moving in

sadly these weren't my movers... although one of mine had better arms
It's been five days since I picked up the keys to my new apartment... it's been a chaotic five days, involving a lot of heavy objects, a lot of stairs and a number of new items of furniture. But five days later I only have four moving boxes to unpack out of a total of 30.

So I'm definitely ahead of the game.

This apartment block could not be more different from my old one. While I have seen a number of my neighbours (more so on moving day), I really haven't heard them very much at all. There's the occasional bit of noise as you would expect from an apartment block, but other than that it's been serene. So I'm loving the hell out of that.

I am having to get used to the fact that the living room is much darker than the old house... and for a period of time in the afternoons the sun directly hits the living room window, which will be awesome in winter for warming the apartment, but doesn't work quite as well in summer.

But overall I'm really happy.

This is a really long post... I wrote it in two parts, firstly on Tuesday night and then again on Thursday (plus the parts at the beginning and end that I added tonight), so you may need to settle in for a long haul...

boxes in the old placemy new keys
Monday

Things started pretty early... I'd unplugged the PS3, DVD player and TV last thing on Sunday night, so all that there really was to do when I got up was disassemble the bed, fill the boot of my car with some of the boxes from under the bed and then pile all the other things up accordingly. I was all done by the time Ma got to my place just after 8am, and the movers weren't scheduled until between 10am and noon... so we had two hours to essentially stare at each other and figuratively poke each other in the eye.

That didn't last too long before Ma got bored and started cleaning the bathroom. I know I've said before that Ma is an absolute superstar, but she went above and beyond on Monday to such a degree that I know I would have been completely screwed without her. While I was making runs back and forth between the old apartment and the new apartment, she cleaned the old place from top to bottom. We'd originally marked down Tuesday to clean, but she worked like a trooper and was all done by the time everything else had been moved.

I had an appointment with the land agent to sign all the paperwork and pick up the keys at 10:30, so I was heading out at around 10:15, and of course that was the time that the movers showed up. I cannot recommend Mini Movers highly enough... they were absolutely brilliant, especially Ben who was friendly and very accommodating (and also quite cute, in that "carry your furniture in a manly fashion/tickets to the Gun Show" kind of way). I left Ma with them to load up the van while I went off to see the land agent.

Lots and lots of signatures and a bottle of wine (to say thanks to the agent for essentially making the whole apartment thing happen during his Christmas holidays) later, I was the proud owner of a set of keys to a new apartment.

Ma called me just as I was leaving to say that the van was all packed, so I told the movers to meet me at the new place and headed off (not counting the fact I had to get in the passenger side of my car due to a stupid P plater, and the fact that everybody else on the road seemed to be driving at about 10km slower than the speed limit).

I got to the apartment just before the van, so I came upstairs and opened the place up to get some fresh air in. I'll say this much for the new house, it gets a serious cross breeze once the kitchen window and bathroom window are open... which is great after the old house.

While the movers schlepped boxes and furniture in ways that defied belief (more on that in a second) I kind of just stood around not quite knowing what the hell to do. I did empty the robe box once that turned up, but mostly I stood around and marvelled at their prowess. And it was impressive... there were boxes that were essentially full to the brim with books, and some that were so heavy that I'd marked them as heavy just to be clear... but the movers (Ben especially) was carrying them up the stairs two boxes at a time. It was a hell of a sight to see, as was the point where they carried the smaller bookcases up by themselves. The fridge and the bigger bookcases were two men jobs, but Ben even carried my mattress by himself, and that's a serious bit of mattressry. And given all the stairs they had to climb and the effort they put it, I wasn't really surprised to see that Ben was covered in sweat when they were finished.

It didn't take them all that long to finish, but the bill at the end, between the cost of the boxes and materials I used and their time was fairly hefty (well, honestly it wasn't too bad, just more than I was expecting). Granted I couldn't have done without them, so I'm grateful, just a little poorer.

Once they were done and I'd signed all their paperwork and sent them on their way it was around 11:45. I then unpacked the boot of the car before heading back to the old apartment. Ma had been cleaning like a demon while I was gone, but when I got back we loaded up her car with all my artwork and the fragile things that I didn't feel comfortable with getting the movers to move (I may rethink that strategy next time, although there were still be things I want to move myself) and we headed back here to the new place so Ma could finally see it.

