Moving house during a pandemic

Moving to a new house is said to be in the top 5 most stressful things you can do, throw in a global pandemic and your stress levels are going to peak. So, when Boris Johnson announced the UK was to go into a lockdown period, my partner Steven and I wondered if we would be able to move at all.

As it turned out, we fell into the small percentage of people that would be able to move. This was because the house we were buying was empty, and completion was on the horizon. We then set out a plan of how we could move, whilst still adhering to government guidelines. We eventually landed on the decision to move everything ourselves. This was a risky plan, as I am not a weightlifter by any means, but if it meant we could move safely I was up for the challenge.

Thankfully, we were in a very fortunate situation because 1) We were only moving two miles down the road and 2) we knew our buyers well (who luckily were not looking to move in that day). Without those two factors, I really don’t know how we would have pulled off this move.

Because we were in a short chain, it was decided we would exchange and complete on both the sale of our house and the purchase of the new house, all in the same day. So, when moving day arrived, we picked up a Luton van (which came complete with a rear lift…fancy!) and started to load our belongings on board. Our chosen strategy was to move the heavy items first and hope that everything that followed would be easier to lift. We used our good friend YouTube for instructions on how to disconnect the washing machine, and after a small mishap (water everywhere) we loaded it onto the van along with everything else. By 11am we had our first load ready to go to the house, but despite all our planning, we didn’t account for when completion would take place! This meant we had to play the waiting game until 4:45pm and then finally the move could go ahead.

So, by 9pm and 3 van trips later we managed to move everything to the new house, which included 4 planters of bamboo (Steven asked several times if I really wanted to bring them). Our new house is a project, which in the current situation is a nice distraction to have.

It was a day of mixed emotions, from being stressed to feeling excited and even guilty, as we know other home movers have not been as fortunate with their properties and financial situations, and the pandemic is affecting everyone in so many different ways. We can only hope that the lockdown is a success and some sense of normality can resume soon.

One thing this move highlighted to me more than ever, is what a great team Steven and I make. It also tested our flexibility – even with the best plans things don’t always go the way you expect, and we had to quickly adapt to the situation and overcome lots of challenges to make sure the sale was able to complete on time.

Even though it is likely we will have to postpone our wedding this year, at least we can say we moved to a new house during a pandemic!