to be annoyed that my friends havent helped?

(172 Posts)
toomuchtoask Sat 20-Apr-13 20:37:32

I have just moved house. My friends are well aware I've been stressed with it. It has needed a complete refurb which wasn't expected. I haven't had a moment to think for about a month. Have any of my friends helped? Nope of course not. Even when specifically asked if they can come. Aibu to be annoyed or aibu to think they would help? They did offer but then they kept making excuses. I would help anyone out but I feel let down that I'm barely a second thought for them.

emsyj Sat 20-Apr-13 20:45:29

What is it that you wanted them to do and what is their home situation?

I've got to be honest, doing DIY/cleaning/painting etc in someone else's house is the last thing I would ever do. My own house is in a shoddy state, if I was going to pick up a paint brush I would be doing my own bedroom. In general I am keen to do people favours, I will give you a lift anywhere anytime, babysit gladly, lend you even my most precious possessions - but I'm not doing manual labour for you!

Also, if you want people to give up their free time you have to be aware of how much/little free time they have. For those who work/have children etc the weekend is precious and they may be willing to donate an hour or three, but not a whole day/weekend. YAprobablyBU but need more info.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 20-Apr-13 20:50:20

YABU I think. I wouldn't expect friend's

maddening Sat 20-Apr-13 20:50:55

Depends on their situations - right now in my life I would not be able to help you with your refurb.

My house needs work - if we had a chance we would work on out house first.

I have in the past helped with a friends house move - offered my car and petrol and time and lifting boxes etc.

If you want guaranteed help you will need to pay for it if no one available.

edwardsmum11 Sat 20-Apr-13 20:52:08

Yabu, their world's don't revolve around you.

toomuchtoask Sat 20-Apr-13 20:53:46

Yes it was simple DIY stuff. Moving boxes. Cleaning. Mix of family and work situations. I was only asking for an hour or so. Certainly not a whole day. Just feel so stressed that I've been left to do it myself when I have no one to help.

awkwardsis Sat 20-Apr-13 20:55:38

Seriously, no. I was so so touched when my best friend and her eh helped me on my own moving day. But no way would I expect help in the new house with cleaning or things like that. If you'd asked them to have dc overnight so you could get noisy/messy jobs done and unpacking then that's different, I'd gladly help a friend with that.

toomuchtoask Sat 20-Apr-13 20:56:00

Edwardsmum11 I think that's quite harsh. I wasn't expected their worlds to revolve around mine. Just asking for a bit of support and help. I thought that's what friends would do for each other. I certainly would.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 20-Apr-13 20:56:27

Well you haven't been 'left' to do it yourself, in that it isn't anyone's responsibility but yours.

These things take time, you can't expect to get it all done in a day or even a weekend.

YoniLovesChachi Sat 20-Apr-13 20:56:47

YABU. It sounds like a huge favour, to help someone refurbish a home.

1Catherine1 Sat 20-Apr-13 20:56:53

I think YA probably BU too. Sorry. I hate doing all these things when I'm the one doing the moving so would be unlikely to want to do them for anyone else.

I could possibly see your point of view if you just wanted a friend to look after your LO while you did the actual moving, where having a child around could be dangerous. Or for the odd hour while you did something else that may be hazardous for a child. Apart from that though, moving home is stressful but something we all do and deal with. I've moved house 5 times in the last 5 years (2 of these were in a 6 month period) due to various reasons, and when I only asked for help with looking after my daughter on the weekend we were moving and I asked my sister.

maddening Sat 20-Apr-13 20:57:13

Why do you think they are obliged to help? What is your situation? Do you have family?

If your friends have dc and work I think yabu.

BIWI Sat 20-Apr-13 20:57:16

If you've asked them, and they have refused, then YANBU.

If you just expect them to help you, then YABU. You are an adult, and moving house is something you should be able to sort out on your own.

toomuchtoask Sat 20-Apr-13 20:57:32

Alibaba. It hasn't been a day or weekend. It's been a month.

DontmindifIdo Sat 20-Apr-13 20:58:53

did you actually ask for specific things rather than generic 'help'? TBH - i wouldn't think to offer help to shift boxes etc, I'm not up to that, I might offer to have your DCs for a couple of hours so you could get on with jobs, but I wouln't think to do those jobs for you...

deleted203 Sat 20-Apr-13 20:59:36

I'm a bit torn here. I don't think YABU to be annoyed they couldn't give a bit of help. Agree with all those saying you can't expect people to give up a day to come and help you decorate or do DIY - but on the other hand it wouldn't perhaps have killed them to give you a hand for an hour or so.

It's bloody hard work moving house all alone, and it would have been nice if someone had offered to help a bit.

maddening Sat 20-Apr-13 21:00:29

Man with a van and a spring cleaning service are available.

I have been rushing to clean my house pre op and new job as soon as am recovered. Used the few mornings my ds has been at his new preschool (getting used to it prior to my working) - cleqning my arse off - only got so far and want the place sparkling so have paid for 5 hours spring clean next Saturday - best £50 I'll spend this week.

toomuchtoask Sat 20-Apr-13 21:03:25

Sat here in tears now. I can't bloody do this anymore.

MrsMelons Sat 20-Apr-13 21:03:38

I would never ask friends to come and help me in a situation like that unless it was something very specific such as asking someone stronger than me to help DH move something heavy but I wouldn't expect it and would tend to ask family.

I would feel uncomfortable if someone asked me - I am a bit of a pushover and always say yes but actually have no spare time to do my own stuff in between paid work, voluntary work, house, kids MN

As akwardsis said - I often help with babysitting when people are moving etc but even then it can be a struggle as last time I did this for a 'moving' day I had my friends 2 YO all day (on my only day off when my DCs were at school) and she was supposed to collect him at 5 and turned up at 8pm so I ended up with my 4 YO not going to bed as my friends DS was here plus a screaming 2 YO who had never been away from their parents that long and was shattered!

YoniLovesChachi Sat 20-Apr-13 21:05:06

Most people muddle through tricky situations as best they can and consider favours along the way as a bonus, not an expectation. If you want guaranteed elbow grease, you have to at least offer an incentive eg cash or a trade of skills.

MrsMelons Sat 20-Apr-13 21:05:51

Sorry you are feeling like that, you need to just do it a bit at a time, you haven't really said much about your situation so maybe it is hard for us on MN to actually give any advice - sounds like there is more to it?

bedmonster Sat 20-Apr-13 21:07:07

I think you're stressed and probably knackered. Major house refurbishments are stressful, I have experienced them, and am having them at the moment. The house looks like a building site at the moment (because it is) and add to the fact that you've just moved in too, I don't think YABU in that it would have been nice to have some help in the form of a bit of childcare for an hour or 2 on a few occasions if you have DC, and I have helped family decorate and move boxes etc when moving.
However, I do think YABU to have expected help. People have their own commitments and families and really, not many will want to give up their own time to help shift a few boxes or clean someone elses house (although I have often done this and would hate any of my friends or family to be struggling).
I hope things get better for you soon.

toomuchtoask Sat 20-Apr-13 21:08:28

Thanks Mrsmelons. Basically I am completely alone doing this. Physically I am a wreck and can't afford to pay people to help.

mmmuffins Sat 20-Apr-13 21:10:46

YABU. It would be very nice if they did help you a bit, but they are not bad friends if they don't. I would certainly be hmm if someone asked me to come over and clean their house.

You sound very overwhelmed but it is not your friends' fault.

MadBusLady Sat 20-Apr-13 21:12:51

Is this not just about the house move?

Moving house is hideous - we moved last month and I am still surrounded by boxes! I'm not surprised you're feeling rubbish. But YABU to expect friends to pitch in (unless they specifically committed to a time/task and didn't turn up or something). We all have to get through it.

Any money you spend on professional movers/cleaners is the best money you'll spend in the whole shebang IME.

MrsMelons Sat 20-Apr-13 21:13:13

In that case maybe you need to speak to your friends and tell them how you are feeling, ask them to come round, get in some wine and food and see if they can help do stuff with you.

Alternatively, just do a room at a time and you will get there. I am fairly sure if you tell them how bad you are feeling at least one person will help.

YoniLovesChachi Sat 20-Apr-13 21:13:22

You'll get there. It will take ages, but you'll get there eventually and look back with fondness at that awful first few months. I've been there in a house that kept throwing nothing but graft and expensive bills at us, but we can now laugh about how damn depressing it was.

