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House and home

Moving house after 34 years

(46 Posts)
lincolnimp Tue 02-Jun-20 00:35:49

Hi all you experienced people.
Once everything is in place we will be moving house.
Some of you may have read my posts about my OCD husband and his difficulty in sorting his 'stuff'.
I am more at ease with this He does manage a couple of hours, in total, each day, so he is trying.
But, and here's the real problem now, it's 34 years since we last moved house and this time in reverse---from a 5 bedroom to a three bedroom, with so many patio planters to be transported, contents of a shed and a potting shed as well as household contents---all to go.
Furniture doesn't worry me, its just the whole idea of the practicalities.
Any good tips please
We are having a full packing service from a reputable company but the whole idea troubles me greatly.
Also, what about actually arranging the removal firm for the date agreed by everyone in the chain. How on earth does it work?
Panic setting in

SueH49 Tue 02-Jun-20 01:13:15

Welcome lincolnimp. I understand some of what your are feeling. We recently moved house after 39 years. It took us right out of our comfort zone. That house had tons of storage so stuff was accumulated over the years.
We also had a 4 car garage full of my husbands hobby stuff - he makes and flies model gliders as - as well as a multitude of -toys tools and equipment an avid DIYer uses. We did have a massive clear out of household items and clothes before we moved though.

We did, with the help of our sons, move some of the garage contents but the rest was left to packers from the removal company. What the packers did was to simply put the contents of cupboards or draws straight into boxes. Next time I would make a point of putting draw contents into bags which contained and identified them rather than several draws being lumped in together to become one big mess to sort out.

Where it was different for us is that there was no chain. We went into rental accommodation until we can find our new home. That made it much easier on the day of moving as there was no one else to consider. We had the rental a couple of weeks before we had to move and we had a week after moving before we settled on the old place so it was relatively easy. Although I am not in UK so cannot comment on what happens there I'm sure the removalists will be more than capable of moving your patio planters and sheds.

When we move from our rental we will also be able to give ourselves a bit of breathing space between buying the new house and moving. Again no chain to be considered.

Everything will fall into place, it is a stressfull time but try not to worry about the little things.

May7 Tue 02-Jun-20 01:33:28

Yes moving after 33yrs for me too. Daunting as husband is a horder but slowly working through getting rid of his crap treasures. I feel your pain. Waiting for a rainy day then starting on loft clearance

craftyone Tue 02-Jun-20 05:52:43

It is very hard to downsize, physically as well as mentally. It is the getting rid of the past that is so difficult and the throwing away of things that cost money. Our main family home was a large 4 bed detached and we were in there for 34 years. We went to a 3 bed town house on a lovely 40 acre wooded estate

Some couples there moved from larger houses to much smaller houses and apartments. They said that they treated it as though they were just married and starting again. One had come from a vicarage. It was easier for me because charity shops were open then and I always felt that at least I was doing some good and that did help to settle my mind

There is no easy way but `things` just have to go and believe me it is a weight off the shoulders afterwards. Since then we moved to a 4 bed detached in the SW and then I was widowed and moved myself to a smaller house suitable for me and my hobbies. Things always accumulate.

I started well, by making scale drawings of my furniture and the rooms I would be having. I had to do a lot of jiggling to make my furniture fit, this would the one time I would have men to position things so I could not get it wrong. Some would not fit and they had to go. No sentimentality, it was practical. I did an inventory of what was in each box, I managed that for most boxes but that stopped when I reached panic mode and it got jumbled in the end.

As you can now tell, I did my own packing, all of it, I wanted to sort before I moved. Moving in is hard enough, never mind having to sort again surrounded by boxes.

Downsizing, in the end, is liberating, a chance to start again. Things are not memories, memories are in the mind

J52 Tue 02-Jun-20 06:08:35

We also downsized after 30 years in the same large house and garden. With a packing service and putting everything in storage between houses.
We started at the top and emptied the two lofts. We had to be ruthless and got rid most things stored there. We found that the removal companies won’t go up into lofts to pack, even if you have suitable stairs.
The packers are like locusts, have a routine and really just like to get on with it. They took two days to pack us, they leave beds etc until the last. I even went out for coffee with a friend while they got on with the job.
Pack valuable paperwork jewellery into the boot of your car and keep all keys on your person, they are easily mislaid.
I also was moving loads of outdoor planters, we moved these previously ( slowly) to our son’s garden.
It’s is stressful especially under the English system because things can go pear shaped, but this rarely happens and most moves are problem free.
Good luck in your new home.

