The trials and tribulations of moving house… again.

Remember that guide to moving house I posted about six months ago? The one where I suggested giving your old gaff a lick of paint, handing it over to squatters, or basically do anything to avoid absolute fucking torture of moving house?

Well last week just six months after I vowed to avoid any future moves like the plague, I moved again. For the fifth time in two years. And it was every bit as horrific as expected.

guide to moving house

Besides the obvious nightmare of having to pack everything I owned in the world into bin bags, (because, naturally, I threw every single box away last time whilst declaring I was staying put forever) not to mention having to then choose whether to make 27 trips in the car to get them to my new place, or alternatively put my trust in a couple of maniacs in a Ford transit – this move brought another particularly stressful episode to the table.

It started on the Wednesday morning, about an hour and a half before two guys were meant to be coming to pick up our washing machine, and I’d just stepped out of the shower. It wasn’t until that exact moment, as I’m sat in my dressing gown applying a thick orange stripe of foundation across my nose like war paint, that I remembered we needed to drain the washing machine before they picked it up. 

Fast forward about fifteen minutes and I discovered that there’s no more refreshing way to start your day than by ripping out a washing machine without turning the water off.

Water was flooding from under the sink; squirting out at force as my fella desperately tried to plug the pipe. To say we were panicking would be a massive understatement. Naturally, I had no fucking idea where to find the switch to turn the water off – and with the boyfriend otherwise engaged trying to slow down the water flow, I decided the only thing to do was to run down to the reception area to see if the on-site plumber could help.

So, with wet hair, a strip of foundation across my nose and nothing but a dressing gown to cover my dignity, I ran the ten minutes to reception – desperately trying not to flash the startled commuters as I dodged between them.

When I got there I discovered, in between gasps and what I thought might be a minor stroke, that the plumber wouldn’t be around until half ten and the receptionist neither knew nor cared how to turn the water off.

The next forty minutes were a blur, but eventually, eventually, (with a minor but significant flood to explain to the landlord later) we figured out how to stop the water.

So, what’s moral of this story? Learn how to turn the water off before you start ripping appliances out of the wall willy-nilly.

Or better yet, don’t move.

29 comments… read them below or add one

Keith G May 16, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Don’t worry Scarlet, that happened to me when I was a lad but I was by myself, so it could have been worse!

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Scarlett May 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm

You poor thing, I think I would have had a breakdown x

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Farrah Kelly May 16, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Ugh I feel you. I’ve moved houses 11 times in 8 years, I barely bother unpacking. I was in and out of houses for uni, and my parents relocated to Yorkshire from Manchester, doing a couple of stop-gap rented places before finally picking one we liked. When I move to London in the next month I don’t plan on ever leaving.

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Scarlett May 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm

11 times – that sounds absolutely horrific. I don’t blame you for staying put x

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Gorilla Bananas May 16, 2013 at 5:29 pm

It must have been a tap to turn the water off, right? Look on the bright side: you weren’t living above a mad bitch from hell who gets hysterical whenever a drop of water appears on her ceiling.

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Scarlett May 19, 2013 at 2:04 pm

It turned out to be a rusty old tap which was nearly impossible to turn… very stressful. Yeah I suppose that’s a point, although the people who have moved into the flat after me may do now x

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Paula May 16, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I need to move at the end of next month… I haven’t moved since 2003! FREAKING out.

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Scarlett May 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Urghhh you have my sympathy, just remember to buy boxes and stock up on wine to get you through x

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snowbird May 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Lol….I can just imagine the scene …..AND the drama!!! I’ve done this too!xxxxx

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Scarlett May 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm

At least I’m not the only one :) x

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Erik May 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm

I agree so much, moving sucks. Especially when you have to do it in small loads. I vow never to move again, but I doubt my wife is going to go along with that :-)

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Scarlett May 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm

I’m sure she’ll be on board when you remind her how horrible it always is x

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ConfusedJulia May 18, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Haha! Sounds exactly like something I’d do. You have bigger balls than me for moving that many times in two years. I had a breakdown moving twice in five years!

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Scarlett May 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Urgh it’s awful isn’t it! x

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ShimonZ May 19, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Very educational post. This is probably the reason that I haven’t moved house in the last 40 years… but if ever I do, I’ll remember to turn everything off. I might take a few pills to turn myself off too, just to make sure I don’t end up running through the lobby with my nose painted orange…

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Scarlett May 19, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Haha! Yes make sure you turn everything off, you don’t want to flood your house after 40 years xx

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Jess @UsedYorkCity May 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm

You really should move to NYC and be a standup comic, I would be front row center at your shows every single week!:-) xx

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Scarlett May 21, 2013 at 6:44 am

Haha! Ahhh Jess thankyou, that made me smile! xxx

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abeerfortheshower May 20, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I don’t want to see what happens if my parents ever have to move. Imagine a 100 year old house flooding – hint: everything will be destroyed. Everything. I’m pretty sure that house is about as sturdy as a wet cardboard box.

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Scarlett May 21, 2013 at 6:45 am

LOL! I’m sure they don’t make houses to last 100 years these days, so that’s pretty impressive in itself x

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Rony Mikal May 28, 2013 at 11:42 am

Scarlet, really feeling for you and the moral you set in the end is interesting one. I hope you don’t have to move now. House move is is really extremely difficult to do.

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Scarlett May 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm

It’s a nightmare isn’t it! x

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Tom @ Waegook Tom May 28, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Oh, the joys of moving house and trying not to destroy the new place in the process. I managed to flood the kitchen once with a combination of water (duh) and god-knows-how-old rice that had been clogging the drainpipe. That one was fun to clean up. The landlord was a twat.

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Scarlett May 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Haha… mmmm old soggy rice sounds a treat to clean up. I’ve found that landlords are invariably twats! x

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WeezaFish May 31, 2013 at 10:23 am

Aaaahhh! Sorry, your post is bringing stressful memories back. We moved in Oct last year, then again in March. Day before we moved I managed to snap the kitchen tap off. Hilarious. Not. I’m so settled now, digging my heels in this time :)

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Scarlett June 1, 2013 at 11:24 am

Urgh that sounds like a nightmare! I don’t blame you for staying put now xx

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Kris June 5, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Never move. Advice I will take to my grave (which will incidentally be in the same apartment because even after I’m dead moving sounds horrible). This disaster deserves recreation in a sitcom form though. Haha.

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Scarlett June 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm

LOL, I want to be played by either the adorable Tina Fey or someone like Kristin Wiig xx

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Mark June 3, 2015 at 11:47 am

I found this guide while researching a ‘moving guide’ that I am working on for my company. Just wanted to leave a note and say that it was a good read. Thanks Scarlett, keep it up!

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