04 November, 2012

Catching up.....Packing and moving a home...

While Marko started work at Bayswater Powerstation at Easter, I had to go back to Queensland and keep working at Roma State College until I was approved to teach or had found a job in NSW. It was my momentous task to pack our home, sell unwanted items, clean and hand the house back to EQ. It was a huge task and after talking to Marko on the phone each night, I was often in tears. The whole thing was just so overwelming.

I started by selling bits and pieces on the Roma Buy Sell Swap website, then I had a garage sale, then all that remained went into storage - where it remains today. We currently don't have a big enough house to put all our stuff into, plus we don't want to spend thousands on moving everything here when we may not stay long term. This is a decision that will take time and will rely on heaps of factors - job enjoyment, whether we like where we are living, making friends, whether we fall pregnant any time soon and my family.

So here are my tips for moving interstate with a household full of stuff - some that is used regularly and some that isn't.

  1. Choose one room at a time to sort through. You don't have to do everything at once, and lets face it you would go crazy trying.
  2. Create piles - 1 keep and pack ; 2 sell ; 3 throw out.
  3. Pack / Sell as you go. As I made decisions about which pile each item was going into, I took photos and listed them on the Roma Buy Sell Swap page. Heaps of areas have these kinds of pages on Facebook and they are really useful. I'd advise you to tell your buyers that they have to pay on collection. DO NOT chase around trying to deliver to people. If they want the item they will come to you.
  4. Only list 3 or 4 items at a time and add new ones as items are sold. This will mean you are not overwelming buyers with insane amounts of items to sell.
  5. Carefully label your boxes. If your belongings are going into storage like ours is, it may be a long time before you open the box so the more detailed you are the better. Mind you - don't put valuable jewellery in storage and label it - that would be asking for trouble.
  6. Clean 1 room completely - wash walls, clean windows and remove everything from the room. Now this rooms becomes your storage room for all your boxes so that you aren't tripping over boxes every day. As you pack you will run out of room in that first area so when you have packed another room, clean it's walls and start putting boxes in that room. My wise friend Brooke calls this 'closing down rooms' as they are cleaned so you know they are done.
  7. Make lists....about everything!!!!! Make sure you cross of jobs as you do them. This will not only keep you organised and on track, but will help you feel like you are really making progress not just treading water and losing the battle between the mountain of stuff and the folded boxes.
  8. Organise carpet cleaner and pest control as soon as you have a moving date. This is really important. I was moving at a time when Education Queensland was shifting lots of staff around between the EQ houses. By booking in early I ensured that the last minute rush wasn't even more stressful.
  9. Only keep essentials unpacked. I was very very fortunate. I had a lovely friend who had me over to her house every night for 2 weeks for dinner so that I didn't have to cook at home. This meant I could pack nearly everything in the kitchen only keeping out what I needed for breakfast. I then stayed the last 3 nights at another friend's house so that I could pack everything and finish off!
  10. Stay calm and ask your friends for help. This is SO important. What does freaking out accomplish...not a lot. As I said previously I had the regular freak out and cry every night, but the biggest part of that was how much I was missing my husband and the fact that I was doing this all alone. I didn't ask enough people for help and really struggled. My worst days were when I was making decisions about our dog who just wouldn't play nice at the homes I tried to find for him. (A story for another day).

These tips are by no means the only ones, but I feel these were the most important in my journey. I hate packing and moving. I hated doing it alone even more. But I did do it, and I survived it! Just....


  1. Yes you did survive Em. And you did it well. It has worked out for the best in the end

  2. Been there done that and tried to do way too much. I needed this list before I moved country Em!! I hope you do stay and that I get to see some of the awesome things you keep telling me about before adding, But its in STORAGE!

  3. Haha Jess! I know I can't wait to have all my things! But there is no where to put it all in this tiny house!!

  4. Tip number one or choosing one room to fix and arrange things is a good idea when moving to a new house. This can keep things organised one day at a time.