Monthly Archives: June 2015

10 things you should know when moving house.

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Any poor soul who has ever packed up and moved houses, understands why it’s one of the top 10 most stressful events of someone’s life.

Why would anyone CHOOSE to put themselves through this? And more than once?

I must be crazy!

Each time I move, I learn something new about myself, my family and those around me. It’s almost an interesting social experiment ( I said ALMOST) . If only it wasn’t so damn hard.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering moving to a new house:

  1. Be prepared for H-E-L-L. Sorry, there’s no way to sugar coat this. Moving house doesn’t get to the prestigious position as one of the top listings for stressful life events for nothing. But as the saying goes…” If you’re going through hell, keep going” . Get used to the chaos. If you’re like me, and unorganisation makes you fidgety and anxious…you might need to update your valium prescription. Or buy a blindfold. Or just accept that your living quarters are going to be a crazy mess for a while. If you get the keys to your new premises before you have to vacate your old one, you could possibly have 2 chaotic homes at once. What joy! The fun of going backwards and forwards with carloads of saucepans and towels is always something to look forward to.
  2. It’s EXPENSIVE! No matter how much you think it’s going to cost to hire a truck, clean your old property, come up with a bond on the new one, and buy some paint to cover the scuff marks on the walls, the juggling of bills will be a tricky feat for a few weeks until you settle into a new schedule. Don’t forget utilities charge disconnection and reconnection fees too. Then there may be the added cost of some takeaway meals because your fridge has been turned off, your saucepans are packed and the kids still insist on eating.
  3. Get reliable furniture removalists. Especially if you value your writing desk and don’t want the top ripped off by idiots trying to jam it into their truck ( The resounding crash off the back of the truck was like fingernails on a chalkboard) . Or you don’t like the idea of watching them squeeze your comfy leather recliner through the small front door when there’s a larger doorway access not 5 steps away. I was petrified to inspect my precious grandmother’s china cabinet on arrival for fear it would be in 58 pieces.
  4. You’ll be surprised at so much junk. You will be surprised how much crap you can accumulate in even a short space of time. We were only at the current property for 3 years, but somehow we managed to accumulate 3 square metres of stuff to cram into a skip bin. How is that even possible? Did we really need to keep the 1970’s Tupperware lids leftover from Aunt Flo’s picnic? And where did all those shopping bags come from? They surely multiply in my cupboards when I have my back turned because I KNOW I haven’t saved that many.
  5. You can never have too many boxes. When you look at your possessions and decide how many boxes you need to beg, borrow and steal, to stuff it all into, you will more than likely need to double it. You will have more junk than you think you do! Most of it is probably hidden away in cupboards and you can’t bear to throw it away even though it hasn’t seen daylight in 20 years. You never know when that peach taffeta ruffled number from your Year 12 Formal, will circle back into fashion. And when it does, you’ll be ready and looking luscious.
  6. Open inspections mean a house of disaster. If you have to tolerate these at the same time as moving, I sympathise with you. I used to get quite anxious that people would be going through my house while it wasn’t looking it’s best. Have you moved your furniture recently and seen all the dust bunnies? I also felt that I had to hide my valuables in case someone’s hands got itchy.
  7. Where does it all fit? OK, so you have moved all your treasures, now what? Where in the world can you jam them? Anyone who has moved in the last 6 months, will most likely still have un-packed boxes hiding in the garage or being used as coffee tables.
  8. Cleaning the old place is BORING! You’re now living in a lovely new space, enjoying rearranging and decorating. Who wants to revisit your old haunt and have to clean up those afore-mentioned dust bunnies, spiderwebs, and weed infested gardens? Sigh…hire a company to come and do the dirty work if you can. They can provide an invoice if you’re renting to prove you’ve made a professional effort.
  9. Neighbours don’t welcome you or bring hot food anymore. Yes, you’re on your own. My tip…make up some meals to freeze during that messy time when you don’t know which box your plates and sauce are in. Chuck plastic forks in you handbag! Or you’ll quickly be making friends with your new neighbourhood takeaways.
  10. As soon as you move in, make sure all your utilities and HOT water work. I found this out the hard way and have currently been without hot water for 5 days and I am about to rip off someone’s head if it’s not fixed today. 5 am drives in my dressing gown to my old property for a hot shower on a 7 degree morning, does NOT make me a happy lady.

See, I told you: H-E-L-L. Stressful, Exhausting, and Boring…but once it’s all over, you get to enjoy a new space, and put your personal touch on it. It’s almost as good as a holiday. And almost as expensive!

I am off to find which box my napkin rings are hiding in, in case I need to host an emergency dinner party with my new neighbours.

To move or not to move, that is the question.

 

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Tackling kids and life in general when you’re a Divorced Super Mum, has countless challenges. Such as hiding your favourite chocolate from suddenly bionic ears, and cooking a four course meal for five, from a luxury of $5.

Sometimes you need to consider changes to your home and lifestyle that might simplify your daily life, or finances. That’s where I am at. At the end of every pay fortnight, when we are counting slices of bread for school lunches, and coffee grains into my morning cup of sanity, I tell myself: “There must be an easier way.”

Well for me there were two option: Stay in the house I am renting, and continue to pay ridiculous amounts of money for my son to go to Out Of School Hours care before and after school, AND drive an extra hour each day to get him to and from there, OR I could move houses, and try to get him into a closer school.

Easy decision it would seem?

HMM Not so much. It took me 12 months to convince son to move schools to start with. Then we found out that the process of enrolling him in chosen school was not going to be so easy. Hang on, we live in the school zone and it’s a public school, shouldn’t that mean he can just walk in the gate and sit down at a desk? Apparently not so around here. They are overflowing with students due to poor Government planning in a new housing area. So we are waiting, waiting, on a list…

I decide to help things along by looking at a property immediately around said school. By around, I mean directly opposite. Son would only have to walk out the front gate , then 10 steps to the school crossing. For those of you who are cringing at the thought of living within 10 kilometres of a school ( all those annoying kids and cranky mums at school pick-up time), I realised it didn’t really matter because when it’s busy at school time, I won’t be there. I’ll be at work at another school an hour away! Besides, instead of facing an ugly school, it’s the middle townhouse overlooking a beautiful reserve. Sigh…lovely. I can enjoy the beautiful garden that I don’t have to maintain or pay for.

Open inspection day: Son and I wander through, LOVE the property! Dishwasher included. Winner, winner. Decide to apply.

PANIC!

Oh. My. God. Do I really want to go through moving house again? Or would I rather have a root canal with a blind dentist? Hmm a toss up.

Saving some money, less driving time each day, and less stress= Moving house is unfortunately the winner.

Now to apply: Filling out the paperwork is like completing a personal dossier on my life. I was waiting for them to ask what brand of toilet paper we use. I am not trying to BUY the house, just rent it! Just heap a little more stress onto the pile while I open up my life for inspection.

Well the agent ( who looked young enough to be one of my own children) liked my handbag, and my referees must have lied successfully, as I have been accepted on the new property!

So, call me crazy…but we’re moving house in 3 weeks! ARGH! If you’ve ever moved house with kids, you’ll know why I am breaking into a sweat simply thinking about all the rubbish we have to go through, sort, and attempt to get them to throw away. Actually by ‘them’ I mean my 12 year old hoarder son.

Then there’s the “Yeh mum we’ll help you”, with earphones plugged in while I pack a household around them.

Sigh…what have I done? Maybe I should have voted for the root canal and the blind dentist after all.

If you haven’t seen me in a couple of weeks, look for the mountain of boxes and the delirious woman, that’ll be me. Send food. Or more boxes.