Moving House: Part Two
We have done it! We’ve moved!
The whole moving process seems to have taken forever, although we only got the keys for our new flat a couple of weeks ago. I suppose it’s the build up to it, and starting to collect boxes and bags, and wondering how everything is going to fit in the new flat…
We’ve got most things sorted out with the flat, all the doors and windows shut and lock as appropriate, and everything is clean and shiny. The phone line was activated last night and we're connected to the internet again. Woo hoo!
Last Friday was the big Moving Day. Since getting the keys we’d done a car trip every night or so after work bringing over whatever we could fit in the car, mainly things like bookcases and books – the bookcases could go straight against the wall where we wanted them to go, and the boxes of books could be unpacked straight away, meaning more empty boxes we could take away to be packed again.
(As a side note, not all boxes are equal. One box I had from Wool Warehouse wins for being the best box, it managed four trips before one of the top flaps came off (and considering it had been sent to me from a friend as it contained a birthday present, and before that had been sent from their warehouse to her, it had done very well indeed). Banana boxes and other veg boxes have strong sides and bottoms, but are quite difficult to carry so you have to pack them in such a way that you can lock your fingers underneath them, and then have someone to guide you up the stairs as you can no longer see your feet. Ben’s sister moved house a few months ago and she gave us lots of large Sports Direct bags, about double the size of the large reusable bags you can buy in supermarkets. These bags were fantastic, and soon became our preferred receptacle for packing – easy to carry, you can carry two at once (unlike boxes) and they are good and strong. As I’ve been working in the exams office at a local school, I was allowed to rummage through the recycling and take boxes – the boxes photocopier paper comes in are good as they have a lid, but they’re not very strong, however the boxes exam papers come in are very good, as they are robust and also have a lid. The things you learn when you’re moving house!)
Moving Day arrived, and we had booked in two removal men to move our furniture. They came on a recommendation, and we can’t recommend them highly enough – they were efficient, friendly, helpful, accommodating, all the things you want. Let me know if you're in the south and need removal men! We overpaid them as we thought they were that good and we also bought some cold drinks…it was a very hot day, and I was very grateful they’d carried all my furniture up to a first floor flat so I didn’t have to!
Furniture really does make a house a home. We arranged the large rug, and sofa and armchair in the living room and sorted out the bed and bedside tables in the bedroom. Then it was back to the car trips across town to get the rest of the stuff! Ben would go to the old flat to pack up stuff, and I would either go with him and help, or stay at the new flat and unpack, depending on what specifically needed doing next. For Ben’s birthday my mum had given him a Nando’s gift card and so we headed there for takeaway, and ate it back at the old flat – our last meal there!
By this point in the day, we were so tired. Heaving boxes around is quite hard work, especially in the glorious sunshine we’ve been having recently (not complaining about the sunshine, just hard work in the sunshine!). It also made us quite short-tempered with one another, not annoyed for any particular reason, just frustrated that there wasn’t a magic wand we could wave to get all our possessions instantaneously transported from one flat to the other!
Saturday I left Ben to it (sorry!) as I went to a large-scale Brownie event for the Big Brownie Birthday, 800 girls were there and a great time was had by all, but more on that another time!
When I got home, Ben had clearly been hard at work. Boxes were everywhere, and things had been unpacked, so our flat is beginning to look more like a home. Books definitely help, and little objects on windowsills. Sunday was much the same again, more packing and unpacking, and then cleaning the old flat. We washed the carpets, cleaned windows, wiped down skirting boards, cleaned the oven and washing machine. It’s strange how somewhere we’ve happily lived for a few years can quickly not feel like home anymore – we have moved on!
Monday we had our official check-out, with an independent company checking over the inventory for any damages or issues. We stayed with them whilst they did that, and they gave us a good report which they’ll pass on to the lettings agency and then hopefully we can get our deposit back, in full!
So now all our possessions are in our new flat, and we’re beginning to settle in. The kitchen is all set up (although quite a lot of my cake tins and baking items are still in boxes as there are fewer cupboards than in the old kitchen) and so we can make tea and cook meals, I’ve eaten far too many takeaways recently. The bed is made, clothes are hanging on the rails (temporary solution until we can buy wardrobes) and the sofa no longer has boxes on, meaning we can sit down, and I’ve changed the address on the TV licence so we can even watch television. It’s all coming together!
For future reference, my preferred snack whilst moving house is Party Rings. I'd forgotten just how much I liked them!
I've realised I've got 18 tea towels. Eighteen. Is this excessive? A quick poll of some friends revealed they only have three or four ("Amy, what sort of question is that? I've had a look in the kitchen and I've got 3. Is this some sort of trick question?"). How many tea towels do you have? I am intrigued now as to how many tea towels are lurking in people's kitchens...