Moving out

I’ve always been deeply suspicious of people who complain about how hard moving house is. I mean I once sat through an entire ‘Twilight’ movie, so I think I know a little about suffering and enduring hardship…and unless Hollywood has lied to me, moving house involves a rough 2 minute montage of people packing boxes, moving boxes and occasionally bumping into each other and then laughing about it, before heading off to watch some ‘salt of the Earth’ workers load all of your stuff into your new home. Doesn’t sound so hard.
Well Hollywood has lied to me…again! Because moving house does indeed suck…so Now I‘m No Expert But here is my advice to anyone considering moving.

Do you have small children?
If yes, then there’s your first big problem. Nothing impedes the process of emptying a house quite like having to regularly rush into another room to stop a child from; pulling something onto themselves, or wanting to play the game where they hide inside a box and you have to be surprised for the 800th time when they pop out, or trying to eat whatever has just been uncovered by moving the couch.
Also, if you’ve ever looked around your house and thought ‘man we have a lot of stuff!’…let me assure you that a very small proportion of that is actually yours…the rest belongs to your kids…and you are in for some incredibly guilt inducing looks/tears if you try to get rid of any of it.

Have you hired removalists?
If yes, well la-di-dah…it must be nice to have your disposable income!
I’m sorry, that wasn’t about you…that was about me and my issues. We did not get removalists in…and in hindsight getting some people who actually know what they’re doing and have to pay their own chiropractic bills…does have quite a bit going for it.
If you don’t have removalists, then you had better have some friends/family who are willing to help out. We were very lucky enough to have some great people who came over and helped with moving things, cooking things and stopping small things from crying the whole time. This was invaluable!

Have you hired a truck?
If you haven’t got removalists, then you will need a truck. If you have already hired a truck, then you will need a bigger one…seriously, you have a lot of stuff in your house and no-one wants to spend a day carting around small amounts of it, when you could get all the transporting done in one hit.
And speaking of hits, if you’re driving a truck along Murray Rd in Preston, there is a pole outside the Supermarket that sits out further than all the other poles…it costs about $100 to replace the side mirror…you will swear quite a bit.

If you think you’re 80% done…you’re actually only about 60%.
Every time you empty a room you will move out all the big things and feel as though you’re making swift progress…but it’s the litany of small things that will see you at 11.30pm surreptitiously dumping stuff into garbage bags.

Do you really need that?
If you haven’t used it or worn it in the last 12 months…then no you don’t. We are currently house sitting at a friend’s house for 6 weeks, and so I packed everything I could into a backpack and left the rest of my stuff at my parent’s house. It’s becoming pretty apparent that all I actually need is a back pack full of stuff. The rest is like local government elections…occasionally necessary, but you really could do without them.
However, there are a few exceptions to the ‘backpack rule’. The first is the coffee machine and grinder. If I had come down to choosing between packing the coffee machine & grinder or pants…let’s just say I would have been arriving at work pantsless…but highly caffeinated.
As the picture below shows, you can question my parenting…but never my dedication to coffee.

The second is the Thermomix…because you know…it’s good for making porridge for breakfast and cutting things up and stuff. But most importantly it means that your insistence on bringing the coffee machine suddenly doesn’t look so crazy.
Finally, a good set of knives. We have been lucky enough to stay in two houses so far with good knives…but you should never risk staying somewhere with crap knives. If you prepare food using crap knives it will eventually make you want to stab yourself…the only upside being, crap knives won’t pierce your skin.

Cut the kids some slack
If you do have young kids, there is every chance that this move is away from the only home they have ever known. So while you may be annoyed by the fact that the weather’s warming up and you can’t for the life of you find where your shorts have been packed, they are going to be going through an emotional upheaval equivalent to your first break-up. So ready yourself for some interrupted sleep, the occasional emotional outburst and a feeling of helplessness on your part…actually, come to think of it, this is EXACTLY like your first break up!

But, unless you’ve been evicted by your landlord (or an audience on Big Brother), you are probably moving out of your house for a good reason. You might be moving closer to the city, or further from the city, or renovating, or downsizing…whatever the case may be, you are following a dream of a better life, and moving out of your home is just the first step in thisĀ  journey.
It’s just a pity that this first step is straight onto a rake…which flicks up and smashes into both your head and genitals, leaving you dazed, in pain and wishing you’d never started this journey in the first place.


Moving back in with the folks

You know that dream that everyone has of being a grown adult and then moving back in with your parents…and bringing your partner and 3 kids? Sure you do…it’s right up there with that dream of having extensive dental work done, or having your brakes fail as you drive down a mountain. Well this weekend I get to live this dream, because we are moving out of our house for 6 months while we have renovations done.

This renovation has been on the cards for the last two years, so to be honest I still don’t 100% believe it is actually going to happen. But if everything goes to plan, this weekend we will pack everything into boxes and move to Ivanhoe to live for 6 months*. So what is this going to mean? Well for one thing, the ride to work is going to involve a few more hills…and significantly fewer protected bike paths. My Friday run to work may have to take a hiatus. And my wife is going to have to brave Bell St. every day to take our son to school. On the bright side it may mean we have ready access to babysitters…and Christ knows it’s a lot cheaper than renting. But what happens when you feel as though your parenting is being judged 24/7? What happens when you eat dinner at 5.30pm and your parents eat theirs at a normal grown up time? Cooking two dinners is insane…but then so is making the kids wait until 6.30pm to eat…and expecting adults to eat their dinner half an hour before they get home. What happens when you want to watch ‘Game of Thrones’ but your parents don’t like it… and there’s only one TV?!

Of course I’m seeing this from the perspective of someone who is returning to their familial home…I’ve spent more of my life in this home than anywhere else. But my wife is moving into a house she’s never lived in…and with two people she’s never lived with. And my parents have done the hard yards of parenting…they don’t want to be creeping around the house trying not to wake kids up, or living in the abject chaos of young kids (parenthood is awesome in hindsight and a nice place to visit…but no one wants to live there!).

On top of this is the joy of incurring a level of debt that could at best be described as ‘crippling’…and at worst ‘Greece’.
But like one of those poor bastards you see charging out of a trench in WWII, we are embarking on this trip together (my family that is…not you…you’re only here to feel better about yourself by reading about my misery). I am under no delusions about how hard this is going to be…and I know that there are going to be times when I just want to crawl into a corner and weep. But at the end we will have an amazing house that the entire family can grow up in, and who knows, in 30 years time one of my kids may be asking if they can move back in while they are getting their house renovated. It will be a truly wonderful and serendipitous moment when I can put my arm around them, hug them close and say ‘No…I’ve converted your room into my cycling room.’


*It is highly unlikely it will actually be 6 months…the smart money is on ‘the term of your natural life’.