Chin up, Mrs smile

Jalopeno Sat 20-Apr-13 21:13:29

It wouldn't occur to me to ask friends to help clean my house. Do you have a disability op? If so yanbu. If not then your new house is your responsibility and no one elses.

Having said that I know how it feels when there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Do you know any teens that you could borrow to help with a bribe of McDonalds/pizza?

MadBusLady Sat 20-Apr-13 21:14:57

x-posts. What is it that needs doing? Could you spend tomorrow making a list and maybe try and ask for help with specific, time-limited tasks? I'd be much more inclined to respond to "Can you do one hour's cleaning in the kitchen?" or "Can you help me unpack two boxes?" accompanied by a wine perhaps?

Tortoise Sat 20-Apr-13 21:15:01

What would annoy me is that they offered to help then made excuses not to. So I don't think yabu to be annoyed.

toomuchtoask Sat 20-Apr-13 21:15:57

Thanks guys. I can't really see straight now. I will reply properly in the morning.

MadBusLady Sat 20-Apr-13 21:17:03

smile Hope you get a good night's sleep.

MissLurkalot Sat 20-Apr-13 21:18:45

Sorry OP, I wouldn't expect friends to help and I wouldn't feel comfortable asking either. But, that's me.

If I was taking on a project, it would be my responsibility. And I would attack it. I would certainly get in touch with friends and either get them over for dinner or take away or to meet them out somewhere for moral support and to let my hair down with them. But, I wouldn't expect them to do any hard graft for me on my place. Family maybe, but not friends. Sorry. YABU.

marjproops Sat 20-Apr-13 21:22:21

yanbu. Ive had to move so many times my friends are prob fed up about it but they know our situation, and i go out of my way for them. and even just one hour of their times not going to kill them..

i dont ask, i wait till they offer, but then dont offer and then make exucuses, especially if youve given them moving date in advance.

ive got one 'friend' who always offers, but 3 move times now something mysteriously breaks in her house JUST on that day.

and they also know DC and I have physical disabilites, cant afford a removal man with a van etc. just one hour, eh?

MissLurkalot Sat 20-Apr-13 21:23:07

OP. Come on here tomorrow, let us help you sort stuff out. I know we can't physically help, but let us help you plan your 'attack'.

Rome wasnt built in a day...

I'll check on here tomorrow. x

Viviennemary Sat 20-Apr-13 21:24:08

It is nice if friends are able to help. But most people appreciate that a lot of folk lead very busy lives and haven't always got the time or energy to help. I don't think you can honestly expect friends to pitch in if your whole house needs a complete renovation and you can't afford to pay workmen.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Sat 20-Apr-13 21:24:39

I am sorry you are stressed out and knackered. Moving is hard work at the best of times. I wouldn't ask or expect friends to help me though

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 20-Apr-13 21:26:02

The attitudes on this thread are sickening but NOT surprising. The current thread about having no friends is relevant here....if I go by most of the responses here, then people are just too selfish to have friends....all this "it's your responsibility" is awful.

Friend's HELP one another! DH's friend is always offering help and so is DH. I help my friends...they help me!

CloudsAndTrees Sat 20-Apr-13 21:34:21

Your friends probably had genuine reasons for not being available when you asked then to come and help. Even if they just didn't want to, that's ok and it doesn't mean they aren't your friends.

I understand the stress of doing up a whole house on your own, I had to do mine when I was a single Mum to a 5 and 7 year old. It was dirty, stank of old cat piss, and it pretty much had to be gutted and started from scratch with us living in it. It took forever and it felt like we were living in one of those rental storage boxes for ages! It didn't occur to me to ask friends to help me clean and move suff though. I'd be embarrassed to have my friends clean for me.

You need to take it slowly. You will get the place straight, you just have to accept that it will take a while, and that's ok. You don't have to have everything sorted within a couple of weeks.

emsyj Sat 20-Apr-13 21:36:43

I have previously offered to have people's DCs so that they can move without the extra stress of kids - and I would drive a van (I have done that too, actually - but years ago) or anything else BUT I wouldn't clean!!! Unless you had some sort of physical problem that meant you couldn't do it, and the house was a proper shithole. Then I would. But there would have to be a compelling reason why you needed help with it.

But still happy to babysit, drive your van, take you out to dinner to save you cooking, bring some wine round....! grin Just not cleaning/painting/DIY.

Awomansworth Sat 20-Apr-13 21:37:49

YANBU - If you were my friend OP, I wouldn't need asking... in fact I've just sat down after being on my feet all day helping a friend decorate the bedrooms in her new place (she's just been through a messy break up) whilst another friend had her children round to hers, and DH took our children out for the day.

I hope you get sorted op and please find yourself some new friends, yours sound like fair weather ones to me.

KitchenandJumble Sat 20-Apr-13 21:45:59

I'm sorry you are feeling so stressed. Moving is horrible. I've had to move a lot over the years and I loathe it with a passion. I think it ranks quite highly as among the most stressful situations one can encounter.

But I don't think friends should be expected to help. If they offer (and genuinely mean it, rather than just offering to appear polite), wonderful. I've never offered to help a friend with DIY or cleaning house. Babysitting or bringing a meal over or taking you out to dinner would be the sort of thing I would do.

I do hope things improve for you. When you're right in the middle of something like a complicated house move, it can seem so overwhelming. I'd love to help with list making and prioritising tasks, if that would be of any assistance.

wine and flowers for you.

BottleRed76 Sat 20-Apr-13 21:47:21

Sorry to hear you're feeling knackered and alone.
It's exhausting stuff and yes, a hell of a lot to do all on your own!!! So be a bit kinder to yourself.

Don't be too hard on your mates. Might just be really shit timing for them and they might not know exactly how bad you're feeling.
Can you get over to see them for a coffee break and have a chat. Even just getting it off your chest how alone you feel might help you feel better and might hit a nerve with them.

I don't know much about your situation so please excuse me sticking my nose in -
Talking practical stuff - have you got a plan set out of everything you need to do and a timeline of how one task leads into the next task etc - like a project schedule? If you're feeling overwhelmed it will really help you get your thoughts in order
Is there anything that could be prioritised that would give you a bit of mental space and help you cope with the rest of the work? - i.e. if you had a particular room such as bedroom or sitting room sorted out then you would have a little haven and make it a little bit easier to cope?
Could a friend take kid/kids off your hands for a bit to give you time to get to grips with your most urgent stuff?

I think someone else said about being more specific about what help you want? I think that's a really good point. Could you do a group email/facebook update saying what you need help with, when and for how long. You could bribe with cake and tea. You could offer a skill swap (for when you have time obviously).

Put your feet up and chill out with a bottle glass of vodka wine and have bit of a brain dump session to put together a plan to save your sanity.
You'll get there. x

DoJo Sat 20-Apr-13 21:47:35

Everyone has different stuff going on in their lives, and moving is one of those things which rarely has a fixed date until the last minute, so it's perfectly possible that they all have other plans. I offered to help friends move but then it turned out that I wasn't free the weekend they did it, so it wasn't possible - not my fault, not theirs, but I would be saddened to think that they thought any less of me for it. I can see how feeling alone and stressed might make you feel unloved by your friends too, but it sounds like you could really do with someone to come round and have a good old chat with to make you forget about the house stuff for a while. Perhaps organise that and maybe your perspective will shift a bit too.

Kahlua4me Sat 20-Apr-13 21:50:30

Yanbu, surely that is what friendship is all about. Helping each other and making life just a little bit easier.

My friend has just moved and I have been over there several times to help, whilst being very jealous of the hugeness of their new house!!

Perhaps you need to start building new friendships with people you can depend on and also support too. Have you tried telling them how you feel and how much you need some help from them?
Sometimes others don't know and assume you are coping.

maddening Sat 20-Apr-13 21:55:34

Neo - as I said right now in my life I could not assist my friends with such a task- was rushing to get things sorted for my op - now recovering from my op and in 2-3 weeks will be starting a full time job and ds starting in nursery too - my life currently= hectic I don't think that it is sickening that in my current circumstance I could not offer help to friends - I am also not asking for help. I do have friends.

In the past I have helped friends. In the past I have done all my house moves - once with help carrying stuff downstairs to a van I had hired and drove. And once with help from my parents. All others were just me /me and my fiance. I reallY would only ask for help if I was desperate and wouldn't expect it.

Without knowing what is going on in the lives of the op's friends it is hard to judge.

