If you’re planning on moving to Chelsea then it’s essential you visit the Royal Borough in summertime – you won’t regret it. Some of the best places to eat and drink are situated here, as well as some of London’s most famous art galleries and museums. If you’re set on moving to London or you’re already a Londoner and you fancy a change then it’s a good idea to visit as many different places to get a proper feel for them and Kensington and Chelsea should definitely be at the top of your ‘to view’ list.
Whether your long-distance move is within the country (e.g. Penzance to Perthshire) or from one country to another, it’s the kind of move that involves more forethought than when you’re simply flitting between studio apartments in the same town. Moving everything you own over a considerable number of miles requires certain manoeuvres, tips and tricks that it’s well worth knowing about and thinking about in advance. Here are some of our ideas to help you get ready for the big day.
Even with plenty of forewarning, moving house can seem daunting, so when there’s little advance notice and it all needs to be done yesterday, the stress can seem intolerable. With so much to do and so little time, it can seem as if there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Last-minute moving wouldn’t be everyone’s first choice, but sometimes it’s simply unavoidable. Circumstances, whatever they may be, can conspire to throw us challenges we’d much rather have done without, but we have to rise to them the best we can nevertheless. If you’re faced with the task of a last-minute move, then don’t panic. At Ward Thomas, we’ve done them countless times, both in London and beyond, and we know that haste doesn’t have to mean hurry or hysteria. Our experience has given us years of insight into how best to handle fast moves that don’t have the benefit of months of pre-planning. What’s more, we can make them stress-free.
So much of the available online advice is geared to downsizing in London that something gets overlooked – the fact that in order to downsize one must have, at some point or another, upsized. And because upsizing appears to lack the complications of its opposite (e.g. having to get rid of excess belongings etc.), it’s assumed that those who are poised on the cusp of it are not in need of guidance. But our experience suggests that nothing could be farther from the truth and that when we’re at the upsizing part of the arc of life, we’re most definitely in need of a steady hand, good counsel and some wise tips to help us pull it off successfully. On the surface, what could be nicer than ascending the London property ladder, acquiring a garden, a spare bedroom, larger rooms and more storage? Well, it’s not all plain sailing and it needs thoughtful consideration. Fortunately, there are just a few key things to bear in mind whether you’re about to upsize or merely considering it.
What is home-staging? It’s not a concept with which everyone in the capital is intimately familiar. Sometimes, property gets snapped up before home-staging has even been considered, let alone executed. But when it’s in place, home-staging can present a house or flat in its very best light and if interest has been sluggish, it can make it buoyant and help a struggling property to sell. It allows you to take a step back and view your home objectively, without sentimentality clouding your view and your judgment. Home-staging is all about that vital first impression and although it can take time and effort, it can not only aid with selling, it can also add value to your property. It eliminates the kind of clutter and scruffiness that can get in the way of a sale and it changes the game altogether. You can find out more about Ward Thomas’s London home-staging services here.
Regardless (or, for some people, because of) Brexit, moving to Europe is a thrilling prospect pursued vigorously by many of us every year. A new life on the Continent is a challenging but wholly rewarding life-change, but before it gets under way, there’s the matter of packing up all your stuff and getting it over the sea in one piece. We’re an experienced European removals service but whether you’re moving with our help or with the assistance of one of our competitors, we’d urge you to ask the right questions so that you’re relocation job goes smoothly and seamlessly, with no nasty shocks at crucial junctures. Here are just a few of the enquiries we’d wholeheartedly encourage you to make once you’ve engaged a removals service and the ball is rolling.
While no one ever claimed it would be easy, there’s no doubt that moving overseas is one of the most exciting and rewarding decisions you can make. No matter how it’s come about – whether through a job offer or simply as a result of your own desire for a big change – it’s a wonderful challenge. New opportunities and experiences await you, as does the chance to immerse yourself in a different culture. But before you breeze off the airport and embrace your new life, there’s usually plenty to do and even more to remember. Since we’re an international relocation service, we’ve helped huge number of people taking the overseas plunge, so here are some of our pointers:
Moving Abroad Checklist
Accommodation: If you’re not being supplied accommodation as part of a moving package with a company, you’ll need to find your own and make sure that all the utilities are set up before you arrive. While looking, you would also benefit from taking into account the cost of living, crime levels and schooling in your chosen area.
Language/Culture: If your new home is not an anglophone country, it’s a good idea to start learning the language. This will help you adapt and be connected to your local community. You’ll also have better dealings with officialdom, doctors, solicitors and so on. Researching local customs and values is another good start.
