Three quick tips for moving house with a nut allergy

I thought I had my head round the fact that nut allergies have a far reaching impact on family life. Then I moved house last Friday. I hadn’t given a second thought to the “nut allergy considerations” of the move. Frankly, I had enough to think about organising removals companies, change of address letters and the like, given we had a little over a week between exchange and completion.

So this is just a very quick note to mention three points which took me unawares, in case they are handy for anyone to bear in mind when moving house (or even when renting a holiday cottage or similar):

  1. Moving into the kitchen: what’s been in those food cupboards before? What’s been cooked in that oven? There was a study last year that concluded “Peanut allergen is very robust”, having discovered that peanut residue stays on a surface for 110 days. So stock up on cleaning products and allow yourself extra scrubbing time!
  2. Our new house has a second house in the garden. It’s not so much a bird table, more of a bird annexe. It’s monstrous. Did I think to check for hanging bags of peanuts beforehand? Nope. Obviously, this was something for us to check (and not something you’d ever expect a seller to think about). However, had we thought on about this, it would have been very easy to ask the seller to take any bird feed with them. (For other unexpected sources of peanut, see this handy list on
  3. Got a nut allergic child, maintain a nut free home, right? Whilst unpacking a box, I found a half eaten chocolate chip cookie among the packing paper. We haven’t had chocolate chip cookies since those days of blissful ignorance pre-peanut allergy diagnosis, when my one-year-old would eat Maryland choc chip and hazelnut cookies like they were going out of fashion. It hadn’t occurred to me to mention my son’s nut allergy to the removals men… or about them snacking as they worked. Next time, I’ll remember to mention the need to keep the house a nut free zone. Not that we’re ever moving, ever again…

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