I’m sure most of my readers have moved home at least once in their lives. Well I am about to undertake what will be my fourth move in five years in the coming weeks. It really is a sickeningly stressful thing to do even once, much less four times in such a short period of time, but we shall persevere. Why am I moving? Well I live in a small town, a very small town. You know when a fly goes to the toilet on your national roadmap, and leaves a tiny mark? That’s the town I live in, and no it’s not to scale, that’s the town, literally. It’s a town where they took their one horse out behind a cow shed, and beat it to death with boxes of teabags.
So imagine my joy when my Partner in Crime, and I were offered a beautiful townhouse in a town much closer to Dublin City. A town with a nightlife. A town with actual shops. A town with an exceptional public transport connection. A town which was never buried at a crossroads, with a stake through its heart.
But of course that means we have to move, and now the stress starts. But after moving so many times we have some pearls of wisdom to share with my loyal readers, some of whom will probably find themselves moving soon, if they’re not in fact in the process of moving right now.
- Pack early. We all gather possessions, it’s a natural thing to do. But those possessions can be nothing short of a nightmare to pack away if you leave it ’til the last moment. So pack early, you don’t have to pack everything, but make a start with those small things you don’t use very often, and as moving day approaches pack more of the things you use occasionally, until the night before you move you can finally pack everything that’s left.
- Get help. Seriously, get help. The first two times I moved in this cycle of “not staying one place very long” my PiC and I did most of the heavy lifting essentially alone. We had help to empty boxes, and arrange the apartments, but the loading and unloading was largely done by ourselves. BIG MISTAKE! Neither of our backs has been the same since. Get help, bully, blackmail, offer sexual favours. Whatever it takes.
- Don’t move at the last-minute, plan it ahead. Not just to have time to move everything, and have it arrive in one piece. But also so that you’ll have the time needed to clean your old place properly, to touch up the paint anywhere that’s been marked, tidy the garden. Basically you want to get your deposit back, right? Well it’s going to take a few hours of hard work to get your old place back to standard, so make sure you have the time you need.
- Remember you’re going to argue. It’s just stress, don’t take it to heart. My PiC, and I have had some really nasty sniping sessions during our various moves. The thing is nothing we said was really meant, or actually real for that matter. Moving is stressful, and stress makes you angry. So just remember that when you find yourself sitting in your new home ignoring one another, wondering how much a divorce would cost.
- Make a list. Not just a list of items to move, or not as the case may be. But also a list of utility bills to be redirected, which banks need a change of address form, even moving your television service. It all takes time, and it all needs to be planned out.
- Buy boxes. Sometimes boxes from a supermarket will work for you. But more often than not they’ll just fall apart under any real stress. IKEA does a line of absolutely brilliant cardboard boxes, which are cheap enough to be extremely affordable, and tough enough to survive being filled, unfilled and refilled several times.
Well in a few more weeks our latest move will be over. I have to admit that I’m dreading it. But I just have to keep reminding myself that when it’s done I’ll be living in a really gorgeous house, and in a much better situation for both myself, and my PiC. So for now it’s just a case of soldiering through all the crap coming our way, cos it’s bread and butter today, but tomorrow there’s jam, and the day after…chocolate spread. Yummy!