The first and most obvious piece of advice I will give is to do whatever is possible to avoid this situation in the first place. Moving home in three weeks is hard. I make no bones about that. Technically, I make no bones about anything, unless you count the ones I grew inside of me, but I think that is more of a natural process than any particular skill of my own. However, I digress.
If, like me, you find yourself in the position when you have to move in three weeks (and you have my heartfelt sympathy) then I offer you some advice. If you do not have to move in three weeks, then you can always sit back and feel smug and enjoy the trials I went through in a fit of schadenfreude. Go ahead, I really do not mind.
(Your honour, permission for a side-bar? Permission granted).
(Side-bar). The more observant amongst you will be wondering why such a strange time limit was put in place to move home? I can’t tell you. Not yet anyway. It is a legal situation and I can’t talk about it; yet. When I can, expect the mother of all rants from me on the subject. Until then…)
1: When it comes to packing and dealing with the situation, keep it light.
Much like the daleks, when it comes to moving home, stairs are the enemy. We had three flights of stairs from the old flat leading down and one flight of stairs to the new flat leading up. Added to this is my fairly pathetic physical weakness. I do have a plan to bulk up now as feeling your arms go half-way down a flight of stairs with something heavy is not a good thing. When you are packing, remember that you are carrying all this yourself, unless you have the money for a removal company, which, sadly, we did not. So if you are carrying it yourself, make the load easier to carry. Your back will thank you for it in later life.
As for dealing with the inevitable stress of the situation, I advise you to do the same. Keep it light. Acknowledge it will be stressful, but also acknowledge that it doesn’t have to more stressful than necessary. I found that a glass of wine or three helps get through the more boring aspects of packing things into boxes. It is true, you might find some oddly packed together items when you unpack, but I feel it gives an air of mystery and excitement to the process. If you are in a relationship when moving, keeping both people smiling is invaluable. Again, we went for the wine option, which is much better than the whine option. Ha! Sorry, I made myself chuckle with that one.
2: Konmari before you pack.
If you are unfamiliar with Konmari, then my other half has done some excellent blog posts about it. You can check them out on gaurichauhan.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/konmari-obsession/ I won’t steal her thunder, but in a brief explanatory way, is it getting rid of the crap you have acumalated and simply do not need anymore. To give one example, we de-cluttered our clothing and by the end of it we had fifteen black bin bags of clothing to be got rid of. Yes, it was mostly hers, but I made up a bag or two so I feel I contributed. We then found a company that pays for old clothing and made £50.00, which in turn was spent on a lovely meal to lift our spirits, which also included us drinking spirits.
3: The ‘Put a Pin in it Principle’.
Some things in life are so big that is impossible to think of anything else when you are dealing with them. So, by mutual agreement, we decided that we would put a pin in anything that wasn’t to do with the move until we moved. It was the only way we could cope. Adding more stress to a stressful situation is like shooting yourself in the foot before running a marathon. I think it is a facet of the human mind that when it is under stress it looks for other things to be stressed about so the first stress doesn’t get lonely. This is when you have to say to the human mind ‘Stop that you swine.’ I think that the chances are that you will be able to deal with the other issues more calmly after the move and they will seem less substantial without the big stress looming over you like a hammer horror dracula.
4: Measure the front door of the place you are moving into and check things will fit inside it.
I did not do this. The result was an amusing hour in which the sofa bed we bought got stuck in the front door like the little boy’s finger in the dyke. It would not go in nor come out. At one point I seriously considered if we could tell people it was the latest fashion in interior (and partially exterior) design to have a sofa bed jammed in the front door, and if they would only be so kind as to climb and squeeze over it, then I would make them a lovely cup of tea when they made it into the flat. Luckily, through sheer brute strength on the part of my girlfriend’s brother and a game, yet feeble effort on my part, we got it through and up the stairs.
5: If someone offers help to move, then take it.
For reasons not even known to myself or my girlfriend, we thought we could do the whole move by ourselves. We actually turned down the offer of help at first. What madness over took us is hard to say. If we had continued to decline, I would not be writing this right now as I would still be moving. We did accept in the end and thank us that we came to our senses.
6: When you have moved, treat yourself and have a rest.
For us it was pizza and wine to celebrate moving in, but whatever your preference is, go for it. You have more than earned it. From personal experience, it will take at least three days before your body is no longer wracked with pain, so I suggest baths so hot they would make a lobster very nervous.
Three weeks went by in a blur of packing and decorating, but once through the gauntlet, we found we had done it. With the thought of not having to move again for a while, I am sitting barnacle like in my new flat and have no plans to go anywhere soon.
Take care buddies,