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hampstead and highgate - north london

8 Tips For Moving House In London

There is always an element of stress when moving house. But even more so if you are moving in London! The enormous population and broad cityscape make it one of the most interesting cities in the world – but also a logistical nightmare!

We’ve been helping Londoners move house for over thirty years now and it has been fascinating to see how the city has evolved over this period. The problems people face when moving house in London, however, have remained largely unchanged.

Our clients and friends often ask us advice on moving in the big smoke, so we thought it was about time we put our tips into writing.

Of course, no advice can guarantee a smooth move, but your odds will increase if you pay attention to the following.

1. Timing is everything

Move at the wrong time and you will spend hours in traffic. This is a common stress point. We tend to start the move from 8.00am to avoid the traffic everyday including weekends. Make sure to check big events happening locally that will bring in more traffic to a standstill– football games, concerts, conferences etc.

2. Consider parking

Parking in London is notoriously difficult and expensive. You wouldn’t believe the amount of times clients have called us having arrived at their new home in their removals van, only to find they can’t park it anywhere! If you have your own off-street parking, then great! If not, then you need to consider applying for a parking suspension from the local council. The best way to do this is to visit the website of your local council. If you are using a professional removals company they should be familiar with this process, so you can likely leave it to them.

3. Make us of local short term storage

Sometimes it’s impossible or impractical to move everything at once. This is a classic point of anxiety, especially if you have to move out before you’re allowed to move to the new home. These facilities offer vital flexibility at affordable rates.

4. Consider the Congestion Zone

If you are moving into, or out of, the centre of London, then see if you will be passing through the Congestion Zone. This is fairly expensive if you’re using multiple vehicles (£11.50 for each one, per day) and is also very busy. Avoid driving between 7am and 6pm if you want to get around the charge. If you decide to take the hit, make sure you pay online with 14 days to avoid a fine.

5.Ask your neighbours for help unloading

The stereotype of unfriendly Londoners is largely a myth in our experience. A well-timed knock-and-introduction can often lead to an offer to help with unloading the van. We’ve witnessed occasions where virtually the whole street has got involved! It’s also a great opportunity to get to know your new neighbours.

6. Plan out your route carefully

Some areas of traffic are notorious for heavy traffic. If you’re local knowledge isn’t great, try using the app Waze – we’ve found this to be the best at finding routes around traffic. But be careful to avoid narrow roads if you are driving a big van. We’ve had calls from clients who are quite literally stuck on a backroad.

7. Bring in professional help

Perhaps the easiest way to ensure a smooth move is to hire a local removals company, as they will probably have a well-oiled process that is tried and tested. Be sure to look at online reviews though, as a bad removals company may end up actually adding stress to the process.

8. Accept that it will be hectic!

The final top tip is pretty simple, but the hardest for many to actually do. Accept that you’re moving in the busiest city in the country and that things will never be simple. So embrace it and expect difficulties. After all, the traffic and the mayhem are all a part of the wonderful joy of living in London!

 

Author Bio:
Max Oldfield founded Ants Removals in 1985. Originally the company specialised in residential furniture deliveries and small removals. Under his guidance the company has gone from strength-to-strength, operating throughout the UK.

Removal Company - ask questions when moving house

Moving? Tips for a Cheaper and More Efficient Move

Your first move from London to a huge and expensive city in the U.S. like Chicago, Illinois might have been exciting because you were finally getting out of your parents’ house and into your own apartment.

You’re starting a new life in a new city!

Subsequent moves, however, turned out to be costly and taxing, so you’re now looking for ways to move cheaply and efficiently. We’ve got some great tips for you:

Get Rid of Stuff

Stuff. We all have a lot of it, and some of us never keep accumulating it. That very used but serviceable garden wheelbarrow you saw in someone’s trash on the side of the road now has a home in your cramped garage, because you just might need it someday.

Those 13 VGA cables that you have gathered after every monitor change fill an entire drawer in your dresser. That kiddie pool with a slight crack still holds enough water for a couple hours just in case your brother’s children come over, and that broken solid state guitar amp that you mistakenly think might someday become a valued antique claims a prominent place in your bedroom. All of this stuff has one thing in common—if you’re moving soon, that junk needs to belong to someone else.

Ways to Do It

Of course, the dumpster is a decent option, but that doesn’t bring in any money, nor does it help the planet. One way to try to turn that trash into cash is to have a garage or moving sale. There’s a Wall Street saying that the stock market operates on the “bigger fool” theory: there is always a bigger fool than you that will buy the stock you want to sell.

