Moving House Again!
It's that time again when we have to up sticks and move to another new house, this happens every year or two with the military so we have it down to a fine art.... OR NOT!
It's still a pain moving house and there is always so much to do before you can relax.
Now your spouse (being military) would have sorted out the main stuff already like getting your next house allocated and applying for the removals and they'll probably be working right up until the final few days so anything you can do would really help out (so I've been told).
So here’s a bit of advice from my experience so far...
What to take and what to get rid of
As you move from house to house, you will undoubtedly build up clutter and have stuff that you really don't need. With me it's always clothes and I become quite attached to them but you need to stand back and think NO I don't need that shirt I bought 5 years ago and have only worn once! There is usually a thrift shop on camp so you could take it there and even make a bit of money or you could take them to a clothes bank and somebody who needs them will benefit.
Furniture you don't need could be sold, there will usually be a community selling page for stuff like this but beware it get’s quite feisty! You will get time wasters, people who just want to have a chat and people who just want to argue....... Oh and that person who wants everything for a fiver!
Another option could be to get in touch with the person moving into your house next and see if they would like anything leaving behind to make their move easier. Then either sell it on to them, or just donate it, depending on the value.
If all of the options above fail, you could just take the stuff to the tip and be rid of it once and for all... But we're all trying to be more environmentally friendly these days, and most stuff will still be useful to someone!
Food and drink
Don't be that person who throws a load of food in the bin either, there are people in this world who would do anything for it.
I know you're about to depart and you probably will have a lot of food left in the cupboards and the fridge but it's no excuse...
You will find yourself having the most random dinners to use up those tins left in the cupboards... Haggis, tooth fish and beans anyone?
You could also throw a little 'everything must go’ party. Invite your neighbors around to just eat and drink everything you have left. We had one of these in Germany but we actually ended up buying in more drink and were then left with more...... Don’t do this!
Anything that you do have left in the last few days, once you've defrosted your freezer, you could just give it away.
Moving house is easy in terms of getting your stuff out of one house and into another. You don't even need to pack the stuff yourself! They have to do this for you for insurance purposes.
My advice would be to group things up like kitchen stuff, bedroom stuff, living room stuff etc and then guide the packers to what is going and what is staying. That way hopefully it will all end up in the right place, you won't miss anything and it will make things easier when unpacking... You do have to do that part yourself.
Depending on where your moving to and from depends on how long it will take your stuff to find it's way back to you. Our move this time is from the Falkland Islands to the UK and it will take about 2 months to get our stuff back so we came up with a plan...
Instead of shipping large electrical items like the fridge freezer, the dishwasher, the TV's etc back to the UK, we sold them locally and re-bought them brand new ready to be delivered on the day we move into our new house!
It's a great option this, it makes life easier for the packers and it means you don’t have to go without these appliances for a long time. it also means you can upgrade to have brand new stuff with that all important new warranty!
If you are going to take this option though I would say to make sure you accumulate enough funds to replace the goods back in the UK, so that ideally you are upgrading everything without significant cost.
Once you're removals have gone and you've packed what’s left into your luggage allowance, you then need to get the house back to the standard you found it in ready for the next people to move in.
You can GUARANTEE that you will be expected to return the house to a much higher standard than it was when you took over it. This is the main thing that really annoys me with moving house and I'm going to dedicate a whole blog to this very soon.
One bit of advice I would give on this subject is to get hold of the march out checklist as soon as you move in to your new house. This way you can go down the list and check everything is already at the required standard. If it's not then bring it up with the officer doing your march in. Let nothing slip because you will regret it when you get billed for it on march out.
Don't just take their word for it!
A good example of this (which we were caught out with this time) is when we took over the house, the outside of the windows were dirty, we bought that up and the man said "oh that's ok, because of the weather here, we don't bother cleaning the outside of the windows." Fast forward to our march out and guess what... On the check list it says - make sure you clean the inside and OUTSIDE of all windows.
When it comes to the cleaning you can either do it yourself or you can pay for somebody else to do it. We always do it ourselves because why pay somebody when you could just take a day or two out, clean everything and save a few hundred pounds!
If you have a dog or a cat you will have to pay to get the carpets cleaned regardless, this is fair enough though, I'm happy to accept that payment.
The march out
The march out for those that don't know is basically the hand over of your house. The person conducting the march out will be a housing officer or a families officer and they will basically set a date and time to come around your house, go through it with a fine-tooth comb and make sure it's up to a good standard ready for the next people to move in.
As I mentioned earlier the requested standard on march out is always higher than on march in so be prepared for a few confrontations.