Moving House | Modern Mummy

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Moving House

Research shows that moving house is one of the most stressful things you will ever do in your life. And the clever researchy people that discovered that are not wrong.

The sale of our house and the search for a new one wasn't the hard bit, although it did take a bloody long time (fourteen months! Yes really!). It's been the packing that has caused me to nearly have a nervous breakdown on more than one occasion. It is never ending! I very naively thought it would take a day - two tops - to put the entire contents of our home into a few cardboard boxes. It took me a day and a half to pack up our books alone and more boxes than I ever thought was possible.

I have found the sorting out of things quite theraputic in all fairness; I'm a hoarder and for the first time in my life I have been really, really ruthless. Today I took six bin bags of clothes and two boxes of bric-a-brac to the charity shop. And there will be more too, I'm sure. I have also unearthed some B R I L L I A N T stuff - old photos, old diaries, old letters. It's just finding the time to do it that's the hard and stressful part - especially with a toddler and a puppy underfoot (and lots of entertaining diary entries to distract you). Every time I put something in a box, either Daisy takes it straight back out again, or Percy tries to eat it.

 A Travelcard glued into my 1996 diary - when a 16 year old me skived
off school to go into London with my friend Emma and then spent the evening in The Mitre pub. Ha!

 Gigs I went to in 1995

My diary entry after the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994. "HOW AM I GOING TO SURVIVE?!"

I am about two thirds of the way there now and very much looking forward to it all being over. I know it will be worth it in the end. But in the meantime I thought I would share a few tips for successful packing (and unpacking!)*

*No doubt this post will be updated as and when I come up with other things I wish I'd done...!

1. Plan ahead and save up and store bubble wrap, newspapers and boxes. I can guarantee you will need more than you think. Look on ebay for cheap second hand packing boxes and ask at your local supermarket for freebies. Invest in lots of good quality packing tape and make sure boxes are taped at the bottom as well as the top for extra strength.

2. Don't overpack boxes - especially if there is a chance you may be lifting them yourself at some point! Label your boxes too - so that you know what is in them when it comes to unpacking at the other end.

3. Set aside all your essentials - enough cutlery, crockery, glassware, toiletries, clothes etc to see you through until you move. Then brace yourself to pack everything else.

4. Be ruthless in your sorting. Get rid of things. I have been hoarding clothes for years 'just in case' Buffalo trainers come back into fashion, or I have an 80s party to go to and might fancy wearing a hot pink sequinned mini skirt. The fact is most of these clothes are a size 8.... which I most definitely am not anymore. Do a car boot sale or sell some of your bits and pieces on ebay and make yourself a bit of extra cash. Or give things away to charity. Try and recycle whatever you are planning on chucking.

5. Ask for help whenever you need it. Get a babysitter! Packing is a N I G H T M A R E with kids about. Or conserve energy (yeah right) during the day and pack at night once the sproglets are in bed. Rope friends in to help with the packing and removals. Make sure you keep the workers refreshed with tea and cake. And don't forget to say thank you with a few glasses of vino - but only at the end of the day!

And on that note, I'm off to reward myself for a hard day's work with a bottle glass of pinot noir in the bath. Night all xoxox


  1. Brilliant tips, wish I read that before we did our big move - we were rushing around at the 11th hour looking for extra boxes.
    I LOVE that your travel card only cost £1.60 those were the days! Talk about inflation lol

  2. Good luck with the move! I remember moving from a one bedroom flat to a three bedroom house and couldn't believe how many boxes of stuff came from my kitchen....let alone the number of books and CD's.

    Love the trips down memory lane....whilst it's good to throw out lots of things, some items such a gig tickets and diaries are always worth a look at years down the line.

  3. Good luck! I packed up the contents of my house only to have the sale fall through two weeks before completion about three weeks ago. Gutted doesn't come close!

  4. Great post with very useful tips! I will never forget my first move - it was a complete disaster! I've come a long way since then and that's why I can tell good advice when I see it, organizing is everything when you move, believe me!


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