Once we'd unloaded the car and Ma had had a chance to take her first look at the place, we headed back to the old place with a quick detour to Perryman's Bakery to pick up some lunch. And since I wasn't taking the sofa and had dumped it outside the old apartment we had a pleasant alfresco lunch before getting back to it.

Now Ma isn't overly great with stairs and there are a whole lot of them at the new place, so it made more sense for me to keep doing runs back and forth and for Ma to keep cleaning the old place. And that's pretty much how the rest of the afternoon went. I possibly could have done it in less runs, but the undercover carpark that comes with the apartment is a little bit tight, so I couldn't really get to the passenger door, so I mostly just loaded up the boot and stuck a couple of things that were easy to left out from the driver's side.

I'll say this much... my chiro is going to earn her fee when I see her on Friday!

There are currently about two or three stairs too many in the walk up to my apartment, especially when carrying heavy stuff... that will improve with time, which is good, but at the moment those last couple of steps are a bit of a struggle, at least while schlepping stuff.

Every time I got back to the old apartment is was a little bit more empty, a little more clean and seemed a little bit smaller.

It was so weird, I never felt like the old place was small... but seeing it empty it looked tiny. Or else that could have just been in comparison with this place, which is so much bigger. Ma keeps referring to the new place as my "grown up apartment", which is kind of what it feels like.

Eventually we loaded both cars up with the last of my stuff, left some of Ma's cleaning supplies at the old place to be picked up later and at that point I was officially moved in (or out, depending on your frame of reference).

By that point it was around 4:30 or so I think. And if the day hadn't been long and eventful enough, we then headed off to IKEA to pick up a new chair and some other bits and pieces. Yeah, I know, insanity. It wasn't too bad actually... we stopped off at the restaurant first up for some fruit salad and something to drink before hitting the maze.

I'd made part of a list of things to at least look at from the IKEA website on the weekend (well, if taking photos of IKEA webpages using your iPhone can be counted as making a list), so we roamed around checking things out. The chair I originally had on the list turned out to be completely the wrong shape for me, so I ended up getting another one of the ones I bought last time, along with a little side table, a cheap standing lamp, a small Billy bookcase to replace the really small one I got rid of that used to hold my TV DVDs and a couple of other odds and end including a bowl to go on the bookcase and hold my keys and wallet and whatnot when I walk in the door (and there's nothing quite like the sound my keys make hitting the bottom of the bowl).

And we couldn't get everything I needed in Ma's car, so we'll be headed back to IKEA on Wednesday.

When we got back here and I'd schlepped a chair and a box of bookcase up the stairs, I went to unpack the chair while Ma was finding a carpark. And what should have been a relatively simple concept turned into an emotional meltdown.

Before the move I'd collected all the important paperwork I might have needed during the move into a white folder. I also added all of the shelf supports from the bookcases, and the screws from the bed and once I'd been to the land agent, all the lease paperwork. I also put a cutter in there to help with opening boxes. So of course when I wanted to get the chair out of the box, I went looking for the folder.

No folder on the counter where I thought I'd put it. No folder anywhere in the kitchen, no folder in the bedroom, no folder on the bookshelves, no folder anywhere that I could see.

The Very Important Moving Day Folder... gone without a trace. Ma and I looked everywhere... I looked in the freezer, you know, just in case. I even went down and looked in the car, and Ma went and looked in her car. Nothing.

At which point I started to lose my mind. I knew I'd had it when I left the land agent. I knew I'd had it in Ma's car when we took the first load to the new place after the movers had been, but I also had a memory of putting it on the counter by the door. But it wasn't there. And I'll admit, I was quite tired and emotional by that stage of the day, so I may have sat on the kitchen floor and had a little bit of a cry.

Given that we'd looked everywhere at this end, the only place left to look was the old house, plus we had Ma's stuff to pick up, so we headed back that way. No folder. We loaded up the car and I said the last goodbye to my old house and once again... slightly tired and emotional and may have got a little glassy eyed.

