Sitting here surrounded by cardboard boxes, I have decided to procrastinate instead and share with you some useful vocabulary if you are moving house in France, or surrounded by a French spouse/in-laws/friends/neighbours…

The first step of course is to find the house of your dreams (trouver la maison de vos rêves), and for this you have to visit a local estate agency (une agence immobilière), whether you are renting or buying (c’est pour louer ou acheter?). If you are renting, you usually need to give three months’ notice to your landlord (donner un préavis de 3 mois à votre propriétaire – often shortened to proprio).

To finalise your purchase you will have to go to a solicitor (un notaire)… and then it’s time for packing (c’est l’heure de faire les cartons!)

You’ll need to wrap (emballer) your books (vos livres), your pans (vos casseroles et poêles) in bubble wrap (le papier à bulles), book a removal company (des déménageurs), and sort through your belongings (faire le tri) – no, you really do not need to keep three staplers just in case (trois agrafeuses au cas où).

When the moving day comes (le jour du déménagement), you will be able to unpack in your new home (déballer les cartons) but not before a compulsory argument (une dispute) while you are attempting to put flat pack furniture together (essayer de monter du mobilier en kit)…

Déménager is part of the same word family as un ménage, household, and also le ménage (housework), and la ménagerie! Déménager à la cloche de bois means to leave your house without warning the landlord… or paying the rent!

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