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  • Chris Keen

We Are Marching Out!

Well, everything has changed since my last blog... We’ve now been told that we’re moving to Scotland next week! I know the military love a bit of last minute but this is the best one yet.


So we’ve had to get our heads down and start preparing the house for the move. Fortunately, my wife has now become an expert on moving so she’s on it like a car bonnet!


Unlike a normal (non-military) house move, somebody will actually come into the property and inspect certain things, so I thought I’d talk you through these...


The Oven

This is a big one and it sends shivers down many a spine because when inspected, if they spot even the tiniest bit of dirt, you’ll get told to do it again or get charged! A lot of people we know just pay someone else to do it for them an save any hassle. For us though, Kelly has just finished making it look brand new!


Carpets

Again a lot of people pay to have this done and in certain places, if you’ve got pets you're not actually allowed to clean your own carpet... You're forced to pay for a ‘professional’. We regularly shampoo our carpets anyway due to having 2 large dogs but now is the time for that final deep clean and carpet shampoo, followed by banning the dogs from carpeted rooms to ensure it stays immaculate and fresh!


The Walls

I don’t know a single military family who doesn’t LOVE the colour magnolia which is good really because married quarters are basically all magnolia! So as we’re getting ready to leave, we’re currently going around the whole house checking for any marks. If we find any, we’ll have to paint over them (adding to the patch paint effect that’s already there from the numerous times it's been done before)... We’ve recently bought a massive tub of silk magnolia paint which will hopefully last us years of house moves! I highly recommend this, because at some point you’ll need it!


The Windows

This is another biggy! If they’re not sparkling, you’ll be asked to do them again. Our dogs love looking out the windows so ours constantly need cleaning anyway but don’t forget you need to do both inside and out... Or hope for rain on your march out day!!


The Kitchen

Naturally the kitchen has to be VERY clean and the floor has to be good enough to eat off. A good test is to actually eat your dinner off the floor the night before your march out (but then clean over where you’ve eaten)... Well maybe that’s abit extreme, but a good idea of the standard it's expected to be at.


The bathroom

I wouldn’t suggest eating your dinner off the bathroom floor but it does also need to be sparkling... Get into all the small spaces because it will all be inspected... Behind the toilet, scrub the grout between the tiles, descale and wipe the taps down and make sure that any glass is sparkling!


Curtains

All military curtains are disgusting (sorry not sorry,) so of course most people will replace them with their own... My wife takes these down on the day we move in and makes new curtains or adjusts old ones to fit the windows. So as we’re leaving we’ll need to put the original curtains from the 1960’s back up before march out. They'll be checked for dust and that they’re ironed.


The Garden

It doesn’t matter what your garden looked like when you moved in, when moving out you’ve got to make sure it looks amazing... Something that even Alan Titchmarsh would be proud of.

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Obviously there's loads of other stuff to do but in terms of the inspection and stuff that will be carefully looked at, that’s pretty much it.


Basically have the house looking BETTER than it was when you marched into it... We all know that when moving into a military quarter there's usually lots of stuff wrong with it that you have to deal with. When marching out however there are to be no problems what so ever! If there are, you will be charged.


Next task... Removals


The thing I like about the removals is that you don’t have to actually do that much in terms of packing, especially during these weird times where companies are having as little contact with you as possible. We’ve been told that apart from taking the beds apart to leave everything else to them.


Usually when moving from house to house it takes more than a day so the military will put you up in a hotel for the night. Dogs though are your responsibility and usually this is fine because we'd just put them in the local kennels... At the moment though, because of this horrible virus there are no kennels open so what do we do with the dogs? They wouldn’t be allowed to stay with us in the hotel so we’re a bit stuck!


It would be a bit mean to make them sleep in the car so our plan is this...


Drive straight up to our next house as soon as we've handed this one back, take over the house the night before the removals arrive and camp out on the floor! Not ideal, but the dogs are part of the family so this is the best option for us.


Top Tip...


Don’t forget to put your essentials and overnight bag aside before the removals arrive (ideally pre pack them in your car), so you don’t end up unable to access something you need, and also to make sure you have enough room in your car for what gets left behind... We realise the importance of this now more than ever, as the addition of a young baby makes the logistics of moving so much more complicated, and the dogs have the boot, so we have to pack our travel essentials into the rear passenger seat. I think it might be time to invest in a roof box!


Other admin...

Internet and TV

We were just going to move our Sky package up to our new house with us, but when they explained the significant drop in broadband speed available there for a minimal reduction in price, we did some research and have decided to switch our internet and tv package to Virgin media. We'll now have faster internet than we have at the moment and more tv channels for less than we were paying here...Winner!


TV Licence

Remember to swap your TV licence address... It’s so simple to do online it’s just remembering that’s the issue but now I’ve told you, you won’t forget!


Last Supper

If like us you hate waste then get ready for an epic last supper... On your last night in the house before the removals come, open up your fridge freezer and look at the food you have left over... Then put it all together and enjoy one of the weirdest meals you’ve ever eaten. So far ours is looking like sausages, mince, chicken breast, black pudding, ham, cheese and salad, with some ice cream for dessert!


Don’t forget though, that you might then need to clean the oven again after cooking, so I recommend doing this meal on your penultimate night to give you time to clean the oven one final time, and then resort to a takeaway or microwave meals on your last night.


Then relax, let the removals do their thing, hand the house back and look forward to hitting the road!

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