I am sure that I read somewhere that the three most stressful life events people go through are moving to a new house, changing jobs and having a baby. I’ve done all three and would have to say shifting all my possessions from one pile of bricks to another two miles down the road is pretty high on my ranking.
I’m not alone: in a 2015 Which survey 70% of respondents said selling their house was stressful, while only about half said the same about having a child (53%) and changing jobs (49%). And this survey was from 2015 so they didn’t have to move house during a pandemic.
There were a few unique challenges I faced when moving house during Covid 19. We were unable to send off our mortgage paperwork as we needed an in-person witness. We were still in the strictest phase of lockdown and we were not allowed to use Zoom for this, despite most face to face meetings shifting to video calling. The lack of flexibility was very frustrating. The uncertainty was also a big stressor: we were originally supposed to move in April not August so we spent 5 months with about 20% of our belongings packed away wondering if the sale was about to fall through. We were incredibly lucky that it didn’t.
Now that the paperwork is done and the boxes (mostly) unpacked, I have realised that I just want as stress free a life as possible as I settle into my new home.
Last time we moved house my husband and I dragged ourselves around various furniture shops trying out different sofas and comparing coffee tables. This time we have bought all our furniture without once entering a shop. Will our new reliance on online shopping continue and will more retailers start offering virtual showrooms or augmented reality apps to bring their wares to life? Buying a sofa online was the biggest leap and I’m not sure how I would feel about buying a bed without trying it – an interesting challenge for retailers (though the online only Emma mattress has won a fistful of rewards and doubled its revenue in the first half of 2020 so I might just be being old fashioned).
As I am still spending so much time at home, the thought of waiting 12-14 weeks for new furniture seemed unreasonable and I gravitated towards shorter wait times of 2-3 weeks. And when it came to a desk chair, I got straight onto Amazon Prime for a next day delivery. After 5 months of sitting on a dining room chair in my bedroom hiding from my toddler, I think it is my most prized new house purchase so far.
Who knows if these experiences will be limited to those moving house in 2020 or if they are the beginnings of longer-term trends (I suspect a mix of both)? All I know is that if I have my way, I am not moving again any time soon.
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