Same goes for your stuff and we’re not going to repeat that “one man’s treasure” cliché–although you get the point. Advertise on Craigslist and/or put signs up in your neighborhood, get up early and nicely arrange the things you to get rid of, price them reasonably, and see what sells. If that fails you can take a trip to Goodwill or the dumpster. And maybe Goodwill has a dumpster you can use so you can accomplish everything at once.

Be Organized

After you have downsized by getting rid of unneeded junk, you can start to pack. Think about this before you start, however, as Helter Skelter may have been your dad’s favorite Beatle song, but it’s no way to begin a move. Start with one room at a time—preferably the room you use least—and methodically pack your things.

Of course, you’ll find a lot of stuff you really don’t need, and then you may need to do another sale! When one room is completed, start the next. Mark all containers carefully, and neatly stack them in the now finished room. This way, you’ll see real progress being made. By packing yourself, you’ll know where everything is, and you’ll save the cost of a packing service.

Spend It Now

We know you’re looking to save money (perhaps to buy a home in the future), but we’re interested in saving your life, so be sure to consider professional movers for the big stuff.

Walking up the basement stairs attached to a heavy, bulky and hard-to-handle freezer can be the proverbial recipe for disaster. Pro movers usually have seen it all, have the proper equipment, and know how not to get hurt while moving big and heavy objects.

Get rid of extra stuff by selling it, disposing of it, or giving it away; organize your move, and get pro help when you need it. If you follow those suggestions, your move will be cheaper and accomplished more efficiently.

Beat the Heat with These 8 Summer Moving Tips

Moving during any season can be an exciting but stressful time. You’re eager to take the next step and start your life in your new home, but moving during summer presents its own unique set of obstacles and necessities. When temperatures soar and humidity refuses to take a break, summer moving can easily go from inconvenient to dangerous. That’s why it’s important to devise a plan before moving day so you can ensure your adventure goes smoothly—and safely. Start your plan with these eight tips:

 

  1. Remember, the Early Bird Gets the Shade

Set that alarm and start your day before the sun does. The sun is typically at its strongest between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., so avoid doing any particularly strenuous moving during this time. Use this window to plan a lunch break, run any necessary errands or, if you’re moving somewhere nearby and need to make multiple trips, hit the road with the AC blasting.

 

  1. Keep It Light and Breezy

Loose-fitting clothes are ideal for moving in general, as long as they’re not so loose that they run the risk of snagging on anything. Avoid dark colours that absorb the sun’s harsh rays and instead opt for lighter hues. This is a great day to wear your trainers and sweat wicking gym (or couch) clothes.

 

  1. Designate a Water Boy

Hydration, hydration, hydration. The dog days of summer are reason enough to stay hydrated, but when you add long-term physical exertion to the equation, drinking enough water or electrolyte-replenishing beverages is vital to your health. Knight someone in your group the water boy whose responsibility it is remind everyone to take a drink break. If no one volunteers, set a recurring alarm on your mobile.

 

  1. Take (Frequent) Fives

Moving is tough work! You may be tempted to push through even when you’re exhausted just to get it all done, but that’s your body telling you that it needs to rest. If you ignore it, you’re at greater risk of developing heat stroke, which is accompanied by confusion, dizziness, agitation, and, ironically, an absence of sweat. So, play it safe and sacrifice those five minutes of moving time for your health.

 

  1. Get a Child/Pet Sitter

Even if they want to be your little helper, small children are hazardous to your moving day. They’re also more susceptible to heat stroke and less likely to realize when they’ve overexerted themselves. And while you might be tempted to leave Fido and Muffins out, even outside so they’re not underfoot, don’t: The heat can affect animals just as severely, they just don’t have any way to let you know. Keep little ones—two- and four-legged alike—safe and sound with a friend or professional sitter.

 

  1. Have a Cool Break Room

Pick a small, closed-in room that has already been completely cleared out and either leave the central air vent open or keep a small AC unit on. No one likes the idea of spending money to cool an empty room, but when you need to take a break after two hours of moving heavy boxes in 32-degree weather, you’ll forget all about that £2 in electricity and have difficulty tearing yourself away!

 

  1. Eat Light

On one hand, you want to have the energy you need to get you through such a physically exhausting day, but on the other, heavy food can be difficult to digest, especially in extreme heat. Eat foods that are low in density but high in protein and nutrients, like fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, grilled chicken, and tuna.

