weeks gradually moving things in. If there's anyway your move can be like this then it's the best thing ever. No stress or pressure at all. The move last week had a tight chain where we all got the keys on the same day, meaning everything had to be packed and out by midday! 

  • Our removal men actually made the whole moving day for us. The minute they came in and started loading the vans, all of our stress disappeared and they made us laugh all day. The only thing we had to do on the day was clean the house after all the boxes had gone.

  • Of course the hard part was the packing of it all and getting organised. At one stage it was looking like we'd have three to four weeks between exchange and completion so we thought we'd have a leisurely time to sort through all of our belongings properly, having a big clear out in the process. We were too superstitious to pack a single thing before we actually exchanged {remember this post at how stressful everything got at the last minute?} so as such we only had 6 days in the end! It was a bit of a mad rush.
  • You can pay for professional packers but we liked having a big clear out in the process, not wanting to bring everything with us. We filled a skip with rubbish and took bags and bags to the charity shop. I also used a local community facebook group to sell/recycle some items too which meant it saved us a journey to take it away. It's amazing just how many things you can gather in just a few years! The new house has a 'one in one out rule'. I just don't want bursting cupboards, minimal clutter only from now on. She says now..
  • We're living with my parents for the next few weeks of renovations so a few days before we moved house we packed our essentials for the next few weeks to get them out of the way and then it was much easier to just pack the rest of the house knowing we didn't need anything urgently.
  • That meant also we didn't have to live around boxes for a couple of days and didn't have to try and cook when we'd packed all the crockery already etc. It was heaven to come 'home' to a calm house with dinner on the table and a cosy bedroom at the end of the day.
  • We moved all our house plants by hand in the car to my parents and likewise for laptops/precious documents etc. Not because I didn't trust the removal men but because I didn't want our really important stuff or house plants which aren't really packable in a box, going in the main van or getting lost in amongst it all.
  • Keep anything important to you separately. Your wifi router? Special pyjamas and bubble bath for your first night? One box from a previous removal client said 'Sweet cupboard. Urgent' which made me laugh!
  • We didn't actually pack very systematically. We roughly labelled each box and were much better at the start, grouping things together but by the end we'd had enough and kind of chucked anything in wherever. We'll find it eventually when unpacking! But if you have more time and are more organised it would be worth having more of an order to it all.

  • We quickly learnt that you can never have enough bubble wrap or good strong brown tape. My Mum was chief wrapper for all delicates like mirrors, small fragile bits and frames. But don't stack them on top of each other like we did, I think some of the glass has smashed oops.
  • Have a bag for loose change, you'll come across random coins in drawers and under beds. Mostly 1s and 2ps but I actually threw some coins away in the end as we just had nowhere to put them! Insane I know but when you're madly trying to pack all the odds and ends up, where do you put everything.
  • Same goes for hairbands. You'll find hairbands EVERYWHERE.
  • When you think you've finished packing a room, leave an empty cardboard box in each room for the last minute 'where does this go' packing. We used every single one! 
  • If you don't want to empty and pack all your chest of drawers but they're too heavy to carry then take the drawers out and cling film wrap them. Carry the drawers separately and the chest will be light enough to move. At the other end unwrap the cling film and slot the drawers back in.
  • Leave your cleaning supplies out, the hoover and duster etc. We sold our appliances to the new buyers so had to allow time for defrosting the fridge freezer/cleaning the oven etc.
  • Keep out a kettle and some cups to give the workers some energy!
  • Beg, borrow and steal your parents/family/friends. Our parents couldn't have been more helpful and there's no way we could have done any of it without them. All hail Mum's and Dad's.
  • We have a lot of thank-you presents to buy now. We also gave all the removal men a tip as they were so brilliant. It all adds up but you'll only move a few times in your life hopefully so we wanted to thank everyone who helped us out.
  • We left our new buyers a card and bottle of prosecco. It depends on your situation, in Ben's investment properties we never do anything like that. I think because this was our actual house, that we loved so much, we wanted the new owners to feel like home.
  • When we got to the new house, because so much work needed doing to it we decided to dump all our furniture in just two spare rooms rather than individual bedrooms/kitchen/lounge etc, one up and one down. It leaves the rest of the house clear for all the building works. It also meant the removal men were a lot happier and it was so much easier to label the boxes as just 'upstairs' or 'downstairs'. This was easy for the beginning but I think it will be hard when we actually move in and start to unpack as it's literally filled the two rooms from floor to ceiling! Swings and roundabouts as to what's the best way to do it.

  • If you get a chance take your old meter readings and the new ones ready for the energy and gas companies. One of those boring but necessary jobs.
  • Take before photos before the house gets filled with boxes!
  • And finally, have the champagne on ice ready for celebrations. My Mum had made dinner in advance for us so once the removal men left we all had dinner together with Ben's Mum too and then fell into bed exhausted!

Sorry, probably extremely boring if you're not moving any time soon but hopefully of some use if you are? Have I forgotten anything??

Now onto the boring task of informing everyone of our new address. Changing over driving licences etc is such a faff!!

Back soon with a house renovation update!

R <3 xx 

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  1. Well done! One of THE most stressful life experiences. Two tips if you're moving in that day: have a box with kettle, cups, tea, coffee, long life milk and biscuits to keep the troops happy, and have cleaning materials available too. Second tip is to immediately make the beds before anything else, even if the mattress is on the floor, because you will be exhausted and knowing you can collapse into bed and not have to make it first is such a comfort. And waking up up on that first new morning....... I've moved many many times, makes me want the thrill of the new from doing it again. Happy new home, happy memories and photos to come x

  2. Hopefully we will be moving soon, so great post 😃

  3. Congratulations! We just went through this ourselves and it is such a stressful time especially when there is lots to do to the house but trust me it will be worth it time. I have been loving reading your blog recently and it has inspired me to carry on with mine xx

  4. Congratulations to you and your husband! How exciting for you both. This post has been so useful, me and my partner are hopefully moving in a month or two's time (still in the beginnings of the whole 'buying a house' process and waiting for the property owners to hand in their paperwork). I will save this post to bookmarks because I think I'll need it! I don't think you realise how much there is to do and probably don't think about all the little things. Thank you! Hope the rest of the move goes a little more smoothly, enjoy it all! ��

    Olivia x

  5. A day with full experiences for you and your husband. Thanks for useful post.

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