After a couple of other thoughts about where it might be, I decided it was either a) somewhere in the house and I just hadn't found it or b) gone for good. Either way, while I kept mulling it over in my brain, I was more leaning towards the fact that it was just gone.

We came back to the new place and Ma headed off to get us some dinner while I moved some boxes around, set up the TV and went for a shower. Clearly the gods were not smiling on me at that point, as I put a facecloth over the shower rail, turned my back and the rail fell down. Turned out it was one of those "screw tension" rails (which have to be the stupidest invention ever), but I couldn't get it back up, so I just gave up and took a shower anyway.

I'd been craving Chinese food as my post-move dinner... but that also wasn't to be, as both of the Chinese places Ma tried were closed. So we had pasta instead, which turned out to be quite tasty... but I think anything would have been good after all the hard work we did. I also put together the Lack coffee table, which looks really good.

But with all the disasters and delays it was about 9pm by that stage, so I walked Ma down to her car and sent her on her merry way with many thanks for all her hard work.

I pottered around a little bit and put together the standing lamp (which unfortunately didn't come with a bulb), but since the screws that hold my bed together were in the Very Important Folder, I was going to have to just make up the mattress on the floor and sleep there. Not ideal, but you play the hands you're dealt.

I'd just thrown my pillows and quilt into a couple of garbage bags, but as I went to pull the last pillow out of one of the bags, what did I find... yep, you guessed it, the Very Important Folder.

Now neither Ma nor I claim responsibility or remember putting the folder in the bag (honestly, I think it must have been Ma since she carried the pillows and quilt up the stairs, but it probably could have been me just as easily), but at least it turned up. That also meant that I was able to actually put the bed together.

I thought that I would pass out as soon as my head hit the pillow, but I think I'd gotten a little overtired, or I had too much stuff rolling around in my brain because it took a while before I fell asleep.

bedroom viewoverly organised underwear drawer
Tuesday

I won't lie... when I woke up this morning I had an incredibly brief moment of not remembering I was in the new place (but it was only a moment). I did my usual trick of laying in bed and playing with my phone for a while before getting up and going for my walk.

That's one of the many good things about not having moved very far... my walk is a little shorter, but still essentially the same.

When I got back I realised that I wasn't completely sure where all my breakfast supplies were, box wise, so I ended up having to unpack three small boxes and half of two different big boxes before I could find a bowl, my cereal, and the dried berries and LSA mix. And it wasn't even my normal breakfast bowl, it was just the first bowl I came to.

After breakfast I decided to hook the DVD player up so I could watch something while unpacking some more stuff, but Ma called to say she was headed down, so I finished hooking up the surround sound speakers and then stopped and had a shower.

When Ma arrived (and I'd carried the microwave that was part of my Christmas present to myself, up the stairs) I finished unpacking the two boxes that I'd started before breakfast while Ma and her Vanilla Fridge Cleaner went to work on my fridge (I swear the apartment still vaguely reeks of vanilla). I still hadn't quite decided where I was putting anything in the kitchen, so I just unpacked all the boxes and piled everything up on the kitchen counter. And there turned out to be quite a bit of kitchen stuff... so the bench was pretty packed once I was finished.

And I'd also managed to completely fill the IKEA box that the chair came in... and it wasn't a small box.

I was a little bit paralysed by indecision, so we left everything and headed out to Bunnings. On the weekend I saw a really cool free-standing flat-pack kitchen bench thing that was reasonably cheap (all things considered) that would slot nicely between the fridge and the oven... plus I wanted some protector feet for my bed and chair and some of those stick on hooks for some of my artwork.

After a quick visit to the sausage sizzle and a detour to the supermarket for some supplies for my very empty fridge we came back here, I once again schlepped a very heavy object up all of the stairs.

I then bit the bullet and started putting things in cupboards... I'm not completely sure everything is in it's final place, but at least it's all away for now. Ma had to head off for an appointment, so she left me to it and trundled off down the road.

