So as I said, Love is in the air, but when it comes to moving into a new place, it can be a make-or-break situation. Thank God, El Hombre and I teamed up perfectly in this daunting experience. Here are some tips we gathered from our own experience.
LEAVING YOUR OLD PLACE
1. Make a list.
If you have all your stuff scattered all over different places, as it was in my case, this will be useful. You might find it annoying or useless, however, writing down the belongings you are taking with you make it more clear in your head.
2. Tidy up and clean.
Very basic. You might even find a lost shirt behind a cupboard or that ring you lost long time ago. It happens.
3. Give away or bin unwanted items.
Perfect time to get rid of things you don’t need. When you get to know how much stuff you actually have, it will be made clear to you that part of it needs to go. You don’t need all
4. Notify utilities, internet, council taxes, TV license, GP, car insurance…
El Hombre was in charge of these things, I have to say. Above all, plan in advance the internet company. After two weeks, we are still waiting for it to be set. Dealing with these companies is a PAIN. We also got money back from the car insurance cause it was cheaper over here, so it’s always good to check.
5. Get plenty of boxes, tape and bags.
It’s VERY important. You will definitely need more boxed than you think. Don’t lie to yourself. You need more. You can either buy them or, like us, get them from the street. There’s plenty of shops, or neighbours that leave folded cardboard boxes on the street. Use them.
6. Pack ahead.
It will give you time to plan the whole process as well as peace of mind.
7. Keep things together and tag them.
Do it by colours, numbers, rooms or people’s names… It’s up to you. By classifying items in groups you’ll make your job easier. We actually did it by rooms. So, all the kitchen stuff in some boxes, the toilet stuff was in bags, the clothes in suitcases… Easier to identify.
8. Keep valued items and important documents with you.
Things like passport, cash, certificates, bills… You don’t want to loose those ones. Make sure they stay with you.
CAR OR VAN MOMENT
The moment has come, but if you like puzzles, this is your thing. We used a small hatchback car, so that implied more than one journey. Another option would be renting a van for the occasion. Work out what is best for you.
1. Get the most important and bigger boxes loaded first.
Essential. Then just fill it with the rest. Make sure fragile items are in the right place.
ON ARRIVAL AT YOUR NEW HOME
1. Take pictures and check the property out.
Make sure everything under your contract is present and correct. If anything is missing or there are major faults, contact your estate agents as soon as possible. Take meter readings and check that electricity, gas, water, heating and alarms work.
2. Distribute boxes and bags.
According to the rooms they belong to. That will make easier the subsequent processes.
3. Make a first shopping list.
Depending on the place being furnished or unfurnished, take note of what you’ll need in your new place. We knew we wanted to keep it basic, so we thought of things we needed from the moment we wake up until we go to bed. Secundary things are just that.
Here are the main things that you might need to get in your first shopping: cleaning products, basic kitchen appliances, houseware (all sorts of things), food (you’ll get very hungry and thirsty).
4. Clean the place throughout.
We were told the property would be professionally cleaned but, what a surprise, it was filthy. So we cleaned first kitchen and toilet, then bedrooms and other rooms. From furniture, to doors, frames, socles… You want to start your new life in a clean and neat space, don’t you?
Forget about unpacking for the night, open a bottle of wine and make a toast to your new home.
6. Furnished or unfurnished?
If you have the basic furniture to keep you going on, you can jump to the next point. If not, make sure you know where you are going to put all your belongings.
7. Start unpacking.
Who said unpacking is a nightmare? If you’ve followed the 3 previous points, putting things in it’s place will be easy-peasy and actually fun. Distribute stuff per rooms, I would suggest first kitchen and toilet then the rest.
8. Make your new place cozy and homey.
Do you need extra shelves or drawers or cushions? You are not convinced with the layout of your new living room or bedroom? Make your new place comfortable and nice and enjoy this process with your partner and family. It might take days, but, at the end of the day it has tobecome home, sweet home.