Can Moving House Be Less Stressful?

They say that moving house is one of the most stressful life challenges alongside others such as, having a baby and getting married. “Pah, no way, I have moved from rental to rental, packed up my little Yaris and got on with it, how hard can it be? We buy houses to do them up regularly, this will just be like one of those.” I was wrong, very wrong and I take it all back!!

Moving house is stressful. The reward obviously is that you get the fuzzy, happy feeling and all the anticipation of moving into your home, not a house. So can we take some of the stress out of the situation?

I view a lot of properties, I can see past the work that needs doing to the potential of what it could be. There is no emotional attachment to the physical house in the business, just respect for those who have lived there and their memories. So when it came to choosing a home for us to live in for years to come, to start a family and get a dog,  (Matthew this is happening, I promise I won’t call her pixie so that it doesn’t embarrass you calling her in the park, but it is happening!!!) I thought I had probably desensitised myself to feeling anything about a house.

On TV you see people talk about that ‘gut feeling’ you get when you know you have found your house. It’s real. I went to view what is now our new home and fell in love with it immediately for a number of reasons, but mostly for it peacefulness.  It took me back to my Nan’s home as a child. I loved that house. Maybe houses hold energy?

Choosing your home

Nothing is perfect, know the things you won’t compromise on and be a problem solver on the rest. The chances of finding a house completed to your exact taste etc. limits your market and the possibilities.

Patience

There is a process to follow and it is not quick. Get a good solicitor and get organised. The quicker you can respond and deal with the paperwork, the smoother things will run. Then it’s down to the legal teams to do their thing, we just have to be patient. That’s not to say that you don’t ask for updates, but try not to stress yourself at this stage. Easier said than done, but distract yourself.

Taking the stress out of packing

Is there actually anything that can make this less stressful? I’m not sure, but take it as an opportunity to get organised and to fit in some squats you didn’t plan on doing. I was adamant we were not going to take any crap to the new house. I got ruthless on my shoes, clothes, paperwork, toiletries. It is surprising how much of our stuff we don’t regularly use. That’s where the packing started. Just tackling it a box at a time meant it felt a lot less stressful at the end.

If you are moving into a project house

If like us you are moving into your new home but have the task of renovating it while you live there, yes the upheaval of what is to come can be stressful, however, it will be worth it. So just get the house clean, choose a room to be your comfy haven and make a plan of attack on the renovation. In the scheme of things, 6-12 months of work will go very quickly.

Know your budget

Do you have a pot of money saved for the work, or are you doing jobs as you go? Either way, know your top priority jobs, know your budget and get quotes on the work. This way you can have a timeframe for how long it will take and also how much to save per month to go towards those jobs. Try to save where you can. I wrote about renovating on a budget previously, doing up your own home should be no different. Shop around and see where you can save some pennies, you can find out more on this here. http://lifeaboutthehouse.com/renovating-a-house-on-a-budget/

Oh and finally, rooky mistake over here, remember what you actually put in the boxes! Doh!

Now here we are, a few more glitter strands in our hair and totally shattered, but we are in! Over the next few months we will renovate and share any useful tips and hints along the way. I already have a room full of up-cycle projects to get on with.

The fun and games don’t end there, we should be completing on a flip project this week too. When people say you’re mad, this week I probably agree with them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Networking More Fun And Less Daunting

Networking! Do you love it or loathe it? Until I started in property I don’t think I even considered it really. I went to work, I spoke to colleagues, saw friends and met people as and when life dictated really. Networking was for business people and I didn’t fit that box.

Fast forward to us starting in property education and developing a business, what a shock to the system networking was. Talk to people, talk to everyone, be good at it, be engaging, ask questions, ask the right questions, leave a good impression, have the right pitch, don’t spend to long with one person. Waaaah what!?!? I am not a traditionally shy person and I like talking to people and I was still clinging to Matt’s arm before any networking event. Until recently I think I have had networking all wrong.

I had the pleasure of working at a property symposium at the NEC this weekend, over 400 students and a great team of Speakers and Crew, the perfect networking and learning opportunity and the catalyst for this blog topic.

Although everyone in the rooms would of course have common interests in property and business, this weekend struck a chord with me.  I spoke to so many lovely people without any other motive, other than I wanted to.  What a simple thought.

So I thought I would give a few tips having watched and attended many networking activities to help you start getting the most out of meeting people; and to try and take some of the fear out of it for those who dread the speed dating style of networking.

Smile

I have resting bitch face. I know this from random photos taken when I don’t realise and I look like someone has really pissed me off. The reality is, I’m not in a mood, I’m probably thinking about food and I’ve drifted off or am concentrating. I also know this because of the amount of people who have told me haha! So if I have scowled unknowingly in the past, I’m sorry, it’s just my face. But, this feedback has made me conscious of the fact that I need to look approachable. So if anyone else out there has RBF, keep it in check when you are networking.

Don’t Be a space invader

I don’t know about you, but I appreciate my personal space. When I start to feel claustrophobic, it doesn’t matter how interesting you might be, I will be looking for a way out. This doesn’t just have to be standing too close, sometimes being very intense can have the same effect. Think of the scene in Dirty Dancing, “this is my dance space, this is your dance space”.

What’s the worst that can happen?

You smile, you talk, you don’t have a common interest and you are unlikely to talk again. No problem. It is very, very unlikely that you would go to a networking event, course, class or event and be shunned or ignored. In general life situations, a simple smile can be a way to gauge reaction and to build confidence before you start instigating conversations.

