A stressful house move

Stressful house move

This was our living room

Downsizing has definitely made this a very stressful house move. Everything in our lives was going to change. Advanced MS and its disabilities, we are both physically past our prime and living in a house with stairs meant our time was up.  Throughout our married life we have accumulated possessions. Furniture, books, clothes, ornaments and disability equipment are just some of the many acquisitions.

Stressful house move

Obviously, this move meant downsizing from a Victorian terraced house to a small London flat. All 3 of our children have up sticks and left the family home. Moving to somewhere smaller was a no brainer but it only added to the complications and stress.


Me and MrsB were married in 1979 and we are both natural jackdaws. We had accumulated a vast selection of books, pictures, furniture and hand-me-downs from our parents. Every cupboard was full to the brim. So much was now going to be surplus to requirements but how were we going to sort through it all?

The massive clear-out

I wanted to be totally ruthless If we had not used it in the last twelve months then I wanted it to go. Three years ago I sold over 100 vinyl LPs because I could not play them.  MrsB has the opposite attitude.  If there is the slightest possibility we might need an item in the future then keep it. The children might want it, perhaps our grandchildren might play with it. Who was going to win, sadly not me.

Gone for ever

I did manage to persuade her that about half the books were surplus. I did a daily trip on my Travelscoot to the local Oxfam book shop. Trips to the Oxfam charity shop saw the quantity of clothes significantly reduced. That still left many items earmarked to go. Who takes old bed linen, sofas where the cushions are not fire resistant?

Many of the kitchen items went through Freecycle but that still left too much. We found it impossible to sell anything for folding cash.

A compromise

The only option was to put furniture into storage ant anything else. Panic was starting to set in because the completion date for the house sale was immanent. We had found a flat to rent, now we just needed to label items destined for storage. All sounds  easy-peasy but life is never that simple.

The last few days

The removal men descended on the house on Wednesday 19th. Everything was packed and the house was emptied in 2 days. Putting stuff into storage was an easy solution it costs £200 a month. At 10.30 on Friday 21 July 2023 we left our house. Over forty years and three houses in Berkhamsted but we were not sad to leave. Somethings will be missed but we were too tired to shed any tears.

New chapter

The new flat is small but no stairs. No traffic to worry about either. The Elizabeth tube line is very close and so good for access with the Travelscoot. Thank goodness the stressful house move is done and dusted, now we’ve just sort out the items in storage.

Associated article

Stressful house moveDownsize to a flat, the story has just started






August 2023

10 responses to “A stressful house move”

  1. Tessa says:

    We live in the Herefordshire countryside and if we needed to move Weobley is one of the places I would chose . It has everything you need to sustain life and the GO surgery is excellent I understand .

  2. Chris Kirk says:

    I feel your pain! We’ve just moved from Malvern after 23 yrs on the hills…to the flat of Herefordshire (bliss!). We did much the same a hired storage when ruthlessness was not swift enough.
    We had laid out a set of requirements…bungalow, facilities and transport routes etc. We got most of it right, except going from 3 floors to 2 and fitted a stair lift. The great thing is down stairs has a dining room and a small music/glop room next door; which can be converted come the time to a bedroom and wet room on the ground and the en suit could become a carers if needed and still leave space or a visitor.
    The one major bonus we’ve discovered is the health service delivery is absolutely top class in the village (Weobley) and across the county for MS.
    So now back to unpacking boxes! 🙂

    • Hello Chris,

      Leaving Malvern must have been hard but I bet you were pleased to see the back of the hills. It sounds as if have got most things right, good set of requirements. MrsB is anti a stair life, She knew someone who really struggled to transfer from a wheel chair so anything with stairs is a no-no.
      As I am discovering changing doctor, dentist etc is quite a challenge but we both enjoy living close to a daughter . grandchild and this are is great for communication.
      All that is left for us is finding somewhere to buy and getting somethings out of storage
      Good luck with the boxes

  3. Thank you. I can only imagine the whole mixed bag of emotions you both must be feeling. Plus with MS thrown into the mix as well… phew!
    You are both loved and appreciated, OK?!

  4. SoCal Allison says:

    Congratulations to you both! Downsizing is not easy. I can attest to that! May I also be as successful as you as I recently made the decision that age plus disability means a major move is in the offing for me as well. It has taken me over a year but my mindset is finally clear that I must liquidate the past as it no longer suits my future needs. Not knowing exactly where I will rest my weary head is daunting, but at least I now know that only a fixed amount of “my stuff” is all that I am allowing myself to bring with me to my new life ahead [far, far away from where I am now so cost to transport is a real issue]. So I have decided out with the old bad memories! Time to make new good ones! May life be wondrous and welcoming to us all in our new environs wherever they may be!

    • Hello,

      Getting our head around moving and downsizing took a long time. Location, location, location, that is really important. Possibly rent a flat or small house to test the water and find the correct area and that also reduces the stress. Use a company that specialises in moving, in the grand scheme of things not expensive.

      Good luck

  5. Dr. MC Black says:

    I think Animal Shelters will take bedding.

    Local Amateur Theatre for old furniture?

    I hope that you and Mrs. B have a long, happy and stress-free life in Woolwich.

  6. Treasa Anderson says:

    Hi Patrick,
    Thanks for sharing your journey – we are right behind you on the MS path. Sometimes it helps to reframe these things and not lay everything at MS’s door. I find The Minimalists really interesting. We are conditioned to buy, collect and consume in our capitalist society. But maybe there is another way: https://www.theminimalists.com/. Good luck with it all. Treasa

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