 

  1. Pack a “Go” Bag

Let’s be honest, at the end of a day of moving in the heat of summer, you’ll want a nice shower and clean set of clothes—but wait, you’ve packed everything away and need to go digging through boxes! Don’t make this mistake. Instead, pack a small bag with clean clothes and a towel, toiletries, and anything else you consider a necessity before you can relax. After all, you’ve earned it.

Moving in the summer can be difficult if you’re not properly prepared, but it can also be a fun and exciting day when done the right (and safe) way! Follow these eight tips and make your journey to your new home your best yet.

 

AUTHOR BIO

By Stephen Schwartz, Co-Owner, Gotham Mini Storage
Stephen Schwartz is the co-founder of Broadway Storage, a firm that specializes in the development and acquisition of industrial properties including Gotham Mini Storage.

 

buying a house checklist

8 Vital Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Removalist

It’s a big deal to trust someone with your belongings during a house move.

 

After all, each of your possessions has some form of practical, sentimental and/or monetary value attached to it. Therefore, it’s only fitting that, before hiring a local removalist, you should at least ensure that the company is reputable and offers the services you require.

 

Asking questions is the best way to assess whether your prospective removalist can satisfy all your needs for the move. Once you have a removals company in mind, take into account the following questions during your first meeting:

 

1. What is your experience?

This is a crucial question especially if you are also moving rare or precious items that most removalists may not usually come across.

 

For instance, priceless pieces such as fine art, antiques, and a grand piano require skilled moving knowledge to prevent damages. These aren’t items that someone can easily carry and place in a moving truck; they need extra care through proper packing, dismantling and gentle handling.

 

2. Do you have insurance?

There are many risks during the move that may be beyond your removalist’s control.

 

The only way you can guarantee the safety of your items is through insurance. If your removalist does offer insurance, make sure to ask about the coverage and whether it is already part of the quote they have given you.

 

3. What is your rate?

Most removalists will give an initial rate based on the size of your current residence and the distance of the move.

 

Keep in mind that once you decide to move forward, the company should give you a proper estimate in writing and provide you with a copy of it.

 

The estimate document must include:

 

  • All fees/charges for the move
  • Both the removalist’s and your signature
  • Method and date of payment

 

Additional Fees

Ask if there are additional fees and when such charges will apply.

 

Some removalists charge extra for items which are difficult to handle and destinations which are particularly challenging to access. To avoid unexpected costs, take note of what conditions will cause them to go over your budget.

 

4. How long will the transit time be?

This is a crucial question to ask so that you can estimate when your belongings will arrive at your new home.

 

If you’re moving a long way and your items end up arriving early or far too late, you may not be around to pick them up.

 

5. Can you provide references or reviews from your previous clients?

If your chosen removalist is trustworthy, they would not hesitate to give you testimonials of satisfied clients. Much better if they have a website so that you can easily browse through to check if they’re giving factual and legitimate information.

 

Complaints and Claims

Ask your removalist if they have encountered complaints or claims. Details won’t be necessary as long as the company is honest about it, and they were able to handle the problems they encountered well.

 

6. Do you offer packing or storage?

There are people who don’t have enough time to properly pack their belongings inside individual boxes.

 

Find out if your removalist offers packing services so you don’t have to do all the packing on your own. Also, ask if they have a storage facility so that you have a place to secure your items just in case your new place isn’t ready yet.

 

7. Where is your office located?

A legitimate removal company should have an authentic brick and mortar office and contact number. Asking about the address of their office can help you verify the existence of the company.

 

You can even go as far as to check with your city government as to whether or not the removalist you will be dealing with has a licence to operate.

 

8. What are the things I need to prepare or arrange before moving day?

Inquire about what the removalist expects you to do before the actual moving date.

 

The company may ask you ready your boxes and save them a parking space for easy access. If you’re doing the packing by yourself, the removalist may be able to give you advice on proper packing to protect your belongings.

 

Also, don’t forget to ensure that your new home is all set, and spic and span, and ready for occupancy.

 

If you can’t handle the cleaning yourself, you should at least choose a good professional cleaning company to do the job for you.

 

A bit of checking goes a long way

As a client, you should be confident of the removalist you intend to hire by evaluating their background and services. This way, you can make sure that you don’t get less than what you deserve.

 

So, be sure to ask about the all of the above. The best removalists won’t have any qualms responding to your questions.

 

Come moving day, all you need to focus on is getting your new home set up once you get there.

