How to Pack for a House Move Without Getting Stressed

Packing for a house move

I move house tomorrow, for the second time in six months. Our last experience was hectic and disorganised and taught us valuable lessons, so I thought I would share with you my top tips for how to move house without getting stressed.

1. De-clutter. We lived in our previous house for four years and during that time we had amassed an enormous amount of stuff that we simply didn’t need. Consequently, when we came to move we were disheartened by the seemingly never-ending amount of rubbish and extra boxes. This time, however, we downsized and were ruthless with our possessions. If I hadn’t watched a film, read a book, played a CD or worn an item of clothing in the last year it was put in a bag and taken to a charity shop. I shredded paperwork that had been filed away for YEARS (I found bills from 2005). As a result we have packed about ten fewer boxes this time around.

For further tips on decluttering your house and life in general, click on the link here… Continue reading

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I. Don’t. Believe. It.

I don’t mind admitting that the last six months have been tough. With a heavy workload, endless trips to the vets, the stress of moving house and the unexpected building work that accompanied it, illness and hospitalisation I have been through the inevitable phases of questioning my personal karma and wondering what else the universe is going to throw at The Bloke and I. I was hoping that the next few months would be an opportunity to recover both emotionally and financially, and after finally unpacking the last box a little while ago I had started to feel a little more settled.

However, something out there has other plans for us. Continue reading

Why I Am Never Moving House Ever Again. Never. Ever. Never Ever.

imageWhat a week! I’m currently sat on a train on the way up to visit my mother and I can genuinely say that I’m exhausted. This is what happened:

1. Up until the actual move I was feeling a little smug as everything had gone like clockwork. We’d found a beautiful house, we had helped to let our old house and we’d found a brilliant removal firm who could take the piano with all the other stuff without having to hire a specialist. However, they turned up four hours early which set us in a mad panic because we still had a loft to clear. NOTE TO SELF: Never underestimate how much stuff you actually have. I had to ring some of my friends to come and help us throw things into boxes.

2. When we signed the contracts, obtained the keys and let ourselves into the new property we discovered an ENORMOUS amount of rising damp in the kitchen that wasn’t there when we had originally viewed the house a few weeks prior. After frantic calls to the landlady and letting agents, who both denied all knowledge of it’s existence, it became clear that it had obviously been painted over for the viewings in order to ensure that the property had been let. I immediately called a contractor to come and look at it after threatening the landlady with legal action.

3. After we had cleaned the old house thoroughly and handed the keys into the agents I was feeling a little sad, so I went and sat in our new (beautiful) garden and had a cigarette. The Bloke joined me, shutting the back door without realising that neither of us had the key that was needed to get back in, so we had to call a locksmith. Thirty minutes and £60 later, a lovely man turned up and took less than thirty seconds to open the door with a large piece of plastic.

image4. I had to take the next day off work because the contractor came round to look at the kitchen. It turns out that the damp has been there a while and will need to have most of the plastering ripped out, damp treatment injected into the walls and then it will need to be left for two weeks to dry out before it is replastered and painted. The landlady, realising that we have an excellent case to sue, is paying for it to be done immediately and has agreed that we only pay a small amount of rent this month.

5. One of the cats, Daisy, is diabetic and needs to be injected twice daily with insulin. The insulin needs to be stored in the fridge, which has now had to be placed in the centre of the kitchen as it is dangerous to put it near the damp. They would normally stay in the kitchen at night, but because of the massive health and safety issues they have had to be put in the spare room when we go to bed. Unfortunately they have developed the nasty habit of waking up at 4.30am and crying loudly until they get let out. I’ve had about six hours sleep a night for the last week.

6. On the second move day I received a phonecall from my boss to say that I was due to be observed the following day. I work in an Academy, and I was being observed by none other than the Principal of the whole school and a member of the company that owns the school, who also happened to be a former OFSTED inspector. Shit. I was up to my eyeballs in boxes, my laptop was at work and I was stressed out. Luckily, I’d already planned the lesson a few days prior and just had to hope that it was good enough.

