Moving Home - Tips To Ensure Moving Day Is Stress Free*

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*This is a collaborative post*

Moving house is stressful. I know this because I've helped my sister do it numerous times and it can be a real nightmare if you're not sufficiently organised. Creating a list of 'To-Dos' can prove useful so that you don't forget anything. Below are just some handy pointers to help your move go without a hitch.

Think Ahead 

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Organise to have your personal mail re-directed to ensure you still receive it even after you've moved. This can also help to protect against identity fraud.

Check that you know where the stopcock, gas and electric meters are in your new place. Do you need to buy an electricity or gas card to top up the meter? You don't want to be sat in darkness later on in the evening, cold and unable to have a brew. Likewise if you have kids, they won't be thrilled if they arrive at their new home and can't turn on the TV or play their computer games. And yes I'm speaking from experience here! 

Notify everyone of your change of address and not just family and friends. You should also update your details with your GP and the dentist too.

Hire An Extra Pair Of Hands 

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Don't go it alone. Hiring professional movers and packers is a sensible decision and can help to ensure that your move is as stress free as possible. The Man and Van Removals are just one affordable removal company who provide a speedy and reliable service throughout London and the UK. 

I like to read reviews before deciding on a company as I believe it speaks volumes about them and their services. From what I read on The Man and Van website I would say that they come highly recommended. Punctual, helpful, professional, reasonably priced and will use again, are just some of the words used by satisfied customers. I would of course suggest that you always do your own research before choosing a removals service. Most will also give you an instant online quote.

The Man and Van don't just provide a removals service, if you have a large item that you need delivering then you can take advantage of their courier service. With a 100% guarantee for a safe delivery of your house or office contents, you really can't go wrong.


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Once you've hired your movers for the big day, you can start to think about packing. Collect boxes from friends and family or invest in some flat packs. I'm relatively lucky that I have access to many large cardboard boxes as we get stock delivered to the practice on a regular basis.

Whatever you do, don't leave packing until the last minute because you'll end up stressed and in a fluster with items in completely the wrong places. At the same time, wait to pack your everyday essentials until much nearer moving day. You don't want to be raiding boxes looking for your hair dryer with still a week to go.

Try to organise your boxes methodically, labelling each. It's also worth picking up some bubble wrap for any breakables. Make sure you mark any of these boxes as fragile.

Keep a separate box for things that you think you'll need on moving day such as screw drivers and even tea bags so you have them to hand when you arrive at the new house.

On Moving Day

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It's here, the big day! Get up early and have a hearty breakfast along with your favourite cup of coffee or tea. You're going to need it as you have a long and tiring day ahead of you.

Once all the boxes are loaded on board the removals van, before you leave your old house for the very last time, have a final once over to ensure you haven't missed anything. It's surprising what can get left behind in kitchen cupboards amongst the chaos! 

And When You're Done

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Yay! Congratulations, you did it! You survived the move. Now it's time to collapse in a heap, celebrate and enjoy your new home. Ordering takeout is of course optional! :) 

How Can We Further Improve Our Food Waste Management?

Assorted Plastic Bottles
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How Can We Further Improve Our Food Waste Management?

'Waste not, want not'. (Proverbial saying first recorded in 1772).

I was quite stunned recently when I saw the info-graphic at the bottom of this page and saw that one third of the total global food production is lost annually. Here in the UK we certainly contribute our fair share to this statistic; A recent survey conducted by BPI Consumer Packaging found that 20% of respondents would be more likely to throw away food once it has reached its 'Sell by' date' and that the UK throws away 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year. This costs the average household £470 so while I actually believe the issue of waste management and recycling is fairly well understood in this country, there clearly remains a genuine need to further reduce our levels of waste.

The recent survey also found that 80% of respondents recycle 'all of the time', and although that seems quite a high figure I can believe it. I think the government's scheme of introducing different coloured bins and waste disposal boxes has really had a positive effect in helping to decrease the levels of general household waste here in the UK. In terms of the actual packaging of food, it really is one of life's little annoyances (e.g. when you buy a packet of crisps for instance and ravenously open the bag only to find about 7 crisps filling the bottom third of the bag and the rest of the bag is empty?). I really dislike the practice of excess packaging (which let's face it is a dishonest method of enticing people to buy a particular item). Despite the issue of waste management definitely being in the public consciousness it seems to me that more could be done in order to cut down on the amount of packaging used by various businesses and large scale manufacturers.