Op fwiw I think it is more the fact that it is a big daunting task - if you don't have anyone you can ask then you need to break it down and prioritise as well as deciding what you can't do for yourself and if anything can be outsourced (finances allowing).

Unami Sat 20-Apr-13 22:03:15

YANBU - I totally understand your frustration. Over the years my DP and I have given lots of help to friends who are moving house, specifically turning up with a car to help do trips (sometimes multiple trips) with boxes. We feel that it's really important that friends and family pitch in to help with with stuff, as its swings and roundabouts, you scratch my back stuff. It's nice to get help, and if you give help you'll get it in return.

Or so we thought. We moved house a year ago and got no help beyond family. We were pretty pissed off. And now we don't bother to help people moving house anymore - though people are not shy about asking. I still feel guilty for not helping them.

I must admit that I would not expect friends to help me with cleaning or renovating, unless I was incapacitated in some way, or if they had specialist equipment that I could borrow or that they could help me to operate.

But on the move day itself, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for help. It's a big job and much easier if people pitch in. I'm still really pissed off that no one helped me on my moving day when I'd given up multiple afternoons to help others.

nicelyneurotic Sat 20-Apr-13 23:07:36

YABU. To be honest, you sound very demanding. I doubt your friends have time, especially if they have jobs, children, other commitments. Like other posters have said, if I had the time I'd fix my own house first. Hire a decorator and cleaner and let them sort it out. It will be worth the money.

MidniteScribbler Sat 20-Apr-13 23:35:32

I've moved 32 times in my life and don't recall anyone other than the hired removalists helping. It simply wouldn't occur to me to expect my friends to spend their time moving my furniture around. Likewise, I'm doing (yet another) reno, and don't expect them to do any of the work. The only thing I've done is paid a friends teenage boys to do some gardening work for me. They wanted to earn some extra money for their holiday.

I got asked by one (ex) friend to help her move. I got there in the morning and she'd packed nothing, and I ended up doing most of the packing and carrying down three flights of stairs while she kept sitting down and watching the football. I did fourteen trips in my car and not a penny of petrol moneyoffered, not even a cold drink or anything for lunch. It really was the beginning of the end of that friendship.

KeatsiePie Sat 20-Apr-13 23:57:46

Moving is horrible. Horrible. But I have to say I wouldn't ask for or expect help, beyond asking friends to help to load/unload boxes if it were a DIY move, and even that is a big ask once everyone is no longer in their twenties.

But yes, please come back and let people help you sort it all out. I think the worst of it is not the work (though the work of getting settled is pretty miserable), it's feeling so alone with it. Hope you have a good night's rest.

imour Sun 21-Apr-13 00:05:12

yanbu people always make off the cuff promises that they will help , if you need anything just ask , that kind of rubbish , until you do ask then come the excuses oh im working , cant get child care , forgot i was busy that day sorry , ive learnt not to ask anyone for anything then you wont get false promises and feel hurt , no help to you im afraid but least you know someone who has been in the same boat .

Sunnysummer Sun 21-Apr-13 00:08:19

YABU. Moving is awful and it's lovely when friends offer to help... But that's as far as it goes - there is no obligation at all.

From their perspective, they are busy too and you are actually pretty lucky as you have just got a new place, which is a Good Thing (even if it's hard to remember right now!)

thermalsinapril Sun 21-Apr-13 00:10:21

YANBU. That's the sort of thing friends do for each other, even if it means putting themselves out considerably. What goes around, comes around.

Jan49 Sun 21-Apr-13 01:07:21

I've moved house twice over the past 6 months. The last month before the earlier move was very stressful and one thing that rather depressed me was that I realised my friends and relatives were more likely to ask me to do something for them than to offer me support. People put me under pressure for a last meet up before I moved away or would come round and think I had time to go out for the day and didn't seem to understand what a massive task I had to do. I didn't actually expect any help but I would have liked people to have just understood that it was a busy and stressful time and to have been emotionally supportive.

At the same time, I would really struggle at the thought of going to someone else's home to pack or clean. blush Sadly, I think as your friends haven't helped and have made excuses, I'd do the same if they ask for help in the future.sad

wonderingagain Sun 21-Apr-13 01:17:31

I have exactly 3 people in this world who would help me out - one is my mother and the other two are friends. In the end you make your bed and lie in it. I offer to help others and sometimes do, sometimes it doesn't work out but although it would be nice for someone to help, more often than not they wouldn't know what to do.

The friends I have that help, just do something for me - it may not be what I expect but it's something. They just get on with it and it's usually something that is no trouble to them, like taking the dcs for a day, or picking something up for me. But if I wanted help with a project that I decided I wanted to do, that was getting me down, they might not help me.

OP I think you are probably exhausted and feeling sad and if you need help talk to your friends and see if they come up with any ideas. They may want to help but don't know how to.

ImagineJL Sun 21-Apr-13 08:20:04

I think it depends entirely on people's own circumstances.

I have always helped my friends as much as I can, but a the moment I could offer very little in terms of practical help. I'm a working single parent with 2 young children, so if I were to go and help with some DIY I would need someone to look after my children. And I really prefer not to delegate childcare when I'm not actually working, I like to spend time with my kids. I would, however, gladly offer to look after someone's children while they did their own DIY.

When we were all young and childless, moving house was always a team effort, and I have decorated many friends houses with them over the years. But it gets much harder when everyone has kids and life is a precarious juggling act.

I hope you start to feel better soon.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 21-Apr-13 08:33:38

Neo it is a bit much to say that the attitude is sickening.

For a start the OP has drip-fed.

I help my friends out in all kinds of ways. I help with emergency childcare, I take meals round when they have had babies, take their kids places and so on.
Help with moving just isn't something normal within my family or circle of friends. No-one has ever asked me to help, I haven't asked them - or not beyond student/20's flat share situations when everyone used to muck in and get drunk grin

ArtVandelay Sun 21-Apr-13 08:43:43

If you can't do something alone, without relying on others help/goodwill then really you shouldn't do it. My DH does this and it really pisses me off.

Sorry you are feeling so low with it all, I've had a terrible time with house moves in the past year so do understand. Sometimes you just need to go through the pain, soldier on and then feel brave and strong at the end when you realise YOU did it.

Iheartpasties Sun 21-Apr-13 09:00:05

chin up my lovely. I've been in your shoes, you just think about all of your friends and think to yourself 'I cannot believe no one helped me!', it's shit. off load on here. perhaps start a new thread somewhere a bit less harsh ie relationships. lots of people could give you some virtual hand holding. I feel for you, I really do.

i would have helped if you were a good friend. no question. I have helped my friends in this way in the past. i'd like to think that if i asked a friend to help with something specific then they would.


but try not to hold it against them. maybe you're investing more in your friendships than they are. take a little step back and give it some thought.

works both ways too.

i have a friend who asked for help, i happily jumped in but sadly no reciprocation. sometimes these situations arise and you find out who the users are. then you can be a little more reticent in future and maybe invest your efforts with others instead.

ThingummyBob Sun 21-Apr-13 09:08:15

On mn it is often expected that everyone should just pay for professional assistance if help is ever required hmm

In my rl, people help one another all the time. Friends/family/neighbours- no relationship is too tenuous to offer/receive help grin I have given and received so much 'help' in so many situations it would be impossible to list.

OP - you need new friends wink

BoundandRebound Sun 21-Apr-13 09:20:35

This is not something you ask friends to help with.

You just need to take more time to sort things out

I was once asked to a "painting party" she would supply booze and we'd all help her paint her house - I said sorry no I can't stand decorating my own house why would I do someone else's

Over the years I've realised what a grabby person she is and backed away hugely

Friends are for emotional support and laughs not for hard labour

If they offer, because they don't mind, then fair enough but don't get the hump when they don't want to. They don't need an excuse either

MissLurkalot Sun 21-Apr-13 09:40:22

Hope you're ok today OP? x

toomuchtoask Sun 21-Apr-13 09:49:03

Thank you for those who have been understanding. I am still feeling overwhelmed this morning but it's a new day and I'll plod on. For those who haven't understood perhaps they haven't ever arrived in a house to find it actually needs a complete renovation (unexpectedly). Perhaps they haven't had to move, do a renovation and cope with a full time job all at the same time (can't get annual leave in April). Perhaps they have had a partner to help them which I haven't. Perhaps they are physically stronger than me (I am 4 foot 8 and physically pretty weak). Maybe they have had the money to pay for removals, decorators etc which I don't. Or perhaps they just will never understand.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 21-Apr-13 09:51:18 a good friend, I see when people are not able to offer help to me...and I continue offering mine as and when I can....and they do the same.

