Moving to London is a multi-layered process with one critical component being your London apartment search. The London Relocation agency is comprised of expat experts who can answer all your questions concerning a relocation to London—the London property market, local culture, UK visas, etc. As so much of London housing is dominated by Victorian-era architecture, I decided to supplement your relocation knowledge with some historical context. In Part 1 of my “Moving to London – London Apartment Search, Victorian Style” mini-series, I shared with you some primary considerations in “taking a house” per The Pocket Enquire Within: A guide to the Niceties and Necessities of Victorian domestic life. This 1856 book was an essential reference for Victorian society in maintaining a healthy and proper way of life, from domestic roles and responsibilities to socializing to home remedies and all-around self-betterment. Today, I bring to you a continuation of this good ol’ Victorian advice on “Household Management,” which factors in practical considerations along with a healthy dose of Victorian moralizing :
HAVING CONSIDERED THESE material and leading features [see my Part 1 for said features], examine the house in detail, carefully looking into its state of repair; notice the windows that are broken; whether the chimneys smoke; whether the paper on the walls is damaged, especially in the lower parts, and the corners, by the skirtings; whether the locks, bolts, handles of doors, and window fastenings are in proper condition; make a list of the fixtures; ascertain whether all rent and taxes were paid up by the previous tenant, and whether the party from whom you take the house is the original landlord, or his agent or tenant. And do not commit yourself by the signing of any agreement until you are satisfied upon all these points, and see that all has been done which the landlord had undertaken.
IF YOU ARE ABOUT TO FURNISH A HOUSE, do not spend all your money; be it much or little. Do not let the beauty of this thing, and the cheapness of that, tempt you to buy unnecessary articles. Doctor Franklin’s maxim was a wise one – “Nothing is cheap that we do not want.” Buy merely enough to get along with at first. It is only by experience that you can tell what will be the wants of your family. If you spend all your money, you will find you have purchased many things you do not want, and have no means left to get many things which you do want. If you have enough, and more than enough, to get everything suitable to your situation, do not think you must spend it all, merely because you happen to have it. Begin humbly. As riches increase, it is easy and pleasant to increase in comforts; but it is always painful and inconvenient to decrease. After all, these things are viewed in their proper light by the truly judicious and respectable. Neatness, tastefulness, and good sense may be shown in the management of a small household, and the arrangement of a little furniture, as well as upon a larger scale; and these qualities are always praised, and always treated with respect and attention. The consideration which many purchase by living beyond their income, and, of course, living upon others, is not worth the trouble it costs. The glare there is about this false and wicked parade is deceptive; it does not, in fact, procure a man valuable friends, or extensive influence.
Hm, methinks we struck a nerve with our fine Victorian narrator. I get the impression that household spending is a soapbox this particular author loved to preach upon time and again…
Regardless, it is good advice and important to consider when you’re furnishing your new apartment. Many (if not most) apartment rentals do come furnished, but you might still have some odds and ends to pick up. For more contemporary advice on sorting out furnishings for your international relocation (such as whether to ship stuff you already have from home and where to buy new stuff here), see my post, “London Flat-Finding: Furnished or Unfurnished?” as well as “London Relocation’s Top 5 – Money Matters” for additional spending advice where cost of living and cost savings are concerned. Your London Relocation agent can, of course, expand on all of these practical matters, so don’t hesitate to call the London Relocation agency or contact them via their online web form!