Wednesday 16 September 2009

Preparations in ernest start getting busy!

With less than 2 months to go, I suspect this is the start of things getting busy!

This past week, I have finally chosen the company who will be storing my good and shackles when I am in India. This is a really expensive business! To give you an idea, the average contents of a 3 bed semi requires storage of about 1000 cu ft at a cost of £35-40 per week for long term storage. And all this over and above the normal removals fees for them packing up my goods and taking them away and delivering them back to me.

I decided to go and see the companies quoting me and to have a look at the conditions under which my worldly possessions will be kept. Of course, you want them to be secure, but you also want them to be dry, clean and vermin free. I was actually reasonably pleased with both companies, but have made a decision on the basis of an intuitive feel that one was better organised in their office on the day I visited and had a slight edge in tidiness within their purpose built storage facility.

Also, I have organised an agency to manage the letting of my house. Their fee for this means that I should have no worries about finding and vetting tenants, how the house is being looked after, whether they pay their rent on time etc. Fingers crossed. In addition, I have had to arrange a gardener to take care of the garden when I am away. Luckily the letting agent’s management fee covers them managing his work. It also covers me authorising them to arrange minor repair work to the house up to pre-agreed value, and a friend of mine has agreed to come and look over any work of a higher value that needs to be done, as I won’t be able to just pop back to check these sort of things out! I have rented out a previous house when I lived and worked in the US some years back and I am hopefully for a similar hassle free experience.

To get this all happening means I have to have various things done by law. For example, I have to get an Energy Performance evaluation for the house – so that man came this morning to draw up a floor plan, ascertain the volume of the house, what the walls are made or, how much double glazing and other insulation there is etc – this goes through some calculation to give a standard description of the energy efficiency of the house.

In addition, there is a fair size list of tasks to work through. The worse part is getting in contact with contractors and getting them to come and do the work. My oil fired boiler and Rayburn need to be serviced, luckily my chimneys have just been swept recently and my wood burner checked out. All the electrics and electrical goods need to be PAT Tested. This means finding an electrician who is authorised to do this type of work. I've got my boiler service booked in for later this month but I’ve never been that lucky at finding a good electrician locally. My in person book club buddies have recommended one they have used and I have been in contact with him to see if he can do this, but so far have only got voice messages – typical. I keep telling myself to be more patient as I suspect things in India will move even more slowly!


  1. Wow, makes my preparations for India look like a piece of cake. Good luck with getting it all sorted out

  2. Oh jeez...what a lot of things to get together and organize. I feel ya. I was traveling a lot too and had to put my stuff into storage too. It's still there!

    And its so not cheap. Sometimes it hurts thinking about the fees...but it's photos and some things that I really want when I can get them. Kitchen tools and a few odds and ends. My space is really a tiny storage space but it adds up.

    This post kind of sends me on a tangent of a movie...where two people traded residents called "The Holiday". I knw you're too busy for a movie...but the idea of trading houses/apartments has stayed with me since that premise.

    Even THIS organizing is part of your journey, isn't it? It shows what you own and it's importance...and to compartmentalize and prioritixe. Good work my dear!

  3. Yes this organising is part of the whole thing and also I am taking the opportunity to have a bit of a clear out. It is amazing just how much gathers. Coincidently, I came across a box of photos yesterday which I hadn't looked at for ages, they are all from a different time in my life. Now I've never been the sort of person who has loads of family photos on the dresser. These made me wonder, I have often heard people question how many digitial pictures we take and whether we ever look at them again. But there they were, paper photos, not looked at now for some years. The squirrel in me wants to keep them but I am considering them going in the shredder, they are from what is in effect a past life. Time to move on that little bit more. As you say priorities!

  4. OK - I thought I typed in a comment but it didn't show up. I think maybe you have a word verification after hitting Post and I don't always notice those before I close the page. So I'll try again. What I said before was that I would be horrified if you shredded those photos. Past life is part of who and where you are in the present and good, bad or indifferent, it is part of the record. Tuck them away and sometime in the future you may find you may want to revisit, or share, or not. But at least you have the option.

    I am confused as to why you have to go through all these inspections just to rent out your place. I thought that was only necessary when selling property. I am impressed by your organization through all of this - it demonstrates how effective you will be in your efforts abroad.

  5. Molly, Tx for your thoughts on the photos. I'm still pondering. I agree past life experiences do make us who we are but part of me says I don't need the photo to recall what I what to remember of those times, and as there is only me to look at them, well we'll see.

    As for the various inspections, it is just the law here and there is even more to do when you are selling - Home Information Packs for one Just glad I'm not doing that as well!