The house move feels like it has been in the works for so long. Before Christmas we said that in the new year we would talk about moving house, and at the start of January we put our house up for sale to see if it would sell, and go from there. It turned out that the housing market was very competitive (good for us as sellers, not so good for us as buyers). We sold very quickly, and then began the painful process of trying to find somewhere to buy. Around here all the estate agents host open house sessions (we did for our sale, as that was what they all said they would do)- a couple of hours, 15 minute slots, as many buyers in that time. Once we were looking, it turned out that often the slots would be full on the day of the house going on the market. After a few open houses, one rejected offer, a day seeing lots of houses and none of them being quite what we were after, we struck lucky. In half term a house came up which looked perfect. We rang up and the owners weren’t doing an open house, and even better we could see it on the Friday- if it had not been half term I would not have been able to go. It was perfect, we put in our offer at about 2pm and then had a very nervous few hours before the call at 6.30 confirmed that our offer had been accepted!
Our old house
Then of course came all the boring legal and logistical bits. Our chain was short (our buyers were first time buyers moving from home, and the people we were buying from were moving to an empty property) but of course things were not simple. Originally our moving date was the 12th of May (so we could then book our South Africa trip) but it got pushed back a few times. Anyway, it’s all done now!
As I mentioned before, I found Mary’s blog post very helpful. We had been given some boxes so we packed a lot of things away and left them in Andy’s parent’s spare room. I had a notebook to record what was in each box. We sorted out the internet so we knew we would be having only a few days without it, changed addresses on some things, and set up the mail re-direct (although I didn’t realise it took 5 working days, and only set it up the weekend before so a few things slipped through). We had hired a moving company, so they had given us many more boxes and we ended up stacking them in the garage (and me parking outside) because in our old house once a few boxes were packed there was no way to get around them.
The movers were meant to arrive “from 8am”- so of course we had a late night and an early start frantically doing the last few things (including finding late on Monday night that the plumber who had fixed a small issue with the heating the previous week had knocked all of the Christmas decorations our of reach in the little attic space- we only have a small ladder so in the end had to move a chest of drawers for Andy to stand on so he could get up there and reach them down), but then they actually turned up at 9am. They were really good- they had to carry all the furniture downstairs, plus any boxes we had left up there. They took apart the bed but somehow managed to keep our wardrobe together and got it down the stairs without any of them falling to their deaths- there were some tense moments!). I hovered about with the hoover- I was shocked at how much dust there was behind some of our furniture! Once it was all in the van we had to hang about a bit as they were ready but we could not collect the keys straight away. We headed off to get the keys and they met us at our new house- when we arrived they had already unloaded the plants which was very efficient.
Then the fun of deciding where things were to go started. We had decided all boxes for downstairs could go in the dining room, and all the upstairs boxes went into one of the spare rooms. The movers put the bed back together which was brilliant- when we moved into our first place we had a lot of Ikea furniture to build and one of my main memories of that day was us building the bed late at night so we had somewhere to sleep. At one point Andy was sorting the garden and I was just waiting, so I went around and checked that all the lights worked (another Mary tip)- I found that 1- they love their colour changing bulbs, and 2- there was no switch for the bathroom (and we hunted high and low, in the hall, in the airing cupboard…). It turned out that the bathroom has a sensor, only activated when it is dark, which is rather annoying as it switches off after a couple of minutes- not great when you are having a shower and not near the sensor! The bathroom lights are also multicoloured and colour changing- something we will change quite soon.
Our dining room- looking much better now as most of the boxes are behind and at least we can sit at the table.
The movers finally left at 4pm- we had not stopped all day so had a break for some belated lunch, before trying to unpack the essentials. I had sorted an “open first” box but then with the movers unloading everything it took us a while to find it! I had packed some teabags to last us the first few days, and I am very glad I did as we didn’t find the tea straight away. We went out for dinner later, as we did not fancy cooking!
Our back garden! It’s been lovely to come back from a run and cool down here- our old place had a garden but you had to go through the garage so we didn’t use it much.
The next couple of days were not very productive as I had meetings after work both days, and then we were off on holiday, but the Sunday when we came home was brilliant (only one hour time difference so no jet lag)- we unpacked so many boxes, put the Christmas decorations in the loft, emptied our suitcases, set up my desk in my office and arranged the kitchen. I’ve been ticking off the boxes as we unpack them (I get huge satisfaction from ticking off lists) but we sometimes do forget.
There are many boxes still to unpack here too, but at least I can get to my desk now.
I love the willow tree in our garden. But we also have two (including one massive) leylandii trees which will need to go as they block out so much light.
I now have a whole host of new running routes too, but that is for another post!
How many times have to had to move house? We moved once when I was 12, then when Andy and I moved in together we moved out of our parents homes so that was fairly easy. I lived at home during uni so I really did not have much experience of it.