 

 

 

AUTHOR BIO

Kim Hill works on Marketing at Adams & Rofe Removals and Storage and has been a dynamic figure in the removal industry for over 30 years. For relocating families, individuals or offices around Sydney or all over Australia, Kim will develop the perfect removal plan to take the stress out of your next move.

Step By Step Guide To Choosing Flooring

If you’re lucky enough to be moving to a new home you might already be planning how you’re going to stamp your mark with new furniture and redecorations. A major part of any interior, and one that will set the tone for your whole home, is the flooring you choose.

So here’s a great guide to choosing the right flooring in your new home.

Step By Step Guide To Choosing Flooring

deal with stress when moving

How to Deal With Stress When Moving

Whatever the circumstances surrounding your upcoming move — good or bad, exciting or nerve-wracking — the process is going to be fast-paced, overwhelming, and potentially stressful. However, it doesn’t have to be this way! It is possible to go through with a move and not turn your hair gray at the same time.

 

If this sounds appealing to you, here are the top five tips to deal with stress when moving.

1. Plan and then plan some more

We all procrastinate, especially when something as overwhelming as moving house is on the horizon. However, attempting to clear clutter, pack those boxes, organize your belongings, and vacate your old home last minute is guaranteed to bring an unnecessary level of stress. You need to start planning far earlier than you think!

 

However long you think it is going to take, double it. Seriously, things are going to crop up that you don’t expect and nothing will go entirely according to plan, so prepare yourself with a realistic timeline.

 

In order to remain calm, cool, and collected during this time, make a list of what needs to be done, and then break these tasks into weekly to-do’s. From this point, you can divide the weekly to-dos into more manageable daily tasks. This strategy is the best way to beat procrastination and help you feel as though you are in control of the situation.

2. Schedule “me” time

Whether or not you want to be moving, there are still (probably) going to be feelings of grief about the upcoming transition. Don’t be afraid to experience these feelings – they are normal, and everyone has them!

 

That being said, it is essential to take care of your own well-being while you are dealing with this process. Ensure that you are regularly getting enough sleep and that you are eating a wholesome, balanced diet. Far too often, when you are busy, these things go out of the window. But being tired is only going to make the move feel a lot more overwhelming and stressful!

 

Additionally, schedule “me” time so that you don’t feel as though the move has taken over your entire life. Whether that means regular exercise (which you should be doing!), time to read, coffee with friends, or meeting up with your local knitting group, don’t forget about the things that make you happy.

3. Hire professional removalists

There is a reason that people hire professional movers or removalists – they reduce so much of the stress! If your budget allows, hire a dependable removal company that can pack and move your furniture. On the day of the move, you will be thanking yourself for making this investment.

4. Reach out to your friends and family

In addition to hiring movers, you also should make use of your network. Friends and family will undoubtedly be willing to help you with anything you need before, during, and after the move. Relocating shouldn’t be a lonely process and having your loved ones by your side as much as possible can aid you in reducing the stress.

5. Shift your mindset

Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, profoundly said “the only thing constant in life is change” and even all these centuries later, it remains true. Change is going to happen in your life, you can’t always resist it. However, change can be seen as exciting — a new adventure — you just have to shift your mindset.

 

When you find yourself getting sad, stressed, or nostalgic about what you are leaving behind, reflect on this quote and open yourself up to embracing what is to come.

 

I am not going to sugarcoat it – moving is stressful, overwhelming, and often downright annoying. However, it has to happen. We all have to do it at certain points in our life. Don’t expect it to be a walk in the park, or you are setting yourself up to be very miserable and annoyed with yourself.

 

When you feel stressed and crabby, sit with yourself and identify what exactly is making you feel this way. From this point, you can make a plan for dealing with it. By utilizing these five tips, you can make the move a lot less stressful and maybe even bearable. Good luck with the move and remember, “home is where the heart is, even if you can’t remember which box you packed it in!”

 

AUTHOR BIO

John Pfeiffer has been the proud owner of Ashtons Removals for over 40 years. His attention to detail, a product of his accountancy background, and his emphasis on training and empowering his team members, has ensured the vast number of Gold Coast families who have been moved by Ashtons Removals, have had their furniture and effects moved undamaged and with minimum fuss.

buying a home

How student debt affects choices about buying a home

Think about the future before you apply for that loan.

 

Student debt has become an inevitability for anyone who wants to study today. However, the amount of debt you accrue as a student, as well as your ability to clear it, can significantly impact future choices. In particular, if you’re hoping to buy a home after you graduate, you may find that the student debt you have acquired at university has an impact on how easy this is for you.

