weeknotes #18: we moved 🪴

In writing and thinking about the title of this post, I thought about how back in the day we used to have “moved” “signs” on our websites when we moved to a new URL. It was almost a very exciting time, people got hosted by someone (an actual person) running a hosting site, and were no longer using a free website editor. It was all cute and stuff.

Anyway, we got the keys to our new apartment on Friday and spent the few days after that moving our stuff. Now I know people often have a horror story to tell when it comes to moving, and I guess I won’t sugarcoat that it was perfect for us, and it definitely tried to be as prepared as possible – but there were still hiccups and I won’t deny that it was a stressful and exhausting time, and maybe we could have done a couple of things differently, but we didn’t.

This was Nick’s and my first time moving since living together, and in summary, I learned a bunch of things:

  • We chose to move most of our belongings ourselves except for the large pieces of furniture, which we hired a removalist for. Apparently not a lot of people choose to do this; they pack their belongings and someone moves them, or they hire someone to do that, too. We made this decision based on the fact that we were moving two blocks away and had spare time on the weekend to move belongings.
  • I’m a minimalist – Nick doesn’t identify as one, but he doesn’t own a lot of things – and it was through the process of packing that I felt the literal weight of my things. I almost felt like I still owned too much.
  • Some people move in one day, and it takes many hours. The way we did it, it took around 3–4 days.
  • Another one related to cleaning and decluttering – even if you know everything you own, you come across shit that you realise that you don’t need.
  • We moved to a larger place (from a one bedroom & study to a two bedroom and study) and I think it really illustrated to me that even though I can live in a smaller space, it doesn’t mean it is comfortable. Space doesn’t mean you fill every corner. (I knew that already though, because of how minimal I tend to be.)
  • I already knew this, but people like free shit. 😆 We gave away some items during the move.
  • I severely underestimated the time it took to move things. On day 1, we did about three trips between the apartments to move things. On day 2, we did four rounds of filling up the car, with maybe about nine total trips of actually carrying stuff. On day 3, I think we did about four rounds of filling up the car as well, with even more trips, mostly taken by Nick, who was carrying our small set of dumbbells while I organised our belongings into the kitchen and wardrobe.
  • It would have helped massively if we had even a little trolley or a board on wheels to more easily stack and move things.
  • Removalists really take their time? I know they were being careful with our furniture, but even then, I saw one guy sort of throw and damage our watering can because it is now leaking (easily replaceable, not a big deal), and bump the bottom of our bookshelf and one of the stoppers on the bottom proper broke off (unsure if it can be superglued back on or if it needs to be replaced), and one of Nick’s desk shelves was dropped and the stand broke off at the screws (it cannot really be screwed back in due to the screw hole now being damaged). And then, of course, I’ve heard worse from others with their more fragile items – of which we chose to move ours ourselves.

I think the most stressful and bothersome part was the cleaners we hired. We didn’t go with the company the real estate company suggested, but we did a bit of research and read some local reviews and chose a company that looked good. We were excited to see how well they would do. Unfortunately they left a disappointing (if not bad) impression. The first thing that went wrong was that they sent a message at 7:30am letting us know that the cleaners would be half an hour late as they were coming from another job. This didn’t bother us, because we were up early to go to the gym, and the message was 90 minutes before the time we booked (9:00am). Close to the new expected time, 9:30am, they called and said they were stuck in traffic and would be another half hour. They ended up being an hour and twenty minutes late (with Nick having to move several meetings because of their tardiness), and when we suggested they park their car in the apartment visitor parking instead of the shopping centre, they got lost and Nick ended up having to jump in the car to provide directions.

They were very apologetic. We were not mad, but it was an inconvenience to us. (Imagine if we were moving a lot further away and couldn’t spare the time?!) The company also said they would be in touch the day before to get more details about logistics on the day. That didn’t really happen – they just confirmed the appointment.

The cleaning team was a man who was new to the team, and an older woman, who said she couldn’t drive and couldn’t use a GPS and that she was sorry and it likely contributed to them being late and getting lost. Perhaps we got unlucky this time and it was just this particular pairing of people from the wider team, but the whole thing was such a mess. We were told by the company that cleaning an apartment of the size we had (with a bedroom, study, one bathroom, a balcony) would take 8 hours. Nick originally asked if the estimate would change and the response was that they had been doing this professionally for quite some time, so their estimates were likely to be accurate and they would incur the extra cost if they underestimated. Turns out it didn’t matter too much from a cost perspective because an end-of-lease clean was charged at a flat rate. But despite being almost two hours late, they finished cleaning in 4–5 hours. That left me with an even more sour impression as it meant that their own estimations, which they felt so confident about, were BS. It was a shame because we had been planning to use the same company to do a regular clean of our new apartment.

Nick was also contacted by the company to pay the invoice by close of business that day. Of course, having to go to work and move a bunch of meetings around to accomodate the cleaners’ tardiness, that request felt like a big ask. We had not even gone back to check the apartment to see if they’d done a good job. When we finally did, though, we were not completely happy with it. They did a great job on what they did clean, but they didn’t clean the inside of the fridge cupboard – and I’d even pointed out to them that there was quite a bit of dust in there. The inside of the drawers and shelves were not touched, not even wiped down or vacuumed. I’m not sure if I’m asking for much here, or had high expectations – do cleaners just not clean shelves or something? Needless to say, the whole experience left me disappointed, and I thought, that if that is what I’m to expect from cleaners, maybe I should clean myself or try to keep the place clean myself. The company had a bond-back guarantee so I guess we’ll see if everything is fine in the next couple of days.

I am DONE. I’m so exhausted. I have barely felt like I had time to chill out. 🥴 I’ll share more about the apartment soon, but I guess other than those mishaps and feeling a little bittersweet about moving, I’ve realised I don’t have a giant attachment to places and spaces. I don’t particularly miss the old apartment; we grew out of it and needed a bit more space. The new one is starting to feel a bit more like home. The amount of natural light we get in comparison to our old place is fantastic. We can see the sunset as well, which I am very grateful for.

A view of the sun setting behind some high-rise apartment buildings. The overall view has many buildings in it.
A photo Nick took of the sunset

We both have our own rooms for our home offices (although the door on mine doesn’t close fully because I guess the previous tenants damaged it), and I hope to put a nice indoor plant in mine soon. 😌

Looking forward to a break this weekend. 😴

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I intended to hire cleaners, but ultimately didn’t. My grandmother cleaned most of it while I was helping load things up, and prior I had cleaned the stove so it looked like new — when I’d moved in, it had a bunch of grease stains everywhere. -.-

I left that place in a better shape than I moved into it with.

Moving really IS stressful.

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