I do think we have made a lot of progress with regard to green issues in general in recent years and to food waste treatment and recycling specifically but with the political topography being as it has in recent years, I feel like certain 'green' issues are being slightly overlooked or put on the back burner so to speak. That said, I am encouraged by the fact so many people are recycling their food waste, and lets hope this attitude continues to permeate through into other areas of our waste management.

There are so many good people who are helping to reduce the impact of human waste on the environment, from people combing beaches and collecting plastic bottles and packaging to divers removing plastic by the handful from beneath the sea. It begs the question what do you think could be done to further decrease our level of food waste and waste in general? 

*Written by Michael David

A Must Have Item For Your SS18 Wardrobe*

*This is a collaborative post*

You may have noticed that the evenings are staying lighter that little bit longer now which can mean only one thing! Spring is just around the corner. Indeed it is and as I write this it's literally only about thirty days away. 

As well as everything that comes with this colourful season, I'm particularly looking forward to some warmer weather. (Here's hoping.) Before you know it we'll all be chucking our knitwear to the back of the closet as we root out our Spring/Summer essentials. 

Speaking of essentials, harem trousers such as these from 'Hippie Pants' are the perfect casual wear for the forthcoming warmer months and also for anyone who loves yoga. 

Who Are Hippie Pants?

Hippie Pants was founded in 2015 by a group of friends and is an online store selling handmade garments from Thailand. The group who all have a strong connection to the land, developed partnerships with local artists and seamstresses. As such customers can rest assured that all the pants whether they be the '3/4 Fisherman' or the 'Classic' are designed and made locally. 
Made from cotton or rayon cotton, you'll find no animal byproducts in any of their garments. I can almost hear the whoop from my friend Marie! :) 
As for sizes, you can relax because the pants only come in one size which will fit extra small to large. This is thanks to the elasticated and drawstring waists. 
Although you won't find any of these garments on the high street, Hippie Pants do offer free shipping regardless of where you live. 

Behind The Brand

The people behind Hippie Pants are dreamers - just like me. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I was so keen to work with them! They have a great motto 'wishing to inspire others through the colour and style of their pants,' and as a business have a fantastic philosophy supporting all things fair trade. 

You'll come across various historical elements throughout the designs and of images of Thai native animals such as the elephant which is apparently sacred. (You learn something new everyday, or at least I do.)
The colour golden yellow also features on garments because it's symbolic of the Thai national icon, the cassia fistula flower.

The Perfect Casual Wear Or For Yoga

Whether you're after a pair of stylish harem pants for casual wear or you're looking for something comfortable and light for lounging around the home in, these pants being so versatile are the ideal solution. Team them with flip flops and a simple t-shirt or vest top and you're good to go! 
You can also wear these pants for your yoga sessions and given that I've recently taken up this pastime, these pants would be an ideal investment to my own wardrobe. All I need now is a little more flexibility and stamina! 

If you're pregnant then you might like to check out the Thai, Classic, Peacock and Wrap pants which are apparently tremendously comfortable.

Lastly, Hippie Pants don't just make pants either, they also make stylish tote bags which will be a fantastic accessory to your Spring/Summer collection. 

Who else is looking forward to the warmer and sunnier weather?

*With thanks to Hippie Pants for brand information and for use of photographs.

Knowing When It's Time To Move On*

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*This is a collaborative post*

There's an idiom that you may very well have heard of before; 'Flogging a dead horse,' and this is something we can use to apply to many aspects of life and in particular when it comes to relationships. 

When the outcome of a relationship is already doomed and apparent, then to continue is deemed a waste of time and effort. Of course no relationship is ever a complete waste of time because we can learn from every experience, but alas people do change and thus often grow apart. 

