Monday, 31 October 2016

Moving!

Two weekends ago we moved house, from Abbotsford to Brunswick East. This is our fourth move since arriving in Melbourne back in 2013, and hopefully our last one. Moving is the biggest pain! Packing, arranging movers and an end-of-lease clean (complete with steam cleaning of carpets, which all rentals here seem to require), changing addresses, and then the first few weeks of getting into new routines. It's exhausting, and even more so with a one-year-old. But we survived, mostly thanks to our friends who helped out on the day and our lovely 'man with a van'.

Our move was scheduled for 9am Saturday morning, and the whole week prior I was stressed that we weren't going to get all the packing done. I like to feel completely packed and organised when the movers arrive so that the actual "moving" part is seamless and organised. Luckily on Friday, which is a day off from work for me, I managed to get Ella into an extra day of daycare. As you can imagine, packing is extra hard with a toddler around, who's favourite game at the moment is to take things OUT of boxes. Um, you're missing the point here Ella! I managed to get heaps of packing done with her out of the way, and even had time to pick Ella up early and take her to the park to meet with my mother's group, who I already miss. The two days I've been home this week I've really noticed that I don't have any mum friends in the area to call on to go for a walk or to the park, which is a bit sad.

Anyway, on our way home I ran into one of our neighbours, Jill, who we've become friendly with since living in Abbotsford. Jill and her husband Brendan have two kids, age 7 and 9, who are absolutely delightful and love to play with Ella now that she is a bit older. Jill offered to watch Ella for a little while while I went to get some more packing done. 20 minutes later, Brendan was knocking on our door, and I immediately thought he was coming to return our child. But he was actually just seeing if we wanted to join them for dinner! We gratefully accepted, as all our dishes were already packed and we were just planning on getting take-away for dinner, and of course because we really enjoy their company! We had a great dinner with their family, complete with a few too many glasses of wine, and I felt really sad that we were moving away from the area again. This was the first place we've lived in both Melbourne and London that I feel like we've really got to know our neighbours, and it is such a nice thing to come home and stop and chit chat with them. We've promised to stay in touch so Andy and I are planning on inviting them round for dinner once we are settled so that we don't lose the connection.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early to get those last few "things" into boxes. It's funny how you can feel like you are almost finished packing for a LONG time. Stuff just seems to appear out of nowhere. We did try to have a big clear out before moving, selling and donating what seemed like a lot, but we still seem to have acquired so much. I have this fantasy of one day being a super happy minimalist, unconcerned with material items, but I've got a far way to go before achieving that status yet.

Saying goodbye to her first house!
Goodbye!
I found a man with a van via the website Airtasker. It's kind of like an Airbnb or Uber, but for odd jobs. So I posted a job for a mover and van for a 2bed house, and then others wrote back saying how much they would charge to do it. Like Airbnb and Uber, there is a two-way rating system, so I could read the ratings on the movers and then choose the one I thought would work best for us. We also did this for our end-of-lease cleaning. For both jobs I didn't necessarily choose the cheapest labour, but rather a combination of what I thought was a fair rate and the person's rating. I was a bit nervous as it was my first time using Airtasker, but I have to say that both of the guys we hired to help us were excellent. Walide was our mover, and he was just super nice and easy going, while also being efficient and careful with our stuff. Our cleaner did a fantastic and very thorough job, and we were told that our landlord was thrilled with the condition we left the house in and we got our full bond back with no problems. Yay!

Charlotte and Adam arrived soon after Walide to help as well. The first thing Charlotte and I did was take Ella for a quick walk down the Yarra river to see the farm animals for the last time. (sob!) We then went to the bakery at Abbotsford Convent to get breakfast and coffees for everyone. By the time we got back Andy, Adam and Walide had loaded most of the big stuff into the van and drove our first load off at the new house. What a great moving day for me so far, all I had to do was occupy Ella and get everyone food and drinks! Not bad. The second load was pretty quick and we had it all moved in by the early afternoon.

We were all hungry again by then, so headed over to Ceres Environmental Park, which is just around the corner from our new place. There is a cafe there called The Merri Table (named after the Merri Creek, which is a branch of the Yarra River. Ceres is focused on sustainability, and I'm looking forward to exploring it more over the coming months. 

So now that I’ve finally got around to finishing off this post, we’ve been in our new place for two weeks. We are just about finished unpacking and sorting the place out. We have a lot more space but luckily we didn’t have to buy any new furniture. Our biggest new house purchase was baby gates for the stairs. Ella is LOVING the stairs and constantly wants to walk up and down them, assisted by us of course. It gets pretty old after your third round up and down them! I think she’s pretty annoyed we’ve blocked them off now, she tries to walk through the gates and shakes them trying to get through. 


The biggest hassle at the moment is that Ella’s daycare is a 25-30 minute drive from home, depending on traffic. So on the three days that I work she spends an hour in the car, which isn’t ideal. I am trying to find her a daycare closer to home but getting a daycare spot in Melbourne is quite a challenge, especially this time of year. If we are lucky we will get into one in January, when I start working four days a week (eek!) Thankfully we both only have 7 weeks of work left until summer holidays - and that means 7 weeks until we go to California for Christmas with my family, yay!

Our new home in Brunswick East