7. On the day of the observation I woke up in the new house without a clue where anything was. I scrabbled around in the dark to find the light switches, worked out how to use the shower and then realised I couldn’t find the toiletries that I had bought the day before. I had to wash my hair in shower gel and then spent fifteen minutes attempting to find my box of clean underwear. When I arrived at work I couldn’t find my work iPad, until half an hour later I was told that someone had found it on a table and put it in a drama locker, despite it having my name on it. I had a full teaching day and my observed one was the last lesson of the day so I had no time to prepare anything extra. In my first two lessons one student had a panic attack and another fainted. By the time my observation came up I was more stressed than I have been in a long time…

So, that has been my week. I’m looking forward to arriving at my mother’s house where all I plan to do is sleep. The Bloke is going to do the same and go up to his mother’s house next weekend. He’s been amazing at shifting everything around. I’ve found my shampoo, my underwear and my work clothes are set up for the next two weeks. The contractor starts next week so hopefully everything will be done by mid October. We’ve managed to get the house to a point where we can live in it and even though it isn’t ideal we’re working through all the boxes and attempting to organise the utter chaos that surrounds us. My truly wonderful friends have been a huge support and the last few weeks has demonstrated how incredibly lucky I am.

And my lesson observation? I got an Outstanding. Both the Principal and the other observer said it was one of the best lessons they’d seen in a while. The feedback I was given was so wonderful that I almost cried in her office! I still can’t believe I actually managed to get through that day without having a breakdown!!

I hope you’re all doing well!!!

Ramblings

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This is only the second time this week that I have been able to visit my blog. And oh, how I’ve missed it!!! I’ve missed everything – Daily Prompts, the Travel Challenge, the Word A Week Challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge, and most importantly I’ve missed the interaction that I’ve had with you guys that gives me so much enjoyment… However, despite my absence I’ve still been delighted from the lovely messages and comments that I’ve still continued to receive, so I wanted to say a huge thank you for that, and my apologies if I haven’t been able to reply!

The big move is tomorrow. Obviously, I’m the only person that has ever moved house in the history of the world which is why the majority of my posts have centred around this, so I promise that after tomorrow normal life and ramblings will resume. So far (and I hope that I am not jinxing myself by saying  this) but everything has gone fairly smoothly so far. Everything is packed, the removal van is booked and we’re a little ahead of ourselves, so that’s a positive thing.

However, this move has taught me a few things:

1. I will stop collecting so much crap. Me and The Bloke got into a habit of buying each other little presents whenever we went out, and even though we appreciate it, all the presents have been put on the side and have collected dust. I also need to downsize on the amount of books and DVD’s that I own – I’ve managed to fit them into six enormous boxes but there are still too many for my liking – I’ve  found that if I like a book I’ll keep it and re-read it, but I packed hundreds of books that I had no interest in reading again. My local charity shop is going to become my new best friend!

2. I will use this as an opportunity to save money. I have everything (and more) than I could possibly need and therefore need to stop frittering it away on pointless rubbish. I sat down and worked out (because that’s what a loser I am) that if I’d have saved 10% from every wage I’d earned from the age of 16 I would actually have enough to buy a house a pay off a large percentage of the mortgage. What scared me was that when Daisy fell ill I had to ask the Bloke for some money because I’d put everything I had into the deposit and rent, which I hated. I’ve always been financially independent and I will never put myself in that situation again.

3. I will stop worrying about situations that I cannot change and/or control. A few things came to light this week which revealed that I had a particular view of how my life was, when in fact the reality is very different. This isn’t necessarily anything to do with the move, but it has made me approach life in a different way. I think that for my own sanity and happiness I need to continue to do this, and while the experience wasn’t pleasant I am grateful that I had this new insight so I can begin to make positive changes.

While I’m a little sad at leaving a house that I’ve lived some of my happiest times in, I am reminded that I have something very positive to look forward to – as I write this I can hear my next door neighbour loudly faking it with whatever random man she has decided to invite round while her brat has a screaming tantrum in the next room – I am grateful that I will never have to hear and see her ever again!!!

I don’t wish pain on anyone, but if I could bestow something upon her, I hope that her crotch is infested with the fleas of a thousand camels, and may her arms be too short to scratch…