Patience

I hold my hands up, I suck at patience. But, for a long time now I have made a concerted effort to be better and it has made a big difference in my networking. Some people are story tellers, some people get right to the point and some people can talk without seeming to take a breath. None of these traits are wrong or flawed, they just require you to acknowledge and have patience, especially if they don’t balance with your natural comfort zone. How you react will be in your body language and probably without you realising, (but they will).

Business Cards

This is my modest opinion. The concept of business cards as a tool for sharing contact information is  worldwide . Logos and branding aside (I know people pay big money to create the right brand in the right colour with the right font and I am sure it works) however, how many of us have a stack of business cards and wouldn’t be able to put a face to a card two months after the event. I read somewhere about  simply writing down when/where you met on the card. This way if you have had a conversation and taken their card, this meeting is likely to be triggered in your memory.

Also on this, why do we collect these beautiful shiny cards if we have no intention of contacting them ever again haha! I am guilty too, I do not judge. Lets do more follow ups!!

Social Media

In my heart I probably have the same view of social media as that of an 80 year old. BUT, I get it, I just struggle with it. Sharing is good, bragging is not. Providing some kind of content for a purpose other than your own gain – good, but no one likes a show off. So how do we make actual connections on social media where it is based on a real connection and not fuelled by likes or validation? Who knows? I am actually asking the question!?

it’s nice to be nice

All other reasons aside. It is just nice to meet new people. We all know how much time we spend on our phones, in our own usual circles etc, so embrace the opportunities and be open to the potential of meeting great people. You will learn lots and have fun. We can go out and make the most money, have the most virtual followers and likes, but I am definitely happiest surrounded with good people, good conversation and learning new things.

What are your tips for getting the most out of networking?

 

 

 

Learning To Solve Problems, Instead Of Giving Up

Firstly, an honest start. Over the last two weeks I have been torn between wanting to hide in a duvet burrito, not knowing how to write without it reading like a ‘woe is me, Dear Deirdre letter’ and trying to keep our sh** together on the business front. The reality is, that problems are always going to exist and they just a get a little bit more complicated when you are taking on more challenges. This truth however can be a hard one to stomach when you are in the crossfire.

Matthew and myself have come up against it recently; the domino effect has been in motion. We are in the midst of buying our home and sorting our existing (which will need a full renovation, but we absolutely love it already) a new business project, two commercial re -finances and a whole host of building control and letting issues, a flooded bathroom on a project and last (but I wish least), the fact that  I can’t seem to put my anxious little brain back in it’s box. These are all connected and when one problem started, it sent shockwaves down the line.

This is the abbreviated list from the past two months and there are numerous lists before it. Have I wanted to quit? Yes. Would I quit, absolutely not a chance.

A: I am far too stubborn to give up. B: I love it too much to give up. C: Then the struggle really would be for nothing. When quitting is not an option, you’re going to have to put your problem solving hat on and find a way through. It’s not easy, but little baby steps will hopefully help you stay out of the duvet burrito.

Problem Solving

Teamwork. I frustrate Matthew when I don’t get the concept of interdependency. I am fiercely independent but this stops me seeing the bigger picture. Having a power team, really is powerful. You can’t be all things to all situations. Sometimes you need the advice and guidance from everyone around you to come up with the solution. It also takes some of the weight off, it isn’t a case of off-loading responsibility, it’s giving yourself more strength to deal with it.

Surround Yourself with positive

From a business or mind-set perspective, this could be a coach, mentor, podcasts, books. These have all definitely helped me. However, without wanting to be controversial here, for me, there also needs to be balance when pursuing goals. I sometimes don’t let myself/forget about all the other things that come under this heading. Positive doesn’t just have to be personal development/goal related. Not every single second of every day has to be dedicated to being a super human. Sometimes, listening to music is more beneficial than listening to an audio book, sometimes reading a great book of fiction is as beneficial as reading the latest book on how to be successful.

Get a Plan & focus

Problems happen and will always happen. Each time they do is an opportunity to learn something new and to learn how to avoid it or do it better in the future. Having a plan, can help your focus when things are going off track. I have written about this before, but try to focus on your own goals, comparison against others can be a self sabotage if you’re not careful.

Gratitude

When you really sit down with your problems, there is always a massive list of things we can still be grateful for. Sometimes, if we don’t remind ourselves of all the good, life can seem overwhelming at times. I am guilty in the past of throwing myself pity parties, the trouble with these; they are self indulgent, serve no use at all and nobody else really wants to be at that party.

Don’t take it out on everything else

Does this sound familiar? “I have had the most stressful day, this happened then this happened which means this will now happen. I don’t know what to do!” *Eats custard creams by the pack/ chocolate/insert food vice of choice*. “I’m fat and I hate all my clothes, everything is going wrong, I’m so tired.” *Trawls Instagram* “Great, everyone else is doing X,Y,Z, I can’t even do A.

Welcome to my previous pity parties. Don’t they just sound a hoot!!

If you are facing problems, try your best not to escalate them into the other areas of your life. Easier said than done. But it really does make you feel crap.

Baby steps are better than no steps at all. So even if you just start off with little things, you will build your confidence and self esteem to tackle more later. Everyone says this to me, now maybe I get it, “Be kind to yourself.”