We’re moving house on December 20th. Yup. Five days before Christmas.
Ever since we realized that this would be the moving date, people have been asking us if we’re crazy.
The date wasn’t our choice. Honest. We bought the house back in September, before our house was sold. Before it was even on the market. That led to an immediate need to get our house cleared up, photographed, surveyed for a Home Report and up for sale. The ensuing rush created a need to brutally look into our full loft and decide what was going to make the cut.
Scores of trips to the charity shop followed. I spent weekends driving to the tip. We have a loft where we live, and no loft where we’re moving to.
The hard work was worth it and we sold our house within two weeks. The buyer sold their house to a first-time buyer a week later, and our chain was complete.
I’m panicking a bit.
I have a long-standing problem of not being able to judge the size of stuff. Once, I bought a large fridge-freezer convinced that it would fit under a cupboard in the kitchen. As it was delivered, it became clear that it was not remotely small enough to fit. A learned a lesson that day, and measure everything now, but my inability to naturally judge space remains to this day.
It’s ten days until the move. We’re hiring a big van, and I can’t judge if the stuff will all fit in the van. At some points, I’m thinking that the van is too large for the job. At other points, I’m convinced that we won’t have enough room for everything in the van. I’m useless.
We hired a storage unit. It’s the size of a garage. The moment we booked it, I felt the stress fall from my shoulders. It means the whole move doesn’t need to take place in one day. Over the last ten days or so, we’ve been moving all non-essential stuff into the storage unit. But now that’s nearly full.
My wife is less worried than I. She’s a better judge of space, so I’m taking some comfort from her relaxed attitude to the issue. It also means that I can blame her if it all goes wrong.
The new house
We’re moving from a 25-year old terraced house to an 80-year old lower cottage flat, both equally the same in value. Buy why? Why take the decision to move from a house to flat, when many would view this as a step back?
Well, that’s a good question. Where we are has a loft, which we made good use of. We’ve also got nobody living above us. It’s right opposite a train station which takes me to work in 20 minutes, and it has its own parking space. The new flat has none of these things.
My journey to work will now take over an hour by bus. We have neighbours upstairs from us now, and shared liability for any works on the house. We have to park on the street. So, why the hell are we moving there? I’ll tell you.
We don’t have a garden, as such, in our current house. It’s basically a yard. We’ve done a sterling job in growing plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables in pots, but it’s not the same. It’s a tiny, paved space, mostly filled with four LARGE bins.
The new garden is huge. It has a slight incline, but it’s south-facing, wide, and has a gate at the bottom which opens into a large field. It’s got a shed, too, although it looks quite old.
We have already developed plans for a cottage garden with an area for all kinds of food & herbs, and plans for barbecues/ kids parties.
They don’t make houses like they used to. The rooms in this house are bigger, the ceilings higher, and the walls thicker. The rooms also aren’t boxes. They’re full of cubby hole cupboards and unorthodox shaped windows. Like something out of an old novel.
There are no houses behind us. We look out over farmer’s fields towards a reservoir. The hills lie in the distance. It’s stunning.
We weren’t surprised when, a year or so ago, the news said that the road outside our hold house was one of the most polluted in Scotland. It’s a constant stream of traffic.
Not so in our new place. It’s a village, and we’re off the beaten track. Proper country air will fill our lungs.
I’m not going to say that the kids are moving to a better school. Their old school did have its shortcomings, but it did well. Our move, however, does shift our kids into the catchment for the high school that my wife and I attended.
The living room has a log burner set in an authentic, well-kept fireplace. We’ve researched smoke-free, environmentally friendly logs, which do exist. Now, we’re looking forward to building a fire in the winter months. It’s an accepted truth that a roaring fire is one of the homeliest images, hence our excitement at enjoying such a comfort.
My sister-in-law and her kids are moving into flat on the other side of the road. My wife’s parents live less than a mile away. I know some people would like to move house to create a larger geographical gap between themselves and other family members, but that isn’t the case with us.
The biggest downside is that we’ve chosen not to put up our Christmas tree until we move in to the new place. We do have some Christmas lights up, but it’s not the same.