Weekend Wit: The Interstate Move From Hell
Our interstate move was planned about six months ago. It should have been pretty simple really: Organise housing, utilities and a truck to move all of our stuff. Of course nothing ever goes according to plan, however.
I should have know it wasn’t going to be smooth sailing three weeks prior to the move when a very close friend passed away. While there’s nothing funny about death, I’m certain he timed it just to add as much stress as possible – he was exceptionally well known to do that – God bless him!
So, off we flew for a day trip to his funeral knowing full well in three short weeks we’d also need to find the money to move back there permanently. Mind you, we had lent the cash to said friend with the promise he’d pay it back. Now, that obviously wasn’t going to happen. Financially we were pretty much screwed; and emotionally, well let’s just say our family was totally crushed. In hindsight, we probably should have put off the move; but despite our financial woes and tremendous grief, we soldiered on.
We packed up our belongings and were set to take our furniture from an uncles shed. In the meantime, we’d been lucky to rent an amazing holiday house on the beach and hadn’t needed it. The only thing was that the truck was full before we left the house. How did we manage collect so much crap? Hmm… Quite the conundrum.
So, instead of offloading to make room from furniture, we set off with the beds, our electrical stuff, a fridge (minus the shelves, oops!), a washing machine, two motor bikes and a convoy of beloved belongings, all of which managed to load up an entire four tone truck, a Tarago and a Mazda 626.
Mind you, we had no actual home to go to. All 50 plus rental applications I’d submitted online were never opened. Apparently most agents accept this nifty facility, but unless you correspond directly with them the application is 100 percent useless. Of course in my haste to secure a place to live, deal with our friends death and our increasing financial strain, I didn’t take any notice of this until 2 days before the move.
Luckily a dear friend offered us a place to live for three weeks until her lease expired. The place had no heating, 2 bedrooms and was ready for a wrecking ball, but she’d already moved out so it was vacant. Or at least we’d thought. In the days prior to our move her daughter required a temporary roof for her friends. The empty place soon became home to 7 tenants, all aged sporadically between 16 and 45, all of who shared only two precious house keys. Not exactly the touch down I’d envisaged for our long awaited interstate move.
Obviously things were looking fairly bleak, so off I trotted to every open inspection in search of a suitable home. Our list of wants quickly became a list of needs, and the race to find a home began. Despite fabulous references and being a former home owner myself, it wasn’t enough. Weeks passed before I finally spoke to a sympathetic agent and who directed me to an empty property.
From the outside I could see potential, but the tired old abode needed serious TLC – and that was just the exterior. I was determined to make this a home, so despite obvious flaws I booked an inspection. The chatty agent told me she had no other interested parties and she managed to capture my attention for the entire five minute of viewing. Out of desperation to find a place I sped through our list of needs; three bedrooms – check; shed – check; ducted air-con – yep. Where do I sign?
Within two days we got the keys; and soon after the power was connected so we finally left the halfway inn. Hurrah! Upon collecting a fist full of keys to our new home, only one set gave us access through the front door. Perhaps they’d had a bit of bother and had to change the locks a few times, I thought? The house on closer inspection was grottier than any place I’d ever lived. What the hell had I done? The agent had said there had been trouble with previous tenants but it was cleaned “beautifully.”
Beautifully? Really? Every surface in and out of the house needed wiping or scrubbing, plus the curtains all needed re-hanging and a damn good wash. We even used the high pressure hose to clean the bathroom before we used it because it was so damn filthy! Perhaps her definition of “beautifully” was skewed.
Not long after I discovered particular lights didn’t work, the electric roller door was now manually operated, the manuals instructing how to operate the ducting (which we’d signed for to say we received) were all missing, and the list of broken or damaged items grew with every space I inspected. I even managed to eliminate a baby snake in the backyard because it was so overgrown. No wonder no-one else wanted the place!
Now, I get that certain obstacles are put on our path to test us. But this, this was an exam and I hadn’t studied! Obviously this is just the quick version of our interstate move from hell – don’t even get me started on the longer version. But to give you a glimpse of how well it’s been going, we consistently have people looking for former tenants at 1am, and have even incurred a visit from the police in search of them. Oh, the joys!
By day three in the new place after having cleaned, sourced and collected furniture, looked after the family and squeezed in minimal hours of sleep, I did what any sane person would do: I lost my shit! I effectively announced my arrival to the neighborhood and let’s just say, they probably think some nutter has just moved in – a very loud one with multiple grievances!
The upside to all this? Well, sometimes you need to search hard for the upside. BUT, the house is looking more and more like a home and it’s happened in less than a week. After a good clean and having plans in place to neaten it up, it’s not actually all that bad. We’ve had some awesome friends who’ve helped us out along the way and found some very kind strangers who’ve donated furniture. The kids are really happy and despite rising tensions, my partner is back to the loving man I adore.