They sort everything!
For many people moving home becomes one of the most stressful things to deal with during a lifetime, and it’s likely to happen more than once. Getting finance in place, selling your own property and navigating the highs and lows is enough to deal with, and then there’s the inevitable move itself. The sorting through of all your worldly belongings and packing them into a pile of boxes before facing the mammoth task of unpacking it all at the other end. If only there was someone who could just sort the entire move for you. Someone who could not only take away the stress but put the joy back in to what should be a happy occasion.
A KIND OF MAGIC
Meet Debbie Robinson and Charlotte Hepworth from Henley, two ladies who were once referred to as ‘fairy godmothers’. These friends co-own Home Move Consultants, who, as their website says, ‘offer a high-end management service that leaves you free to concentrate on the things that matter to you most in your personal and professional life.’ This already sounds like the stuff of fairytales – they’ve certainly created a few happy ever-afters.
“We met at school four or five years ago,” explains Debbie. “Our children are best friends. We hit it off straight away. We’d both given up full time work to be with the children and so we threw ourselves into doing bits for the PTA and found we worked really well together.”
Admitting that neither of them are particularly “coffee morning mums”, they set to thinking how they could put their skills to good use: “We chatted about what we could do that people would normally outsource; what’s stressful, what people will pay to have someone else do that they don’t like doing themselves,” she continues.
Charlotte confesses to being a serial mover, having had at least seven different properties she’s called ‘home’. “What I found in all of my moves is that doing it led to all the excitement being lost along the way. By the time it’s almost over and you’re sitting in your new living room among hundreds of boxes it disappears. You’re exhausted, you can’t wait to empty that final box but by the time you get to it you’ve had enough and it ends up in the attic.”
What the Home Move Consultants aim to do is actually help their clients keep the excitement of their new shiny home. “And it’s so easy to do because it’s all project management and when it’s not our emotional move, it’s relatively easy for us to get organised and make decisions,” Debbie explains.
WHITE GLOVE SERVICE
The two fairy godmothers have every detail covered, from stocking your fridge for your return to ensuring your new
Have you ever wished you could just wave a magic wand and your house move happens like magic? We spoke to
two ladies who can make your dreams come true
home already has WIFI. Yes, they of course take care of your decluttering, packing, cleaning and transporting your possessions, it’s the extra mile that gets you what you pay for. “In truth, this is not the kind of service that everyone would have because there is obviously a premium to be paid having someone take it off your hands,” Charlotte admits.
“If it was me,” she continues, “I would want somebody to book my holiday, find somewhere for the pets, organise the kids to go away for a weekend.” Those are just three of the many headaches they handle. Then it’s the big questions: what would their clients most want to come back from holiday to? What would be a luxury? “If we know someone is particularly into wine we have a wine master who will help us choose one. Recently we included a bottle of what the couple had on their wedding day. We called their hotel in Greece to find out what it was and left it for them as a surprise.”
Charlotte points out they always knew it was going to be a bespoke service. “We weren’t going to have a ‘menu’ with a list dictating what you can choose from.” Since setting up they’ve added many contacts to their little black book, there are even some they have yet to call upon: “We have someone who can look after vintage cars, even people who can put artwork into temperature controlled storage. We wanted to make sure we had all the right connections so whatever is asked of us we can fulfill.”
These two mums seem to have the work-life balance sorted out and as the little ones grow up it means Charlotte and Debbie can focus more on potentially expanding internationally. However, it’s not just the success of the business that brings the most reward: “It’s been more than we hoped it would be, because when we see our clients’ faces when they walk into their homes and everything’s unpacked, the pictures are on the wall, the favourite toys are on the bed for the children, there’s a fridge full of food and wine, it gives such a sense of satisfaction,” says Debbie.
“It’s given us everything we want really,” adds Charlotte. “When we look at what we set out to achieve in terms of something we could do together, that would fit into family life, it’s a lucky position to be in. We keep having to pinch ourselves.”
Find out more at www.homemoveconsultants.co.uk
‘We weren’t going to have a ‘menu’ dictating what you can choose from’
ABOVE: Have a holiday and find the fridge stocked and everything gleaming in your new home
Debbie and Charlotte take the stress out of a home move
ABOVE: Come home to this... all sorted by ‘the magic fairies’