A new house, a new start
After two years of waiting, we received the keys to our newly built house in Eindhoven. As is normal here in the Netherlands, it even smelled new. No floors had been laid; no kitchen had been installed. The walls were bare and there were no curtains.
Our mortgage was sorted, we had arranged the different types of insurance we needed and done our financial planning. (More about the paperwork you can read here). Now, at last, it was time to dream and weigh the various options.
Preparing to move
Our house was one of several in a larger building project. That meant that the construction company presented us with various choices we had to make, such as the type of door handles. They also offered us optional extras, such as an additional room, another staircase, extra ducts, etc. – all with a price tag, of course. We even found ourselves being offered options we’d never thought of. I made a mood board of my dream house and set a budget. This may sound easy, but it was not. Unsurprisingly, we wanted more things than we could afford. That meant setting priorities and deciding what we could do now, what we could do differently (i.e. more cheaply, by being creative) and what could wait until we had saved up some more money. So many decisions to be made, but we got there in the end.
Because I am so practical, sometimes I forget to dream. Making mood boards helped. The second-hand shop proved a good source of homemaking magazines, and I collected paint and materials samples from the DIY store. I made special mood boards for the living room and the bedroom – for me the most important rooms in the house. Then I thought about what my other priorities were. I am not someone who likes modern furniture or trends. What mattered to me was that the furniture should be child-friendly and the spaces should be well finished and easy to keep clean.
We started by deciding what we could do ourselves and what would be wiser to outsource. I asked plasterers and painters for quotes. We already had the drawings of our new home, so I was able to calculate how much paint and other materials we were going to need for the various spaces. We soon had a long shopping list that included tape, screws, flooring materials, tools, paint and so on. Some things would need to be measured up exactly, so we had to leave those until we actually had access to the house. But we made decisions on the colours and materials we wanted to use. That was relatively easy for me, as I already had plenty of experience.
The two years it took to build the house gave us plenty of time to prepare gradually. We bought a few items second hand, such as ceiling lights, buy In two years we had lots of time. We bought some things second hand, like lamps for the ceiling and moving boxes. Other things we bought new, like the kitchen, floor tiles, energy saving bulbs, cleaning materials and a new screwdriver. And we asked my father for permission to borrow his tools.
The preparation phase is arguably more important than the implementation phase. If you are well-prepared, the move itself will not seem quite so overwhelming.
If you want help with preparing your move, please contact me.