Moving has never been a fun experience for many people. This is because you have to manage the removal company as well as send a notification for an address change among bits. Preparing well for a move should however make the process smoother and less stressful. Outlined below is a checklist of things you ought to know when moving house. 

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1.Avoid Moving During Bank Holidays 
Most people confirm a move once they have exchanged the contracts. This gives one at least a month to prepare for the move. It would therefore be wise to consider the moving date very carefully and try to avoid weekends and bank holidays. Most moving companies are busiest during these times, a reason you should consider moving during the week, maybe a Wednesday or Tuesday. 

2.Ask for Recommendations
Asking your friends, neighbors, and even work colleagues for recommendations on the best moving company can save you lots of time. Shopping around for such companies and getting quotes from candidates is recommended as well. The British Association of Removers (BAR) can also help you get up to 4 no-obligation estimates from several of their members. Should you decide to use a member of the association (e.g., Storers and National Guild of Removers), you can then be assured of quality service, code of practice, and also be protected by their regulations and code. 

Their website has an interactive moving guide that allows you to enter the planned moving day, and even provide you with a guide on you to plan the move (week-by-week list of tasks in readiness for the move). Such information can be particularly helpful if you aren’t sure what or where to start. 

3.Start Working with The Removal Company Early
After identifying and choosing the removal company (and have a written quotation in hand), you should then arrange to visit the company in person to discuss the details.  Enlighten them on items that need to be handled carefully, as well as share a map to the new house. This should help the removal company identify the best way to park as well as arrange access for the new home too. 

4.Start Preparing for the Move
If you have already started packing for the move, you might then want to look at the new house's floor plan and what setup to adopt. Consider the items you already have and try to fit them in the new home, virtually. Doing this will allow you to have enough to give up any equipment or furniture you might not need anymore.  You can even put them up for recycling on sites such as Freegle. 

This is also the time to start informing the local schools, doctor, local authority, and dentist of the planned move. 

5.Notify Concerned Parties
In addition to informing your work colleagues, friends, and family of the planned move, you should also consider notifying your bank, TV provider, the building society, credit card companies, HMRC, and DVLA of the same. This includes the water, phone, electricity, gas, and internet company. This ensures you don't continue getting charged for services you no longer use, as well as avoid your mail and bills mailed to the address.  Consider having essential cards printed with the new address as well. 

Preparing a list of everything makes it easy to prepare well for the move. Britannia Movers provides a free checklist for moving house that you can use for all these tasks. You can even have the checklist printed for easier access. The checklist also comes with a courtesy list of information you should pass on to the new homeowners. Simple information such as where the fuse box and stopcock is will come in handy for the new homeowners. 

I found The Baby Show such a useful event to go to when I was pregnant, as you get to see so many different brands and items on your wishlist in the flesh, and discover new things too - so I am excited to share this new competition with you...

If you are living in a rental property then it might seem like you don’t have the freedom you would like to decorate and make your home unique, however there are a number of ways that you can add some personality to your rental property, just follow these design rules.  There are more renters in the UK than ever before and because of this there are more options available to you when it comes to decorating your space.

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For almost one month now, we have been a family of four, I have been a mum of two boys and Ethan has been a big brother for the first time.

I have boys!

Ethan is a very sweet and caring boy but we have been blown away by how much he has taken to his little brother. During pregnancy, he remained interested and was attentive towards me too, regularly asking about baby and hugging and kissing bump every day. I thought he might have got a bit bored of it all, seeing as growing a baby takes so long, but he got more excited right up until baby was due.

We surprised Ethan when his baby brother arrived; he'd stayed at his auntie's the night Sullivan was born, then went to school the next day, so Ste picked him up after school and brought him home to find the baby waiting for him. It was a lovely moment and he started beaming, and within an hour, he was making up a song to sing to Sullivan about how much he loved him. Heart. Could. Have. Burst.

Since then, we've obviously had the Christmas break, so lots of time at home together, the four of us, to adjust and get to know Sullivan. Ethan has really stepped into the big brother shoes and needs no encouragement from us to show an interest in his baby brother, or to help us with anything we may need. He regularly asks if there are any 'baby jobs' he can do, first thing in the morning, he runs into our room to see Sullivan and he is always keeping a close eye on him.

It's really lovely to see how proud and besotted he is and it'll be lovely when Sullivan can focus more and will be able to really look at and engage with his doting big brother.

Here's a few pics of my boys this past month...

Going back to work after having a baby is a task that is met with a plethora of conflicting emotions. Some new mums will be excited to get back into the swing of things with their career, whereas others will be apprehensive about what changes they will find in their workplace. Certain women will feel relieved to be able to have a break from their child, but others will feel guilty for leaving their little one behind. A number of women may even be angry that they aren’t being afforded more maternity leave, if any.

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If you’re ever tasked with returning to work after having had a baby, in order to ensure everything goes as smoothly as it can, you’re going to need to take as much advice on the matter as possible. Fortunately, such advice can be found in the guide below.

Our little Sulley Bear has been with us for three weeks already; his birth feels like an age ago, but then it feels like he's been here no time at all.

It probably has something to do with the fact he was born six days before Christmas (see my announcement post and my labour story if you need to catch up!) and on day two, Ethan broke up from school for the holidays, so we were thrown straight into the festivities and the slower pace that the Christmas break seems to bring.

Ste only went back to work yesterday, so we really are still adjusting to life as a family of four, and me to being on maternity leave and having a baby to take care of again every day.

So, what do we know about our latest little man?

Companies are increasingly warming up to flexible working hours for their employees and encouraging them to work from home. Companies get to reduce their office space if employees work from home, which means that they save money, employees are happier if they have flexible hours, and it just makes sense.

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In similar fashion, a lot of people have started freelancing, which offers the flexibility of working from home and organizing one’s work schedule, and this is a very attractive prospect particularly for families with young children. It is due to this reason that garden office buildings are growing in popularity. A space away from home that provides a quiet place to concentrate on the work ahead.

This Easter, another terrific Julia Donaldson tale is taking centre stage at Town Hall Birmingham and we are very excited in our house as her books are much loved and these shows are always a lot of fun.

Zog is the new stage show that's been created, and ahead of its run at Easter, I have the following information and interview with the author herself to share with you...

A month ago, baby boy was due which was so exciting... and we also had an exciting invitation from the Wasps Rugby team so my rugby-mad sister-in-law stepped in and went to see what the hospitality team had to offer, on a action packed Saturday. Her whole family are BIG Wasps fans so they were hoping for a great result... here's what they got up to...

Being a full time mum is a lot of work. You have to overcome one challenge after another and it is easy to feel exhausted at the end of the day. Without a good night’s sleep and a healthy lifestyle, that exhaustion could easily turn to feeling tired all the time and the subsequent effects of feeling exhausted, such as lack of focus. You definitely don’t want that.

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We’ve all been there; you feel like you can’t afford to get sick and you end up pushing yourself too hard in the process. Rather than going this route, you can actually take active steps towards boosting your stamina and staying healthy. These simple tips and tricks will help you get started right away.
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