Getting ready for our year-long trip to Spain, we’ve just moved into the in-laws’ granny flat to save money and get rid of stuff. The lease at our old place had come to an end and in many ways it’s a blessing we didn’t head straight into our trip after this move, as I just realised/remembered how stressful the whole process is. I think moving is utterly hideous, as least the way we did it.
Others seem to agree, as the UK’s Telegraph suggests “perhaps removal firms should provide scotch” when moving. News.com.au reports “preparing is the key to having a stress-free move”. Well, we didn’t have much of a choice there, as I had a family tragedy, my mother-in-law’s birthday and my partner’s best friend’s wedding to attend in February, all back-to-back before we returned and had about a week to get the hell out.
We also thought that cleaning ourselves was the smart thing to do, as it would save us a few pennies. However I almost ended up breaking my back scrubbing walls for four 12-hour days, just for the agent to come in and say it wasn’t up to standard and charge us $350 for cleaning.
To add to our calamity, cyclone Marcia was raging further north and Byron Bay had torrential rain and cyclonic winds, power lines were down and roads were blocked – all during the weekend we moved. Yep, we stupidly moved everything ourselves in the rain. The real estate agent then decided to charge us an extra $75 for the backyard as it looked flattened.
The next day, we discovered (through word of mouth) we’d gotten the worst property manager in town. She has a reputation for never giving a full bond back. Ever.
Thinking I’d try and stop this lady taking half of Byron Bay for a ride, I called the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to see where we stood and found it would be a protracted process to argue our case. Nikki and I were that emotionally exhausted after our long month that we started virtually screaming at the real estate agent.
What made things worse was that when we spoke to friends they were like “really? You cleaned yourself? Why not just use a cleaner recommend by the agent? Then you can’t lose.” Hmmm, well it seems we weren’t that smart, as saving a few pennies is totally not worth the hassle. I can tell you though, I will never be cleaning a house again. Ever.
My advice – get someone to do it all for you. ALL OF IT.
We were that over feeling negative by this point that the next day I rang the lady to apologise for barking at her. We decided to just cop it on the chin, move on and focus on the positive things in our life. Things had gotten so ridiculous I just had to laugh. I felt like watching the late, great Richard Pryor again in Moving.
Anyway, it turns out we were in rent credit so we ended up getting more back than we thought. Also, we’re now living in Byron Bay itself and I’ve since been doing the ‘lighthouse walk’ in the morning, topped off by a coffee and a read in what’s become my favourite café – The Pass Cafe. In case you’re unawares, this walk offers (often at a minimum) dolphins, sunshine, translucent water, lots of birds, beautiful-looking people and jaw-droppingly good views.
I then started thinking about why we just moved. We’re going to Spain for a year in three months time. And, we’ve gotten rid of a lot of things and it feels great. Really great.
Chuck your stuff I say!
What have your experiences been like with moving? Do you think it’s as heinous as I’ve described here? I’d love to hear your thoughts.