Moving House – a girl’s guide

As you all know, I have recently moved in with a boy. The moving day was stressful and very labour intensive. Re-watching an old episode of desperate housewives before the move reassured me that I would be introducing myself to the neighbours carrying only a decorative lamp, in casual yet stylish clothes and with GREAT hair and perfect makeup. The reality was somewhat different – makeup-less, frizzy haired, red-faced and profusely sweating, my new neighbours tactfully ignored me until I was presentable.

So here is my girl’s guide to moving house. Be warned – I didn’t necessarily do all these things myself, but many occurred to me as I went along as being a great idea!

1) De-clutter.
As documented on here, I threw out around 14 big bin bags of complete rubbish and tat, and donated 10 bags of clothes, shoes and coats to charity. This meant that I had less to physically move, and less to sort out at the new house – sounds simple, yes? Also as every girl knows, new house, new start (so far I have mostly kept to this – bar the occasional lapse with cleaning).

2) Contact everyone you need to inform with your new address promptly
I am really bad at this. I HATE being on hold and having to explain changes of address. I am rubbish at filling in forms. It just takes forever. But it needs to be done as soon as possible after moving house, for legal reasons as well as for practicality. Also because if you rent and you order a somewhat inappropriate magazine to be delivered to your home, a la the previous tenants in my new house, it can become quite awkward when the new tenant receives it and has to hand it over with all your post when you pop round to collect it…

3) Prioritise what you need setting up first
Being a girly girl, I wanted things like cushions, pictures and candles out ASAP to ensure I felt ‘at home’. Clearly this was not sensible. What I did do however was make sure I had a carrier bag kept with my handbag on moving day with some cups, a kettle, tea bags, milk, and biscuits in it. This kept Pedro and our helpers going! To big importance to us was the TV which we managed to get set up almost straight away so we could relax and watch a film.

4) Get your friends to help!
Pedro and I were lucky to have lots of offers of help and it certainly could not have been done with just the two of us. My dad in particular was a legend and didn’t complain once even when I whinged about being sweaty and tired.

5) Don’t worry about cleaning for a few days
This isn’t just to give you a well-earned break, although that is important! It’s because you will probably be moving a lot of things round in the first few days, and any cleaning you’ve done will be for nothing! I rarely clean anyway so I just think I’m taking my advice ALL the time…

6) Know your local takeaways
On the first night after all that shifting and stressing, you will NOT be wanting to cook! Make sure you know where you can get hold of food – fast. Pedro and I demolished a large pizza, wedges and garlic bread on the first night in about 10 minutes flat!

7) Take photos
This applies mainly when you’re renting – but definitely take photos of every little defect in the house when you first move in. This prevents your landlord trying to take things out of your deposit that you are not responsible for. We also did this for our electric and gas meters to give accurate readings to the companies.

8) Before you move in, plan!
I wish we had done this! Before you move in, take time to plan where all your furniture will go in terms of room in the house, and approximate location in that room. It will make it so much easier when you are hot, tired and stressed and being forced to make a decision as one of your helpers asks you where you want something!

9) Look after pets
Whiskeroo was a big concern when we moved. As an old gent the last thing we wanted was him to become distressed. We made sure he was the last to move so he would have little disturbance, and we shut him in one room with plenty of food and water while we moved furniture etc round. At first we kept him in one or two rooms, and we stuck to the idea that you should keep a cat inside for two weeks when you move house. We let him out into the back garden which had all exits covered up, and have now started letting him out properly. It was very nerve-wracking when we first let him out and he could go anywhere!

10) Make lists
Lists saved my life when we moved. I had lists of who to inform of change of address, lists of where things would go, and shopping lists. I love a good list!

What’re your top tips for moving house?

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