People need to give more generally. WHen life is pootling along's too easy to just get on with things and not think about how others are doing.

I would not give a shit if one of my friends couldn't do things for me...if they were unhappy or stressed I would be there and know that if the tables were turned they'd be right there for me.

SweetSeraphim Sun 21-Apr-13 09:56:21

How did you not know that it needed a complete renovation beforehand? confused

SweetSeraphim Sun 21-Apr-13 09:57:54

BTW, I would hate the idea of helping anyone with their house - can't find the time to do my own!

BackforGood Sun 21-Apr-13 09:58:07

Can you explain why you have moved into a home you'd not seen before hand? Maybe I'm missing something, but if it "needed a complete rennovation" then wouldn't you have known that before you decided to move there? Doesn't that then feed into your decision making about if it's the right place for you ?

BackforGood Sun 21-Apr-13 09:58:22

oh - x-posted!

maddening Sun 21-Apr-13 09:59:35

Exactly neo - but the op has not explained the reasons her friends have felt unable to help - you are assuming that they could help - that may not be the case. Of course if I can offer help I do.

Additionally to expect help is wrong imo -you can ask for it but to feel that rejection of that request is an " excuse " ie suggesting it is invalid and a sign that they are not a good friend is silly.

In life you will come across takers and selfish idiots who take help and don't offer it but it is not possible to judge the op's friends with the info given.

HappilyUnhinged Sun 21-Apr-13 10:01:00

YANBU. Your friends are selfish. I've helped many friends move, do DIY etc. and I've been helped tons too. That's what friends are. People "too busy" with their own self-important lives aren't great friends. Having a friend is about jumping to help when help is needed (and you sound like you need help!), not about finding an excuse why you can't. If you were my friend, I'd help. In fact, if you live in north/east London, pm me and I'll bloody come help.

Molehillmountain Sun 21-Apr-13 10:03:39

Wow - I'd never assume friends should help with a house refurb, unless you were moving in difficult circumstances. I'd usually drop over a meal when you moved, which is my stock response to all big life events, but I can barely keep on top of my own family's needs and stay sane. Maybe if my children were older. But I wouldn't see it as a common thing to do.

MrsHiddleston Sun 21-Apr-13 10:06:55

Just take it slowly... One room at a time. It won't happen overnight. I would never expect friends to help with a 'complete renovation', of course for little things it's fine, but would never ask a friend to something for me that I wouldn't do for them. But I really wouldn't expect my friends to help in their own free time (which is very precious nowadays) for any major work.

Take it one step at a time, expect it to happen slowly, you can do it. I'm not sure what being 4'8" has to do with anything, I'm 5' and yes I would struggle to lift any thing huge on my own but I'm sure I could ultimately find a way, asking a friends husband for help lifting something is very different to asking for generic 'complete renovation' help. And height wise, there's always ladders!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 21-Apr-13 10:06:58

OP - if you drip feed then of course people don't understand.

I'm not really understanding how you can not have seen where you live before you move there, but there we are.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 21-Apr-13 10:07:01

But surely you would have known the work it needed after viewing yet still chose to take it? You could have just done bare basics until your annual leave.

How any of the friends you have asked to help have you helped in the past with the same thing?

I've helped friends move in the past but usually had their children for them or helped pack whilst looking over photos etc. i wouldnt really expect to pitch in after with cleaning and painting as running a home, working and DS takes up enough time as it is.

EduCated Sun 21-Apr-13 10:09:10

OP it sounds like you're going through a very rough time and I'm not surprised you feel a bit sad and alone, but I don't think you can expect people to offer help and help with a task that is clearly overwhelming you, let alone anyone who isn't it that situation, IYSWIM.

What have you asked for help with? Have you asked for specific things/times, rather than a generic 'my house needs refurbing, help!' type request? Do your friends know the extent of the situation?

maddening Sun 21-Apr-13 10:09:39

Op did you buy the house or are you renting it? If it is a rental and not liveable then should the landlord be putting it right.

What exactly needs doing - can you come up with a list from room to room?

Is all your stuff in your new house now?

What are the biggest tasks that you feel you will not be able to achieve at all with no help?

Do you have dc?

Graceparkhill Sun 21-Apr-13 10:11:50

Depending on where you stay and what needs done there may be some voluntary organisations who might be able to help.

Are you in a trade union at work? They might have a charitable wing to help members in need.

If you give me a rough idea of your location I can do a bit of research for you.

MrsHiddleston Sun 21-Apr-13 10:14:01

Okay let's try to help. What room is most important for you to get sorted first? Living room? Kitchen? Just pick one. Make a list of what needs doing in 3 columns... Immediately, ASAP, Long term. And then let us help get you going on the immediately column.

toomuchtoask Sun 21-Apr-13 10:25:10

I'm not exactly sure where I've drip fed but apologies if I have done.

It is a bought house. Of course I viewed it first, twice. It had a mid range survey on it too.

Turns out that people are very good at hiding damage. Floor boards broken and need replacing (so I don't go through the floor/ceiling), counter needs replacing as an average size washing machine won't fit in. Holes in walls that were obviously hidden by furniture and pictures. Skirting missing where furniture was. Electrics needed re doing (hence no money now). etc etc. The list goes on. Every little job uncovers something else that needs doing e.g. yesterday I filled a hole in the wall with filler and when I came to sand it about 10 hours later huge chunks of plaster came off as the wall had been badly repaired in the past. Other walls the same. I can't just bung wallpaper up as the walls are full of huge bumps and holes which were hidden on viewing. I am having to sand, fill and smooth every wall.

I am a train wreck. My body hurts, I am constantly in tears and right now I want to shut the bloody door and never see the place again. My lovely new home is a shit heap.

My stuff is still between the two places as I am having to move it myself. I have less than a week to properly move out.

Graceparkhill Sun 21-Apr-13 10:28:22

I think you need to lower your expectations to be honest.
From what you have said it needs work done ( as do most houses) so it is perfectly liveable in.
If it is wind and watertight then you have the basics so everything else can be done in order of priority as and when funds allow.

saintmerryweather Sun 21-Apr-13 10:31:09

I think if i knew my friend was moving alone and knew she was having difficulties, as a friend and halfway decent person you would offer your help.

MyPreciousRing Sun 21-Apr-13 10:34:15

Cover holes and faults with pictures and furniture like they did until you have time and can afford repairs?

Concentrate your energies on moving all your stuff.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 21-Apr-13 10:44:06

I agree that you need to lower your expectations. Getting the electrics sorted is one thing, but you don't need to have perfect walls to just move in and then sort things gradually as you have time.

Maybe this is what your friends feel, that their houses are less than perfect too so why should they prioritise making yours perfect?

Focus on getting your things moved and then the stress of the deadline is removed.

EverybodysSootyEyed Sun 21-Apr-13 10:46:25

We moved in two years ago and had to do electrics and a new roof pretty much straight away. Left us with no money to do anything else and we are working room to room to do the rest. Our sellers did a lot of hiding (and lying) too

Focus on making the house safe and leave the walls etc for now. It sounds like you are piling stuff up on your plate. Write a list of everything that needs to be done. Highlight the ones that are safety issues and move te cosmetic ones to a 'later' list. You can do this but it will take time.

Focus on moving the rest of your stuff. Personally, I wouldn't offer to help a friend move but if they called up and asked and explained I would.

You can do this.

FarBetterNow Sun 21-Apr-13 10:58:32

I fully understand that you must be massively fed up and disappointed.
I think you need to priortise.

Firstly, get everything from the old house.

Holes in walls don't need filling in right now.
Decorating doen't need doing right now.
The washing machine would be useful though.
Floor boards - well they are unlikely to go through this week.
Skirting missing - not really an urgent problem.

Think of it as a long term project.

Lots of people live in a building project!

maddening Sun 21-Apr-13 11:08:20

move your stuff first.

shut everything that you don't need day to day in a spare room and ignore that.

ignore the decor and plaster.

clean the rooms you are living in - kitchen, bathroom, bedroom (which can be your living room too if you are living alone)

make floorboards safe.

then detail the jobs in each room and establish how much materials will cost. Which jobs can you do yourself? If the plaster is awful can you strip back to the wall and replaster? Are any of your friends in "the trade"?

you may not be able to afford skilled work now but you can certainly prep the areas.

when you have asked friends for help what have been their reasons for not being able to? Is it a definite won't help or not able to right now? Tbh I can understand those with young dc havjng difficulty. Can you offer skills that they need in return for help?

maddening Sun 21-Apr-13 11:12:03

and check what the survey covered - if there is stuff they should have checked you may have some recourse?

