Tag Archives: moving house

The Final Countdown

OK, so who has that 1980s’ power ballad stuck in their head now? Still, you can’t beat a good earworm!

Five days to go until the adventure proper begins. Part – most – of me is excited, elated and can’t wait. But part of me is also exhausted and keeps finding new things to worry about. Moving house is stressful at the best of times, but packing up your whole life takes it to an entirely different level.

Those possessions you’re not quite sure what to do with – childhood memorabilia, old photographs, wedding dress and so on? Can’t just pack them in a box and stick them in the attic when your new place is thousands of kilometres away and you’re trying to cram your worldly goods into just nine suitcases to avoid hefty shipping fees.

Tough decisions have to be made and we’re grateful to family and friends who have offered either a few spare square metres of garage space for storage or to bring over an extra case when they visit.

The most hair-tearingly frustrating part, though, has to be the ineptitude and lack of customer care that seems common among so many organisations and companies as we try to wind up our current existence.

Let’s take trying to return our car. I’ve called the relevant company at least five times during the past six weeks but haven’t yet been able to fix a date or time in spite of repeated assurances and promises to call me back. This morning I told them I’d leave the vehicle on the road and post the keys, which at least got me one step further into the labyrinth of their collection arm, but at the time of writing nothing has been arranged. Maybe I should stop fretting – I’ve done all I can and the key-posting option is always there as a last resort.

I’m just one of those people that thrives on having a ‘to do’ list – or several – and being able to tick jobs off. To have to keep putting them back on, while watching the list grow ever-longer, truly irks me.

Still. In five days I will be on the brink of the next stage of my life, and hopefully this will all be behind me. If I close my eyes I can see myself lying in the hammock on the terrace, a glass of cold Efes at my side, watching the birds and enjoying the sunshine…..

For now, though, it’s back to the ‘to do’ lists….

RP

 

Advertisements

Overwhelmed by ‘Stuff’

I’ve been itching to crack on with packing up, sorting out and/or disposing of our belongings.
The idea is that we will take as little as possible with us – mainly clothes and personal items. Some things will be stored at my stepfather’s; some sent via courier later in the year.
I’ve booked the maximum amount of allowable luggage with the airline – nine cases in total, each to weigh no more than 22kg. In theory, that sounded like quite a lot.
However, having just packed one of my bags, I’m no longer so confident. I hardly seem to have made a dent in my own bits and pieces, let alone anyone else’s. I’m telling myself that it will be fine and we’ve got a second run at it with the final move in June.
I’m also having to stop myself crazily filling all nine cases so that I feel I’ve achieved something; that way, I’ll either end up taking things I don’t need or will have to live without vital possessions until we go.
It makes you think, though, about how much ‘stuff’ we accumulate over the years. The trinkets we keep because they mean something or “just in case” they prove useful.
Clearing out your life in such a way as we are makes you look long and hard at everything, and there are tough decisions to be made.
Some aren’t.
The hand-made birthday cards the children gave us when they were little? The baby books we kept to record every detail of their first years? Easy. Put them to one side to keep in storage.
Those beautiful pink satin shoes I fell in love with but which I’ve never worn because they’re slightly too high and a little too big? Pop them on an auction site; if they don’t sell, they go to charity.
But what about my wedding dress, for example, which lies in the loft in its clear plastic protector? What happens to that?
I’ll never wear it again. A few days shy of our 22nd anniversary and I’ve never even got round to having it cleaned – so even if it wasn’t hopelessly out of fashion, I can’t sell it. It’s not the most practical thing to store – and why, anyway? What will I ever do with it?
But there’s a lot of emotion, so many happy memories tied up in that confection of satin and lace. It feels wrong to say: “Bin it.”
Someone who has already been through this process told me to be ruthless. To remember that all my memories and associations with this ornament or that picture are in my mind, safe for ever. That it might seem a waste to part with household items and then buy replacements once we’re there, but it’s likely to work out cheaper than bringing it all with us and paying for the extra weight.
I’m trying to remember this, as we begin the process of picking over some 24 years of accumulated ‘stuff’. But with just under four weeks until Round 1 of The Big Move, I can’t help feeling I’ll still be buried under a mountain of books, bedding and bric-a-brac when the airport taxi arrives at the door.

RP

The Calm Before The Storm

We’ve got ages until we move. It’s a good – ooh, just under three months. Plenty of time to get everything sorted out. Let’s check the calendar – yep, roughly 11 weeks.

Hang on. Eleven weeks? That’s nothing! There’s the cats’ transport to book. We need to decide what we’re going to take, sell and give away, and start packing accordingly. I have to set up the mail forwarding, send out change-of-address notifications….. I’ll NEVER be done in time.

This is pretty much the state of my mind right now, veering between calm confidence and blind panic. We just want to get on with it, really. Once our worldly goods start going into boxes, our son’s new flat or to their new owners, I’ll feel like we’re getting somewhere.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. We’ve got an American student arriving this weekend for two weeks – the return leg of my daughter’s school exchange – so we need to keep things pretty much normal for her.

Which means there’s not a lot I can do until the end of April, except maybe offload a few trinkets to the charity shop or local auction site. Which means by the time we can get on, there’ll only be around eight weeks left before we go, and that really isn’t any time at all.

In among all this, we’re trying to keep the business ticking over, our daughter has GCSEs to do and there’s the usual domestic chores to keep on top of.

I guess we’ll get there, one way or another. In just under three months, I’ll be sitting on our balcony in the sunshine and all this will feel like a distant memory,

Hang on. Just under three months? That’s roughly 11 weeks……

RP

On The Move

It’s deliberately been a while since the last post, simply because – and I know how daft this sounds – I didn’t want to jinx what I wanted to write about.┬áBut if I take that view it could be another couple of months or more, so here goes….

Sold!

Sold!

We’ve sold our house.

It went on the market on Friday, December 6 2013 and we formally accepted an offer on Monday 23 – less than three weeks later. It was the best Christmas present we could have hoped for.

Now, in theory, it should be a simple transaction. Neither party is in a chain and our buyers seem lovely, reasonable people. There’s every reason to expect it all to be done and dusted in – what? Eight weeks? (It’s so long since we bought or sold any property I have no idea what the average is these days.)

But there’s always that little niggle, that fear that something will go wrong. There’ll be some issue that can’t be resolved, feet that will be dragged, or what if they simply change their minds?

Soon after the euphoria came the anxiety, and I don’t think that will really dissipate until we exchange contracts. So I’m having a few sleepless nights….any tips for coping with those welcomed!

RP

First Steps

The decision is made. We’re moving overseas. We don’t know where yet – there are several factors that will affect that decision, not all within our control. Hopefully, we’ll know in the next few weeks.

But we’re definitely going, so we need to start planning. It’s all very exciting and scary at the same time. Sometimes I can’t quite believe we’re doing it – but in my heart, I know it’s right.

We’ve made lists of what needs doing and I have to say it’s rather daunting. There’s so much we can’t do yet, but we’ve made a start on decluttering. The garage alone has taken two full weekends, never mind a house we’ve lived in for more than 13 years, and we’ve started offloading items we know we definitely won’t need at car boot sales and online auction sites.

At this stage, it’s a case of clearing out, redecorating and sorting out those niggly little things that you put up with when it’s your home but which won’t be attractive to prospective buyers – like a dodgy tap and that light fitting that the kids broke ten years ago when one of them was pretending to be Darth Vader with a stick as a light saber.

This weekend is wallpaper-stripping. Wish me luck, I’m going in.

RP