How moving home takes its toll on the body and mind but the stress is usually worthwhile

Anyone caught up in a property sale chain will understand the stress and anxiety of waiting for the contract to be exchanged and then completed. Sadly, once that’s “over the line” there’s more grief ahead.

This time it’s mental strain and physical exhaustion. There’s all the sorting, deciding what is to be kept or thrown out and the wrapping and packing. Endless visits to recycling facilities and charity shops or simply leaving unwanted “stuff” on the pavement with the invitation “Help Yourself!”

The date of the move arrives and all hell is let loose as either the removal company turns up early (or not at all) or your borrowed van breaks down.

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Eventually you start frantically loading. There’s that nagging fear that you forgot to check the loft, empty the freezer, left laundry in the washer, lost a child or pet or misplaced some essential piece of equipment: computer cables, TV remote controls, car keys or the bolts to assemble a table are common examples. Ah! Final meter readings!

Moving house is a difficult game to play but you usually win in the endMoving house is a difficult game to play but you usually win in the end
Moving house is a difficult game to play but you usually win in the end

Then you arrive at your new home. Hopefully there’s no delay in the final step of the purchase, funds are transferred and the conveyance completed so you can start to unload otherwise there’s the tantalising frustration of incessant phone calls to find out what is going on.

Eventually the frantic unpacking begins as you try to find homes for all your belongings and begin to wonder why so much of it has been kept, or worse, you don’t even know what it is or where it came from.

As painful as the packing has been, unpacking is infinitely worse as on the spot decisions have to be made instantly. Where to put pots and pans, which drawer for tea towels, where to store medicines and where are the sheets and pillows to make up beds for the inevitable collapse later that night?

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Oh! Don’t forget that you and the family need feeding and everyone wants a drink but where’s the kettle, the tea or coffee? Then the sudden realisation hits you that there’s no milk in the fridge and you find out that the fridge is broken and doesn’t work.

Later, you discover the washing machine leaks, one of the taps drips incessantly and there are no manuals for any appliance or the heating controls.

Over the next few days and weeks, look forward to the intense difficulty of finding whatever you need and listen to the shouts of innocence that someone else put it away.

The pressure doesn’t end there. There’s a long list of important notifications of your new address for banks, driving licence, car registration document, insurers, employer, local authorities, credit card companies, club memberships, new doctor registration and application for a broadband connection and utility accounts.

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The last of these generally have on line “easy to follow” steps but all too often they’re just not that easy.

At some point you’ll realise that there’s a long list of people you forgot to inform. One day, you’ll scream and there’ll be tears as you wonder why the move was undertaken at all and you long for the familiarity you abandoned.

Do not despair. Sooner or later the benefits of the move will prevail. New and better location, more or less space, easier to maintain garden or a larger garden, new neighbours, new places to discover.

In the end, the pain will be worth it and you won’t miss the “old” place".