Part Two – The Move
In my humble experience this is where the stress kicks in. All those pounds you lost shifting furniture around will be replenished with the (in my case often chocolate) snacks that you will consume whilst hugging yourself and remembering that it will all be over at some stage. Here are our top tips for: The Move.
- Once you have accepted an offer, the fun really starts! Begin by looking back at your initial plans and using them as a basis for making to-do lists. Top of the list, of course, will be finding your next home if you haven’t already done so. Think about all the things that are important to you – parks, schools, public transport, shops and so on – and use that as a starting point for narrowing down your location search.
- If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to instruct a solicitor. Get recommendations from friends and family. Your solicitor doesn’t have to be local although it may help for ease of popping in with identification documents and dropping off paperwork.
- Chat to your bank if you need a mortgage and shop around for the best deals. Do keep an open mind. A 25 year mortgage with an initial fixed term of 5 years might be perfect for one family, whereas the next family along may be in need of a 30 year term with an initial 2 year fixed period, and the next family may need an interest only option. Think about your future but be realistic about your present.
- Look at booking a moving company, and get a quote for their packing service. We found that a full packing service added around 30% to the total bill but we had loads, LOADS, of ‘stuff’ so it can be worth it when you consider how long it might take to do it on your own. Make sure that they are fully insured to move more valuable items, like televisions, pianos, antique furniture. The added bonus is that to a removals team, stuff is stuff so they won’t waste valuable time reminiscing over every lost treasure in your cupboards, loft space, or under your bed.
- When you have found your dream home and had an offer accepted begin making plans for the timescales for your move and start to think about what you might need immediately and whether you want to consider renting storage space somewhere. Fight the urge to get rid of too much ‘stuff’ at this stage – you may not know until you’ve moved in whether the tall or short bookcase will fit better in the living room.
- If you have children, give them a box to pack with their special things. Put these to one side so that they can be taken in your car on moving day. Our children loved spending time decorating their boxes in advance and planning what they were going to put in them. Give them plenty of space to think this through.
- If you go to visit your new home, ask permission to take additional photographs and even short videos of the inside of the property, especially the all-important bedrooms and living space! Make time to look through these with your children (or just yourself!) and discuss what might go where and who will sleep in which room so that your new home will feel more familiar when you move.
- Take lots of photographs (and videos!) of your old home, in case you or your children would like to look back on it in years to come.
- Pack up two ‘essentials’ boxes – one for first night bedding including towels and nightwear, and one for the kettle, drinks and biscuits. Prepare sandwiches and flasks or water bottles for at least one meal on moving day so that you don’t all get hungry whilst you work out the new oven settings!
- Make it a family affair. In my experience, involving children can ease the process for them and lead to a harmonious move. Don’t forget to involve your partner too though. Talk through the ‘to-do’ list, dividing it up between you, and chat through the stresses and worries of your move.
- Don’t turn down offers of help. I am known for being (sometimes fiercely) independent even when I am buckling under the pressure of a situation. Don’t follow my example! Accept help, whether that is a friendly cup of tea to take you away from the madness of a boxed up home, to someone taking your children or dogs out for a leg stretch, or even helping you to move furniture or unpack boxes. It all has to be done and having a helping hand makes life SO much easier.
- If you are moving out of the area, try to collect leaflets of local things to do and take photographs of the surroundings of your new home. If possible visit the parks, schools and shops to get a better feel for the area. This can be important for you too. Moving house can be an unsettling process for all members of the family.
- Think about how you will keep in touch with friends in the area that you’re moving away from. Make plans with your children, keeping them realistic so that you can stick to them!
- Along with the regular changing over of utilities, don’t forget any fur babies. Update your records at your veterinary surgery, change your address on any microchips and read up on how long to keep certain pets inside for. This can change from animal to animal, for example we kept our cat in for two weeks because he doesn’t wander, but another cat may have needed longer to become acclimatised to their new home.
- Remember that most children do adapt and will follow your lead. Ours have never looked back!
In all our move was a huge success. We have gone from the noise of a pub into the early hours of the morning to looking out at the stars at night and sheep in the fields behind us during the day. We have moved away from the hustle and bustle of a more central location to the peace and quiet of an edge of town one, where pheasants roam in our garden and an owl hoots in the trees behind us. There have been compromises along the way, and it’s not quite perfect, but we are certainly very happy with our decision. Our children and our fur babies are all equally happy with the extra space and the quiet surroundings. So, is it all worth it? Yes, absolutely.
Our large puppy in the old garden (which was dutifully weeded, the lawn repaired and borders replanted to cover her escapades, in the early hours of the morning on moving day!)
Our pup enjoying the bigger garden in our new home.
Like this post? You can catch up with our top tips for selling your home here.