moving home

moving home

We moved house last week. It was, as you would imagine, quite stressful, although not necessarily in the ways I had expected.

Right from the initial thought of moving it was the logistics which seem the most overwhelmingly awful, to the extent of just not really wanting to bother. The estate agents, the viewings, the traipsing around house after house and so on. And then arranging everything, all the mortgage application admin and dealing with solicitors. And whilst it wasn’t without some amount of frustration, that all went relatively smoothly. We only saw three houses, it took a week to accept an offer on our house and then we were off. Bit of a delay on the moving day due to late completion and an unplanned night in a hotel but all in all we have got into our new home relatively unscathed.

What I’ve found most stressful is the period of basically having no ‘home’. For the couple of weeks before you move you’re constantly chucking things out and putting things in piles ready to go. Then off all your stuff goes in a lorry and you arrive at this totally unfamiliar place, super stressed and tired and it feels like you’re staying at a really untidy AirBnB. Where’s the kettle? How does the heating work? Are there any instructions?

Then the unpacking. Ugh. When you’re sorting your things out before the move you think “What would Marie Kondo do? Does it spark joy?” But half the time you think “sod it, we’ve got all the time in the world to sort it out at the other end”. Then you start unpacking and thinking “FML there’s so much shit in these boxes. This has actually been packed up and moved across half of London”. And then have 500 bin bags of rubbish at the new house instead.

What makes this even worse is that this is our third move in five years so you would think we would have slimmed down the amount of unnecessary belongings we have. We lived in New York for three years so those moves were on a totally different scale – consider, for example, the requirement to document literally every thing you are taking with you for customs purposes. How many pairs of socks? Er, thirty? No idea. At least we didn’t have to do that this time, nor do we have to deal with moving countries, moving school etc. This move is in fact to move closer to our daughter’s school and after a year in our old house to give us a bit more space to not be constantly in each others faces.

We have basically bought a pandemic friendly house where we can all work and coexist with sufficient boundaries, which does make me wonder if we will really need so much distance from one another when things adjust? But home is something which is incredibly important to me, in the sense of creating a space which I am comfortable being in. As an introvert I need my ‘recovery place’, somewhere where I can sit quietly and read a book or do some knitting. With being back to work tomorrow, that was a priority to get sorted and here I am, sitting in my happy place. Even better, I can see some green from the window.

That’s plenty for now, the rest of the boxes can wait.

By Clair Grayston

person who writes stuff, makes stuff, plays stuff

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