Moving house can be relatively stress free but you have to be ruthless with junk!

Since we completed on our new house a month ago we’ve been trying to get ourselves organised for the move.  I don’t think we realised quite how cluttered our house was before we started going through all of the junk that had built up around us in 12 years living in Islington!

It quickly dawned on us that when moving house we weren’t going to be able to take everything with us.  There was just too much, and who needs old TVs, VHS players and other outdated technology in 2014? It’s only going to sit gathering dust just like it has for the past decade!  I wouldn’t class Ian as a hoarder but it’s safe to see he isn’t exactly ruthless when it comes to lobbing out old memorabilia.  We have piles of football programmes following a lifetime of visits to Stamford Bridge to watch his beloved Chelsea.  We have piles of clothes.  Wardrobes filled with old jeans and jackets that he vows to fit back into when he’s lost a few pounds (we’ve been waiting a while!). The old clothes went in the skip but we reached an agreement on the football programmes that in our new house they are going to be tucked away somewhere safe.  I do understand that each one holds a memory so if he sticks to his side of the agreement I have no problem.  Time will tell…

The kids have so many toys that never so much as get a 5 minute play these days and thankfully they managed to see reason without too many tears.   We donated a few sack fulls to local playgroups, some charity shops and other good causes.  They understood that the toys would now get a second life and give some other children a lot of pleasure just as they had done for them and it was nice to see some empathy from them.  I think perhaps they were really thinking that by giving away some of their old toys they were making room for some new ones!


So after a couple of weeks of clearing the decks we finally had everything labelled that we wanted to keep and a realistic list of things that we wanted to transfer to the new house.  There is a lot to be said for ones state of mind seeing a clear, junk free home.  I can understand why people love to live in minimal homes although it would be completely impossible for us.  I’ve no doubt our new house will end up piled high with clutter within 5 minutes but i’m going to do my level best to keep it clear.

We decided to use a local house removals London company called Alexanders Removal & Storage to take on the move.  Choosing a removal company is another minefield.  You end up combing through reviews much like we do when we go on holiday on Trip Advisor.  We all know how it works – You read a load of great reviews and then you stumble across a bad one and you start to worry and get put off.   At the end of the day you have to trust your gut and Alexanders had some great reviews and seemed to offer a really personal touch.  They weren’t the cheapest but we have some valuable antique furniture and we would rather pay a little bit more for it to arrive safely.  We’re really glad we chose them as they packed everything brilliantly and thankfully nothing was broken in transit.  They also spent ages unpacking everything and putting it exactly where I wanted which save a lot of time.  I’d definitely recommend them if you are looking for removal companies in London.   Their website has some useful information and they also offer a free survey of your move which is great.  As i say, not cheapest but if you like to have peace of mind as I do then worth looking at.  Anyway, you can check them out here

So here we are. A new house with a bigger garden finally. Rufus is loving it and is currently going bananas. I can see him scampering around now through the kitchen window with the kids in hot pursuit.  For the time being the house is clean, clear and minimal.  Everything is where it should be. I wonder how long it will last…

A London Nanny Agency Focused on Child Development

Myself and Ian have been searching for nanny agencies london for some time.  We spoke at great length to all of the usual suspects and whilst we got some good advice, none of them seemed to offer exactly the kind of approach we were looking for.   We were very particular about the type of nanny we needed. It’s not that we are exceptionally fussy by nature, no more so than the next couple at least, but we have strong beliefs when it comes to parenting and childcare.

We firmly believe in a gentle parenting approach and require the nanny to listen to our children and validate their emotions.  We therefore weren’t looking for nannies who were going to apply traditional disciplinary approaches, and although we completely understand that might be suitable for some families,  it just isn’t for us.  We were recommended Snuggles Childcare ( by the sister of one of Ian’s colleagues after they had placed a temporary nanny with her family for a few months.  The nanny was AP focused in her approach and went on to be offered a full time position.

nanny agency child development

So far our dealings with Snuggles has been extremely positive.  I had begun to ask myself whether finding a nanny with all the qualities we were looking for was unrealistic and frankly unachievable.   When I listed all the characteristics that we wanted our nanny to ideally have to some agencies clearly thought that I was setting the bar far too high but we persisted and in the process and interviewed a lot of nannies.  We did find some great candidates but they didn’t tick all of the boxes.   It was different with Snuggles as they obviously look to hire a slightly different type of nanny.  So far we have spoken to four really high-quality nannies through video conferencing which has also been very useful.   They have completely different CVs and wide ranging backgrounds.

I’ve been asked by my friends exactly what is we are looking for.  Well, to sum it up in a few sentences (our job description is a lot longer!) it’s a caring, nurturing and very affectionate person who will take good care of our children but who will also spend time working creatively with them, drawing, painting, singing and generally helping them to develop lots of different aspects of their personalities.  Creativity is a big thing for us and so is child development as a whole.  Leaving our children in the care of anyone is hard enough but we want to think that while we are at works, which is unfortunately a must, that our children will be learning and exploring.

I’d highly recommend giving them a call if you are looking for nannies or babysitters in London and are looking for a someone trained in child development.  I’ll be blogging again about our experiences with our new nanny further down the line.  If you would like any more information about our journey and how we went about drawing up a job description I’ll be happy to talk it through with you. Just drop me a message via my contact form.

If you would like to know more about child development I recommend you have a look at:

Attachment Parenting – The 8 Principles

Attachment Parenting or AP has been in the news a lot recently thanks to Peaches Geldof’s TV debate with the ghastly Katie Hopkins. If you haven’t seen the video. Here it is.


Yes. Katie really is like that all the time. I wish people would stop paying her to come on to their shows but I suppose it only ends up putting more weight behind anything she opposes. So anyway, here are the principles

1. Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting
2. Feed with Love and Respect
3. Respond with Sensitivity
4. Use Nurturing Touch
5. Provide Consistent and Loving Care
6. Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
7. Practice Positive Discipline
8. Strive for Balance in Your Personal and Family Life

As Peaches says, you don’t have to stick rigidly to them all. You find your own personal approach and a level of AP that suits your family.

if you are interested in learning more about AP then check out or

See The World Through The Eyes Of Children