'How many times people move house – and why I said never again'

Estate agent's sold sign outside a property
-Credit: (Image: PA)

According to the statistics, people in the UK will move an average of eight times in their lifetime.

Most of that upping-of-sticks will take place between the ages of 18 and 30, if the data-crunching can be relied on; then it slows down. It equates to around 100,000 households in the UK packing up and shipping out to a new home in an average month.

Truth be told, I thought eight times sounded a lot. Then I added up all the addresses I have lived at and I was amazed at the total.


Since I was born, I have had a different roof over my head no fewer than 13 times (I know of some people who have clocked up a lot more). I was 34 when I last redirected my post and I have no plans to uproot again, certainly not any time soon.

In fact, when we packed up our removal van the last time, I vowed “never again”. It’s funny isn’t it, if you are anything like me, how you start out with so few things to your name that you can move on with little more than a suitcase of clothes and a box or two of possessions to worry about.

You get older, your rental addresses turn to owned ones as you put down roots and your inventory of “things” starts building. I couldn’t believe what came out of the fitted wardrobes at our last home and how many boxes and bags it took to pack them all - despite the ditching of unearthed stuff that wasn’t going with us, beforehand.

A Luton van with a handy tail-lift was our removal vehicle of choice and it was filled to the gunwales, twice, with stuff. Two cars also did the run at least a couple of times, filled with tools and other bits and bobs, plus the vacuum cleaner which was employed for one last sweep of our old house, ready for its new occupiers.

It seemed like a never-ending chore, packing up things every night after work, until moving day arrived. I was still turfing out drawers and cupboards while my brother-in-law was on the first run with the van to our new village address.

I recently saw near-neighbours moving in – a downsizing operation, I later learned – and wagons were coming and going practically all the day, delivering their belongings. I felt for them; they still have boxes to empty and homes to find for many of their items.

Moving to a bungalow all those years ago seemed an odd choice, young as we then were, to our contemporaries, but it is paying dividends as our joints begin to creak a bit. And I always disliked cleaning stairs, so that has been a bonus.

Time and circumstances may tell. It could be that another move becomes necessary in the end but for now I am happy to be staying put.