 

Can you buy a home if you have student debt?

 

There are no rules that say you can’t buy a home if you still have student debts to pay off. In fact, there are many people who are still making payments on either private or government student loans who do manage to successfully buy a home. However, according to the personal finance experts at Solution Loans, it’s important to remember that lenders will still have to take into account the amount of debt that you have, regardless of what kind of debt it is. This can affect your application for a mortgage in a number of different ways:

 

  • Debt-to-income ratio. When lenders make decisions about an applicant for a mortgage they will look at how much income you have, as compared to your levels of debt. This will show a lender how much of your gross monthly income (i.e. income before taxes) is going to be sucked into debt repayment and what that will leave you with afterwards. If the debt-to-income ratio is too high then you won’t be an attractive prospect for a lender and you’re unlikely to get approved for a mortgage.
  • Mortgage affordability criteria. Mortgage lenders today are much more focused on affordability i.e. whether you will be able to make the repayments on the mortgage at the same time as meeting your other financial responsibilities. If you have high levels of student debt (or even an average debt) then this may affect the affordability of a potential mortgage. A lender may look at what you’re left with after debt and mortgage repayments and make the judgment that you’re unlikely to have enough to live on and would, therefore, be default risk.
  • Defaults and missed payments. If you’ve struggled to meet the payments on student loans then this is also likely to affect whether a mortgage lender sees you as a good option as a borrower. Even if there was a good reason for missing a payment – and you made the payment relatively quickly after it was missed – it could still give a lender a reason to pause. It’s also important to note that missed payments could affect your credit score.

 

Tips for buying a home if you have student debt

 

  • Overpay your student debt to clear it as soon as possible
  • Increase your income – ask for a pay rise or find a new, better paid job with the qualification you’ve earned studying
  • Don’t miss any debt repayments, ever
  • Buy with someone else – two incomes are always less of a risk for a lender and could enable you to get more property for your money too

 

Moving House Indicates Buy New Home And Box

Things You Must Consider While Moving

Moving is never an easy process, and in order not to regret your decision to do so, make sure that you put the following into consideration:

Your finances

Your finances will play a major role in determining whether you move. You need to ensure that you are financially able to afford a move, and you also need to consider whether you will be able actually to survive in your new place. Most times, this factor is downplayed, especially if the move is due to a work order (in which case, the company will most probably still pay you and ensure that your move is as comfortable as possible). However, if you’ll be moving and the move is your personal choice, you need to ensure that you are financially stable enough to move without being affected (or at the very least, affected to a considerable degree)

A moving company

It very difficult to move by yourself. Regardless of whether you’ll be moving to a house on the next block or you’ll be moving to a new country entirely, a moving company will be required to help you transport your things and make the moving process much more comfortable for you.

Since there are so many moving companies out there, it is essential that you pick the one that is ideal for you. To help with this ensure that you ask some hard questions before choosing a moving company. You can select various companies and sift between them, and you can also ask for references.

All in all, ensure that your moving company is right for you, that they provide boxes for moving house and that you are satisfied with their services and rates.

Moving insurance

You will also need to get moving insurance. Although it might be a precautionary procedure, it is also essential because there is always a possibility that your items get lost or damaged in the process of a move. To avoid having to start buying all your items again, your moving insurance will cover your losses and ensure that you get compensated.

Your tools

While you move, there are specific tools that you will definitely require.  Things like tape, markers, moving boxes for your house, etc. must be top in your priority list, and you will definitely be in need of them if you are looking to have a seamless transit experience.

Also, you need to ensure that you get these tools at good prices to save as much cash as you can. Look for where to get things like cheap moving boxes, and you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll be able to save.

Do you have everything?

Simply put, you don’t want to forget anything while you move. It’ll most probably be as good as gone, so ensure that you check and double check before you leave your old home.

Transitioning to your new home

The process of transitioning to your new home has to be in place. This means you need to inform people like the mailing company, your place of work, your bankers, etc. and notify them of the fact that you’ve moved, and to also provide them with a means of reaching you.

adapt for elderly care needs - lg

Move House or Adapt For Elderly Care Needs?

As we grow older, a house that we once loved to live in may become difficult to negotiate. The stairs are a common problems but even just a few awkward steps to the garden can also be problematic. And managing the garden itself – once an enjoyable past time – can become a huge burden. In a place where you once felt safe and secure you may not feel safe anymore as the risk of falls as we get older becomes a real problem.