Once she was gone I made some lunch then called the land agent to report the issue with the shower rail and the bedroom curtains (which don't close all the way)... to which he promised to get the handyman out that day... which is just about unheard of in my previous experience, but very pleasant. Then I called my old land agent to tell her I'd moved out (which was somewhat more problematic than it really needed to be... but that's nothing new). Now all I have to do is drop the old keys in the old letterbox and I'm (in theory anyway) done with the old place.

I put together the kitchen bench (which looks awesome, even if it doesn't match anything else in the kitchen) including rigging up a solution to hold the magnetic knife block from the old house with the aid of cable ties, tidied up the rest of the kitchen, sorted out the bathroom and was working on my wardobe and underwear drawer when the handyman called saying he could drop by in about fifteen minutes... now that's service. He fixed the shower rail but we worked out that the bedroom curtains are actually too short for the length of curtain rod, so no matter what, they weren't going to close. Which is fine, I can live with that for the time being, but hopefully there's some kind of solution forthcoming.

After he left I finished organising my underwear by colour (a system that I don't really expect to last... but I said that when I organised my t-shirts by colour... and that's still going) and decided that I deserved a little rest. At that point it was getting a little warm, so I closed up the windows and put the air-con on for a while. Ahhh... air-con... fucking glorious.

And other than using the oven for the first time (hello electric ignition system) and sitting down to type up my adventures, I haven't done a whole lot of stuff this evening.

Tomorrow, however will be getting the bookcases in order, shelves in, ready to fill... and another IKEA trip for more bits and pieces.

getting the bookcases sortedbuilding a new billy
Wednesday

After I came back from my walk (where I took a detour to drop the keys to the old place in the letterbox) I straightened up the apartment a little bit and then I put the bookcases in the correct order. When Ma came down we swung past the land agent's office so that I could drop off the inspection sheet and have a little chat with the agent about the things that I'd noticed that need fixing. I have to say that I'm really not used to having a competent land agent... after I raised the issues with the agent he said that he'd get the handyman to come and fix a number of them.

After I was finished with the agent Ma and I headed back down to IKEA. We got there while they were still serving breakfast in the restaurant, so even though we'd both already eaten we both ended up having Second Breakfast. And for a $3 breakfast it actually wasn't too bad... I've had breakfasts that costed five or six times as much that weren't necessarily as pleasant.

I kept going back and forth about what I wanted from IKEA... the only definite was a second chair, but I also had a "spend $300, save $50" voucher, and we just missed out on being able to use that on Monday. Originally I'd been looking at a normal dining room setting, but I also knew that they had what they call "bar furniture", which just involves much taller tables and stools. And given that the counter in the new place is a lot lower than the old place it made sense (especially given my back and the fact that I've been eating standing since I hurt it) to have a table I could stand up at if I wanted to. However given that Ma's car isn't massive (neither is mine if it comes to that), we were restricted in how much stuff we could actually cram in there, especially given that there was already going to be a giant box full of chair in the back of the car.

It turned out that the boxes for both the chair and two of the tall stools weren't actually that huge, so we managed to cram all of it into the car... although Ma really couldn't see out of the back of the car.

We also stopped off at an auto supply place to pick up a drip tray for under my car to stop oil drips onto the concrete in the carport.

Then came the return of my favourite part of the previous three days... carrying very large and heavy boxes up several flights of stairs. I really, really won't miss doing that... although carrying the shopping up on Saturday will be an experience.

Anyway, once we got back it was still fairly early so I dicked about a little bit trying to decide if I should centre the bookcases on the far wall or shove them in the corner or what... in the end I decided shoving them in the corner was the best idea, although there was a fair amount of standing around and being undecided.

Once I made the decision I put all the shelves in place (and realised that the notes I made on my phone weren't as helpful as they could have been)... then Lego R2D2 (because, you know, he was the first item in place when I put the bookcases together the first time) and then started opening up boxes of DVDs. While I was alphabetising DVDs Ma volunteered to start going through the gigantic box of packing paper and folding it neatly so that it could more easily be recycled... not a fun job, but it was one I was going to have to do at some stage, so it was very helpful.

