Advantages A New Carthartic exciting begining. Getting rid of junk . De-cluttering your life.
Disadvantages Expensive. Another of life's challenge.. (and the rest!)
With a bi-polar husband 3 kids and 15 yrs later; we finally received 'that 'phone call that changes your life for ever..We were moving.
I knew we were only a number...a dot on the Borough Council's ever bursting increasing workload..and just about how many homes can one family refuse without being thrown off the course?
Three times,apparently, and we had passed that 6 years ago! :)other homes years later we'd been offered were, in our mind barely suitable...though we gave the council the benefit of the doubt and always looked around we drew the same conclusion each time..and to crown it all... it never "felt right "
Space is the key premium that everyone looks for don't they? and our 19 yr old and our nearly 13 yr old have never had the fortune of a bedroom of their own. Anna's was only a tiny box.
(All the houses in the past had been very small..mostly inferior in size location and type and the one remaining "offer" had been a brand new 3 bed terrace...nothing wrong with that you'd be fair to say-BUT- we were already (at the time) living in a 3 bed terrace -and would have gained nothing and lost out on somewhere to park the car and a handy roomy driveway to boot.) but now it was happening.-our dream of a 4 bed 3 storey town house brand new!!??!!!!
Anyhow...of course, when the Housing Allocater rang, my heart lurched up like a big dipper into my throat then tumbled down again till it became a tom-tom drum somewhere behind and between my ribs and my shoes...the shock was like someone pouring an iced bucket of water over my head ..describing words of suprise elation excitement adrenaline and then terror in quick successive waves..
So I gripped the receiver tightly and managed to croak; "Are you sure we've been nominated?"
There were so many mixed feelings..the if's the buts and the frustrations of knowing we couldn't afford this move- but then again- we couldn't afford NOT to- either.
THE AWKWARD BITS.........At one stage we were left in limbo for nearly 4 weeks with our cases boxes bags and barrels packed around our ears unsure WHEN the date could actually be. And that was damm hard and very frustrating...especially when the housing asscociation changed over all our utility companies WITHOUT our prior permission/knowledge BEFORE we'd even been able to step forth in our new home! and we had but less than a week to organise a removal van due the the mix up of the dates...thankk goodness w ehad friends with helping hands in high places in the lorry/removal servies or we'd have been stuck as all the removal companies I rang had a 2 week waiting list!
If you're lucky, you are in the position to buy and have already agreed on your OWN date and time,- thanks- and not someone else's...though of course I'm not under-mining the inevitable stress and upheaval a move (ANY move can be) for home owners and renters alike..but I highly recommend it for so many reasons.
Especially challenging of course for the larger the family and family home you're moving into, the more work is involved and there is to do.
So- here I am- with just a few pointers and common sense tips I found to be very sensible and helpful.
But what I have aimed to do with this review (as I am assuming there are plenty of others that have paved the foundation and shared their experience and knowledge equipped with plenty of good tips advice and suggestions that may or may not be professional in their approach in more or less similar ways to me.What I aim here, is to also share my experiences on what worked-what didn't - and all the little things I found helped. and to keep things simple and as concise as I can.
So,on with it.WHAT IS THE FIRST THING ONE SHOULD DO?
Make a list of the things you need to do, prioritising timescales according to your 'errand' of the momment and at the start of each day. And STICK to it.
Make sure you get enough rest at night. There's nothing worse than feeling like shite when you're struggling to pack/box /chuck.
SAVING TIME... HASSLE ....& MONEY!!
FREECYCLE.comHere is an amazing website- FREE to join -whose aim is to keep unwanted junk that's still in good cond. that's perhaps past it's sell by date but still useable/servicable OUT of land fill, and into homes that can put them to good use.
Many items are of great use for someone who might not otherwise afford to get hold of.. Some broken and used for spare parts? AND of good condition,working value/large items-such as a TV ...bikes...Washing machines...furniture..and the like... down to the smallest stuff like curtains clothing toys books mats furniture tiles even screws!...and in the same vein -offers from other people that YOU may need.You will be suprised what some people chuck out.
I have been fortunate to secure some nice pieces of serviceable bedroom furniture; some curtains a blind; table lamps and a bicycle. ALL FREE!The only rule is-they have to be OFFERS or WANTS: FREE! and vice versa.
There are several in the Essex areas alone- ( Colchester in Essex ) being the largest and seemingly the most popular -and I know - there are many in London alone.
Just type into your browser: FREECYCLE and up they will all come. And-If like me you have had unpleasant experiences with e-bay, these recycling website opportunities are worth their weight in gold!
FOR THE FINANCIALLY BURDENED LONE FAMILY/ & OR DISABLED/UNEMPLOYED:For many people (including ourselves) moving is a horrendous worry financially.. many of us are in debt due to long term unavoidable unemployment sickness..disability and illness.
The lone /single parent:There are many organisations out there for you.. look in the yellow pages or consult your C.A.B. or another umberalla of support would be to contact your health visitor social worker or if you have one for the children-special needs/School teacher for families with children experiencing physical mental or/and emotional financial hardships/disbailities and /or receiving means tested benefits- All that will be required is to research them all and find out which is the most appropriate for your situation..
You need a referral,for the Referral is the key.Some examples and by no means all-are:
Your local benefits (DSS) office will provide forms for Crisis Loans or the budgeting loan schemes.
These are borrowed monies to go towards your house/moving expenses without interest,and paid back weekly out of your own Income support at an agreed rate depending on the amount. This can be paid over the maximum 2 year period.
There is also something called the 'Community Grant.'
