A Moving Experience

Posted by Dom
 
One way or another, moving has played a huge part in my life in the last few years. In early 2006, I took Voluntary Redundancy at the publishing house I worked for in Bournemouth, which had just gone into liquidation. Three months later, I was saying goodbye to the South Coast and upping sticks to Kingston in preparation for starting work at MSN – helping the removal men shift 234,567 boxes (approximately) on one of the hottest days of the year.
 
Such upheaval was nothing new to me, after five moves in seven years whilst in Bournemouth, and four moves as a student in Cardiff and Islington. For today’s twentysomethings and thirtysomethings, moving is an accepted part of life far more than it was for our parents – my folks, for example, have spent over three decades in the same house in Kenilworth, whereas I don’t know anyone of my age who’s been in the same place for seemingly much more than the blink of an eye. We move on in relationships and jobs at a staggering pace these days, at a speed which would have been unthinkable only 15 or 20 years ago.  
 
And as I type now, I’m surrounded by huge yellow moving crates, as Microsoft itself prepares to make the giant step of leaving Soho behind (sob!) and re-locating to plush new premises in Victoria (which is rapidly becoming one of the major media hubs in London, with Google and the Daily Telegraph already based there). I can’t say I’ve worked here long enough to have built up any massive affinity for my current offices or their location, but for many more experienced heads, moving throws up a whole range of different emotions.
 
And that’s the whole concept of moving in a nutshell – there’s a huge contrast between the excitement of going somewhere new, and the apprehension or sadness about leaving behind somewhere that was an integral part of your daily routine, with all the different memories that go hand in hand with that.
 
Our lives are increasingly divided up into a number of different segments, relating to where we lived or worked at any particular time; when you move on, the leap into the unknown can be an extremely hard thing to face up to.    
 
The emotional impact of moving isn’t helped by the sheer logistical nightmare of it all. We’ve been sent emails about our Microsoft re-location for months now; everything has to be planned down to an absolutely minute level of detail, and even then you can pretty much guarantee that a dozen or more salient points will have been forgotten. The administrative and financial concerns that need to be addressed when you move house, meanwhile, are staggering – anyone who can truly remember their exact status with every different phone, television, gas, electricity or pension provider has a mind that’s far more focussed and organised than mine.

There’s always help at hand when you move, of course – for example, you can take a look at our very own re-location checklist, or just use a search engine to access plenty of general advice about how to make the whole up-rooting process easier. No guide however, no matter how well written, can ever strike at the heart of the issue – the irreplaceable, intensely personal memories of incidents, whether happy, tragic or simply mundane, that link us to a certain workplace or house.          
   
 
What are your experiences of house moves or job re-locations? Is it really one of the most stressful things you can do in your life, or should people just get a grip? Do we get too attached to buildings, or is it human nature to fear change and regret leaving behind years-worth of shared memories? Send us your comments and let us know. 
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8 Responses to A Moving Experience

  1. Autumn says:

    I sold my home where I brought my family up after 22 years and it was an absolute nightmare.  The Removers (company name withheld) came to the house and started to pack up my possessions.  After asking them politely to fold curtains before they boxed them and various other annoying things they did, the truck left with my things to go to their \’secure\’ storage place.  I didn\’t get keys for the storage facility.  A few months later I asked them to deliver my things to a new address.  They arrived, and started unloading my \’stuff\’.  Some of it was wet, some of it was damaged, some of it was actually broken, and some of it never arrived at all.  That was almost 2 years ago, I recently settled with the loss adjuster for a sum that didn\’t even cover the cost of the \’missing\’ items.  My advice would be to anyone using a removal company is to ask for details of previous customers and find out how their move turned out.  Don\’t be fooled into thinking that because they say \’they\’ll treat your belongings as if they were their own\’  because they don\’t.  Hire some vans and do the move yourself, it\’s cheaper and more fun.

  2. A says:

    I was bought up in a naval family,born in Malta,back to the UK, 3 yrs in Hong Kong, back to UK, we then moved every 2 yrs around UK even after Dad left the navy.This meant new home,area and the worst part,schools. At the moment ime at a stage where my last child is about to leave for Uni, ime single and have been in my current home a record 16yrs! So as all my remaining folk and new grandchildren are down south, I will be moving. It is a double whammy, I really do want to be closer to everyone BUT ive never had 16yrs in one place and have friends,job and a life here. The physical part of packing (ime an expert!) fills me with dread as i leave the house and memories. However i know ile regret it if i stayed. So , yes, even as a lifelong \’mover\’ it IS a stressful emotional time.

  3. Newwoman says:

    We moved from two houses in England into one in Wales on December 21st 2006
    It was a very stressfulltime especially beforehand getting rid of 22 years of memories as there was not enough room for all our collective clutter. It took us six months before we moved to edit our possessions to fit our new house
    On removal day we had two lorries and over three days we had several different crews but they were all marvellous, cheerful, helpful, and everything got moved safely(including a pile of bricks from the garage)
    We moved two adults and the possessions of two others not currently living with us, seven cats, a tropical fish tank and fish, a guinea pig and a small outside pond complete with goldfish
    The main nightmare has been the banks and their insistance on sending all our mail to our old addresses until we had filled in several forms to say that we required our addresses to be changed and that we were who said we were
    I have had mail redirected by the post office but am still finding letters from companies that I wish to keep in touch with
    I do not know how people move every two or three years, their mail must never catch up with them

  4. Aramide says:

    I have moved so many times, it\’s unbelievable. i moved 3 times in two years while i was a student at kingston university and i must say it was very stressful. in fact, i believe it palyed a major part in the poor results i graduated with especially as it was in those crucial final two years. there was all the stress of living with people, ugly parting of ways, lack of finances to even afford movers so i had to do a lot of the moving myself or beg people to use their cars to help me. since uni, i have moved eight times (in six years), and i am currently renting a pleasant place. each time has been stressful as ever. if ou have friends or family helping you, especially with the paking or unpacking, it is such a blessing. the things that make moving so stressful also include moving into a property that the landlord hasn\’t bothered to clean, so you have to do that yourself before unpacking, if the property is cluttered with unwanted funiture eg kitchen utensils and bric a brac that u need to clear before u can unpack your own stuff, a new telephone number and having to inform your contacts of it, the mails palaver, calling up the utilities, taking meter readings before and after, collecting your deposit from the previous landlord, finding your way around the new area. all i am looking forward to now is buying my own place where i can stay for the next 56 years and grow old in peace and by God\’s grace, that\’s the next step from here.

  5. Sindhuja says:

    I have moved so many times throughout my life (due to the nature of my fathers job), and not just within one country, that now my entire life belongings fit in one suitcase. I am now at the brink of another international relocation, but weirdly enough there is no longer any attachment to belongings. There is however a significant attachment to London and everything the city has to offer. The worst part of a relocation is how much money one is likely to spend to haul personal belongings across several miles, the entire value of which doesn\’t add up to the payment made to the removal company. But in spite of all the short comings of relocating, I would move to different places and experience new things, than stay in the cocoon of complacency.

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