After the DVDs and a brief lunchbreak I started unboxing books... I think I pretty much got all the books back in the same position they were in previously, or at the very least an acceptable alternative. As is always the way with these things I was missing a single big book once I was finished, but otherwise it was all good.

Towards the end of the book organising Ma called it a day so I pottered around and finished up, moved some of the other boxes around so that the living room was more or less clear, unboxed all my Lego minifigures (although the first idea of having them in a giant pyramid that took up all of the free area under the living room window is under review) and then decided to put together the new, small Billy bookcase.

Given that I'd already put five of the full sized ones together this one wasn't too much of a chore to build. I then had some indecision about whether to put it by the door like I'd originally planned or to fit it on the wall with all the other bookcases, since it turned out there was exactly the right amount of space. After a somewhat lengthy chat with Ma I decided to put it by the door but keep the other position as an option for a later date.

Once I'd got it in position I filled it up with TV show DVDs and then stopped for an impropmtu dinner of salad made up of whatever I could find in the fridge and cupboard (which, honestly, wasn't all that much).

After dinner I relaxed for a little and then attacked the box of packing paper that Ma had been working on and finished it off while watching Kevin McCloud take a ship apart. One set of very grubby hands later (thanks to all the newsprint) I had an empty chair box and two small moving boxes full of folded paper. And then I had a big pile of cardboard pieces after I took to the box with a cutter.

I was still feeling inspired so I grabbed one of the stools and put that together. I kind of wanted to keep going and put together the table, but I only got as far as taking it out of the box since it was getting a little late. So instead I deconstructed the gigantic pile of moving boxes in my bedroom, piled up the rest of the unwanted cardboard in the kitchen and called it a night.

building my new tableprepping the tchotchkes
Thursday

Well, I'm kind of about 75% of the way there... there's still a gigantic pile of cardboard in the kitchen/dining area and there's artwork piled in various spots in the lounge room and the bedroom is still in transition, but I'm getting there.

Just proving that it is indeed a small world after all, as I was crossing the street this morning on my walk, who should I see on the other side of the street walking his dog along with his friend/partner/some other dude, but my land agent. He waved, I waved and then we both went on our merry ways.

After breakfast I threw a DVD on and started in on the table. Unfortunately my Phillips-head screwdriver has perhaps seen better days given the fact it's probably the screwdriver that I have used most often, so screwing in the twelve gigantic screws that attach the frame to the top of the table did a bit of a number on my hand, which is still sore some 14 hours later (but my forearms are kind of covered in bruises and scrapes, so what's one more thing). In fact I managed to give myself a bit of a blister, and pop said blister. Not pleasant.

However the table came out really nicely, and once I was done I set to work on the second stool. So now, for the first time in seventeen years I actually have a dining set, albeit an incredibly tall one. Sadly due to all the detritus in that area of the kitchen I haven't been able to use the set yet... but it'll happen.

Once I was done with screwing blonde Swedish wood (that's what she said), I finished putting CDs in the small bookcase, then put the Lego Star Wars mini ships back together and had a call from the handyman saying that he was passing and could he come and look at the bedroom curtains again. Sadly it was a bit of a wasted journey as what he had in mind for fixing them wasn't a possibility, however I did show him the other bits and pieces that were broken that need fixing.

After he left it was time to start unboxing all my tchotchkes.

A little bit like the kitchen gear, I unpacked everything I could find before I started putting anything away, so that took me pretty much the rest of the morning. A quick lunch and a kitchen counter full of bits and pieces later and I was ready to start putting things in position.

Given that I also had the small bookcase and the fact that I'm planning to hang a bunch of artwork on the walls with the help of those 3M sticky hooks I didn't put everything back in the same places it had been previously... and to be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about it all, position wise, as yet.

I think there will be some reshuffling at some stage (I did the same thing around about a week after I built the bookcases in the first place), and there are a couple of spots I'm not happy with, plus I need to build the Lego Ninjago Samurai Mecha I got for Christmas, but most of it's all in place for now. I did discover that there were at least three items that are still in a box somewhere (I think I know which box though, it's just under a ton of cardboard at present).

