Moving house is the seventh level of hell. We moved in May and I am still recovering. It had been so long since the last time that I had forgotten the work and stress involved.
Right from the beginning, let me advise anyone else planning this elective nightmare that the correct formula is ‘How long you think it will take x 3’. Belongings will be your worst enemy.It all started innocently enough. We began by boxing up items and nicely labelling the boxes. When we got them to the new house, we unpacked them and put the contents away. Hey, this was a breeze!
Three weeks later, it was a completely different story. I had formed a close, personal relationship with Miracle Brokers and they, in turn, had become experts in dismantling and assembling furniture. Every time I thought we were making a dent in the process, I remembered another drawer, closet or cupboard that hadn’t yet been tackled. There were so many books, DVDs, CDs and yes, tapes.
Who knew we had two blenders? And enough candles to start our own spa?
When you have to move house, you realise it isn’t the big items that are an issue, it’s the small, bitty stuff. Little dishes, stocking stuffers from 10 years ago, tchotchkes… They always say that if you haven’t thought about something or looked at it in six months, you should get rid of it. I was finding the opposite to be true. These were the hidden treasures – it was like Christmas all over again. I spent hours trying to make decisions on each one at a time. I had forgotten about that pair of shoes that I loved. I couldn’t walk in them immediately because they were pretty high and my feet were plump, but I was sure I would be back in them, dancing at the nightclubs. I couldn’t possibly give them up.
As the deadline loomed for everything to be out of our previous residence, panic set in. I had Miracle Brokers on speed dial. We no longer had time to unpack boxes at the new place, which meant we were now out of containers. Anything that could hold goods was utilised. Bags from past cruises, laundry baskets and igloos were filled with jeans of all sizes, endless Christmas decorations and makeup, makeup and more makeup. On the last night, we were just throwing things into industrial garbage bags (get the big lawn bags with reinforced sides or you’ll discover expletives in your vocabulary you never knew existed). I was cutting old fairy lights off the trees in the garden at around 6pm while slowly becoming a mosquito buffet and took huge bags of garbage to the skips under cover of night like a serial killer.
By the time I got to our new place with everything finished, it was 10pm and I looked like a swamp monster. To add insult to injury, I thought the alarm was going off in the house and I eventually had to call the security company to help me sort it out. After much investigation, we found it to be an old battery-powered karaoke microphone at the bottom of one of the many moving bags. Some books had shifted and landed on its buttons. It was whining its protest. Not at all embarrassing.
So, in conclusion, my advice to anyone considering moving is to give yourself a lot of time, have plenty of boxes, and keep the karaoke microphones in plain sight.