 

A home can change into somewhere no longer suited to living as an older person, which is why home adaptations are often desirable to enable you to stay in your home safely and happily. Changes can enable you to opt for home care services rather than moving to a residential care home. This is often a more cost effective approach because of the high cost of care home fees.

 

If you are considering adapting you home to be better suited to your care needs as you get older, consider the following:

 

  • Easy Access – Getting into your home safely through the main entrance door and also to and from the garden might require a ramp, hand rails and additional lighting.
  • Bathroom & Toilet – You may need a walk in shower with a wide entrance and a secure seat if you have difficulty walking and standing. You may also need a toilet with support rails around it.
  • Accessing upper floors – A stair lift or internal lift can help you get up and down the stairs safely so that you can still use upper floors and one or other can usually be fitted in most houses.
  • Kitchen – Even if you have a live-in carer or use home care services where someone comes into the home to help prepare meals you may still want to be able to prepare simple snacks like a sandwich. In that case you may have to lower the height of the worktops. This is especially true if you have to use a wheelchair.

 

 

The Cost Of Adapting Your Home

Adapting your home is going to cost money but so also does moving to a more suitable house so you will have to consider your own personal preference and individual circumstances. And there are cost effective ways to make alterations and often financial help available for some of the changes such as ramps and handrails.

 

Contact the local social services department to find out what financial or practical assistance you are eligible for when it comes to making your home safer. You will then have a better idea of whether you can continue to live there safely.

If you need to make larger alterations such as adding a ground floor bedroom and wet room then you may be entitled to a grant. Although bear in mind that you will have less freedom over the type of adaptation if you don’t pay for it yourself.

 

There are also charities that can help with both advice and potential sources of funding so talk to someone like Age UK as a starting point.

 

It might seem a daunting prospect with lots of upheaval to alter your home but if it helps you stay in your own home rather than go into a care home then it is worth it for a better quality of life. Remember you can get good care in your own home – are homes are not the only option.

decluttering - home storage unit

Getting Ready To Move House – Should I Be Decluttering?

 

After weeks (or is it months?) of limbo when nothing seemed to happen in the long chain I’m involved in with my house move suddenly it’s all systems go and panic has set in as everyone wants to exchange and move before the start of summer. At the beginning of the year we all knew when summer was but it seems to have been the effect of the Easter school break recently that has given everyone renewed impetus. I have spent all morning on the phone chivvying estate agents, mortgage providers, solicitors etc. and just generally keeping the lines of communication open. This is the 4th house we have tried to buy in nearly 18 months (yes, 4th, really) and after our “3rd time lucky” house failed to be lucky I have given up keeping my fingers crossed – now I just want it to happen.

I have lived in my current house for over 20 years and when we first decided to move it was with a mixture of excitement and sadness. We reminisced about the parties we’d had, the fun, the long hot summers in the garden (well maybe that’s an exaggeration) and the fact that our children have never known any other home. But as time has dragged on the sadness has waned and we are all just eager to get on with our new lives in our new home now.

I have started a bit of decluttering, bought packing boxes, had estimates for the removals and even spoken to some builders about the work I want to do in the new house but I can’t make any commitments yet – I can’t even make a proper start with packing up my belongings as I haven’t yet signed the contracts. For any of you living outside England you might be unfamiliar with the system where you can agree to sell your existing house and agree to buy a new house but it can be months before this agreement becomes legally binding for both you and all the other people involved in the chain of house sales and purchases.

This system has been the source of many a failed house move but I am consoling myself with the fact that during the time we have been waiting for all the legalities to be completed the mortgage interest rate with our chosen provider has fallen by 0.5%. Great news! But as my husband sagely pointed out we won’t be saving ourselves 0.5% worth of interest payments if the purchase falls through as we won’t be paying for that particular mortgage at all.

Realistically, I no longer have any hope of moving in before the warm weather arrives given that it is only a few weeks away and we haven’t yet exchanged contracts but after all the waiting I’m sure I can wait a little longer and it might just give me the chance to do some more decluttering so there is less to pack and less to unpack in the new house. If I can get into the decluttering habit now there’s a chance that we might all be able to live an organised, clutter-free life in our new abode (well, I can dream).

I’ve been reading some tips on clearing clutter and it seems the most important thing is to remember that a lot of the material possessions we own don’t have any sentimental value and no longer have any practical or decorative use – most possessions are just stuff filling up our homes. The decluttering tips also suggest that tackling the clutter gradually is more effective if you don’t want to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the task and give up before you make any progress. So I am determined to sort as much of my junk as possible in the coming weeks.