Moving house, moving office, moving generally.

Moving house.

There was an interesting item on Lifehack today about moving house.  I have moved house many times. First with one child, then one child and a baby, then two children and a baby, then three children and a dog  … and so on.  Because both my husband and I run our own businesses it also involved two offices and all the contents therein, and my husband’s workshop and all the contents therein as well.

And whether you use removal men or not, and whether you are moving country or not, it is always an exhausting nightmare.

As a mother and a business owner, these are my tips:


–          Make sure you have ready to one side (ie where the removal men will not grab it, and where your husband will definitely REMEMBER !) everything you need for that evening and the following morning.  In our case this means our various medications and tea-making equipment these days, lap top, something to make notes with, loo roll, PJs etc.

–          In the days of yore it meant also all the children’s things – that special teddy, plenty of nappies and bottles etc.

–          Now, the important thing about the above two is that your husband will almost certainly forget that you told him that THOSE two boxes over THERE, clearly marked KEEP HANDY, are the ones that you need … well, kept handy.  Removal men, if you have them, will take no notice of the label at all.  It is up to you to circumnavigate this kind of thing.  The above applies if you are working too, of course.

–          Make sure your mobile phones are topped up and fully charged – and all that kind of thing


–  long before you move you need to go through your things.  Personally, I don’t keep anything if it is not beautiful, valuable, sentimental or useful.  Despite this I always seem to have vast quantities of EVERYTHING and it never ceases to amaze me how much I can throw out.  In fact, I’d say this is my most important tip: GET RID OF STUFF !

– put things in bags or boxes clearly marked: Freddy’s toys, Della’s clothes, contents of sideboard, camping stuff … and so on

– get rid of all perishable things (food) and all things that will run easily in to other things, ie washing up liquid, unless you know you can keep them OK and put them where they need to be as soon as you arrive

– forget all your normal little rules about the children having fruit for breakfast, brushing your hair 100 times (as if!) and listening to The Archers

– brief the others that are with you – children, husband, whoever – ”when we arrive YOU are in charge of going to the shop for food/checking light bulbs, electrics, gas, water, phone/carrying your own bags to your rooms …. etc


– on arrival at your new place, the very first thing to do is to put your essential things (nappies, medicines etc.) in a specific place so that you know where they are.  Any place will do, even on the floor, as long as others know that they are supposed to be there.  (Everything in my house lives in a specific place, whether we are moving or not, and these places are called The Car Key Place, or the Letters to be Posted Place … and so on.)

– one of the very first things I do is make up the beds (having already prepared what I need for the beds before we move), so that everybody has somewhere to collapse

– I also make sure the tea/drinks etc. is ready


– Once you are in do not worry about what to unpack first or where to put it.  Even if you end up putting it (whatever it is) on a window sill or on the floor, just plod systematically from box to room, from bag to room, regardless of what it is, putting it in approximately the right place.

– Do not expect to have a lovely day! Keep a smile on your face and know in advance that it is exhausting, that you will have irritations with the shipping company/the removal me/the family … it is just par for the course and all you can do is work cheerfully through it till it is done.

Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist.  She is widely travelled and writes regularly for magazines and blog sites.  Her sketches are on her web site .  Her books are available from Amazon and on Kindle, or can be ordered from several leading book stores.

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Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist.  Her books are available as e-books on this site:-            “A Call from France”          “French Sand”         ”The Man with Green Fingers”        “Saying Nothing”

They are also available on Amazon & Kindle, or can be ordered as paperbacks from most leading book stores and libraries.


Posted on 26/08/2012 by Catherine
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