I've never moved house before at a time when I carried any sort of responsibility.
Last time I moved, I was moving into our new place when James and I got married, so I chucked my clothes and books in a few boxes and my wonderful family moved the things into our unit while we were on our honeymoon. The time before that, I was 5. Almost 2 weeks ago now, we moved house. You'll be shocked to hear that we're not unpacked yet. Actually, if you've done this before and/or are any more savvy than me, scratch that! I think I approached this a bit naively. I mean, I'd heard it was stressful, but I thought I was done with that part of it when we settled on a new place and had paid the first 2 weeks of rent in advance. I had no idea!
So here's some info for anyone out there who's thinking of moving house any time in the future, who's as clueless about this as I am (if there are any of you in existence..!).
- Everything costs more than you think it will.
And things you think are free, are not. Like the awesome mail redirection service Australia Post offers. SUCH a good idea (and one I HIGHLY recommend - way less stressful than trying to remember every person/company who will send you anything via post in the next 6 months and letting them know you've moved!! This way you can let them know as they write to you and you remember you need to tell them!), but it's $45 for 6 months of redirection, not $0. And moving 5 minutes down the road, it turns out we're on a whole new phone grid or something, so Optus needed to change our number, and conveniently charge us a $55 number changing fee. And we're on a different type of internet on this side of the highway, so there was another $20 fee for that :P Just little things adding, adding, adding up!!! And to hire the truck, it was double what I thought it would be. AND they needed a $500 bond, which they took out of our account for 5 days. The didn't mention it when we booked, so it was a bit of a bank transfer scramble at the truck place - eek :S But save as much as you think you'll need, and then maybe triple it. It's really expensive! Even if you 'do it all yourself'.
- Packing. It's not as much fun as I thought it would be. It's not even fun, at all. In fact, I'd say it's UN-fun. And stressful. And you run out of time, and don't get to thoroughly sort through everything and organise it perfectly the way you think you will (I was actually looking forward to packing - ha!). Unless you're way more prepared than me and do it more in advance. Which is possible. But it's really stressful - how do I pack that without breaking it? Will those fit in that box? Will I need that in the next week? Etc.
- Unpacking IS fun!! At least, unpacking your kitchen is. Once you're down to 'study' and 'random' boxes it gets a little less fun. But unpacking my new kitchen has to be a highlight!! It was awesome, and I continue to get kicks out of it everytime I walk in there :) Now I just need to figure out how to turn the oven and stovetop on...
- The week after you move - the week you think you'll spend unpacking, cleaning and settling into your new home, you won't be. You'll be stressed to the max (this was the worst part of all for me!) trying to get the old house in order in time to hand it over - perfectly cleaned, any repairs done, etc. - you'll need to get it back in perfect order, and even if you're not a crazy person and you're generally clean, there is a lot to clean and maintain in a whole house!!! Even if it's a small 3 bedroom unit... :) Seriously, allow lots of time for cleaning. Like, all your time. I was blessed with my fabulous friend Stace and my Mum and Sister and James helping me out a lot. Did I mention there's a lot to do?? I could have saved myself all this cleaning for about $800 apparently, but did I mention how expensive moving is to begin with?!! Making sure the old place is perfect will probably also cost some unexpected cash!
- Never move with a newborn. Ever. Even if your awesome and very capable ex-removalist husband assures you that you won't have to lift a finger. Don't do it. Don't do it 9 months pregnant either. Just don't move with a newborn. Stay in your old house and just shuffle over so there's room for the new boy. Move later.
Look how miserable this girl is!! And she's not even newborn!
- When you call the electricity company the day before you move to switch over your power, they might laugh at you. The phone/internet companies tend to do the same. I'd call a week in advance. That way you might not be living in darkness for 48 hours after you move in. After having just been out of power for 3 days from floods/storms. You'll be much happier if you can turn on a light. Electricity is exciting! So call early!! :)
- Not everything is going to work/fit in rooms, in the same way that it did in your old house. Common sense? Well, you'd think so :p lol
- Despite what these people would have you believe, this is probably not how you'll look on moving day... :)
Anyway, I'm off to try and unpack some more... :p
Good luck!! :)