Oopsadaisy3 Tue 02-Jun-20 07:47:17

I answered this post a few days ago, so this is a second go, others have made good comments, but I would urge you to find out if your removal company will pack and move items from your shed, garage and gardens.
My DDs couldn’t find anyone who would do it and had to organise all ‘out of house’ stuff with men in vans.

Missfoodlove Tue 02-Jun-20 08:48:40

We have moved 12 times, the thinking about it is worse than the act so don’t worry.

Removal companies are quite used to dates changing they will be flexible.

Firstly don't was take anything with you that don’t want so now is the time to clear out.
Use vacuum bags to store bedding towels etc.

We have Pickfords pack on day one and store at their depot overnight, we stay in an hotel for 2/3 nights near our new home.
I clean the new home or have a company in before any furniture arrives, a cleaning company come in to the old house.

You will need tea making and biscuits at both ends

Once unpacking always make the beds first if you are planning sleeping there that evening, so ask the beds go on the van last.

If you’re exhausted making a bed is no fun you need to sleep!

The kitchen is the worst room, if you do this first the rest will fall into place.

Check any awkward access at the new house, if there are any difficult returns in staircase etc take photos and measurements for your removal company, we have had to take windows out to get sofas in!

If you have open fires we ask the occupants to allow us to pay for a sweep before we move in.

Royal Mail redirection is a necessary nightmare, go through the form with a fine tooth comb as they really just want to pass your details to every company on the planet.
It is an invasive form.

There are lots of good online aids regarding who to notify and when, gas, electricity etc.

Good luck and enjoy the new home.

Septimia Tue 02-Jun-20 09:36:11

It's over 30 years since we moved here, so no recent experience.

However, when we came here I labelled all the boxes and furniture with numbers and gave the removal men a plan of the house with the rooms numbered. That way they knew which room to put things in. It wasn't completely foolproof, but it certainly helped, especially as they arrived before us (in-laws were here to see them in).

Wibby Tue 02-Jun-20 09:45:01

I downsized after 40 yrs from a 3 bed to a one bed, I paid for a full packaging service too. I was worried sick but it all went so smoothly. I stayed in the old place with my adult grandaughter whilst the removal men were packing and loading, my grandaughters boyfriend was at my new property awaiting the removal van. By the time I got to my new place everything was in and the removal men had all gone!! Couldnt have gone any better.

EmilyHarburn Tue 02-Jun-20 09:55:55

You can get a declutterer to help you pack to move. Might be useful to see what service is available in your area. If they cannot give this service because of coronavirus etc. Maybe you could get a gardner and his mate to pack up the sheds.

Aldom Tue 02-Jun-20 10:04:22

Hello EmilyHarburn I have not heard of a decluttering service before, but would be grateful if you could tell me more about it ie: how to access a reliable, trusted declutterer. Thank you.

millymouge Tue 02-Jun-20 10:07:44

I really need this. We are moving from a five bed house to a three bed bungalow shortly. We have lived here for 43 years and DH builds train engines as a hobby. The sort you see at fetes giving rides. Unfortunately this involves a large workshop and heavy machinery. Moving the house contents is no problem as apart from a few very nice pieces of furniture that we like we are getting rid of most of it and buying new ( I am looking forward to doing this). Someone is coming to take what we don’t want. The problem is his workshop. He hasn’t found a firm he will allow to move his machinery, and as for his 7 engines, goodness knows who he will allow to move those. I just wish he played bowls or darts it would be so much easier. grin

Callistemon Tue 02-Jun-20 10:14:29

We would do this if only we could find somewhere lincolnimp but the thought fills me with dread.
I even thought it would be easier to build an extension to give us a downstairs bedroom but that is rather extreme.

Good luck.

Hellsbelles Tue 02-Jun-20 10:16:27

Pack a box of essentials and take them with you, not with the removal van.
Kettle, tea, coffee,milk, snacks, not forgetting cups, spoons etc.
Also your pillows and a set of bedding. So you don't have to search around when you decide it's bedtime !

GrandmaMoira Tue 02-Jun-20 10:27:53

Start decluttering/clearing as soon as possible as it can take a long time.

Make sure you have an overnight bag with you in the car with change of clothes, nightclothes, toiletries, medication. Whilst it is very rare, my move failed to complete and I had to find somewhere else to stay for the weekend.

Caro57 Tue 02-Jun-20 10:29:21

Removal firms are used to last minute bookings / changes - good luck!

cossybabe Tue 02-Jun-20 10:41:21

We did this last year, after 36 years, the best thing we ever did.

Invite 4-6 removal companies for a quote and check they can do any proposed dates.

SusieFlo Tue 02-Jun-20 10:42:24

I want to upsize, not downsize!!!!

