Tips for moving house

  1. Do not rely on your seller to do anything. Not even the basic niceties such as cleaning the house after they move out of it.
  2. Do not expect any of the well-paid professionals involved in the process to act on your behalf as quickly as you act for them when they ask for something, or as quickly as you act for your clients.
  3. Expect to find things wrong with your new house. Little things that won't have been highlighted by a survey or several viewings; little things that annoy and frustrate.
  4. Expect to feel unexpectedly nervous on the day you move, conscious that sometimes, house-buying chains collapse on moving day leaving whole families in limbo. Try not to imagine this happening to you.
  5. If the removal men work hard, tip them.
  6. At the end of the day, eat out or get a takeaway. Cooking is hell in a kitchen full of boxes.
  7. Despite all this, enjoy the new place. Delight in the fact that this particular pile of bricks is yours, for as long as you wish, to style and decorate and fill with friends of your choice. Luxuriate in your house, and try to understand the doubtlessly huge sums of money that have swirled around you during the process of buying it. Feel the investment you have made. Be proud of yourself, happy for your family.
  8. Count yourself lucky that you have somewhere to live at all.
  9. Do not over-confidently connect the washing machine to its taps, push it back into place under the counter, and switch it on without first checking all the connections are working. After all, the mere action of pushing it back into place under the counter might have snapped the old brittle waste pipe, causing water to gush up the wall and seep out from under the machine like blood seeping from walls in a horror movie. You never know.
  10. Try to find the joy in decorating. You may find this very hard. Try again.

(1st March 2004)