For sale – house buying and selling with a toddler in tow

August 23, 2013

Crystal Palace MarketFor sale: one small child, located halfway down the tree-lined streets of toddlerdom. New build, sunny facing aspect. Potential for imminent upwards expansion. Energy rating; uses lots of it, but does need constant refuelling. Special features – the ability to turn a tidy house upside down in an instant. Asking price? OIRO two good nights’ sleep and one lie-in.

OK I jest, but house selling with a toddler is a tricky thing, who’d have thought? I walk around the house, frantically tidying up. She follows, swiftly clearing whole shelves of books and emptying entire cupboards when I’m not looking. So we have taken to sneaking around at night, stealthily putting things up in the loft and straightening cushions. We tidy everything away in odd places that are out of reach – the tall kitchen cupboards, heavy drawers, the dishwasher. And this is all done over and over, each time there’s a viewing. It’s like the Groundhog Day of domestic drudgery. Kirstie and Phil never warned me about this.

I’m finding the whole process of selling and buying houses incredibly frustrating. And so sloooow. Especially if you’re the world’s most impatient person (Me? Never!). It’s like an elaborate elongated courtship, combined with decoding estate agent subtext that’s more confusing than any man-message, strange too-ing and fro-ing rituals, sending out signals, and trying not to think too much about the insane amounts of money you’re spending.

I know this will all be worth it though, when we have a family house for the three of us, with space and a garden that Eliza can run round in. And proper storage that’s not the dishwasher. I would still love the sleep though; it’s exhausting working out where I’ve tidied everything.

Photos taken in the Crystal Palace Market, where we went for lunch this weekend to stay out of the way when there were viewings on our flat. There’s a new children’s menu at CPM and lots of high chairs, so it’s pretty baby-friendly. Also, I love the metro tiles. Fingers crossed we’ll have lots of new walls soon for me to cover with them.


  • Charlotte

    August 23, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    We moved house earlier when Betsy was 18 months, so I can totally feel for you. We ended up having a system where I would take Betsy out of the house and to the park while Dave would tidy and deal with viewings. I think I got the better half of the deal there…

    Good luck with selling!

  • kate

    August 25, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Just wait until you have to pack boxes and she ‘helps’ by unpacking and redistributing as you go!

    1. gillian

      August 26, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      I can imagine! 🙂 x

  • Gaynor

    September 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Having finally moved ourselves I can assure you it will definitely be worth it; even if it now means ive got more places to clean! I love those tiles too; we had them in our old flat and im hoping to get them again for our new kitchen.

    1. gillian

      September 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      It’s so good to hear this – I’m just concentrating on the end goal. You were in a flat before too, weren’t you? x

      1. Gaynor

        September 11, 2013 at 8:19 am

        Yeah we were in a second floor flat without a lift so it wasnt ideal when Holden was born but we made it work. He did have a decent size room there so may have stayed longer if there had been a lift but wouldn’t have wanted to have anymore kids there. We also wanted our own front door and garden which we now have, even if its quite small! Hope your search & selling are going ok.


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