We moved house this weekend. But, because of my spectacular attempts at organisation, we are now back in our old house 200 miles up the road, cleaning. I say “we”, I mean “me”. And I say “cleaning”, I mean “blogging”.
It turns out moving house is quite a different experience when you throw kids and work into the mix. In my overly optimistic mind I thought it might be as easy as chucking a few clothes into a suitcase and bunging them into a van. I wish.
After going through the hell that is moving with a family, I thought I’d bring you some tips for what not to do, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.
1. Do your own packing
Packing everything yourself is really fun. No really, it is. You get to rediscover things you thought you never had. Plus, the process takes absolutely ages, so you end up living amongst boxes for at least a week.
It means your house turns into a cross between an assault course and a campsite – fun! Also, you get to spend all that money you’ve saved by doing the packing yourself, on takeaways and pub meals. So, by the end of the moving period, you not only look haggard from exhaustion, but you’re at least a stone heavier too. Result!
2. Do not prepare food for moving day
Sensible people prepare things like sandwiches and salads the day before a big move, realising that their fridge will be out of action. But we’re not sensible, we’re fun, live-on-the-edge type people. Plus, we’ve been too busy packing to think about food.
To do moving the fun way, forget about food until everyone gets really grumpy and you have a big family row, then dash to the nearest supermarket and spend £20 on three pre-packed (unhealthy) sandwiches and some crisps. While you’re there, forget to buy food for when you eventually arrive at your destination, offering your family the delight of yet more sandwiches and crisps for their tea.
3. Move house on the hottest day of the year
Moving house is fun, but a little too easy. To make it more challenging, plan your move for the hottest day of the year. Then pack all of your summer clothes so you are forced to complete the move in thick jeans and a long-sleeved T’shirt. More fun still, move to a house 200 miles away and make sure your car’s air con is broken. Driving in a hot car, wearing thick jeans, with a grumpy, hungry family makes for lively and spirited conversation en-route!
4. Ignore all the good things about your new home
Ignore the beautiful views and the stunning location. Do not even think about discussing all the other benefits, like cheaper house prices, proximity to family and lower living costs. Instead, focus only on the negatives, like the smaller front room and unsightly carpet. This will lead to yet more lively conversation, as above.
Do not take any time off work for moving. Instead, cram the entire move into one weekend, dismissing any unpacking period as for “wimps”. It leads to increased blood pressure and a week on a friend’s floor as you complete your last week of work before the school holidays. My husband tells me that this is good for stamina and a test of the endurance of a relationship.
If you have any other tips for how not to move house, please do share!