Couples counselling is an option if the love is still there and you both really want to try, and yes this might very well work. But if your relationship has become toxic or you're arguing all the time, staying in the relationship could be draining and bad news for your mental health and well-being

It's always going to be difficult the further down the path you get, but if you're not happy then you need to look at why. Pretending to yourself and continuing as you are isn't going to help you or anyone else. Imagine if you end up married with kids but are miserable. Would you want to raise your children in those circumstances? Or imagine if you continue seeing this person for years on end, knowing you should really call it quits but not doing so because you're scared of ending up alone? And then the day comes ten years down the line where you call it off anyway. Depending on your age, you could very well have missed out on having children full stop! 

Yes it is going to be difficult when you've already invested emotionally in something and indeed heavily with your time. It can be hard to accept when it's time to let go even though more often than not you know it's the best and right thing to do. But sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and stop flogging a dead horse! 

From experiences I've been privy to, usually the clinging on is purely down to a fear of being alone and yet this is crazy. There's a whole world out there just waiting to be discovered, a whole world of people just waiting to meet and fall in love with their ideal partner. And who knows, that could be you! If you don't give yourself the chance then you'll never know what could or might be. 

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If you do decide to start over, you're going to need a while to grieve and heal and it's important that you allow yourself this period of time before you rush into anything. No matter what the state of your relationship, there will still be a certain element of sadness when it comes to it's ultimate conclusion. 

When you are feeling more like yourself and ready to date again, try online dating where you can chat from the comfort of your own home. There are many websites to choose from including the popular eHarmony and Match. Tinder and POF are two free websites which are great if you want to see who's out there. And there's a whole host of 'local' dating sites now, designed with various cities and towns in mind so that you can find someone local to you. Wiltshire dating site and dating in Gloucester are perfect for anyone in their fifties and beyond. If you live in the North of England then perhaps dating in Cumbria would be ideal. There's sites for single women in Torquay and for anyone who lives further South of England. And if no strings naughty dating is more your cup of tea then there's sites for this also. 

Whatever you do, remember that we only get to live this life once! Go out and live it to the fullest but stay safe too.

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House Goals: Getting Your Dream Home In Real Life*

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*This is a collaborative post*

Everyone has their dream home. For some, it will be the first place they ever lived because it was the first place they called their own. For others, it will be the family home - the place where their children grew up. But then there’s those of us that have huge house goals and are prepared to do whatever it takes to chase after them. Because it’s not just the rich and famous that can live in incredible properties. If you’ve always wanted to live somewhere that you love, that you’ve worked insanely hard for, and that you can settle in for the rest of your life, then this post is for you. Bagging your dream home doesn’t have to be a dream, you can make those house goals a reality, and here’s how.

Get Your Finances In Order

Rule number one, you have to get your finances together. We can’t stress the importance of preparing financially enough. When you can get your preparations together money wise, you’ll have a much better chance of making your dreams a reality. By saving, knowing how much you need overall, and making sure that you keep your credit in order, you’ll be able to make it happen. It might take time, but you have that. Keep on working on your finances and you’ll soon be ticking off this first step on the list.

Get Your Home Ready To Sell

Up next, you need to make sure that your home is ready to sell. This may be something that you choose to work on as part of your wider plan, or you might want to do immediately. Either way, you need to consider your options such as these you can see on Flying Homes a quick sale company. If you need to do any home improvement in order to get the most from your house sale then make that your first priority.

Prioritize Hard Work

You’ll also need to remember that this won’t happen by accident, nor will it be handed to you. You’re going to have to work really hard to make your dream home become a reality. That can be scary to some, but if you really want it, you’ll put the work in. Because you will need the money to make it happen.

Keep One Eye On The Market

It’s also going to be smart to keep your eye on the market. Not only will you be able to get to know the market and become a lot savvier when it comes to property, but you’ll also spot anything that may come up. You never know when the dream property will be listed, so remember - you have to be in it to win it.

Climb The Ladder

Finally, you’re also going to want to work on climbing up the property ladder. Your dream house is likely to be a few houses away, but if you move up the ladder and keep your end goal in mind, you should be able to make the money needed to bring it that bit closer with each step you take.

*Contributed by Sam Jones

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