I haven't posted before about my experience moving house but now it's pretty much done, I have to say it was the most stressful move of my life. Moving house is always hellish but I can never remember having that much angst before.
We had a few things going against us:
- It was over Christmas/New Year
- Not having a car
- Not wanting to store anything unnecessary
When we decided to move, we looked into a few storage places then saw this place called Taxi Box. They bring storage boxes the size of a storage locker to your property, you load them up then they collect them. It all seemed so simple.
OMG. Firstly, they couldn't bring or pick up the boxes when we wanted them. I blame a lot of this on the time of year. So, we had to get (and pay for) the boxes a week early. They could only pick them up 4 days after we left but we figured they'd be safe behind the roller door of the driveway and we could just organise someone to let the pickup guy in.
Not so simple.
The boxes turned up (you can order as many as you like and only pay for the ones you use so we ordered three). They didn't fit under the roller door. It's like 8am on a Monday morning and we had to make a snap decision - tell him to take the boxes and leave or have our stuff sitting in the driveway unsecured while we were in another state.
We decided to go with the boxes but rebook our flight. That was a bit of a hefty charge right there.
To help with the security thing, the guy left the first box with the door right up against the roller door so it could only be accessed with the door up. That seemed good but, in practice, meant we had to take everything for the first box out the back of the house, the rest out the front. That proved to be a nightmare.
Added to that, we couldn't have the roller door up while Gemma-dog was in the yard.
So, we started sorting things. Sorting out your shit over Christmas really makes you realise what they mean by "it's better to give than receive" because I started to resent every gift I'd ever been given. Stuff I've never wanted or used now had to be disposed of.
We called all the charity collection places and none could pick up stuff until after we left. That thing about not having a car was beginning to suck because we couldn't even get rid of the bags of clothes. Our front room was filled with stuff that had to be thrown out or donated. And, because of the holidays, we got one less garbage collection than usual.
I ended up renting a car to be picked up from nearby and returned to the airport. Because we were taking Gem in her crate, we would have had to have a maxi taxi anyway and that would be like $70 or so. Plus we had to take her to the vet for the papers to fly to Tasmania which would be another $40 or more. So $100 for a car for 2 days seemed a viable option.
BUT we rented through THRIFTY. Don't even rent a car from them. I'm not even sure that what they do is legal. The end price was THREE TIMES the price we were quoted.
The day before we moved, one of our friends landed on the door step with take-away coffees and a trailer on his car. He now wins best friend ever. We managed to get all the stuff stacked into the boxes after a day of hard grunt work and mad tetris skillz. There were a few things we left out because it was too hard.
Then, halfway through, another friend turned up with fresh legs to help us.
You just don't want to know about the logistical nightmare of stacking those boxes but it was done and we just had to lock them up for pick up.
Or so we thought.
See the boxes had warped during the packing process somehow. We rearranged stuff in case the weight didn't work then rearranged some more. Finally, I have one side an all-mighty shove and we got the bolt done up.
The next day we started cleaning the house and getting shit done but found out there was a screw up with the rental car and we needed to get to the airport, stat. Damn shit, at least I avoided paying an extra day's car rental but it was maximum stress.
Luckily, the people at the airlines were super cool. It was 38C and we were freaking about Gem being in her crate but the staff were so lovely and the baggage/dog handlers came over to reassure us she was okay as we boarded.
Anyway, the whole process has taught me a few things:
- Never buy joke gifts for anyone and, if anyone buys me one, throw it straight in the bin. If you think something is funny, take a photo and send it instead.
- I never want to buy another material possession in my life. They just create a whole heap of obligations.
- I don't care if I'm the worst mother in the world, I threw out my son's school reports and some of his school photos. Those school photos are far too huge.
- Read all the fine print on a rental car contract. TBH I thought they'd charge me for the dog hair in the car but they didn't.
- Seriously, I am NEVER buying another material possession again!