EduCated Sun 21-Apr-13 11:16:17

A lot of what you've listed sounds like it needs skilled repairs - I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable offering to do anything more than shifting some stuff about and a bit of cleaning.

MadBusLady Sun 21-Apr-13 11:43:32

Ok, the floorboards I need to know more about, but quite honestly I would not consider it a rally-round emergency if a friend of mine had had to survive a whole month without smooth walls and perfect skirting boards. I've spent my entire life in project houses like you're describing. I thought you were talking holes in the roof and no working bathroom.

Moving is horrible, I know - it's all so stressful and the place isn't like you remember. Was talking to my mum about this, she said she's been in tears on the first day in every new house she's moved to, including the current house, which she now loves! This is why people try not to move very often, I guess.

Priorities are:
- moving your stuff - definitely ask for help with this and make it clear you're struggling.
- getting a washing machine plumbed in. Is there room for it to sit in front of the worktop? As long as you can get round it to the rest of the kitchen it really doesn't matter that it's not in its final position for now.
- how bad are the floorboards? If the entire floor is unsafe, that definitely should have been picked up by the survey, and you will have some recourse, I'm sure. If it's just that a few are broken, put tape round them or light objects on them to remind yourself and put the repairs next on the list.

toomuchtoask Sun 21-Apr-13 11:44:03

Thanks everyone. Guess its just me being an idiot. I just know I would have helped any of my friends. I maybe need to rethink that.

you are not being an idiot. sounds like an overwhelming situation.

i would ignore holes and skirting boards and decorating.

get electrics and counter top done. you HAVE to be safe and have to have a working washing machine.

otherwise, just slowly, room by room.

i lived in a building site for 5 years. awful, but needs must.

if anyone offers help, ACCEPT.

DoJo Sun 21-Apr-13 11:57:29

It does sound as though the stress of it all is getting to you - I know it must feel like an awful lot of work which you weren't expecting, but new skirting board and uneven walls don't really amount to a complete renovation (I was expecting you to say new roof/complete re-fit of essentials like kitchen and bathroom etc), but if you are only seeing the work that needs doing I can understand that it feels like that. I still think that maybe you are more in need of company than necessarily physical help as it sounds like what should have been an exciting move has turned out to be a bit of a disappointment and a larger job than you were hoping for, but I'm sure if you manage to get someone round for a cuppa and tour of the new place you might start to remember the reasons you bought it and feel a bit more positive.

On a practical note, a lot of washing machines have a section on top which is purely cosmetic and can be removed to make them fit under a unit if you are an inch or two short (can you tell we have had the same problem?!) so that might be worth investigating as you never actually see the top of it again once its installed. Good luck - I hope you can turn it into the home you were hoping for.

Cravingdairy Sun 21-Apr-13 12:00:51

But you can't put yourself in their shoes. You sound overwhelmed and I don't blame you but TBH I think you have lost perspective and that you are looking for someone to blame. Again I don't blame you. I would definitely explore whether there is recourse against the surveyor - can you call Citizens Advice on your lunch break? Have you aaked everyone you can think of for help? If you put a plea on FB maybe someone will come of the woodwork. Someone might be able to lend you a van, but not paint, for example. If you male it sound like 'come on chaps, can everyone pitch in with one small thing' perhaps that would encourage people to get involved for the feelgood factor of helping, rather than feeling expected to do loads. Good luck.

DontmindifIdo Sun 21-Apr-13 12:01:40

I think that I wouldn't offer to help with those jobs, because I wouldn't know how to do them, but I would offer to have your DCs. It wouldn't occur to me you'd want help with stuff that if I was faced with in my house, I'd pay a professional to come round to do - I understand if you can't afford that you'd need to DIY it, but I wouldn't think you'd want someone who didn't know what they were doing to help.

As others have said, get it safe and usable, then work on the rest slowly. Did the previous owners have a washing machine in that space? Is it a case you could fit one in if you get the same make and model as theirs? could you sell yours and try to buy a second hand one that was similar to theirs? Might not be your dream one, but better than nothing until you can afford to replace the kitchen tops (we had to buy the same fridge as the previous owners had as nothing else fitted in the space in the kitchen, annoying as it was about £200 more than the one I had my eye on before I realised it was a tricky space)

DontmindifIdo Sun 21-Apr-13 12:04:27

Agree with Cravingdairy too - if you posted on FB you're having a hard time ,you might find some friends will be able to help with different bits, but the whole job might be too overwhelming for them.

MidniteScribbler Sun 21-Apr-13 12:13:14

Good lord, other than making sure the floorboards are safe (didn't you have the property checked before purchasing?) then nothing else is life threatening. It may not be pretty, but you've got a roof over your head, and there's a heap of things you can do yourself. I've been in this current property for two and a half years and I'm only just starting to see the light at the end of the reno tunnel. Yes, I hated the paint job, the carpet, the kitchen, the bathroom, the garden, the floorboards, the light fittings, the curtains, the door handles, etc, but none of it meant that I couldn't live in the house. I just work through, one room at a time, doing what I can, saving up for various trades to be done as I can afford them. I've never asked anyone for free help or expected anyone to help me get my house in the state I want it to be except for me.

I'm a full time working, part time studying, single parent and still don't sit back and sob and wait for my knight in shining armour to show up and save me. Stop playing the helpless female card. Most large hardware chains have free classes on the weekend that can teach your painting, tiling, basic plumbing, decorating, etc, and just set aside an hour a day to concentrate on one thing at a time to get it done. Do you really expect your friends to come over and solve your bad purchasing decisions by spending what could equate to months of free labour to get your house in to the state you want it to be?

Osmiornica Sun 21-Apr-13 12:13:59

You're stressed and finding it all overwhelming. If I had a friend who was feeling that I'd help out but I wouldn't assume you needed it so you've had to have asked.

I've moved many times over the years and didn't receive help but that doesn't mean other people shouldn't or don't need any help themselves. When a friend moved recently a couple of us went round and helped clean the place up as it was particularly dirty.

I like to think I'm a good friend but would draw the line at doing up someone else's house . I would however offer to have the children/ make them some meals/do their food shopping so they could get on with it.

pigletmania Sun 21-Apr-13 12:23:40

Yabvvvu nice If they help, if not its your responsibility. Take your time and do it in stages, don't expect

mrspaddy Sun 21-Apr-13 12:24:05

I think the issue here is you need to take care of yourself and your own emotional health. I think as you go through life you realise there are very few people who will put themselves out for you to the extent that you are looking for. Learn from this - they will need help too sometime. I have been hurt by people but have now become very independent. I don't think it really is your friends responsibility to do your DIY though, being totally honest.
None of us can expect to live in a perfect house. Tackle one room at a time.. decorate it so that you learn to love it. That sense of achievement will give you a boost.
Whatever you do please don't moan to your friends about their lack of help unless you want to lose them. I have a friend who constantly moans that her MIL doesn't help, nobody helps and I have pulled away from her because I don't enjoy her company anymore.
If you are happy and positive in yourself - you may find people wanting to be there. I hope I am not too harsh in any of this. Look after yourself x

Iamsparklyknickers Sun 21-Apr-13 12:25:54

OP, I agree with the majority your priority right now is safe and livable.

So get your stuff into the new place in position so you can do day to day living, it sounds like you can at least keep it clean so don't entertain getting into the plastering and stuff for now. It's just not important and the dirt will get you down even more.

I think you implied the electrics were sorted now? That's a win so tick it off and try to stop yourself thinking about the money. I'm not being flippant, I know it's hard but it's done now and needed doing anyway.

Have a look at the options people have posted for the washing machine, but do you have a back up plan if you can't make any of them work? Can you go to and use someone elses? (Now if no-one lets you do that your friends abu smile)

You're friends aren't being unreasonable sweet, it really isn't that common for friends to be expected to help out with the level of DIY that you need a hand with, it's not UR to ask, but it is UR to expect them to be swarming round armed with sand paper and paintbrushes. I'm certainly not competent enough to help out and would be reluctant to fuck it up even more. Please try to put aside the mindset that this is some sort of slight against you, it really isn't.

