Last week we made the big move we’ve been talking about for so long. We packed up all our belongings and moved the 35 miles that we’d been travelling every day for the past 3 years.
While the house is slowly starting to look like a home, there are so many things we learnt from this move. And so many tips I can now pass on to others (especially parents) looking towards their next move.
Changes from our last move
We were in our old house for over 6 years. Meaning during the last move we had our stepson part time, he was only 12, didn’t have that much stuff and I’d only just started really getting anywhere with my book blog. Since then we gained more and more books, items belonging to my stepson, and of course, a daughter. Four year olds have a lot of stuff.
Top tip #1: Never underestimate how much stuff you have
Not only did we have more stuff than last time, we have moved to a smaller house. We thought we’d be ok. I started getting rid of our excess items a month or so ago. I got rid of books, cleared out all of Spike’s old clothes and items she’d grown out of. However, when the day came, we still had so much stuff to move. We’ve had to use my mother in laws conservatory as a half way house for some of our stuff because we still had so much!
Tip #2: Throw the budget out of the window
I understand that the process of buying a house is even worse than moving while renting. Solicitors fees, stamp duty, that kind of thing. The costs involved in moving while renting include the deposit, renting a van or hiring a removal company. Then you have the packing boxes, the tape, the cleaning of your old house. Now we’ve moved we have found ourselves with additional costs we didn’t explicit…
Tip #3: Plan your time well….
We did not do this. We picked the keys up on my birthday and I moved 2 car loads of stuff into the house on my own that day. The Friday after we had one day off work to move the rest of our stuff 35 miles… A 45 minute journey each way. While Spike was in nursery on a 10 hour day… We managed 3 journeys in that time frame and it would have been so much easier if we had another day, or a more extendable childcare option in place!
Tip #4: Label boxes clearly and don’t forget where things are
We spent the first 4 nights on a mattress on the floor. When we moved everything in and I prioritised Spike’s room as I was aware she would be the hardest to settle. Then I forgot where I put the big bag of screws for our wardrobe and bed. Ergo, 4 nights on a mattress with a bed next to me in pieces, and no screws to put it together. No fun!
Tip #5: Don’t be too proud to take help where it is offered
I thought we’d be able to do everything ourselves. However when Spike’s best friend’s mum offered to take her on the Saturday so I could clean the old house, I took the help. I also took the offer of my best friend travelling 65 miles just to come help me clean/take things to the tip etc on the Saturday. She was a lifesaver and I very nearly told her not to come because its such a long way. But I’ll be eternally grateful!
Tip #6: Finally, remember to have a little fun
This move was stressful. I know it was. But in amongst the stress there was the laughter at T being happy to drive a van for the first time. There was the excitement from spike about having a whole new place to live in. The first cuddles in our new home. The first sword fight and the first run round in the garden. We;be already started making memories in our new house and there will be so many more to come.