A little peace in moving house

Over the last couple of months I’ve come to fully appreciate why it is they say moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do.

From our lovely Colourful House, my (now ex) housemates and I divided up 4.5 years’ worth of things and moved our separate ways.  To most people three girls moving out should be easy but we lived like a little family, so much of our stuff was shared.  In the end I devised games to make the ownership of miscellaneous items that we would probably need at some point easier.

But some things we couldn’t justify taking.  All three of us were big readers, myself probably the most ferocious.  We were lucky in our old house to have a room almost solely dedicated to books with fantastic in-built bookcases.  But, as is whenever I move, I couldn’t take them all.  Two boxes of books went to a local school and a car boot-full or books and comics went to a local charity shop.  A box of cables and a chair went to work, anyone that came to visit in the last month went home with something.

But my favourite story about our move was a phenomena that exists in Kings Heath, something I’d never noticed in anywhere else I lived; doorstep freecycle.  Amongst the maze of suburban streets in this suburb of Birmingham you will often find little piles of things with notes attached – “I’m free, take me” or “looking for a good home” or sometimes no note at all.  They’re always perfectly good items that are no longer needed in the house they sit outside.

We left a few items outside; a collection of glasses, decorative plates and an uplighter.  The glasses disappeared to a new home without us knowing, but we hope the wine glasses are providing an interesting anecdote to a party.  The oversized gold plates palmed off on me by my mother, were picked up by a woman who told us that she worked for a charity which did a massive tea party for disabled people each year and they never had enough plates, these would be perfect.  And the uplighter went to a man who had been meaning to go get one for months but never had the time and was so genuinely pleased with his freebie I think we made his day.  If we didn’t, he and the charity lady certainly made ours.

Moving house is hard; stressful, tearful and a slog of a marathon.  I had some great friends and family members whose help was invaluable – and some strangers too, who will probably never know how much.


  • Reply Coral

    Planning on downsizing/moving I am too decluttering. Books from my uni days that I won’t re read, (print is too small) so like you some are going to charity, I am selling some, and having great pleasure in gifting some, most recently A Shropshire Lad to a man who comes to my shared reading group. As a refugee, who misses his country but cannot return, many of the poems in this book are for him. I know he will treasure them. I am planning to start the doorstep free cycle in my neighbourhood as it is a good idea. We also have a Facebook group that does that too. Got a very useful hall table/shoe storage for free last week. 🙂

    July 28, 2013 at 10:45 am
  • Reply White Van Gentlemen

    It is true, moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do, but it is also a great adventure, like you have experienced! There is always a lot to do when you are moving, so it is always good to get the help of you friends, family or a removals company to make it a lot easier for you.

    August 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm
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