We found moving house as a family a challenging time. The hardest part was trying to keep the house looking in reasonable order for viewings. No easy task with a toddler affectionately named hurricane Eleanor! We decided fairly early on in the process that I would take 3 weeks unpaid leave from work to cover the childcare gap, do the bulk of the packing and have time to settle Eleanor in to our new home. This worked really well for us (especially me) though obviously not everybody is in a position to be able to do this.

If I were to offer any advice to someone embarking on the same process it would be;

1. Accept help, as much of it as you can possibly get. We were lucky to have plenty of family and friends to help out. On moving day we had Grandma looking after Eleanor, Granddad helping out with heavy lifting and friends were unpacking boxes. Don’t be afraid to tell people how they would best be able to help you. If they are offering their time they want it to be well used.

2. Label everything. What is in each box and which room it is destined for. Boxes of screws and all the parts of disassembled furniture. Looking back I wish I had spent 10 minutes with some post it notes labelling the cupboards with what contents I wanted going where. It would have made helping unpack boxes easier for my friends and saved time later moving things around.

3. Involve the child/children. We told Eleanor that we were going to move as soon as we had made the decision. We wanted her to have time to understand what was going to happen. We tried to keep her involved in the process so she knew what was happening, she met the estate agent, helped us to show prospective buyers around the house and packed boxes (this was mostly just her going nuts with bubble wrap).

4. Don’t forget the fun. We wanted her to be excited about moving house so we showed her where she would be going to nursery, the swimming pool where she would be going for lessons, the new parks that we would be exploring and enrolling at our new local library. She found this exciting and we wanted her to be familiar with things before the move so it wasn’t such a shock. It also meant that we had some nice trips out in between all the packing.

 

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