Moving day has come and gone. I’m in the new house with my partner (yay), my cat (more yay), and all our stuff (*woah*). There’s nothing like moving to the other end of the country to realise how much crap you own – and I only realised this while I was unpacking (oh well).
In the past I’ve moved between timezones – Canada to China to Australia to China. When I eventually settled here in the UK, I moved around Manchester at least ten times in the decade I spent living in the city. Yet, this latest move down south to Lewes was by far the most difficult, and not without it’s hiccups. Here’s a brief breakdown of events!
Day 1: Movers arrive to pack the house. Only 2 out of 3 arrive so packing takes longer. Ben and I spend the day hanging around, offering drinks to our movers, and keeping the cat out of the way. Boxes get packed and loaded onto this massive lorry. Seems we have a lot of stuff to move. About halfway through the day we take the last minute decision to drive down to Lewes as soon as the movers leave. Around 3pm, 2 more movers arrive to help and leave around 5:00pm. We run around cleaning the house, tossing what we can’t fit in the car into to the bin. We’re on the road by 6:15pm.Miraculously we arrive in Lewes 11:45pm! 5 hour drive – a new record!
Day 2: Got a 5:00am meowy alarm from a zippy cat who was quite happy to be roaming around his new home. Woke up in a deflated blow up mattress, achy but content that we’re in the house. Spent the day looking around the empty house, figuring out where stuff could go, went for a wander into Lewes, and got some groceries for the next day.
Day 3: Movers arrive 8am sharp. The sheer size of the lorry blocks the road, but somehow cars – and even the police – manage to squeeze around it (whew). After a quick view of the house and it’s three narrow staircases, the movers start unloading the lorry. All the boxes. All the furniture. What fits where. What can’t go up/down the staircase. Oh, there’s the parking warden arguing with the mover about the lorry. Oh, the solid wood stand for our dining table shattered in transit. What – the parking warden is still here? Oh, we have more boxes?! Oh, just pile them here – we don’t need to open the front door all the way. It’s a blur of a day and rough work for our two movers who unloaded the whole lorry between themselves. At least the bed was reassembled. Cat was locked back up in his cat box for the day and is well grumpy when we let him out. We drink beer.
Day 4: All the boxes. All the measuring. Endless “Why the hell did we take this?” kind of questions. I go into the ultimate organiser mode and spend several hours categorising our stuff and our furniture according to “need”, “nope”, and “what”. Ben delves into the realm of getting stuff to fit in spaces and sorting out our technical network of systems, which all works splendidly in the end. We look at the old cat flap and decide we need a replacement ASAP. So we head off to buy said cat flat. Ben installs it, and I think it would be a good idea to let the cat outside for a bit. As soon as cat heads out into the garden he’s suddenly chased away by the neighbour’s cat, who is queen of the area. By queen I mean she scares the foxes away (according to her owner, our neighbour). Spend the next 2 hours calling cat to come home. Ben stands at the end of the garden and explains to our bemused neighbours why he’s sitting on the edge of the garden wall. Eventually he goes and asks our patient neighbour to keep her cat indoors so that our cat can come home. After a lot of verbal encouragement our cat eventually returns home. We lock the cat flap. We drink wine.
Day 5: We post all our “nope” furniture online as free-to-collect and the rest of our “nope” stuff goes to charity bags. Our two-seater settee thankfully gets collected and we have space in the front room…to open more boxes. I sheepishly open four boxes labelled “office” and promptly put the contents into recycling boxes (because that’s why I moved them across country). The “need” stuff gets placed in (hopefully) useful spaces. The “what” stuff eventually turns into “need” and “nope”. We eat ice cream and drink wine.
Day 6: The last of the “nope” furniture gets collected and like magic, the house seems bigger. Spent more of the day actually planning where stuff goes. Eventually take a long walk into town for a bit of a break in the sunshine.
Day 7: Cabin fever sets in so we take off to Seven Sisters for a walk along the cliffs. It’s windy and crazy steep but makes for a good outing. Back at the house more sorting, arranging. We unpack the last of the boxes, then have more wine.
So here we are! Moving adventures done – for now! Only dining table short but more or less feeling settled in (and that includes our cat). Now to make this place home.