Thursday, 12 March 2009

Changing home

No, we are not about to move house again. Certainly not after all the blood, sweat and tears that have now gone into this cottage, not to mention the oodles of money. Although moving back south was another of my brother's crackpot ideas. Because of the difference in property prices, a move from south to north is usually a one way ticket and we have now decided that we do not want to move back south. We are going to stay here and enjoy the fruits of our labours.

I think that we have moved more times than has been good for us and I have noticed that there are several in blogland who are about to move house or who are trying to move house. So I thought that I would write a post about my/our moving experiences. My move into the one bedroom flat that was my first purchase doesn't really count as all I possessed, apart from clothes, records and books etc., was a cooker, a bed and a stool. Three years later I had outgrown the flat and moved on to a small house. My parents helped me move - well my father really, as my mother sat around fanning herself and complaining about the heat. On the advice of the removal man we tried to drive from the flat to the new house via a route that I was not familiar with and we got lost. The vendors had had the telephone disconnected in the days before mobile phones and it took several days of phone calls from phone boxes to get it reconnected and it was actually my father who eventually managed to get things sorted out. What would a girl do without her father?

I moved out of that house after I got married. The move itself was straight forward but I had the buyer from hell so we removed everything that we could. All my belongings went into storage for two weeks whilst we lived in my husband's house. We moved from my husband's house on St Valentine's Day to our first home. There were no problems with the move itself but we ended up spending a lot of time sitting around waiting for the money to go through in a cold damp multi-storey car park then waiting around outside the house in the rain for the vendors to get out of the house. By the time we were able to get into the house my husband had forgotten all about carrying me over the threshold. That evening we ventured out to find ourselves a take-away but in the dark and wet couldn't find one and ended up going to a restaurant for something to eat. By now we had forgotten that it was February 14. So there we were in our scruffy clothes amongst smartly dressed couples out for a romantic evening.

Another four and a half years later and we were on the move again. The removal company's estimator allowed for a removal van plus a small van but on the day the foreman decided that we didn't need the small van. And guess what - it didn't all fit into the removal van. The job had to be done in two trips and it was 8.30 pm before they finished unloading.

Seven years later we moved from Surrey to Chester at the end of the hot summer of 2003. The move started on a Monday with the B team. They were grumpy, disinterested and hungover. They managed to load unpacked suit cases on to the van and I had to asked for them to be unloaded. The local telephone directories also found their way on to the van and also had to be unloaded as the buyer had specifically asked for them to be left. In any case what use would Surrey phone directories be to us in Chester? About 2.30 in the afternoon they dumped a collection of travelling wardrobes in our living room and left. We were both so fed up with them that if it had not been for the fact that they had about three quarters of our belongings on the removal van, we would have happily told them not to come back. The following day the removal van was back this time with the A team who were everything that the B team had not been. Monday had been their day off after a removal trip to Europe. They managed to move us up to Chester and get us installed in the rented house without any problems.

After eight months of living in someone else's house we were desperate to move into a home of our own. By now we had mastered the art of moving. The only hitch was that one of our beds would not go round the bend at the top of the stairs in the cottage. It seems as if practise makes perfect but we are not planning on moving again any time soon.

Now read the sequel.

27 comments:

Maggie May said...

Moving is well up at the top of the stress list.
I know we will have to one day, but the thought of it sends me into a "I couldn't face it" mood.
I should start clearing out the rubbish now, really.

We are at the mercy of the removal men as to whether it goes well or not. Your removal men sounded very incompetent.

Lindsay said...

We moved nearly three years ago from a house we had lived in for 30 years - the whole procedure was a total shock! We had three skips and about 40 visits to the local tip. The one thing we have learnt from the experience is not to keep anything you do not really need! We now live in a very small house and about every three months we have a clear out of things accumulated!

Helen P said...

We moved from south to north 13 years ago and I've blanked most of it out it was so awful. A three year old, a four month old, husband still working in London, me in Chester, no car and a house that needed renovating from top to bottom...but the awfulness does fade with time doesn't it? And would you believe it; we also moved on Valentine's Day. I spent it with children in old cold house in Chester, hubby spent it turning off gas/electricity in Wimbledon.

bakar said...

Even with realistic plans, a project can encounter abrupt surprises and need for adjustments. Take heart, professional builders also readjust plans and budgets mid-way in a project, so don't harass yourself about your plight. There are some handy solutions and some guiding principles that can help along the way. So, what can you do?

First, take stock of your project's progress and the hang-ups in the plans. Getting a clear picture of the situation will help you maintain integrity for your project and the value of your house.

