Moving boxesMimi and John live near Rennes in Brittany and 12 months ago they packed up all their things and moved their young family 2km from Bédée to Pleumeleuc. In spite of the short distance involved, there was plenty to do! Luckily their efforts have now been rewarded, as Mimi tells French Entrée…

Last year we moved into a four bedroom detached house with a garden in Pleumeleuc. It’s a quiet town but looks like a village and here we are surrounded by countryside, yet close to local shops and still within easy reach of the extended family.

It took us about four months to find a suitable new home, searching mainly online. We knew we wanted a house that was insulated and therefore with a good energy efficiency survey report, with four bedrooms if possible.

John works for a logistics company and I am on maternity leave and spend my time looking after our children. Having Madeleine, who was two and a half then and Celestine who was only a tiny baby, was the main reason we moved.

Our heating bill was astronomical at the old house. It was very expensive to heat but the temperature in the house over the winter was still freezing. I asked the landlord if he would be willing to insulate the house or at least the roof but he wasn’t and so I started looking for a new place.

We did everything as we were supposed to, gave notice by recorded delivery and explained that we couldn’t take the new house before the end of our current tenancy. The new landlord was willing to wait and we moved in three months later.

John went to England for the weekend and I wanted to surprise him, so the main preparation was done behind his back: getting in touch with the family and arranging for the children to be looked after for two days, the phone company was made aware of our move and the utilities companies were contacted.

We took care of the removals ourselves, with the great help of my family. Make sure you start as early as possible, packing unwanted stuff and sorting through everything. Moving is the time to have a good clear out. Finding someone to look after the kids is a plus, so when they get back to their new home, everything is more or less sorted – we did their room first!

As the new house was only 2kms down the road, we did a few trips with two trailers and cars full to the top. We had the keys to the garage as soon as the tenants moved, so we were able to do a few trips to the new house over a period of a month. All the rest was done over two days.

It went really smoothly. We started at Friday lunchtime and even managed to go to Ikea in the evening! The only units left in the old house were our wardrobe, a big mirror and a small unit for the lounge. Everything was done by the Sunday morning. The only downside was our phone company – it took five weeks to get our line back.

The new house is just as we hoped it to be, if not better. It is well insulated, so we were warm this winter. It’s more spacious too, so we were able to have Celestine’s christening here (37 of us) and Christmas with the whole family (29 of us). It’s a lot easier to keep clean and more modern too, so we’re really happy!

We often asked Madeleine if she wanted to move back to the old house and she was always very quick in saying no! Moving to her new bed was a big step and made her more independent. We are nicely set up now and the thought of having to pack everything up again is not what I would want right now, but I don’t mind moving as I see it as a new challenge.

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