This is a means tested amount of money given to you without the problem of having to pay it back. It's worth putting in a claim for. The chances of receiving this- again,for removal costs etc are pretty good.
Research the area you are moving to and at different times of the day.
Check the youth and crime situation in the area.
Go on line and type in the postcode.
Browse on the removal sites and get at least 3 quotes.
Have family conferences.
Discuss concerns needs and problems before they reach fever pitch.
Ask support from friends and relatives
Set up babysitters for very young children to take back with them if poss. the day BEFORE you leave at least- if you can.
If not, get a friend to stay with you overnight/during the next 2 days... and mum,dad; make sure the teenagers- HELP.!
Buy bubble wrap for breakables :
STAPLES: from £4.99 a roll to £21.99 per roll. Or you can use anything soft to wrap them up to protect them. Including towels sheets newspaper,cloths for when you run out of bubble wrap.
(trust me-you'll need it!).
Polish and clean ALL units furniture pictures frames glass- ware pictures ornaments shelving TV hi fi computers etc as you pack them.Why bring bad old scum/dust dirt with along with you?
Don't forget to pack the items you want to take with you from:Sheds
Hold a boot sale or take to the charity shops and FREECYCLE the excess left over. Enlist the help of neighbors to make sure the space outside your house is free from other vehicals on the day.Pay your bills on time. Set up the direct debits.
Cancel any existing invalid subscriptions, inform EVERYONE of your new details- especially amend and/or change contact details for the following:Banks debit v=card credit card
Notify your refuse collection dept at the local borough etc of your need for a collecting bin and indeed, your recycling boxes bags and sacks...
Don't leave it till the last minute- but then again not too early or too sooner than a few days ahead - (I tried this too soon and it backfired !)
They need to feel informed.
They need to see you as calm as you can.
Reassure reticent crying children that the move will be the best thing since sliced bread.
Teach children to start helping EARLY on -by:Packing their less important stuff
Keep a list and check them off so that when they get out the other side, both you and they- know where their things are!DO NOT GIVE OUT YOUR NEW ADDRESS!!
- or try and Cancel any existing utilitiy accounts until you have a SET DEFINATE date to move.
(I did this in an attempt to be super-oranised and it backfired! )
Now my phone bill is horrendous because I was mucked about with the dates at the last minute.
Leave ordinary light bulbs up -don't be so mean! but do take your energy- saving ones with you!Please try and leave the place reasonably clean and tidy?
Be STERN! Don't be tempted to pack up anything you are NOT sure you will use the other side! What would be the point of that?Start as you mean to go on-
Keep near/ on you -on the day of the move all the important stuff and adapt according to your situation: Keeping music that's soft and muted but light on, playing whilst you work and slog away.Here's another list of necessities and "like to have's......"
PAIN KILLERS / MASSAGE CREAM !! (for start during and after.)
Take a few breaks- why become the "exorcist "when you could have a fresh drink and a cool down calm DOWN momment!!?
First aid box
Small tool kit..handy when you need a tape measure, screw- driver hammer; a step ladder and the like to put up your shelves,curtains or measure doorways / rooms for furniture etc .
Things I found helpful to unpack FIRST:DON'T TRY & DO ALL AT ONCE!
This is most important to bear in mind..resist the urge to clean arrange store empty out and fix!
It doesn't work! and you'll quickly get exhausted trying to.
BUT : - DO:Make sure the bedding/ beds are up and the kids have ONE or TWO of their favorite things around them. .
Pretty Candles..pot pouri,incense or whatever you use... Clocks radios cushions mats...the TV & Telephone- (if possible -connected! -(Ours wasn't because we had arranged the utility installations 10 days too late! I know. Though I tried to book 3 weeks ahead!! )BOOK IN ADVANCE !! AT LEAST 10 DAYS AHEAD TO AVOID THIS PROBLEM! !!
These are the things that help your 'empty shell ' feel more like a home.Next all important "Must" thing;
The Kitchen.Food is necessary to keep fraying moods at bay.
Don't forget to collect ALL keys...if you think someone has a copy still, consider changing the locks...avoid anyone knowing your new address unless you are certain you know them trust them and WANT them.
Last thing: TAKE TIME to check all the rooms for stuff forgotten/left behind.
Shut and lock all windows doors and secure sheds mail, open utility drains holes etc..etc.
Close the gas electricity heaters and water - unless you know the new people moving in are moving in the same day.
OTHER HELPFUL REFERENCES, WEBSITES:
This is one of the best I've discovered . It's quite a little gem really,who infact, contact all your important contacts for you,taking out a lot of the hard work .It's easy to navigate around and it has a complete list of A-Z businesses services and companies and also has in-depth advice tips suggestions and guidance into every aspect of the moving process;including automated reference contacting of your local removal firms and the like. ..they ring you back at a time and date to suit you so you can get your quotes literally from your armchair.They also have an exhaustive Menu to navigate round very handy with a detailed A-Z organised list of companies,such as banks utilities energy suppliers etc. offering you an automated enquiry service to get quotes saving you money on price comparisons from all the individual companies...this is all free and fully comprehensive-the site is easy to use where you simply register for free- and log in to organise all your new contacts and amended details at a touch of a button..
FINALLY...........! ( And I do hope this little list has helped! )If you click on the photos below, you'll at last be able to have a an idea of what our motley bunch of kids look like !! ...
"PUT YER FEET UP THE KETTLE ON AND....
ENJOY YOUR NEW HOME!! "
Thanks for reading..........Chrissie .......... July 2006
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