This might not appeal to you, but I would be putting up fairy lights and anything temporary that might make the house more bearable to live in for the next few months while I worked my way through the rooms. I'd also be considering a house warming bbq while it doesn't matter too much what mess gets made. Not just to cheer myself up a bit, but to see what came of it. It's amazing who knows who and who can do certain things when you get chatting to people when things are relaxed.

ihearsounds Sun 21-Apr-13 12:28:35

When people offer to help with moving, this is what they mean, moving. They don't mean reburbing a home for someone. They don't mean decorating and cleaning. Not everyone is comfortable filling in holes, plastering walls, wallpapering etc. They shouldn't be made to feel bad because they cannot do it for whatever reasons.

The works that you need doing are cosmetic. They are not important to keep the roof and walls stable. These are things that everyone does when they move into a new home. They strip the walls to find holes in the walls. They find that skirting is missing or falling off. These are the jobs they do when they have moved in, and do over time.

I moved here. I had 3 dc's under 5. No partner, no family, and two loyal friends. The friends helped me move in physically. That was it. Not with the cleaning. Not with the works that needed doing - decorating, cleaning, flooring, kitchen, bathroom and toilet all needed doing, never mid the plumbing and electrics. And I worked full time. I prioritized the work. Because it all couldn't get done at the same time.

To be honest, I think most people have a better perspective of their own limitations.

You chose this house, you chose this time of year to move when you have no annual leave, you chose a house that has blown your budget, you did not realize it was a renovations project, you did not budget for repairs, nor for the move. You know your size and your strengths and weaknesses, yet you still went ahead despite all of the above.

If anything, blame your own budgeting and planning, not your friends!

Realistically speaking, are you expecting friends to lay floorboards? Rewiring? Drive back and forth with your boxes? That is one heck of an ask!

BackforGood Sun 21-Apr-13 12:58:49

Well, I've lived in my house nearly 10 years now, and have some of those jobs that needs doing - why on earth do you think you need to do everything in a month ? confused.
When I posted earlier I wondered if I was missing something, but it seems you've bought a house, then got cross because all your friends haven't dropped everything they are trying to juggle in their own lives, to start on major decorating projects in your house. I'm completely bemused that you think anyone should shock.
If someone moves house, I think the normal ettiquette is to offer to look after young dc on the day for them, maybe (if you happen to be good at DIY) to offer to see if there is anything needs doing on the day - say plumbing in a washing machine... but obviously you need to have specific skills to do that, maybe dropping round a meal or some cakes, and, if you were really close to the person, offering to do the final clean round the empty house so the person who is moving can get all the stuff in at the other end. It does not include starting on a list of DIY projects when you've probably got a list of your own.
So yes, YABU.

Awomansworth Sun 21-Apr-13 13:01:22

I guess I got very lucky in the friends department... It just wouldn't occur to me, not to help out a friend in need, regardless of my own family pressures, which are considerable since I have a disabled child.

We bought our current house 6 years ago, knowing full well that we were buying a renovation project, that's why we chose it.

We certainly never asked or expected our friends to help, but they did, which is why we are currently returning the favour for one of those friends, as I said up thread. We are all a mixture of coupes/singles all with children and work commitments.

OP - I'm lucky in that I can turn my hand to most things in the DIY department, sounds like you are capable to a degree, I would therefor make a list of what needs doing, then tackle something each day. The place isn't what you expected (they never are) but try to break things down into priorities and give yourself a reasonable timescale to finish the work. You will get there... just takes time. There were many times that I thought we would never finish (we did most of the work ourselves) but we did and now have a lovely family home... you will too.

Good luck.

BIWI Sun 21-Apr-13 13:05:54

Did you ask for specific help at specific times, toomuchtoask? Or were you just hoping that people would come forward to volunteer?

Maybe your friends simply don't realise how much help you actually needed?

It does sound like you have had a very poor survey done, if you weren't aware of all this work, and I'd be going back to them to complain.

emsyj Sun 21-Apr-13 13:14:49

If the house genuinely needs full renovation (that's not what your description sounds like though...) and the survey didn't point out all the major work (including need for new electrics) then you should be taking action against the company who did the survey.

Anyway, most of what needs doing requires skill (as others have said) and so isn't realistic to expect friends to do. The house we live in we bought 4 years ago and it still needs a huge amount of work - such is life. If I (or DH) had a spare day or spare weekend, the last thing I would do is spend it doing cosmetic work on someone else's house that badly needs doing in my own house. I might, however, spend the day taking that person's kids to the zoo, or making dinner for them. Your expectations sound a bit high to be honest - and I say that as a person who would gladly do a favour for more or less anybody, friend or not.

I think most people move house and carry out refurbishments without expecting others to help out for free. I've done both, more than once, and have never expected or been offered help from friends. Don't cry about it, just cope, like everyone else. Do what you can when you can. If it takes years, it takes years. I had to wait 6 years for a functioning kitchen. Not fun, but survivable.

OrlaKiely Sun 21-Apr-13 13:34:10

We live in a perpetual state of renovation. We've been here 5 years and accomplished loads - but still. It's not finished.

My folks help me out sometimes - they come over on a weekend and sometimes they will do a tip run for me, yesterday we worked on the garden together - their main role is to babysit though, so my mother holds the baby and talks to the others while me and dad put stuff in the car and do the heavy work.

I've put in a new kitchen and bathroom mainly by myself, built a walk-in chicken run, tiled floors and walls, screeded, painted...but then I really enjoy this kind of thing. I have no partner either.

I just want you to know that it can be done. Yes it takes time and you sound overwhelmed, which isn't surprising but that will wear off gradually. Go easy on yourself - you just moved in. flowers

OrlaKiely Sun 21-Apr-13 13:37:26

Oh and I have a male friend whom I have helped out numerous times - including digging up his concrete patio with pick axes and loading it into a skip.

Has he ever helped with my projects? No.

I did it because I enjoyed it and it was great fun and I fancied him a bit grin but after a while I thought, fuck this, I could be doing my own stuff.

I can't comment on your friends as I don't know them but fwiw, maybe they are the kind of people who don't like DIY or cleaning. Or maybe they have kids? Stop feeling bitter and take a few small steps into the work you have on. I guarantee you will feel better.

flippinada Sun 21-Apr-13 13:39:33

I have a friend who us in a similar situation to you OP. Recently moved, massively stressed, and overwhelmed by it all - however a lot of that is exacerbated by unrealistic expectations (how long it will take to sort things out, what she can manage etc).

I do sympathise, because moving is a very stressful business and I'm not planning to do it again anytime soon if I can help it.

Maybe it would be helpful to write a lost of what needs doing, then once you've done that, divide it into what's essential and what can wait - break it down into manageable chunks.

ZillionChocolate Sun 21-Apr-13 13:45:32

Moving is horrible and I think houses are often worse than you expect and will consume more time and money than you thought. I'm not going to berate you for a lack of planning/contingency plans; it's too late. I'm sorry you're feeling overwhelmed; it will get better. I think once you've prioritised the very urgent stuff, it's sometimes worth doing a room at a time. At least then you can see progress and have safe havens away from the broken/dirty/dilapidated.

When I moved house I had tonnes of help from my parents and during about a year's worth of repairs/renovations. My sister visited and unpacked a box of kitchen stuff. When others have moved, I've spent half a day cleaning for my sister and half a day painting for my best friend. I would be unlikely to help other friends, although I wouldn't rule it out.

I think it is unreasonable to expect other people to help. Unless there's been a reciprocal agreement, then you can hope for modest offers of help, but you can't guarantee them.

MidniteScribbler Sun 21-Apr-13 13:50:56

I think you need to be realistic about what happens when you buy a new house, especially a fixer upper.

I'm finally getting my new kitchen and appliances installed tomorrow (can't wait!!!!!!). I've lived her for two and a half years. In that time, I've been dealing with the ugliest kitchen cabinets ever designed, with handles that fell off half the time, and doing all my cooking on a tiny little benchtop oven that can't hold anything bigger than a small pan. I've survived. I'm not living in third world conditions, just not my own ideal conditions. (But I'm sure as heck going to enjoy my first roast dinner in two and a half years tomorrow night!)

You prioritise the jobs, you work out what you can do yourself, you spend your weekends up to the elbows in paint tins and sandpaper and you save up for the rest. It may take six months, it may take years. But it sure as heck feels good when you can step back and look at a room and know you've worked and saved hard to get it exactly how you want it.

flippinada Sun 21-Apr-13 13:53:00

If it's any consolation toomuch I've been in my house for three and a half years and I'm still not completely unpacked!

