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How do you move house?

(39 Posts)
aloha Mon 25-Jul-05 10:40:45

We have a pretty certain move date of 5 August. This, I have now realised is Soon. Too Soon.
We have booked a removal firm who will come on Thursday and pack and put things in their van, then come back on Friday morning to finish off (I think) and move us (only ten minutes drive away).
So what should I be doing now? House is in total mess and I cannot face tidying a house we won't be living in much longer.
I need to persuade dh that if we plan to take chandeliers (only Laura Ashley/bhs, not family heirlooms) we should be doing that now and replacing with plain light fittings. But aside from that, what from your experiences, O Mumsnetters, should I be doing to prepare. I am paralysed with horror, indecision and general being crapness at present. Help!

charliecat Mon 25-Jul-05 10:42:30

Getting a box ful of stuff together like cleaning stuff, coffee, knickers socks, spare clothes thats your going to need in the first few days when your snowed under with boxes?

Kittypickle Mon 25-Jul-05 10:47:11

I've moved loads of times over the years and the easiest ever was when we were packed up by the movers. They pack everything for you, as in absolutely everything, you don't need to do a thing. Just get your chandeliers down, pack a box of stuff that you will need at the other end otherwise it will all get packed on Thursday and that's your lot. Ours was the easiest move ever (apart from I nearly lost the cat ) and if I ever do it again which I have promised DH we won't, then I will not be doing my own packing again. And definitely don't bother tidying now. Oh and a easily accessible bottle of wine is most important.

Kittypickle Mon 25-Jul-05 10:49:16

And make sure the children's bed ,cot & bedding go on the van last so they come off first and can be set up first of all.

006 Mon 25-Jul-05 10:49:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

katierocket Mon 25-Jul-05 10:51:37

Write a list of all the people you need to inform of house move: telephone, elec, gas, water and start phoning them.
definitely have one box with kettle, milk and some other stuff in for the day of move.

Are you doing a simultaneous move? i.e, are the people you're buying off moving on the same day? if so, you have to wait for the money to transfer into their account and this can be a real pain as you literally move out of one house and sit around until estate agents will release the keys. If this is the case think of somewhere to go with the children.

Are you moving to Dulwich village BTW? I was down there last week as BIL and SIL live there, SO gorgeous, I fell in love with the place.

LIZS Mon 25-Jul-05 10:53:49

We are in the throes, literally waiting for our removal crew, due 2 1/2 hours ago, to show up .

Agree about sorting out things like light fittings sooner rather than later. Also get stuff which you want packed together in the same area, although they often have some weird logic according to what fits in each box ! I've kept a lot of original packaging for toys, electricals etc (everyone thinks I'm mad by the way!) as I feel more organised if I know what is where.

Set aside the stuff you'll want immediately to take in your car especially if you are likely to arrive too late to feel like seeking out pj's and toothbrushes.

I may not be back online in time to give you advice after the event as will probably disconnect pc tonight until at least next week, but will be happy to exchange horror stories if/when I can get back online again !

Good luck in the meantime !

MrsDoolittle Mon 25-Jul-05 10:57:00

We'll be moving in a couple of months. I like the movers to move you idea. Is it very expensive?

If so, I'll be following 006's advise

Gobbledigook Mon 25-Jul-05 10:59:34

Make sure you remember to take gas and electricity readings on the last day for the house you are leaving and also when you arrive at the first one.

You could also be informing BT, gas, electricity, water, council tax, car insurance, driving license, tv license etc etc of your move. It's a right PIA!

Otherwise agree with others - make you can get the cot and kids beds sorted first and pack bags for a few days as if you are going away. Make sure you have tea, coffee, sugar, milk and cereal to hand too.

charliecat Mon 25-Jul-05 11:11:04

Cant belive your people havent turned up lizs..that must be soooo stressful, what the excuse?

katierocket Mon 25-Jul-05 11:12:26

this might be of use
royal mail moving house

and don't forget to set up post re-direction service

LIZS Mon 25-Jul-05 11:18:48

We think they are lost basically and possibly got held up at the border (we're in Switzerland and the lorry is coming from UK). Last heard of near a golf course, but there isn't one near here ?!

charliecat Mon 25-Jul-05 11:20:36

Oh no!!!!!!!

charliecat Mon 25-Jul-05 11:20:57

Are you coming back to the UK then?

vicdubya Mon 25-Jul-05 11:24:07

Aloha! We are moving the same day. Well almost, we are being packed up on the Friday and moving into new house on the Saturday, all being well.

I agree, get the removal people to do the packing if you can possibly afford it and if you've got a lot of stuff.

If you are going to do this, put the stuff you want packed for a particular room in the new house in the same room at the old house, so when they unload the boxes it goes where you want it, iyswim.

Also, no need to do any more cleaning now, it's not worth it

We only last moved 9 months ago so I'm quite organised this time, knowing what to expect.

My list

Change of address letters (mailmerge on PC is easiest)

Chuck out rubbish (charity shops, hire a miniskip if you've got loads, etc)

Book cat into cattery in advance so she doesn't get packed

Dismantle furniture

Inform utlities (on day you move out/in) - make a file of important paperwork with this kind of info so you aren't rummaging for stuff that's been packed

Try to get someone to help out with any small people (my Mum is looking after ds for a couple of days)

Make sure you have a box in kitchen for all baby stuff esp if using bottles / sterilisers etc and tell removals people NOT to pack it! You & dh can eat take outs.

Also, find a tin or box to put all the keys in for the house including window locks etc so they don't go missing.

IME it took 2 days to get sorted at the other end, with at least the basics unpacked, furniture assembled, white goods plumbed in, PC set up - leave books and that sort of thing until later.

