|Illustration from here|
I have spent all weekend moving house.
Not from my own home.
No, we have not been packing up the '70's monstrosity. That all stays gloriously unchanged and stable, thank goodness.
No, I have been moving my Mum.
She has lived in her old house for a number of years - over a decade.
When she moved in she was of sound body and mind.
But this move - this move from "independence" to something else, is anticipated be the the last one she makes. From house to "retirement village". A care environment with an intercom on the wall and nurses and all her meals cooked for her.
She moves from space she never used, to a compact unit designed for aging. Every surface is level - no falls here. There are grab rails everywhere. No falls here. Her zimmer frame glides slowly. No falls here. There is no drinking here - no wine in the pantry. No falls here.
For the past few weekends I have gone through every inch of her old home. Unveiling, sorting, discarding, remembering. Filtering. Wrapping and stashing. Only boxing up the clean and the useful.
And this weekend, we are done*. She is in her new home.
I am envious. Such a little neat clean space. All shiny and new. No worries over maintenance or cleaning or cooking.
I have unpacked, at the other end, for her.
And as always, the same tips remain true -
- Always carry a box with you in your car, not with the removalists, that contains kettle and coffee provisions, a cloth, loo paper, a Stanley knife and bin bags. (And to be honest, some unbreakable wine and beer glasses too!)
- Clearly mark each and every single box.
- Have the box with the bed linen in it one of the first to be unpacked - get the bed(s) made up as soon as you can - that way, if all else turns to shit, you can always just go to bed. The unpacking will always wait till tomorrow.
- Check services are on and working - hot water particularly, and 'phone. If not, have a fight with Telstra.
- Use the spare room for the majority of boxes - leave plenty of room everywhere else to start getting an idea of where stuff can eventually go.
- Don't rush to hang pictures up on random existing hooks - else they will stay for the next however many years until you next decorate. Do it properly the first time.
- Have notebook and pen handy to write the ongoing shopping list of all the new bits and bobs you find yourself realising that you need.
- Go out for a curry or other favoured takeaway that night - your new kitchen will wait.
I have moved 27 times in my life. And this one was the hardest yet.