I also need a new kitchen,'s all functional but sorely needs replacing..and don't get me started on the electrics confused.


I recently spent a full weekend helping my friend (recently split from her DH) move into her new house then painting the whole bloody thing :-)

I would have much rather spent my weekend with my DP (I work long hours during the week) but what are friends for eh?

CloudsAndTrees Sun 21-Apr-13 14:17:18

It sounds like the majority of what you have to do is cosmetic stuff, not urgent stuff. Most people have stuff like that that they need to dedicate time to in their own ones unles they have a lot of money and can pay people to do everything.

I think you are expecting too much if you want friends to take time away from sorting their own homes, or use up childcare favours to help ou with stuff that doesn't really matter that much like skirting boards. Like I said earlier in the thread, I do understand as I had to re do literally everything when I moved house as a single mum, but you and I are lucky to own homes. There is only so much you can reasonably expect from other people.

Have you no family to help? If you write a proper list prioritising what needs done in order to move in then you will be able to break it down, making it more manageable - decorating is a weekend job after you have moved IMO it is not an emergency/or a job friends help with unless they love it and offer. Your main priority is to move & leave your previous house in tidy/ clean condition. Everything will fall into place after that. Fixing floorboards isn't something I could do easily but if I was stuck I would google how to do it and then give it a go.

You sound very stressed - you need to take 15 minutes to go somewhere and just relax.

I have to say you have my sympathy though. I have friends/family that will help& have helped with all our many moves & we reciprocate any way we can. Last move my sil came and helped me clean & pack whilst my dad, brother and his friend helped us move furniture, my mother looked after the dc. They do this for other friends, travelling long distances to do it - my brother will be moving soon and I will help any way I can. Good family and friends will rally round. I have helped a good friend who had a house to clean for a march out, but I offered! I did have the time though and she has helped me way more than that tiny bit of cleaning! So I don't think YABU to ask for help, but be specific, maybe asking certain people for an hour doing x thing and when?

Good luck with the move, ime everything that really needs doing gets done and all the rest follows as and when! Prioritise, keep your energy up, and get plenty of sleep.

Gerrof Sun 21-Apr-13 15:09:33

4 foot 8?

RhondaJean Sun 21-Apr-13 15:16:45

Op why are you so short?

Can I recommend a structured programme of lifting weights to help you build up more strength? Just be careful to choose a strength programme and not a body building one, you don't want to become muscle bound.

Good luck...

digerd Sun 21-Apr-13 15:23:04

Orla - wow.

You sound like superwoman. Are you my neighbour? <grin>

BIWI Sun 21-Apr-13 15:38:20

From the OP's first post on MN:

"How do you say thank you for a huge thing. It's a long story but a family member has just bought me a house. I will then pay them rent and will get a lodger in to give them more rent. I am massively grateful.

How the heck do you say thank you for something like that? I have already wrote a letter to them saying how much I value them and how much their kindness has meant to me but I don't feel like this is enough (especially as they have given up a month of their time to decorate it - they are retired). I have also taken them out for meals."

So I'm a bit confused as to just what kind of state this house actually is in, if your relative has spent a month decorating it?

<presses report button>

magimedi Sun 21-Apr-13 15:39:31

gerrof & Rhonda

Are you 'sizeist'? grin

FasterStronger Sun 21-Apr-13 15:43:07

OP, you sound like you are really stressed. but I don't know anyone who has had a friend help them when they moved house.

have you helped anyone when they moved?

I think you are expecting too much of your friends, too much of your house and too much of yourself.

forget about the house until you feel better in yourself. get fitter and you will feel better.

MrsMacFarlane Sun 21-Apr-13 15:49:46

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BOF Sun 21-Apr-13 15:52:13

Maybe the ceilings were a bit low for your friends?

kungfupannda Sun 21-Apr-13 15:54:08

I think you have very high expectations of people, OP.

I help people out when I can, but I think I'd be a bit confused if someone who had just bought a house was expecting me to drop everything to go and do fairly major DIY on their new home.

If I knew someone who'd had an emergency move into dire accomodation, that would be a bit different, and I'd be prioritising their urgent needs over my ongoing, everyday jobs. But someone buying a house and then finding it needs more work than they thought? I don't think it would occur to me that they might be expecting me to get someone to look after my kids so that I could turn up and lay floorboards and plaster walls.

crashdoll Sun 21-Apr-13 15:54:54

YABU to expect practical support but YANBU to want emotional support. I'm crap with DIY and have a disability that would make it impossible anyway BUT I'd be round there with wine and chocolate. I'd turn up the radio, tell you crap jokes, offer a shoulder to cry on, I'd be there for you. Ok, not all day, every day but I'd support you in the hope you'd do the same when things were tough for me. That's what friends do!

Bessie123 Sun 21-Apr-13 15:55:19

Op, where are you? I bet some mnetters would come and help. I can put in a few hours if you are in London and not too far away

Gerrof Sun 21-Apr-13 15:56:04

If you are as needy annoying to your friends as you are on here no wonder they aren't helping.

You have bought a house, it needs some work. You have to move your own stuff. Meh.

RhondaJean Sun 21-Apr-13 16:00:45

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MrsMacFarlane Sun 21-Apr-13 16:02:00

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YouTheCat Sun 21-Apr-13 16:08:59

I am confused

OrlaKiely Sun 21-Apr-13 16:09:09

'Why are you so short?' LOL!

Oh dear, poor OP.

Digerd I don't know but wouldn't that be lovely? I'm trying to work out who you are now! Unlikely I suppose but anyway. Not superwoman - just keen on displacement activity, I'm not much good with the children!

gotthemoononastick Sun 21-Apr-13 16:18:03

You are feeling sad and resentful of friends unhelpfulness,but you learned the great lesson that human beings could always disappoint you. If you are a generous person,this is hard to swallow! Wish I could give you a hand.

toomuchtoask Sun 21-Apr-13 16:26:11

Thank you to those who have shown support. I am utterly aghast at some of the nastiness on here from some of the others though. How dare people take the piss out of my height. It's hardly something I fucking chose is it. FFS. The only reason I bloody commented on my height is to point out that it makes things much harder.

I won't be coming back on this thread as I feel it is actually doing me more harm than good. It certainly isn't making me feel any better.

As for those who have said I am expecting too much, perhaps I was. However you've made it sound like I'd be sitting with my feet up while my friends did my bidding. Certainly not the fucking case. An hour or so cleaning, wallpaper stripping etc would have been lovely and certainly something I would have done for others.

And for the poster who commented on my first thread. Yes my relative did help with some of the rennovations. She is now unable to help with the rest. She came down about 6 times over the month which I was enormously grateful for e.g. she was here to let the electricians in etc when I was at work. Thanks for reporting me though. Nice touch.

Thank you again to those who showed support. I am not going off in a strop but I won't hang around to be abused and distrusted. It won't do me any good.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 21-Apr-13 16:35:21
MrsMacFarlane Sun 21-Apr-13 16:38:10

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TheRealFellatio Sun 21-Apr-13 16:43:07

This sounds familiar. Did you post a couple of months back complaining about your friends - saying they were ganging up on you, and that you were very stressed about the imminent move and they weren't being very supportive?

OrlaKiely Sun 21-Apr-13 16:43:10

Guys do back orf.

OrlaKiely Sun 21-Apr-13 16:43:54


StanleyLambchop Sun 21-Apr-13 18:06:56

An hour or so cleaning, wallpaper stripping etc would have been lovely

Yes my relative did help with some of the rennovations. She is now unable to help with the rest. She came down about 6 times over the month which I was enormously grateful for

So you have had some help, someone coming six times is actually quite a lot of help. If you were not satisfied with that then I think that it is unlikely you will be satisfied with 'an hour or so' from others.

On a practical note, you say that you cannot wallpaper over the bumpy walls. Have you investigated the various products designed to help with this problem? There are some really good lining papers available, and we used a product which was a cross between paint and plaster- it went on like a paint but was thicker and so gave a finish like a thin layer of plaster, it worked wonders with our walls.

DontmindifIdo Sun 21-Apr-13 18:25:07

OP - you've had some good practical advice on this thread, read back through and see what ideas people have come up with. Definately might make life a little easier for you. I would look at solutions from the ideas on here, it can be daughting when you realise you've taken on more than you can manage. Work out what needs to be done, not jst what you'd like to be done, and research if there's easier ways to get round problems.

