The actual move, however, was more like a nightmare, in fact I still have moving related nightmares on a regular basis. We knew we were moving for two months, but were told that we would be given two weeks notice before we actually had to move. I stupidly thought this would be plenty of time to pack up. Of course a lot of stuff was packed away in the two months before. Photo albums, keepsakes, books, pictures, the sort of things you have lurking in the back of cupboards or taking up space in your wardrobe. We also had some major clear outs, the understairs cupboard and pantry (yes, we had a pantry) were cleared of all their junk and we sorted out a lot of clothes and donated all those we really didn't need.
I guess you don't really realise just how much stuff you have, especially after living in the same house for 24 years. No1 son was definitely the most organised. His room was full of things he'd collected over time, from magazines to tiny little figures, all his consoles and games (he never threw anything out and all his stuff still had their original boxes.) He planned and sorted and bought himself some heavy duty plastic boxes to store all his valuable stuff. He must have at least a couple of hundred books! He was first packed with everything but his bedding and his pc packed with a week to go before move day. Good job too because I had to beg him to help me pack up his sister's stuff. Eldest Daughter was offered work experience just before the move which meant early starts every day, and coming home fit for nothing but food and rest. She packed barely anything and we were still packing away her room when the removal guys arrived.
Packing is so difficult. You don't want to be living out of boxes for a long time. It's hard to decide what to pack away and what you will really need until the end. I found it particularly hard with the kitchen. I did pack away a lot of stuff only to find myself rummaging through boxes to find it again. Also, where on earth do you put all the boxes? As I said, my house was tiny, I didn't want to be tripping up over boxes for weeks. Of course it was useful having the two cupboards we'd emptied of junk to store boxes in, but it wasn't nearly enough space. Our already incredibly cramped bedroom space became a maze of boxes. The Little Man's bed was taken apart and the space created used for storage while he squashed inbetween us in our bed. It still wasn't enough.
Moving day came and I was really not ready. I was still packing up when the removal guys arrived, and we'd already changed the time to a couple of hours later. The whole day was a complete nightmare from beginning to end. It was non-stop packing loading and running back and forth between houses. The removal van wasn't anywhere near big enough to what we needed, OH had found them online and they said they would be able to do the move in two runs. After the two runs they left us with loads more stuff to transfer. I called on help from a friend with a big car and I had a car that I'd hired and we carried on until around 10pm. I never, ever, ever want to move house again. Although, being my first time I realise I had a lot to learn. There may even be a blog post in there, 'How Not to Move House!'
Well, with the move over (apart from the stuff we'd had to leave with a neighbour until we could pick it up at a later dater) we fell asleep in our house of boxes. The next morning I had to make my way to London for the MAD Blog Awards. Back home on Saturday afternoon I set to making our new house liveable. Here's the good bit. Unpacking has been so much easier! I guess that's because of moving to a much bigger house, we have so much space that we didn't have before. All our stuff that took forever to pack was soon found a new place to live. And just a couple of weeks later everything was sorted, well everything apart from the photo albums and things I'd packed first. At last we can call our new house a home, and I love it.
We all have our own bedrooms, well apart from the two girls who are happy to share, we have three bathrooms, no more waiting for No1 son who takes forever! The other day I bathed the Little Man in the family bathroom while the girls were showered in another bathroom, it took half the time it used to. Also, I have a huge kitchen. My previous kitchen was not only tiny but it had a door on every wall which drastically reduces space. My new kitchen is all I've ever dreamed of, loads of space, loads of storage and I just love it. No, I mean it, I really really love my kitchen. I spent a whole day baking cakes, scones and pies all while cooking a family meal and I actually had space to do this! I just need a bigger cooker now, that's top of my list of things to buy.
Our garden is smaller, ah the sacrifice! But we do have a lovely huge shed, a water butt and composter as well as a brand new lawn and tall fences. In the front garden (we never had a front garden before) we have grass and plants and I've already located a spot that would be perfect for a herb garden. The kitchen is at the front of the house so it makes sense to have my herbs there, and I'll make sure to plant some delicious smelling ones to give our visitors a treat.
The week we moved I also acheived my goal of finding a school for the littlies, all three of them together. I'd been having trouble finding a place for Boo in year two as all the schools were full, but then I tried a school I'd tried previously and as stroke of luck, they'd just added another year two class. They have settled in lovely, it's been a bit tricky with Stars neck but I'll write more on that later. I'm just happy that they have a school to go to and it's not too far to walk. On nice days we walk home along the canal which is lovely.
I feel truly blessed, I really do. For so long I wanted a nice home. No matter how hard I tried to make my old home nice it just wasn't big enough for us. I had many, many happy years there (and quite a few sad) but they are now memories to hold and now I can make a new life in my new home.