When our last flat had a health and safety issue, Anya and I decided to move from the wee village of Bridge of Allan to the normally bustling city of Glasgow. We’re now settled in our new home, and I’d like to tell you what I learnt from the whole process…
I am not a minimalist.
As much as I love the planet and try to cut down on my consumption, I am far from being a minimalist. I discovered this almost as soon as I started packing. I had thought packing would take one hour. After all, I had come to the UK with just a large suitcase and a stuffed backpack.
I didn’t realise how much I’d accumulated since my arrival. I’d bought bedding, extra cushions, some secondhand clothing, school supplies and kitchenware. It all added up and obviously didn’t fit in the bags I’d brought.
Storage containers are a must.
Our move was very sudden, but if I’d had time, I would’ve invested in plastic storage boxes with lids. (I now understand why my mum has dozens of them in the attic and basement. Mothers know best!) They would’ve been extremely useful. Thankfully, Anya left behind some cardboard boxes, so they did the trick!
I have incredible friends.
After we agreed to move, Anya went to visit her family in the States for a month during Christmastime. This meant that I had to figure out how to move everything during a nation-wide lockdown on my own. Well, that’s what I’d originally thought, but some great friends stepped up to help.
One of my friends, Kali, made two trips (both ways) to tow our stuff to the new place. Not only that, but she and her sister helped me deep clean the old place. As soon as restaurants open, I’m taking those ladies out!
Then, my partner helped me unpack and settle in. He also helped to transport some new furniture from the city centre to the new flat. He’s a good egg!
Even though Anya was across the Atlantic, she had packed everything before leaving and even had her aunt store some things while she was gone. It really made moving much easier. On top of that, she bought me an unlimited data SIM card so that we could use a hotspot to stream entertainment until the wifi was installed. How lucky am I for such a flatmate?!
It is good to plan ahead.
Before moving, Anya and I went over how to set up our utility providers. We were able to keep our internet provider, and our new landlady said there was still some gas and electricity credit for the first few days in the flat.
Things never go according to plan.
Unfortunately, we didn’t realise that our internet provider needed to send an engineer to install our router. We contacted them weeks before the move, but the earliest date that someone could come was still two weeks after moving in. If it wasn’t for lockdown, I wouldn’t have minded being without wifi for a couple of weeks.
Then, on my first full day at the flat, the gas stopped working. The landlady had thought there was enough credit on the account for a week. Luckily, we had access to emergency credit that lasted a couple days while I contacted the gas company about billing.
Buy used furniture and quickly.
The new flat came furnished, but we had limited storage. Anya and I decided to get a sideboard to house our craft supplies and surplus food items. It also was a better way to display the TV which had been on a small coffee table in the corner of the room.
I started scouring the internet, looking for used sideboards on Amazon, eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree. Glasgow has quite a bit of buying and selling activity so there were new listings every day. After a week, a used, modern sideboard from Next appeared on Gumtree. It was £40 and just across town. The following day, my partner and I went to pick it up. I had looked up the furniture company, discovering that there wasn’t a sideboard of this size for less than £300 on the website. I wondered if it was really in good condition. It turned out to be a real bargain!
Scottish people are very friendly and kind.
After I paid the seller, my partner called to order a taxi. He asked for a larger vehicle to fit the sideboard, but the dispatcher sent a regular sedan-sized taxi. The driver was very understanding and called back the dispatcher. They sent over another car, and soon we were headed back to the flat. We had a pleasant chat with the driver, talking about covid and Scotland and my home in the U.S. Once we got back, the driver offered to help us carry the sideboard to our flat. I’ve often been told that Scottish people are extremely nice. (Some have said that Glaswegians are particularly friendly.) Case in point!
Glasgow was worth it.
Restaurants, pubs, shops, museums and most other places might be closed, but Glasgow is a remarkable place. It’s an expansive city, rich with culture. There are plenty of parks and nearby sights to see. And, of course, the people are warm and welcoming. The move was definitely worth it!
This week, I’m thanking rideshare and taxi drivers who are still out there serving the community while putting themselves at risk! If you do take an Uber, Lyft or taxi during the pandemic, please be sure to say thank you in whatever way you can!
The featured image was taken by my friend Olivia at Lang Craigs just outside Glasgow. It reminds me of a scene from Pride and Prejudice!