When we first arrived in London, I found myself super anxious. It finally hit me that we are doing this! I took a deep breath and referred back to my check-in list and quickly went to work.
Step 1: Assess the living space at No.18 Jansons Road. (This is a new addition to the original check-in list.)
The house in London is three floors. The main floor is the half bath, kitchen, living room, kitchen table, & access to the patio, the second floor has two bedrooms & a full bath, and the third floor has a bedroom & full bath on-suite. We considered all our options and decided it was best to give Katie** the third floor. We knew we would all need separate spaces and thought it would be good to provide Katie a space away from the Brown family (we can be intense). Our family took the second-floor bedrooms and bath to share.
Once we settled on how we would use living space, we took full advanced of moving furniture around. Jim and I both needed a workspace, so we moved furniture to accommodate our needs. There was a desk in the bedroom Jim & I would share, so Jim took that. We moved a dresser from Nolan’s bedroom into our bedroom as my desk.
Perfect-O we are home!
**For those less familiar with our family, Katie is our nanny, though I don’t like calling her that as she is really part of our family by now. Because Jim and I are continuing to work while we travel, Katie is with us to help with Nolan in the evenings.
Step 2: Get the suitcases unpacked ASAP!
Once settled on living space, unpacking took me about 30 mins. All our clothes in drawers or hung up, bathroom toiletries put away, and suitcases packed away. I also settled Nolan into his bedroom including; setting up his sound machine, stuffed animals, finding a toys basket, and placing books on the nightstand.
While I was unpacking, Jim was assessing the wireless network, getting the Xbox set up, and connecting all the iPads to the wireless as well as setting up the charging stations in the house.
Finally, I’ve come to just accept that for me to be comfortable and feel at home, I need to know where “things” go. Everything always has a place and even while traveling, I feel unsettled if things are in there “place.” So as part of with settling in, I find a place for our family schedule whiteboard & shopping list, placed my books on my nightstand, found laundry baskets, sunscreen & house key station, and determined where shoes will go.
Step 3: Set up our workspace.
See Step 1 related to locating workspace. After we had our “desks” moved into the bedroom, I then set up my workspace, as did Jim. I only have my laptop, but I unpacked my notebook, notebook, etc and packed away my book bag. Jim brought his monitor, keyboard, trackpad, so he set up his workspace and we made sure we had the power station set up and working properly between us.
Step 4: Verify the coffee situation … a few other things.
Ok, ok, I expanded this, but first and foremost, I did find the coffee machine.
I found a lovely French press, a tea kettle, and coffee — SCORE. As a small side note, for those that know me well, you will not be surprised to know that I will be traveling with coffee between cities to ensure that there is always at least coffee when we arrive in a new city. Bread, milk, eggs — those can all wait, but coffee is important.
I also assessed the amenities of the house; sheets, towels, dish towels, toilet paper, paper towels, kitchen supplies (pots, pans, knives, dishes, containers, etc.) washer/dryer, iron, laundry machine, dish soap, laundry soap, hand soap, window & fans, cleaning supplies
Step 5: Make a shopping list and run to store.
The initial shopping list included the basics to get us started; milk, eggs, bacon, bread, cereal, cream, fruits & veggies, yogurt, laundry soap, paper towels, toilet paper, meat & cheese for lunches, chips, peanuts, Ziploc baggies, and I let Nolan pick out a couple snacks.
We purchased a few items to feel a home, including:
- (3) baskets; two for laundry and one for Nolan’s toy bin.
- A Candle for my desk
- (2) additional single charge outlets
- Blow Dryer
- Coffee Cup
After the first night, we also decided to purchase 2 fans for each of the bedrooms and Jim really wanted a top flat sheet.
In general, we’ve decided that even though we are on traveling, we aren’t going to deprive ourselves of feeling at home, so if there is something small that makes us more comfortable, we are just going to buy it.
Step 6: Research and create a running map.
I used Runkeeper to look at the area around our house and plan a 4-mile loop. Not having any idea where I was, street names, or landmarks, it was a little unnerving to just head out on my first run.
For my first run, I did go out earlier in the day, so I had plenty of daylight in case I got lost. Jim got us all Travel ID bracelets, but I also took my ID & credit card in case I needed to hop a cab back home. I was super slow on my first run because I had to stop like ten times to look at the map, but I made it – 4-miles in about 39 mins.
I’m hoping I get faster as I get more comfortable with the route.
Welcome to No. 18 Jansons Road.
1st Floor: Entry
1st Floor: Kitchen
1st Floor: Living & Dining
2nd Floor: Nolan’s Bedroom
2nd Floor: Jim & Kathy’s Bedroom / Workspace
2nd Floor: Brown Family Bathroom
3rd Floor: Katie’s Room