Henry and I also had a couple of trips up to Sunderland to meet his new class teacher and head master and he was also able to sit in with his new class one afternoon. We also drove to the coast which has some stunning scenery. We sought out a karate club, the local swimming pool and spent hours in computer game shops in the city.
The next item on the list was me. I applied to local salons, hotels and spas in the Sunderland area for work as a beautician but no luck. I decided my best opportunity would be to set myself up as a mobile beautician from my new home, Then I had a stroke of luck. I had previously worked as a legal secretary before Henry was born and I saw an advert for a part time legal secretary in Sunderland. I pursued this opportunity and landed myself a part time job. I could start as soon as we moved in. This would also give me time to generate some custom in the area for my beauty and healthcare business. Things were looking good. I could relax now. Henry was going to be happy at his new school, Dom had a job and I had part time work.
Back to the list. The list could be endless. In fact that’s how it felt at the start, but gradually some order started to appear and I managed to find my way through it.
Important things first. Removal services. I filled in a form on reallymoving.com and got five quotes via email. You could put special notes detailing specific pieces of furniture and valuables. You can also specify awkward access and limited parking. You have to give a few details. E.g. estimated moving date, new property post code, estate agents. I also tried anyvan.com which works in a similar way. I really didn’t know which removal firm to select, so I read a lot of testimonials and decided on Hampshire Removals.
Packing. I decided to take the packing service the removal firm offered. I just used it for chinaware, ornamental stuff and kitchen ware. It was brilliant!
If you are packing yourself start as soon as you can, certainly no later than two weeks to go, the trend lately is to exchange and complete in the same week. This means if you do wait until you exchange before starting to pack you may leave yourself with a mountain to climb.
I know that until you do exchange you cannot be certain the move will go ahead, so what about clearing out the attic? Packing up your summer or winter clothes? In the kitchen pack up the items you hardly use. The toasted sandwich maker, fondue set, soda stream, remember them? It’s probably right at the back of your cupboard. Even books and videos, how often do you watch them or read them? This will give you the chance, to go through your possessions and have a good clear out.
I then had the dilemma do I keep or throw out. Some stuff I packed into black bags and took to the charity shop. I had enough stuff to hold a boot sale but decided to put the most valuable items on eBay. Doing all this at least 4 weeks in advance of the move will ease the stress when you get the call to say they want you to complete in a few days.
I thought it would be a good idea to have the cars serviced as we were driving a long way to our new home and some of the drive is quite remote.
Let the council know you are moving and ask them to remove any parking restrictions on your moving day. A removal van is as big as a double decker bus and needs extra space to be manoeuvred into position. For optimum loading and unloading it needs to be directly outside your front door. And if your house is on a hill like our new house, it needs to be facing downhill. If in doubt about the size of the removal vehicle your removal company is sending, contact them and they will let you know how much space they require.
I also used the wardrobe packing service. Your clothes all remain hanging and are transported in dust covers on wheeled trolleys. This was brilliant for me as I really didn’t want my clothes packed for days, creasing or damaging them.
Then there is the endless list of people you need to inform of your move. Friends can all be notified quite easily via email or Facebook but paperwork and phone calls are still required for most other things.
Appoint a solicitor for the conveyancing. Don’t try and do it yourself. There may be snags. As bad as solicitors are it’s still he better option. Just keep on their backs. They go quiet and don’t tell you anything. Don’t rely on estate agents to liaise with solicitors for you either. Make the estate agent earn his money. The least they can do is try to keep you up to date with how things are progressing but more often than not they don’t.
Contact your bank and any building societies of your change of address. You may even want to change branches to one nearer your new home.