Don't panic, it'll be fine, and you're not going far!

purpleturtle Mon 25-Jul-05 11:39:12

Oh, excellent! About to go through this too.

Aloha, I know exactly what you mean about not being able to face tidying the house, but we're here another 4 weeks!

I have sorted through the baby things this weekend, given a lot to a first-time pregnant friend, bagged up boy's and girl's clothes for other friends/family, and filled an enormous sack for the charity shop. Need to do toys, but can't face it.

We're having someone pack us, because we're probably shipping stuff to Australia, and that way customs will be much happier. So I'm planning to decamp to a friend's house a few days before the move, taking everything we're travelling with, so that I know that everything else needs to be packed.

otto Mon 25-Jul-05 12:00:21

I've just been through this and the only thing I can add to the excellent advice already given is to not expect to complete until lunchtime at the earliest. I think people assume that the money is going to go through first thing, which it never does. If you know that then it saves lots of anxious waiting by the phone.

The other thing I would suggest is to make sure that you have some curtains or blinds for the bedrooms that you can put up quickly (assuming that the sellers haven't left them).

Also, make sure you keep all the bolts, screws etc that you need to assemble cots and beds and anything else you will need, to hand. I kept them in the glove compartment of my car.

And another may be asked to produce ID when you collect the keys, so keep your passport handy.

Also, if you plan to use the Royal Mail redirection service you need to give notice ( a week I think) and produce ID of all the people who receive mail at your current address.

By the way, we were completely disorganised about moving, but it all worked out OK in the end. Good luck with it.

aloha Mon 25-Jul-05 12:06:22

Katierocket, may I kiss you? That post office link is brilliant! Have put dh on the case (delegation, the art of management).
Great ideas re baby bedding, packing suitcase for week's holiday, box of supplies etc. This is SO helpful. I knew Mumsnet would come up trumps.
Good luck to everyone moving.
And KR, not Dulwich Village, sadly, but East Dulwich, about ten/15 minutes walk away.
And an extra big thank you to everyone who says that we don't have to clean or tidy. That's my kind of advice.
Must do round robin email to all contacts with new address and phone too.

softymom Mon 25-Jul-05 12:13:43

I think Vicdubya has lots of good advice (we've moved 3 times in 2 years - probably going to move again soon). I'd just add:

- program removal firm's number into mobile now so you can start calling them when they don't turn up (ours were late at both ends)
- carry any important documents/keys/etc with you - our movers lost (but fortunately found later after many phone calls) ours
- similarly, if you have any kind of packing list of what you've packed where, take it personally (packers also lost this, so we had beautifully numbered boxes but no idea what was in them)
- hire a skip to dump things you don't want! then you don't have to pack or unpack them and don't spend so much pre-move time running to charity shops or trying to offload unwanted items on friends. I know it's wasteful but we went through a lot of grief trying to recycle unwanted furniture, PCs etc
- get the movers to focus on setting up your 'base camp' (somewhere to sleep - so bedrooms, and somewhere to sit where your children can play). Then you have a sanity spot while you're trying to sort the rest of the accommodation out.
- we found dd really perked up when we unpacked a few things she recognised - mobile, familiar posters etc. When we move again, I would definitely have these in the essentials box to get put up immediately.

good luck! hope it all goes well.

LIZS Mon 25-Jul-05 13:19:46

Yes CC we are returning to UK after 4 years here. They finally turned up 3 hours late but are getting through it quite quickly (on 1st tea break after 2 hours ish work!) so fingers crossed !!

sparklymieow Mon 25-Jul-05 13:27:04

how much did you cost you to get them to pack it all up for you???

slim22 Mon 25-Jul-05 14:12:39

OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm not the only one living in chaos these days.
Movers coming tomrow to pack and loading wednesday.
I'm going nuts trying to sort things as baby (16mths) thinks this is a game and just running around emtying drawers and boxes.
So my piece of advice is get someone to assist/distract kids while you get busy doing whatever you have to do!

Here's how we did it:Pack
1 suitcase containing 1 week supply of clothes for everyone as if going on holiday.
1 box with paperwork, passports and important docs/keys, medicine and first aid.
1 box for dry foodstufs, paper cups/plates/tissue, bottles and milk

the rest will be done by movers.
If you are a control freak (like me) ask them o deliver boxes for clothes before hand so you can pack your clothes and personal stuff.

Good luck!

aloha Mon 25-Jul-05 14:37:29

I think it's about 700pounds.

aloha Mon 25-Jul-05 14:38:10

This is all BRILLIANT advice. I'm not actually doing anything (ahem) but I feel much more motivated and even organised, just reading these posts.

Prufrock Mon 25-Jul-05 14:55:36

Make sure you know existing phone number at new house - this makes it much easier for BT to restart line, even if you are changing the number.

Throw/give away now anything you don't want to take

Check your contract - it is geting more normal to be expected to leave your current house in a clean state, and to have to put right damage to walls so if you have screws for hanging shelves/pictures/curtain poles etc you may have to repair walls before you leave. I would leave any actual cleaning to the day of the move from now on though.

If you have time now, get your change of addresses for friends ready to post. if you don't yet know your new phone number at least write out the envelopes - otherwise you end up like me, still doing it 4 weeks after moving. Most organisations will accept change of address details over the phone

Don't unpack stuff too soon at the new place - you can live with books/cd's etc in boxes for a while, and you might very well change your mind about where you want things to go.

If curtains are not being left but poles are, buy a pack ofsafety pins, you can manage perfectly well with tablecloths/sheets slung over the existing poles until you get a feel for how you want to decorate.

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