It had one small living room, a medium sized kitchen, one large bedroom, one box room and a tiny bedroom that was more of a cupboard than anything and a small bathroom/toilet. Having five children myself and Lee in there was horrid - the kids had nowhere to play, me and Lee had nowhere we could relax and it felt like we were all on top of each other constantly.
I approached the council to ask for a move/transfer. They gave me the relevant forms and I filled them in. They eventually came back and I was put into a band - I had got into band B which was quite high up the list but not that high really. But there was one huge problem, the council just didn't have any bigger houses and as I needed to stay in the area I was already in for the kids' education this made the problem even worse. So after lots of discussion and talking we decided a private landlord was our only option.
We then hit another stumbling block - the kids' pets, our two dogs. We couldn't just give them up, it would break all the children's hearts, so we needed to find someone who would let me rent their house with five children, two adults and two dogs. Not an easy task lol. We eventually found somewhere though and went round to view the house... The minute I walked in the house I fell in love, it was huge compared to what we had, the bedrooms were larger than what we had and it meant me and Lee got a big bedroom to ourselves, somewhere we could go to chill and relax and have privacy. There was also two living rooms and a huge kitchen. Instantly I made one living room into a play room for the kids and one living room into a family/tv/chill out room. The kitchen was large enough to be a dining room as well. We agreed on a tenancy and a date was set for moving one week before Christmas.
We realised we had to do this move with as little fuss as possible so it didn't affect the boys too much so we put an action plan in place. The landlady was great and gave us a set of keys a week before our move date so we took the kids straight round and showed them about. They loved it instantly and were made up at the thought of a play room. Lewis was just fascinated by the large amount of cupboards lol. Then we started by moving all non essential bits - this took a full day but we moved them then placed them in the new home where they would belong, then took the kids back and they saw that there were familiar bits already there. We did the move bit by bit like this.
Next I took everybody's clothes down and hung them all up, then took the children down so they saw their belongings there, then the day after I took all the toys, books and dvd's games down, placed them where they were going and again took the children round so they could play and relax in their new home over a few days. Everything but the main furniture was taken down and set out where it was supposed to go straight away and each night after school the kids would go there and play then go back home to sleep. This seemed to work well and it also took the stress out of moving for me and Lee surprisingly.
On the move day we arranged for all the children to be looked after. The four oldest went to their dad, Kayleigh-May went to her aunty's and we got all the big furniture to the new house, set it all out and then the dogs and that was it we had moved!! The kids' dad dropped them off a few hours later and they walked into new bedrooms set out exactly how they had left them at the old house, their tea cooking on the stove everything they were used to around them and it worked - they settled down and played.
Then it was time for bedtime. This was we knew the time when things could go wrong so we did bath time making a big fuss that they had new big bath to bath in. Then we made it as much fun as possible about how exciting it was to go bed in a new bedroom etc and amazingly, how we don't know, but it worked!! We had no tears no tantrums they all got in bed and were asleep within minutes!!
We have not had one setback since moving a month ago, they are all settled and in a good routine as usual and family life in general is 100% better as we all have our own space now and can relax without being on top of each other. People laughed at how we moved but I would do it that way again when it makes life so easy for me, Lee and all the children.