I went out with the children today since it was a sunny 12°C London weather. The walk was better than the usual winter cold I’ve experienced. I never came here on a summer’s day anyway. So this will be the first year I will experience the full London season starting with winter.

The shops downtown are fantastic, though there aren’t craft or fabric shops there but still I enjoyed window shopping in Laura Ashley and yes they have beautiful fabrics the only thing is ther are at least 8.5£ per meter. Mind you I already ordered from a “connaissance” in the US at 8.5$/yard! However exchange rates as is, I think the US order is still cheaper even with the delivery costs.  Also, from Sainsbury – you’ll already see the “nicely wrapped tempting valentine chocolate giveways”. That’s a long name to call it 🙂 and yes, they are back, not yet, in numbers but the rest will arrive soon. I think I will have to order things online so I will be less tempted.

My husband called me later today to say that our boxes will arrive tomorrow. It is a very good news, since we’ve been “camping” in my in-laws’ house with both old people sick. It is not easy to live in another’s house specially with children and no matter how great they were to the kids it is still like stepping into their feet all the time. So I am really glad we will be moving in to our Own home.

That is something to celebrate isn’t it? Well, I think I will pop down to the shop to get that bottle of sweet champagne that I liked. And I can’t wait to fill the fridge and try cooking  on the new kitchen!

Well, there are still things to do and one of which is to wait for the lorry to arrive and at least put the beds together.

So since it is almost over, here are the things I’ve learnt when moving abroad with two kids:

  1. If you are just in the planning stage, think of budget, job, school and location. Making these priority in your plan will make your life easier. It is not all fun you know!
    1. BUDGET: Well, since the removal company will a 4 digit number (thousands), you will have to decide whether it worth keeping the stuff or selling them and use the removal money+ the proceeds to buy Brand Spanking new stuff. Well, I wish it were the latter because I think we would be able to have really nice new furniture now plus a lot more instead of our beloved ones. Anyway – we have to keep it since the most of the things that filled the lorry are boxes of books, computers, electronic toys, craft items, etc. Things that is really hard to let go.
    2. JOB: Only when you get an offer and signed a contract should you make the move. Find the job & travel for the interviews. I know it is time consuming but would you rather arrive jobless in your new country? we wouldn’t, specially with two children in tow. That could mean real trouble and IRRESPONSIBLE written on the forehead.
    3. SCHOOL: Research on the schools in the area first, because you wouldn’t want to arrive and find out that the closest school is not right for your children or that it is too expensive or too far away it makes it very hard to live with. Doing this will help lessen the headaches.
    4. LOCATION: When you plan to move to another country you should already know where and what particular area you like to live. Once you know already, sign-up to property portals/agents that serve the area and get your self an instant notification when they get new listing that fits your criterea. Once you do this and when the time is almost close to plan for a ‘holiday’ to your future neighbourhood, get yourself an appointment to visit the houses you’ve chosen. I did my research and only visited one house and instantly fell in love with it. I’ve seen the other potentials (outside of the units), and none caught my interest as our house now. The contracts were signed and we have the keys early!
  2.  You’ve done your first homework, the next thing to do is looking for the Removals company to do the moving. Most will come and visit your place to estimate the volume you would need and the number of boxes. From this you will be given a quotation. Choose local and established removal companies with good record. Since you will be giving them information you wouldn’t normally give. Make sure to get a quote from at least 3 companies.
  3. Now that 1 & 2 are done and you are ready to pack and your partner is ready to start working, it is time you organise. If you have a family close to the area, then you will be able to save some if they can temporarily lend your partner a bed while he starts his new job, while you pack and do the necessary things like closing accounts, ending electricity, telephone, internet contracts, the packing and so on. You should also not forget telling the school where your kids study that they are leaving and when. Sometimes they are nice and will prepare a goodbye party for them. At least they will leave with a good remembrance of their old friends.
  4. On the pre-agreed day to pick up the boxes, have your partner  closeby. I am sure his new job will agree he take a day off so he can finish the moving and assist you. It is easier this way and makes it faster too. Once you’ve emptied your old home and travelled to your new country, you either stay with family or stay in the hotel for several days until the boxes arrive and for you to move in. Or since you already have keys, you can camp in your new house with inflatable beds 🙂 and eat on the kitchen counter with paperplates?
  5.  When the boxes arrive, well, I cannot tell you what to do yet since it will be until tomorrow.