House moving, the pains and the gains.

Thoughtful thinking in stressful times…

Article by Karen Marshall

We are a family that planned not to move. Then we did. From one end of the country to the other in one fell swoop. Since that first big move from our family home we have lived in two rental properties and now it seems, we need to move again as our present abode is up for sale. Did you know that moving is on the Stressful Life Events list?  This is our third move in less than 5 years, so here you go, some top ‘sustainable’ tips.

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All fabrics can be bagged up and go to charity shops… even if the clothes are old and ripped (or curtains nibbled by the mice in our case), the charities get money per weight of fabric. I’m still gutted about the curtains by the way.

We have carried two extra sets of crockery from the last two moves in boxes, which have remained resolutely unopened. These are hand-me-downs from my parents as they didn’t know what to do with them so moved on the problem. There are companies out there like China search or the China village that buy china and resell them, you can get great rates, but my problem is that my crockery had what they deemed as” heavy usage”. Both sets went on Facebook marketplace; one sold, the other is still listed. (NB, I asked my mum permission to sell before going ahead!).

You can also try selling on Preloved or giving away on Freegle.

Some toys which I thought would sell didn’t, so I headed down to our local pre-school to see if they needed anything. They took some games, toys, books and let me know that clothes are always needed too. It’s nice to know that your stuff is being used by local kids and enjoyed.

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When we first moved 5 years ago we moved with 6 boxes of books. Now 2 moves later we have come to the conclusion that we don’t need them, they’re not going to be read again. They’re going to charity or I might try Music Magpie.

Our local recycling centre has a ‘for sale’ area, which we hadn’t realised, no electricals but lots of other useful items folks could make use of.

We have a garage and it’s just been too easy to put unwanted things in there, out of sight. It’s a good idea to keep on top of things. We bought a cheap plastic kitchen for my son 5 years ago, nobody wanted it and I didn’t want it to go to landfill. 4 years of it being in the garage and now it it’s gone to the plastics recycling… I’m hopeful that it’ll get made into something useful.

The last two houses we’ve lived in have had big living rooms so we’ve had two sofas, but there’s just not the space in the new house. We did try to sell, then give away a sofa and chair but to no avail. I’ve just been in touch with a local refugee response service and they’re going to come and collect it (the issue with furniture is transportation in most cases) and now it’s going to a family in need of furniture.

Though different ages, my sons have managed to grow the same size feet and play football and rugby at the same time, so we have got all sizes of boots from 13 – 3. Nobody wants to buy them and we don’t seem to be able to give them away. We’ve done a call out to other parents to see if they also have boots and now they’ll all be going to a charity that will distribute them globally to young and disadvantaged communities around the world. Check out the mt foundation.

Right, back to the thankfully shortening To Do list, the pile of boxes and the daily question of ‘What’s this from?’ and ‘Do we really want this?’.