Home Is Where The Heart Is

So, I've been AWOL for a bit, my apologies, but I do have a good excuse. Last Saturday I moved to my very own home. Does this mean I have truly become a grown-up? I think I'll leave the growing up part for a little while at least.

I still don't really feel excited about it... probably because I'm currently sitting on a sofa that's covered in a sheet surrounded by bags and boxes.

There are many things about moving that I don't understand:

  • How anyone manages to afford to buy a home, of any description, on their own. I have an average income but every month two thirds of that money goes on rent and bills and what's left is enough for food and transport. There was no wiggle room for saving, and if there was it would take an eternity to save up enough for a deposit. I'm truly lucky to have wonderful parents who a] didn't want to see me suffering in the pit of a flat I had to rent and b] had the forethought to actually have money saved. I am also lucky that prices in Bristol are amazing. There isn't a chance I could get anything this size back home for anywhere near the price I paid.

  • How do people move repeatedly? Seriously... this is truly one of the most stressful things I have ever done. Slightly less traumatising than when I moved to Bristol in the first place, that one definitely has first place. I think everyone was surprised about my attitude towards the whole thing. I was of the opinion that it would happen eventually and I wasn't going to get het up about it taking ages.

  • How some things are so simple and some things make you want to cry. So you move and you have to arrange for all your bills to swap over... Water, easy. Driver's license, easy... did you know you can do that online? You just need your passport and national insurance number and you can do it all in about 5 minutes, it said it would take two weeks but it was on my doorstep on the day I moved in four days later. TV license, easy. Council tax, slightly more traumatising than the first time but I think it's sorted. Car insurance, easy. Car registration, should be easy when I can find the box with the paperwork in. Phone and internet... [insert expletives here]. I now have internet but the Post Office yet again have been truly shambolic, it was the BT engineers who were the stars of the whole tale. [My advice is to never use them, even though when they're not moving you the rest of the service is fine, but ultimately in my two home move experiences no one has listened to me and no one talks to each other.]

I feel I need to speak up for the forgotten people of moving:

  • The movers. I hired people this time, should have done it the first time, but everything is clear in hindsight! I found a local company and for £275 they moved my one bed flat on a Saturday morning. They turned up with the smallest van on the planet and I did panic that nothing would fit, the van we moved here in was full and slightly bigger. I pointed this out and they looked around the place and chuckled. When they were finished they'd only used about half the van. They turned up early and started at 8.30 and at that point I was truly useless, I basically sat there until they'd packed the van drove to the house to let them in and then sat there until they'd unpacked the van. The whole process took precisely two hours from start to finish. It was incredible, and they were the loveliest guys. So anyone who is moving in Bristol should use Smartmove Removals they were my saviours.

  • The delivery guys. I obviously had to buy appliances, and fridge freezer, washing machine and a new TV... I didn't need one of them but I really wanted one. TV and washing machine were easy but I'd got one of those small American fridge freezers. I'd measured the doors and it all looked okay... until they got it in the front door. Originally I was going to have it left in the living room so that I could paint the kitchen and then move it in but it was clear I was never going to be able to get it through the door. There was a young lad and an older guy, and thank god the older one was there... if it was up the the younger lad the fridge wasn't getting any further than my hallway but the older was patient and persistent and now I have a freezer for the first time in nearly eight months. So another recommendation, use AO.com. The prices were good and the online ordering is fantastically easy with options for delivery and fitting. They will phone you and try and sell you insurance after you place the order. I had a lovely woman phone me and she checked the details or the order and delivery, then gave me some very useful tips. She then went into her spiel on insurance and I heard her out to be polite which she did then try to add for me without actually checking whether I wanted it. That was the only bit that let down my experience with them. I have Ikea delivering on Saturday so I have no opinion on them yet, although ordering online was very easy and I keep getting text updates every day to tell me they're coming on Saturday. I've heard they wont take things upstairs, which is fine for the flat packs as I can take them up piece by piece as I put them together, but I'm hoping they take pity on me and take the mattress upstairs as I had trouble just getting my other double one on the bed.

So I'm just down to my decorating. Half a kitchen done, spare room done, started on the main room, Living room base done. It's not going too badly at the moment... hahaha that's buggered it!

For doing it myself I don't think I'm doing badly at least. My second home is B&Q and after the furniture is delivered and put up I'm also going to be a resident of Ikea... because I obviously don't have enough stuff! That's it for the moment, I will return with before and after pictures for you and Emma's creative decorating tips... that probably are not advisable to follow!


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