The fact you had another relative coming down 6 times in a month to help you probably also stopped other people helping - because it looks like you've got help. (It's never just an hour wallpaper stripping, and if you need help with cleaning, they are going to assume it's a big job, I would assume asking for an hour you were really asking for a day - a lot of people don't have that sort of spare time - could you find a spare few hours to help someone else right now?).

ChippingInLovesSpring Sun 21-Apr-13 18:41:01

Stanley can you give me more details about that paint please?

OP - you have completely unrealistic ideas about how quickly this house should have/needs to be completed by given your situation. Many people live for years in a house that needs 'stuff' doing. I am currently in year 3 - due to family problems, a death in the family, helping friends through illness, their family deaths and the like - all things that took priority over getting this place 'finished' and also lack of funds. It'll get there in the end.

Friends - there's always some give & take some 'equal' most not -- some friends 'take' more than they 'give' and others 'give' more than they 'take'. It's life. I would 'expect' my friends to help me in an emergency or in a crisis - but I don't expect them to help me renovate my house - they all have their own lives & commitments. I tend to help more than I'm helped - but that's my nature and probably my weakness too in a way and sometimes I think it would be nice if my friends helped me a bit more so it's a little less of a one way stream, but hey ho, I am the one who needs to 'offer' less and say 'Sorry I can't' more often - it's not them who need to help more.

I'm 4ft 11 - I really don't think 3 inches makes a big difference and I manage to do pretty much everything that needs doing - it just takes time.

GrendelsMum Sun 21-Apr-13 18:53:25

TooMuch - I don't think you've posted in the right section of the site for advice on your situation.

why don't you post another message in the Property section, either to outline problems you need advice with, or to have a good old moan?

As people have been saying, it is stressful to move into a new place, but you can do the work bit by bit. we've had holes in walls for four years or so now, while we work on other rooms. Just tackle one room at a time and you'll find it much more manageable.

I suspect your friends also have plenty of house jobs they should be getting on with, so coming round to do jobs on your house doesn't make a lot of sense for them.

MintyyAeroEgg Sun 21-Apr-13 18:58:03

Just wanted to add that we have lived in our house (which has needed a ton of work doing to it) for 9 years this month and we are just getting round to decorating our bedroom for the first time.

We should have finished by this time next year ... 10 years in all.

Everything we have done we have had to save up for, we haven't increased the mortgage at all, and we do not have friends or family doing renovations for us. I don't think we are that unusual.

Bobyan Sun 21-Apr-13 19:32:52

So someone buys you a house and now you are moaning that your friends haven't help to decorate or move you in.

Entitled much?

StanleyLambchop Sun 21-Apr-13 19:40:41

Chipping- The paint is by Polycell and it is called 3-in-1 Basecoat. They stock it at B & Q. Goes on with a roller. Then you paint over it with your chosen colour. Job done.

ChippingInLovesSpring Sun 21-Apr-13 22:20:48

Stanley I looked at that before and thought it seemed like a bloody brilliant idea for my awful walls, but the guy in B&Q talked me out of it, basically said it was crap... it's very interesting to hear from someone who has had good results with it. I might get a small one and try it on one wall - I've nothing to lose!

nipersvest Sun 21-Apr-13 22:35:10

op, i have trouble feeling sorry for you due to the inconsistencies. you've said you are moving everything yourself, didn't you post a thread only a few days ago complaining about your removal men?

BIWI Mon 22-Apr-13 08:37:48

Yes ...

FauxFox Mon 22-Apr-13 10:29:16

Someone bought you a house? Wow I think that's probably more help than most people will ever get...

kitsmummy Mon 22-Apr-13 10:44:24

God, someone bought you a house, but it needs some work doing to it? Some people have all the bad luck...

OrlaKiely Mon 22-Apr-13 10:46:51

She still has to pay rent on this house. It's not like a gift.

StanleyLambchop Mon 22-Apr-13 11:59:59

Is it full rent or mates rates? If it is full rent then the relative, as the landlord, should get the floorboards fixed and sort out the washing machine problems. If it is cheap rent in return for doing up the house yourself then you can't really complain. Either way I suspect we will never know as the OP has gone off in a huff.

toomuchtoask Wed 24-Apr-13 17:05:44

I've just popped back to apologise for my attitude the other day. I was severely stressed.

Thank you to those who supported me. I am now about 80% sorted with the house after working like a trooper to get it sorted. I am feeling a million times better.

1Catherine1 Wed 24-Apr-13 17:11:30

Good, I'm happy that you're feeling better. I don't think anyone thought badly of you, it was obviously clear that you were just struggling under immense pressure.

toomuchtoask Wed 24-Apr-13 17:18:21

Thank you Catherine.

Jan49 Wed 24-Apr-13 19:13:09

I'm so glad for you! I think you've done really well. My idea of dealing with a hole in the water mostly consists of hanging something over it to block it!blush I think moving house can feel overwhelming, so many things that all need doing at once and things you'd like to get done but can't.

Jan49 Wed 24-Apr-13 19:14:00

That's a hole in the wall, not in the water.blush blush

toomuchtoask Wed 24-Apr-13 19:52:25

Thanks Jan. I do feel quite proud of myself really. I've made floorboards, sawed wood to the right size, plained, sanded. I've sanded walls and wallpapered, painted. I've made new bottoms to broken kitchen cupboards. I've hung heavy pictures and mirrors. Among a million other things.

tripecity Wed 24-Apr-13 20:09:31

When my friends moved house and needed rooms painting, they asked people over on a saturday afternoon and laid on beer and pizza. Not surprisingly we all got stuck in. About 10 of us turned up to help and we all did a wall, which added up to quite a few walls that were done at the end of that day

Under these circumstances I would give up my time and rearrange my saturday to help them (it was a laugh actually). If they just asked me to come over and do some cleaning, I wouldnt as I have enough of my own to do, however selfish that sounds

maddening Wed 24-Apr-13 20:24:11

Wow that's absolutely fab for three days work - big pat on the back for you! Plan a rest too you definitely don't want to run yourself ragged!

I am still recuperating smile

imour Wed 24-Apr-13 20:25:32

good for you for getting on , must of been overwhelming to move then see the amount of work you had to do , glad you are feeling better about it all .

MadBusLady Wed 24-Apr-13 20:28:00

Oh wow! We must have moved about the same time as you and we've still not completely unpacked. Well done, and remember to sleep! grin

toomuchtoask Wed 24-Apr-13 20:30:55

maddening it's a month of work not 3 days! I have done an awful lot over the last 3-4 days though!

MadBusLady. I'm not completely unpacked yet! I have to build my wardrobes and drawers first!

maddening Wed 24-Apr-13 21:47:36

ha - well done still (I was feeling v inadequate smile ) did you get the last of your stuff moved over?

ZillionChocolate Thu 25-Apr-13 07:09:54

Glad you've made so much progress. Must feel like a real achievement!

toomuchtoask Thu 25-Apr-13 10:35:17

Yeah I managed to finish getting everything over maddening. I ended up having to get a removal company to do a part load to get the big stuff over as obviously I could lift a washing machine, sofa etc myself and certainly couldn't fit them in my car. They brought the big stuff over last week and I finished bringing the rest over this week. Had to dip into my overdraft to pay them but there wasn't really an option.

ZillionChocolate - Yeah it definitely feels like a big achievement!

I'd do your cleaning, make you dinner, look after your kids, do a bit of painting but would probably draw the line at fixing your floor boards or sanding and plastering. Am not qualified to so either and would make a hash of it.

Your friends are not being unhelpful at all. Sounds as though you have taken on more than you can handle all at once and rather than taking a step back and prioritising (other than floorboards and electrics nothing is that much of a priority) you are expecting others to pick up the slack.

Do what needs to be done immediately for safety and just take your time with the rest. As long as your home is clean, safe and warm then no one is going to come a cropper!

bedmonster Thu 25-Apr-13 13:43:38

I'm glad you're feeling better, it really is draining.
You've done really well OP.
But I would always help a friend with stuff, and our friends have always done the same for us. Our friends and family don't move often though, maybe it's different if you move 3 times a year with shit laods of stuff!

I would draw the line at having things like 'painting parties' though as the results look shit. No one cuts anything in properly, One wall has 2 coats and the other has 3, someone has left bristles from their brush all in the paint... Painting and decorating aren't things that should be rushed or else they look awful, so actually, maybe you're better off not having their painting help!

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