‘It’s ok, we’re not tourists’ smiled my friend, Liv, to the bemused young guys on the 333 bus heading to Bondi. Each with a large suitcase, and that ‘I’ve been travelling all day’ look, it was a reasonable assumption that we might yet another pair of young tourist tripping out to Bondi. ‘We’re actually moving’ followed up Liv. She was being charitable to say ‘We’re moving’. The correct answer was ‘I’m helping my friend here, yes the moody looking girl, move between houses. We’ve been riding around Sydney all day today in every kind of public transport, and I’ve even had to give her little pep talks when she got extra sulky.’ Friends who help you move, and remain sunny and refrain from slapping you when you start complaining, are Super Friends- the kind you want to bottle, give medals to, or perhaps their own commemorative day.
I’ve had good and bad experiences when moving house. I can tell you from experience that that:
- The bed/bookcase/random object will always been heavier, wider and more cumbersome that you’d imagined
- Don’t move hung over
- Don’t ignore your vow never to move hung over again and end up doing it a second time
- Don’t put beds on the roof of a car, especially if the car isn’t yours
- Don’t store things in old farm sheds
- Don’t assume all train stations will have lifts, such assumptions will leave you hauling your body weight in luggage up a long flight of stairs
- Don’t be swayed by the cheap deal at the removal van hire company for hiring the van from 10pm to 6am. Moving overnight on a Saturday night is awful. You and your friends will end up looking wistfully at the drunk clubbers at MacDonalds at 2am and thinking ‘I wish that was me’
- Don’t be the crazy person who goes through all their stuff saying ‘Where is that scarf!!’ Moving means things get naturally stolen by the magical moving fairies, and the sooner you accept this fact, the better.
When I was ‘between houses’ a few weeks ago and enlisted the help of a dear sweet friend, I broke a few of my hard learned rules, namely hire professionals where ever possible. The storage company I’d hired provided a free pick-up service (ute + driver). I just had to get all the stuff on to the ute, including my queen bed from the second storey bedroom. Oh, me and my beds…. When I moved into my first flat at university, I was convinced that the true sign of adulthood was having a queen bed. Unfortunately, my bedroom was the size of a queen bed. The bed delivery men laughed when they saw the bedroom-to-bed space ratio. That year I learnt that yes, some adults have nice queen beds, but things like desks, wardrobes and shelves are also quite nice to be able to fit in your room.
My current room had no problem fitting the bed, but the winding stairs meant that it would have to go over the balcony in order to get out of the house and on to the ute. No problem…Fast-forward to me dangling the bed base over the balcony as my housemate readied himself to catch it, and then me yelling ‘Im going to dropppp…oh my god I’m so sorry! Are you ok?’
Thankfully, no housemates were injured in the research of this story, and the bed survived to be loaded on to the ute. Liv and I piled into the ute with the amused driver, who admitted that usually the customers don’t ride in the ute with him. Apparently, people who move house usually have a car involved. Why have a car when you have a Super Friend and Sydney’s public transport, I say!
Storage facilities are odd places. The rows and rows of little garden shed-like compartments reminded me more of the setting of a scene from a crime show like CSI, than the obvious place to store my worldly goods. So many places to hide a body…On the plus side, moving trolleys + wide alleys = ride-on fun.
With my stuff safely stored, Liv and I embarked on a walk/bus into city/train to Inner West,/grab last of my stuff from the old place/train back to Central/bus to Eastern Suburbs’ adventure. Luckily, Central Station does have lifts, and people are generally good about making room for you and your luggage when riding the bus. They just think you’re a hapless tourist, too cheap to take a taxi… as opposed to a hapless resident, too cheap to take a taxi.
Seven hours and many travelled miles later, I had some new wisdom to add to the moving list of do’s and don’ts:
- Bed mattresses do bounce. Bed bases don’t
- Don’t whinge about the wait for the train, just be thankful you picked the one weekend that there are no track works on the train lines
- Do reward yourself, and any nearby Super Friends, with pizza and wine when all is over (even if you’re both too tired to eat much!)
- Let the lost scarf go – you didn’t like it that much anyway.