Now that I'm mostly done with all the important unpacking, I'd really like some internet back now... I was expecting to hear from Adam Internet before now, with a date that I'd have ADSL back if nothing else, but now I really would like some internetz. I may give them a call tomorrow just to check in...

Because I was busy unpacking and arranging things I didn't actually check my mailbox until around 5:30, and when I did I found a letter from Origin to the "Householder" saying that they were going to disconnect my hot water service. Which made no sense to me, since I transferred the gas over to my name last week. So I called them just to make sure I wasn't going to be lacking in hot water and it turns out that, somewhat ridiculously, my stove and my hot water both have their own gas meters, so that means I'll be getting two separate bills. Annoying, but at least my bills are emailed out so it's not as bad as getting two envelopes in the mail from them. Still ridiculous though.

Tomorrow will be entertaining, if only because it will be the first day since the move where I haven't had a specific agenda. I possibly need to have a look at the bedroom, and I have a chiro appointment in the afternoon, but that's it.

I'm sure I'll find something to keep myself occupied.

the billys almost theresome lego ninjago action
Friday

I honestly hadn't planned to unpack any more boxes today, but after I got back from my walk (and I'd eaten my breakfast at my very tall dining table) I decided to have a crack at getting my bedroom in some sort of order. And that led to unpacking a couple of boxes (one of which held the couple of bits of vinyl that I was missing from the bookcases) and filling the wardrobe with stuff.

By the time I was done there were only four boxes left, all of which are from the various drawers in my bedroom at the old place and which I really need to spend some time going through each item as I imagine there is a whole lot of stuff that I no longer need. But I also need something to store the stuff that I do want to keep, and that's either a bedside cabinet or a chest of drawers, or possibly both.

After I'd finished with the bedroom and reorganised all of the cardboard and empty boxes in the kitchen/dining area, I sat down to give Adam Internet a call to find out what was going on with my internetz... I finally got an answer that it would probably be ready by 7pm this evening, or at worst 5:30pm Monday. As it turned out, I got a message saying that it was good to go when I was on my way to the chiro at 3:30.

Then the courier showed up with the Instagram photo-a-day calendar I ordered from Social Print Studio... And once again it looks pretty spiffy... although I really did forget how incredibly brick-like it is when it arrives.

I decided I'd really like to sit down and relax for a while, and the Lego Ninjago Samurai Mecha was sitting in it's box on the bookshelf and calling my name, so I busted out the card table and got down to building me some Lego.

It really is a good looking set, and once again I took photos all the way through, so I'll post them once I get a chance to edit all the images. I am going to need to work out the right time of day to take photos in the living room though... or relegate all my photo taking to the bedroom... or something... because the light in the living room isn't as great as I would have possibly liked. But it really is just a matter of getting to know the apartment and it's cycles.

I could have stopped halfway through the Lego build for lunch, but I was on a roll and didn't want to stop, so I ended up having quite a late lunch and a little while after I'd eaten the handyman called to say that he was in the neighbourhood and could he swing past to fix the latches on the living room windows and the busted flyscreen in the bathroom.

It really is nice to have an efficient land agent/handyman...

After he was gone I closed up the house and turned on the air-con, which I think is something I'll be doing quite a bit over the next few days given that we're going to have a heatwave of about five days over 40 degrees. But I have air-con now, so it's no drama (and I cannot tell you how long I have wanted to be able to say that).

As I mentioned before I had a chiro appointment this afternoon, so I had my first experience of catching the bus at a new bus stop... one which is closer to the city, which is good.

Even though I'd been doing far too much bending and carrying and climbing stairs and whatnot, the chiro session wasn't too bad... and once it was over I walked home and stopped off at the supermarket to pick up some bits and pieces for dinner.

Of course, when I got home the very first thing I did was to fire up the internetz... I know that I've had my phone, so I haven't been completely devoid of a connection, but it was really nice to see all the required lights light up on my router.

So that's pretty much how my first week in my new apartment shaped up...

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3 comments:

Victor said...

Phew. I'm exhausted reading all that.

You are very well organised! Congratulations and best wishes for your new home.

Sunshine said...

Good to hear that everything went reasonably smoothly. Enjoy your new home! :)

yani said...

Thanks guys :)

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