Realizing that a half-done project can devalue your property, an important principle of DIY home construction is to always know the shortest distance to a completed project. That is called Plan C and usually has no frills, but does have finish work done. Of course you may still have Plan A and B in your mind: the nice bay window, the stone patio and outdoor fireplace, but if push comes to shove, you still need to be able to see the plain door, with trim in place and simple wooden steps out of the house to a graded surface outside.

http://www.wolfehousebuildingmovers.com/

Moannie said...

What a kerfuffle! Moving IS stressful, there is no doubt. I think we have had eleven moves since our marriage and not one was a smooth transition. But I have to confess to enjoying the challenge of new interiors to decorate. Still no more for us, we will be carried out feet first.

Veri word: wories

jinksy said...

The most stressful moves I've ever done, were not for me- but my aged parents - twice! Nightmare! Personally, my move out of the marital home to this one, after an amicable divorce, was totally stress free, thank goodness.

French Fancy said...

I'm with you about the south-north relocation being one way. We feel the same - we could never afford to move back to the UK now, not unless house prices dramatically fall. Property - lovely places really - are so much cheaper here.

How are you getting on checking out retirement homes that are going to be suitable for your mum.?

Akelamalu said...

We have only had 3 moves. Our first home was a huge two bedroomed flat. Two years later we moved into a two bedroomed Maisonette with a garden - somewhere for the boys to play. Three years later we moved into a three bedroomed house, where we are now, we've lived here 30 years and don't intend moving again unless it's to a nursing home. I hate moving can you tell?

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Moving is pretty chaotic.....this is our third house in 2 years!! is that a record? nah.

but the home moves with us..happy days

The Dotterel said...

Reading your post has made me realise I've lived in my current house longer than anywhere else in my life - nine years. I'd happily stay another nine or more, too, to avoid the awfulness of moving.

CG said...

Moving has always seemed such a fraught experience - I've only moved twice in my life and would happily stay put rather than move again!

Gilly said...

Moving is highly stressful. On a par with having one's kitchen ripped out and done again!!

We're another south to north movers. Got a far better house than we could ever have afforded down south, nice and near our daughter, and fantastic country around to explore. Couldn't imagine living anywhere else now!

imbeingheldhostage said...

With all of that moving, you might have well been in the military.

Moving isn't a big deal to me anymore (obviously since we're on our third house in as many years), it's almost become a joke-- some people change move furniture around to spice things up, we just move house.

cheshire wife said...

MM - don't start clearing out the rubbish too soon otherwise you will feel as if you have been moving for ever.

Helen - yes the awfulness does fade but I am not in a hurry to move again.

bakar - you are too late. The building work has been done.

FF - still looking and waiting for a place in a home. The one I wrote about is still top of my list.

Akelamalu - no need to move if you are happy where you are.

FFF - we have had three houses in one year. One was rented. You are right about the home moving with you. We have had similar colour schemes wherever we have lived.

Gilly - this cottage is something that we could never have afforded in the south.

imbeingheldhostage - it is much easier to move from rented property if you find that you have made a mistake.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

We are hoping to sell our house and move before too much longer but as we all know in the UK the housing market is very depressed. However, we are beginning to sort out and clear out all unwanted items so as to make the eventual move as stress free as possible. Ha ha! A x

Zip n Tizzy said...

I'm exhausted just reading about it.
I've moved so many times that even though I can't imagine being in this house forever, I would like it to be many more years before even considering it.
Don't like the idea of moving small children!

Jan said...

The B team sounds horrendous! But thank heavens you eventully got the A team!
Enjoy where you are now.
You're in a lovely county!

Sandi McBride said...

You know, I've moved a total of 13 times in my 40 years of marriage and the worst of the moves, I hate to say, was from England back to the States...I could go on and on about it here, but posted about it some time ago and that wore me out, lol! Glad you're staying put...but I'd move house BACK to England in a flash if it were possible!
Sandi

Catharine Withenay said...

I've lived in eight houses in eleven years of marriage so far and yes - I am looking forward to the move this summer being the final one! Fingers crossed!

cheshire wife said...

SJA - good luck with you move when it happens.

Zip n Tizzy - I would not want to move with small children either.

Sandi - you can never take England out of the girl.

Catharine - fingers crossed for you!

Life said...

Just saying hello! Nice to see a localish blog, I came over from Debs...

david mcmahon said...

Truly a moving experience. I moved countries - so I was lucky that the big change was almost seamless.

cheshire wife said...

Life - thank you for popping over.

David - I think that you were very lucky.

Merisi said...

Moving is never easy, there's always something that did not show up on the spredsheet ahead of time.
I moved about ten times, from one country to another, within cities and across the sea to a different continent twice. Please, no more moves! :-)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Been there; done that! I hope this is the last one...for you as well...Congrats on your mention in POTD...this truly captures my experiences! Your mention is so well-deserved.

cheshire wife said...

Merisi & Sniffles - I am hoping that this is our last move for some time.

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