One of the difficult parts of moving out of our house has been saying goodbye to our pets.
Ok – we have the type of pets that don’t really demand much emotional investment – Chickens and Tortoises. But they are still a living part of our life, and not the easiest pets to travel with, so we had to find them new homes.
The Chickens have gone to Paul’s dad, who has a number of Chickens himself (but only one that is laying). So you might think that three extra Chickens who are all in lay would be a welcome addition, but now there are complaints of too many eggs – not something that’s ever bothered us. I just find new ways of cooking them – including Diana Henry’s Pink Pickled Eggs. They weren’t to my taste, but we have a friend who will demolish a few.
In addition we have heard that our Chickens have established a new pecking order with them firmly at the top – now it’s no longer the two on one that used to happen at ours, but three against the world!
The tortoises have found a foster home with Ang, Tony and their children. I think that Frankie and Jason will do a great job of looking after them alongside all of their other pets. We’ll probably find it difficult to take them back!
We have read a number of blogs where people have regretted leaving personal possessions in storage. But that was only after they had decided that their lifestyle was going to permanently change.
We will have to make our own decision at the right time for us, and we’ll be leaving our possessions in storage until we know what the future holds for us. Current plans are to be back after two years travelling and the (approx.) two thousand pounds we will have spent on storage by that point will be far less than the cost of replacing all of our furniture, not to mention (most importantly) the cost of replacing my books and cooking equipment and Paul’s tools.
We spent some time scouting storage units, indoor storage, storage containers or the garages/lofts of friends and family. In the end we opted for a storage container near to our house. The decision based on convenience (very easy to start shuffling stuff backwards and forwards between the house and the unit), the fact that they also do Motorhome storage (so we could keep Bertie there and move stuff between the storage unit and Bertie) and price (they were the cheapest we could find in the local area).
Then we had to work out our approach to insurance. Possessions in storage units aren’t usually covered by home contents insurance (except for short periods of time between house moves), and specialist insurance is very expensive, again it’s based on people leaving possessions in storage for a short period of time and is priced by the day, most quotes coming in at a couple of hundred pounds per month. So we decided against insurance.
Now we have moved out, the storage unit is much fuller than I expected. Last time we moved (eleven years ago) we didn’t seem to have much at all and our belongings rattled around in the back of a seven and a half tonne truck.It’s amazing how much stuff is accumulated over the years. Although we’re not particularly material people (for example I only got rid of our CRT TV last year when we were offered a flat screen in payment for a job that Paul did), we do like to save stuff for ‘just in case’ and we do like to be prepared for every eventuality. How that will transpose to motorhome living I don’t know!
This week I drove past our house several times to see how the new tenants are settling in. Not that I can tell much from the outside, but it felt necessary to see someone else moving in and recognise that we aren’t just on holiday – we have moved out.
Yes we are now homeless, or so it feels, although in reality we have a bricks and mortar address at my parent’s house. But we have given up the place we have lived in and called home for the last eleven years. We now have a home on wheels, but I think it will take some time to settle in.
Paul and I have been treading on eggshells around each other for the last month. The process of packing up the house and preparing it for letting has been more emotionally demanding than either of us imagined and we have both been on edge. This has mostly manifested in accusing each other of doing unnecessary jobs. The two of us often have different perspectives of what is important, but normally this adds up to a consensus that is greater than the sum of its parts. However on the run up to our move we encountered situations where the discussion would have generated fruitless argument, so we had a few silent moments as we counted to 10 (or more) and gritted our teeth and got on with what we considered to be the right things. And those moments of frustration were unloaded on friends and family… what else are they there for?
As a final ‘hurrah’ we had a leaving party in our empty house. Everyone was very well behaved considering the amount of alcohol drunk (I counted over ninety cans of various types when I cleared up the next morning, not to mention empty bottles of wine and spirits). Then Mum and Dad joined us on our last day of cleaning, leaving the kitchen and bathrooms looking cleaner than they’ve ever been.
Now it’s done and we’re feeling that sense of freedom that comes from finishing something and handing it over – we can’t keep tweaking it now and if the tenants find any issues we’ll have to deal with them as they arise.