Moving To France · Preparations For The Move · Uncategorized

Starting To Pack


How soon do you start packing to move house?

With an approximate move date I’ve started the process. Crazy huh?

The reason for the packing then? Well with two children under school age (4 and 1) I know that if I leave all the packing until later it will be chaos. So I’ve made a list for myself of things that I can do now so I can at least feel as if I’m in some sort of control!


One of the things I’ve started to box up are our books. I’m not throwing any away as, listening to my ex-pat friends, I’ve come to realise that English books are like gold in rural France. And this is despite having a small, English library in their area.

So despite their bulk all the books that we don’t need for reference are going into boxes.


France is famous for its beaurocracy so I’m collating and filing all our paperwork. My husband is a imagehoarder and there have been some disagreements about how long we should keep old payslips as well as other documents for. The conversation has gone like this;

“How long do you think we should keep these for?”

“Ten years.”

“Ten years? I’ve never read any advice that says ten years.”

“Yes, we definitely need them that long if we want to get a mortgage in France”

“Really. I’ve done all the research and I’ve never heard that. Where did you find that out?”

Le Marie looking vague, avoiding eye contact. Silence.

“You’ve made that up haven’t you?” Me, now laughing. Him looking sheepish.

The outcome is that I’m keeping two years – way more than we need for a French mortgage, particularly as we don’t work for the same people anymore and we now have a UK based limited company – and I’m going to scan and shred any additional payslips for his peace of mind.

I’m also making a separate file of marriage certificate, birth certificates, EHIC cards, passports, qualifications and other similar documents with a backup photocopied document wallet in case one should get lost in the move. It will probably be that the photocopies won’t be accepted, but it doesn’t hurt!


I’ve started today to clear out my loft. I don’t have the opportunity to make a big clear out over a few days like our last children because of the children. So it seems mine only real opportunities are when my eldest is in school and the little one’s down for a nap. I’ve just started to go up and take one or two of the bags, box sets that are up there (sooooooo much stuff) and figure if I do this once a week I’ll hopefully get this done in the small windows that I have.

Seasonal Stuff

Now that Winter is over (even though there is rain pouring outside my window – there is blossom on the trees) it imageseems logical to pack the Christmas things are being properly boxed to move.  This goes for seasonal clothing too. I have some vacuum storage bags and ive gone through the wardrobes in the last few days to start to store both our summer clothes as well as my daughters old clothes to pass down to her baby sister in a few years (France is extremely expensive for clothes).

Nik Naks

One more thing I’m starting to do is look at the nik nacks around my house and think ‘Do I really like that?’ If I don’t and there’s no sentimental value I’m starting to just put them in the bottom of the pushchair and drop it off at the charity shop on my way to dropping my eldest off at school.

Gradually draws are getting emptied of crud – you know the useless stuff that builds up. I’ve found loads of things from last year’s Christmas crackers! Bizarre.

Other nik nacks are being wrapped and boxed, just a thinning down at the moment so that it still feels like home the next few months.

Crystal and Fine Crockery

To be honest I was going to leave this in place a while longer as they’re in a display cupboard. However when one of the shelves collapsed shattering some of my favourite items last week I took it as a sign – they’re in boxes too.

I love my crystal and bought my sets each year at sale time with money I’d saved just after Christmas. I’d kept all the boxes so that when we moved I could safely pack them. So they’re pre gone back in their boxes and into a big box.

The fine china too is boxed – to be honest, with little ones, I can’t remember the last time I got it all out!

Spare Linen

I love having ironed bed and table linen beautifully displayed in a cupboard. But anything I’m not using regularly has not only been packed, but been used to wrap the fine china!

As everything is in line now we never have newspapers, and we actually don’t know anyone else that does! Time to order bubble wrap on mass from Amazon I think 😀.

If you have any packing advice or moving to France tips I’d love to hear them!




2 thoughts on “Starting To Pack

  1. It really does pay to be organised as lists just get added to as Jour-J rolls around. I started writing about our plan to live in France in the year before we moved. Re-reading, now, what I wrote then brings back to me that, not only was I packing up a full house, dealing with rental companies and future tenants, putting our things into storage, alerting schools, family, friends, insurance companies etc to our departure, closing or deferring subscriptions to ambulance schemes and magazines – and the list goes on – my husband and I were also planning First Communion celebrations, birthday parties, working out orthodontist appointments, having our own health issues plus doing all of the regular work, shopping, cooking, cleaning, gardening, and nurturing of children that is entailed in a family of 5. And that was only what needed to be done on one side of the world. The list was equally as huge for the French side of the move. Early is best! And it sounds like you are on to all of the little tricks such as scanning and sorting documents, keeping a second set of photocopies of important documents etc. Good on you…


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