Schools: If you’re migrating with family, then finding a school for your children is vital. The state education in different countries works in different ways (and some countries don’t have such a thing at all). And what about English-speaking schools which might be easier on your offspring? Get in touch with the education authority in your new country to find out how to get the ball rolling and ensure you have all the right documentation so your children can be enrolled.
Children: It is perhaps your kids who will be most affected by the change, particularly because it’s a change over which they have limited control. You can take steps to prevent your child becoming the stereotypical lonely expat kid. Creating routine, helping them stay in touch with their old friends while simultaneously forging new ones, will prevent seclusion and isolation.
Don’t forget to add the following to your research checklist: healthcare, tax requirements, converting cash, and choosing an international relocation specialist to conduct your international removals work, such as Anthony Ward Thomas.
Wouldn’t it be better if, instead of saddling ourselves with a host of self-punishing resolutions (learn a new language, lose that mythical 1kg that will ensure permanent happiness, abstain from every pleasurable vice, go to the gym every day), we made easy-to-sustain new year’s resolutions for our homes instead? By January 31st, our friends, relations and neighbours are all silently (or loudly) cursing themselves as, one by one, they break the resolutions that seemed so sincere at the time of their making. The ex-smoker is now furiously puffing away in secret, the born again teetotaller is collapsed in the corner drinking vodka from the bottle, and the wannabe gym bunny is slumped on the sofa with a box of doughnuts and a remote control for company. Conventional new year’s resolutions come with a kind of inbuilt, inevitable failure. On the other hand, making a few decisions that will have a positive impact on our living environments is another matter entirely. Here are some ideas which – even if you just pick one – will make your home a better place.
It’s the concept that’s been almost inescapable this year, a Danish term for which there’s no exact English translation. Yes, it’s Hygge. Plastered over every Sunday supplement, every glossy monthly magazine, featured in all the lifestyle bibles and interior design periodicals, it’s been hard to avoid it and resistance seems futile. But what exactly is it and how are you meant to do it.
Firstly, you should pronounce it ‘hue-gah’ not ‘hig’ or ‘hyshe’. It’s a word that means, roughly, the pleasurable, intimate feeling that comes over you when you’re savouring something everyday and ordinary, thereby making it more remarkable, lovely or meaningful. People have tried to find a corresponding English word and although none quite does the trick, the suggested ones include: cosiness, happiness, simplicity, security, familiarity, warmth, companionship and safety. The good news is that it’s a wonderful way to approach the stressful business of moving house. It doesn’t have to mean doing it more slowly, but it does mean that you’ll be able to feel connected and touched by life as you do it.
Hygge is about being in the moment, even when you’re doing something humdrum like packing up your house or flat. It’s about no longer seeing your day to day life as a series of chores but instead as a series of opportunities for peace, warmth, good cheer, calm and contentment. When you’re attempting to evoke hygge, you linger over a moment, such as the lighting of a candle, and embrace awareness so that the very striking of a match conjures up happiness within you. Before you know it, you’ll be moving house in quite a different mindset – one where meaning, beauty and magic are ever-present.
Since the Danes often rank very highly in those somewhat dubious ‘Happiest Places To Live’ surveys, it’s no wonder that they’ve given the world hygge. If you feel your life is too denuded of hygge, you can start creating it at any given moment. You can buy flowers once a week and take pleasure in the simplicity of placing them in a vase and giving them water. You can start making coffee by grinding the beans yourself and then putting them in a moka pot rather than using instant or capsules. Before you know it, you’ll have entered the state of hygge – a place where you celebrate reality rather than run from it by taking sedatives or glugging brandy from the bottle.
A great deal of modern life removes us from hygge – we meal-skip because of work and rush everywhere, always after some result or other rather than savouring the process, whatever it may be. Thanks to an almost non-stop stream of articles and books about hygge that have entered the marketplace this year, there are no shortage of ways to get started on this peaceful, intimate and meaningful approach to living life.
It’s something that more and more people – particularly the generations born from the 1970s onwards – are doing. Renting. And while, of course, it comes with its own set of advantages (less commitment, fewer up-front costs, no responsibility for upkeep and things like broken boilers), it also comes with its own problems. For some, the idea of effectively burning money every week with nothing to show for it at the end is incredibly off-putting. Then there are the rules, the contracts and the costs. You also need to make sure you’re at least a bit clued up about certain legalities – things like smoke-detectors and whose responsibility it is to install them (your landlord’s). If you’re not sure what to expect, then here is some key information to help you so that you can get packed and moved and then settle in with barely a modicum of unnecessary fuss or trouble.