Over a month ago I embarked on a big relocation and I was determined to make moving house fun for the children. The Sunday Woman relocation feature forms the first part of our That’s Life series, where I, Aunty (as you know me), will be sharing everyday situations along with (hopefully) easy solutions. There will be frustration, there will be fun, there may be cursing but above all, we hope you’ll all join in to help other readers in the same situation. This week we look at relocation, an event that is far from over. Oh my, I took to this like a duck to water believing I had complete control only to find that others had clipped my wings and I began to sink. The negative part reserved for our Real Rants section, (where one removal company gets outed for their fraudulent blackmailing – well worth a read), here I’ll share how I tried to make relocation fun. Now, there’s three children in our house, each one would be starting a completely new school with no friends, no allies and nothing that resembled home. It was a decision we didn’t make lightly but one that, once it was made there was no going back and so the focus was on helping them settle in quickly and without fuss.
Make the Moving Day Fun
As we were moving more than 300 miles away our removals firm (curse, spit) would do this over the course of two days. We had a night ahead where we wouldn’t have our creature comforts to hand, no familiar furniture to fall back on and nothing except what we took in our very small van. The van in question was full already with a big yellow dog, umpteen ducks, 8 rabbits and 46 hatching eggs, we had just the small boot of a yaris for the rest of the items. I decided to make it the best camping trip ever. I hate camping, the thought of sharing a bathroom with strangers or heaven forbid using a hole in the ground. The thought of being damp and uncomfortable trying to sleep on a rock hard floor. The thought of feeling slightly romantic as you gaze at the stars with your partner only to discover the children are gently snoring less than an inch away and any romantic feelings should be left until after the holiday. This would be different. This would be camping with glamour – or yes, glamping. We started with sleeping arrangements, the Snuggle Sacs were brilliant, so soft and every child had their own. These were introduced before the move so they felt familiar once we got to this strange abode.
I moved to the new house without ever seeing it before. Although paid for with my earnings and in my name, I trusted him to choose the right house for us. Funnily enough, on the internet it was my last choice yet I took him at his word. It does have a hell of a lot of workshops!
When we introduced the Snuggle Sacs we also added a worry doll. Percy is 3, Poppy is 10, Mitchell is now 14. Every child received them with a smile as wide as the zippy toy itself. The mouth would be opened to allow the children to put their worries about moving inside. Over the next 14 days I visited as they slept to remove these and tried, covertly, to bring any worries up in conversation so I could quench their fears. This was a little hard with Percy as she just kept hiding her toothbrush in there. The Worry Dolls were so popular, especially Polli, that we also got one for Grandma so she could join in.
Our First Night List
We started by putting a list together for our first night without furniture. (Little did we know we’d be a lot longer than one single night without our belongings, some of which we still haven’t got). Our list was no ordinary list as we needed:
Something to keep the children entertained -OUTSIDE – The last thing we wanted was for removal men to be stepping over 3 children and countless animals while unpacking our belongings. ANKI came to the resuce with a MASSIVE racetrack and super fast cars that are controlled by an APP on an iphone, an accessory none of us would leave the house without. As we downloaded the APP before we left, it was ready to go and it did indeed keep everyone entertained for hours, even hubby who should have been plumbing in the washing machine. Although this was a distreaction for the children we plan to use it soon for adults only, we think it could become quite competitive after a glass of wine.
Bedding for the Animals Without knowing our new area and not expecting to arrive until late, we needed to take bundles of straw and hay with us.
Something to cook ON Our new home has an AGA, which notoriously take an age to heat. We couldn’t get away with a frying pan and a pack of sausages we needed the whole kit.
Lights After moving many times we have realised the tenacity of electrical circuits. We also know all three children hate the dark. We needed torches to be able to bed down the ducks in the barns while still making it fun. This MineCraft torch from the Fowndry was the perfect solution and now hangs on the snug wall.
Charging Stations We’re a family that are slaves to technology, we all have kindles, tablets, laptops and phones and we are all forever losing our chargers. The W2 charging alarm clock presented the perfect solution and gave us a built in alarm clock. We must admit it got a bit cramped on top of there with all the devices. Genius idea and now keeps the side of the bed completely wire free.
Miscellaneous As well as being a family of technogeeks we’re also quite the collectors of miscellaneous items. Once a draw or bedroom is emptied there’s always remaining “things” that don’t seem to have a home anywhere. Also, when hoovering there is always a selection of very tiny but very important Lego pieces on the floor. We love our Lego. That’s why this mug came in handy during the move. We found Lego everywhere and whenever we saw a piece in the corner of a room we just added it to the mug. The mug became quite the Frankenstein’s monster with Darth Vader’s legs, Olivia’s pony, Gandalf’s chair, Harry Potter’s watch and a Lego city post box, along with random lights, flowers and Lego joysticks/handles.
Something Smelly I have a very strong sense of smell and I’m quite addicted to glorious scents, from sensual body oils to essential oils in burners, I believe in aromatherapy. We were moving to a farm in the middle of nowhere. I had not set foot in the place before and had no idea how it would smell. I knew the age of the house so was quite prepared for damp, mustiness and even cigarettes, and I needed something to mask them quickly. Not only this but the children are used to our house smelling a certain way. It may seem odd to put such onus on scent but it really shouldn’t be underestimated. Our house generally smells of the essential oils of the moment (Lavender if I’d like to relax, orange is I need energising) along with a variation of baking goods, meals and the hint of fluffy dog. The Ark diffusers allowed me to make every room my own in an instant as I sent a child in to deploy them before I’d even set foot inside. There was no messing with lighters, candles and oils, they were unpacked straight from the boxes and put in the relevant rooms.
- Loving for the bedrooms,
- Living for the Kitchen and Bathrooms
- Lounging for the living rooms, office, snug and dining rooms.
Filling the house with luxurious scents, I was able to view it for the first time without asking, “what’s that horrible smell?” Of course there were others on our list, such as food. We had a Sainsbury’s shop ordered and ready, they do deserve a shout out. I ordered online before we left and without broadband I couldn’t check or communicate with them. In the move the debit card I used for Sainsbury’s was blocked as my bank had noticed quite a lot of out of the ordinary transactions up and down the country (this would be the endless stops I made on the M5 to find the playground that Percy wouldn’t rest until she’d visited on the way down). Sainsbury’s tried to ring but didn’t get through. Instead of cancelling it all they still turned up to give me a chance to pay when they arrived. This did save my bacon. Other supermarkets, I’m sure, would have tried the card then cancelled the order and without a signal or phone, I’d have been none the wiser..
I’d like to say with all the preparation, we had a wonderful time moving house. I’d be lying though as the post on the removal firm will show. That been said, these products really did make it a little easier and were tokens of sanity in a ridiculous week. Of course, they all receive our seal of approval award and each one has made it onto our recommended products for the Christmas Gift Guides this year as we know they’ll be well received. We’ve also noticed, since we relocated that some of them have gone on sale, with huge discounts, now that’s Murphy’s Law. Don’t miss out… Next week we visit the That’s Life issue of Communication…