Lucca Tue 02-Jun-20 10:47:48

De clutter non stop before you go. I found it very rewarding disposing of things I didn’t need when moving from 4 bed terrace to two bed flat. Never regretted getting rid of anything. I’m afraid I’m rather intolerant of those who keep clutter, I’m sorry.

Lucca Tue 02-Jun-20 10:48:57

Be nice to the removal guys....bacon sandwiches went down well with mine.

Gwenisgreat1 Tue 02-Jun-20 10:52:55

Assuming the 'new' house you have bought. Double check everything you've been told about it. 2 days after we moved to this house, rain gushed through a window (they had never had this problem). Well the windows were all Everest so decided we'd be OK. I phoned Everest and was told Everest had not been to the house for about 20 years (before the last lot moved in). We got a company called The Window Doctor who said most of the windows, including the problem one, were not Everest!! The surveyer had picked up a roof problem - Oh we've had that fixed - said they. The Duck tape repair did not last long. We might end up having the roof replaced, which we cannot afford.
Take care.

Nannytopsy Tue 02-Jun-20 10:57:19

I echo the “be nice to the removal guys” - good biscuits and plenty of coffee! We ended up with an extra van because we had so many boxes of books. The boss pointed out that plants are a problem for them as they can only put a single layer in the van. We bought nearly everything down ourselves, a car full at a time to our son’s house. Good luck!

annecordelia Tue 02-Jun-20 11:00:15

Good luck....

Franbern Tue 02-Jun-20 11:05:23

Many of us have moved home over the past year and have documented our 'journeys' on the House buying threads.

Getting the whole chain to agree to one particular moving date was one of the worst things, and my chain was small - just three of us. I found the only way was to actually 'project manage' that myself. I had informed my Solicitor of the date I wanted - it was very exact as I wished to move on the Tuesday of school half term (this allowed thepacking to be carried out on the Monday). This would ensure I had help at both ends of the move.

But, I found I had to keep pushing and pushing this date, with the Solicitor, with the Estate Agents, etc. Did finally manage to get it.

Then there was a delay in actually exchanging contracts, as the couple at the very bottom of the chain used one of those cheap, on-line conveyancing companies, and they were impossible for anyone to contact. I had a wonderful EA lady, who spent nearly an entire working day trying to get through to this company and also had trouble contacting Purple Bricks who were the Agents for MY purchasers.

I was in such a state of stress as the time wore on and the moving date got closer and closer. Removal company needed to come in on the Monday in order to pack ready for the journey to my new place on the Tuesday. Spoke to the Boss there, and he was very helpful and re-assuring. Told me, IF there was a real last minute problem they would arrange storage for one or two night of my stuff.

At the end, contracts were finally exchanged on the Friday before that Monday and everything went ahead. But would never go through that time again.

I acquired half a dozen of those large plastic shopping bags (usually available for around a pound each), and packed a one with lots of electric extension leads that I took with me in the car, so that they were quickly and easily available for my electric items. In another, I had some towels, bed linen, etc. Obviously, kettle, and tea making things and biscuits in car. Also in car I took a bag with all my medicines etc. so that had those to hand. Packed a small case with about three or four days supply of clothes to see me through whilst unpacking.

Found that the main problem with having the removal company doing the packing was the sheer amount of boxes they used, often only putting two or three items in each box. My small kitchen at my flat was packed from floor to ceiling with boxes labelled by them 'kitchen', and I had to start unpacking them quickly to get any room to move.

When I moved at the end of last year, I was able to go to local cafes for most of my meals for the first few days - that would not be possible now, be a good idea to look at local places where you are moving who will do take-away deliveries. Do remember to run down such things as your freezer, even if you are taking your own one with, most removal companies will want it empty. Also, you fridge items the same. If you are moving your washing machine, you will need to ensure you have the special bits that need to be put on it whilst moving.

Hopefully, where you are going will have left some window coverings. If you are moving to a new build where there will be none, you might wish to look up getting some temporary blinds to see you through the first few weeks.

Remember such things as your land line telephone and internet providers will need to be sorted out.

Downsizing can be such fun. Getting rid of so much can be very cathartic, and then there is the added fun of getting new furniture, etc.

Make a good list of all the organisations you will need to notify about your move, and do not forget to take photos of your electric/gas/water meters where you move out and when you move in.

Do not forget to pay for the post to be sent on to your new address, and look up GP practices where you are moving to as you will need to register with them asap.


sarahellenwhitney Tue 02-Jun-20 11:08:44

Not just one but two exhausting moves in thirty years that took its toll healthwise .