Moving House

Well, moving into a house! We’ve rented a cheap (for my city) apartment for the past 2.5 years, and many of you will have heard me complain about the noisy neighbours, many kinds of ugly flooring, and all it’s other charms. Well, we are finally moving!

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As you’ll have seen if you follow me in IG or FB, we’re moving mid-May to a century home just outside the downtown core of our city. It’s a nice residential street – in fact, I lived on the same street twice in University. It’s near the big river park and just 500m from the weekly Farmer’s Market. (Where, incidentally, I used to sell handmade pillows made from saris one summer!) Bonus: Lots of nice places to take blog photos!

I find moving quite intimidating… I tend to obsess over the details to control my fears about the big stuff (aka. $$$!) So far I’ve been pinning up a storm about interior design, and imagining each room – as opposed to, you know, getting quotes from moving companies! (I’ve never used a moving company before, but we’ve got a few big heavy items like a dishwasher and massive elliptical machine, and not as many friends and family in shape for lifting heavy stuff. Please let me know if you’ve got any advice on finding movers!) Then there is changing over the utilities and internet, updating insurance, packing, cleaning, the university course I was supposed to start in April but am hoping to delay, and all that jazz!

In the spirit of happy distraction, here’s what I’ve been thinking about:

Clearing Out

Since choosing the house, I’ve given away 5 bags of clothes to friends and family! Jamie has a bunch of clothes to donate, and records/etc to sell. I’m finding it much easier to use things up and get rid of them – but still, I just can’t winnow down our books or my crafting stash! Gotta keep working on that.

Decorating

The house has grey walls, which I’m rather excited about – I love how it sets of bright colours – and high ceilings with hardwood floors. Here are some of my inspiration pins for the living room:

living room Collage

Here’s what I notice when I look at these pictures:

  • layered, eclectic looks
  • bold saturated colours: shades of teal, pinky red, and  splashes of bits of ochre yellow
  • plants, but I think I need plastic ones
  • lots of textiles (surprise!) and art on the walls

Since we don’t have a budget for decorating, I’m enjoying thinking about how to mix the things we already own with extra furniture from our families, art that I left kicking around in my parent’s basement 15 years ago, and textile things I can sew from the stash!

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Which takes me to yesterday’s project: a rag quilt made from quilting cotton dresses and some of my favourite fabrics I’ve been hoarding from Japan! It’s a throw quilt for the couch, made of 15″ squares. I’ve never tried making a rag quilt before, but it was so quick and easy! I’ll do a proper post on it eventually. Basically, you sandwich some batting between two squares of cotton, sew them with an x, and join all the squares with the raw seam allowances showing on one side. Once it’s washed, the seam allowances become fluffy. It’s not as elegant as a “real” quilt, but I did finish it in a day after thinking about making a quilt for years, and I’m excited to see all my favourite fabrics instead of hiding them away in the stash.

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In a similar vein, I finally bound the King-sized quilt that was part of my 2014 Top 5 resolutions! In the end the binding was quick and easy – I don’t know why I put it off for years. Frank is now obsessed with lying on it!

Next On My List

Rent a van to pick up 7 Ikea bookshelves I bought on Kijiji for $75, and find some cheap and bright upholstery fabric to recover our Ikea Poang chair. (You know, that bent wood recliner-y one that everyone has owned at some point?) Oh, and my landlord is coming over in a few hours to get the place measured for renovations… I should probably make sure they at least have room to walk in all the rooms!

I’m all ears for moving advice – please tell me your top tips! 


43 thoughts on “Moving House

  1. Good luck with your move Gillian! We moved 4900 km 3 years ago and we rented our own uhaul truck and hired movers at each end to load an unload it for us. That saved us about $20,000! Your move is different but you might want to investigate that option🙂

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    1. Wow, where did you move from? That’s an epic drive! At least our drive is just 10 min, so we can make plenty of trips over the two weeks we have to move!

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  2. Movers are great! I’d definitely recommend them. It’s so nice to have a bunch of dudes show up and do all the heavy lifting. And I was amazed at just how fast they work.

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    1. That’s great to hear! I’m wondering just how much they can move in 2-3 hours – I guess i’ll just have lots of boxes ready and furniture cleared, and we’ll see what they can handle! Definitely the elliptical, the bed, the couch, my treadle sewing machine, the dishwasher, and then we’ll see how much I can add to that!😉

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  3. Hee hee! I love how your ‘moving energy’ has transferred into manic quilting!! i love your decorating pins, and (surprise) colours🙂 I was looking for felt for a craft, and found some of your wedding table mats. Could they become cushion covers or chair seat pads? Can’t help myself…dreaming about your new home. If having guests sleep over is one of your dreams, my I humbly suggest: dedicate the smallest BR to a guest room/ overflow clothing storage. You can have back your double ikea bed and you’ll be able to put untold stuff underneath it! Put an extra rod in the closet too. To me, the natural sewing room/your office is the front room downstairs. Close the door, so the LR is down the hall. Put all the tables + machines in the centre (is there an overhead light?) If you do want to host a dinner…tidy the tables. How about a quilt hanging from that curtain rod in the front window, drawn to one side? 7 Ikea bookcases? Do you have room, or does someone have space for them — eg the seller? I’ll order the boxes today!

    Enjoy your day! 🌷 Xx Mom

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    1. You’ve got this all planned out! I’ve thought of putting the sewing room downstairs, but there is a double-wide doorway from the front room to the middle living room with no doors. Frank seems to be pretty trustworthy in the sewing room, but Clay has eaten thread several times, so I don’t think I could have an open-to-the-world sewing space. Funny how a three bedroom house suddenly starts to feel small for two people though!😛 Plus there is the elliptical to put somewhere on the ground floor… (You’ll be happy to know I just called a mover, and it’s $140/hr for 3 men and a truck, plus tax and tip. He agreed the it sounds like we need 2-3 hours of work, so I’m hopeful it’ll come in to $500 or less.)
      Do you need felt? I’ve got a stash of nice wool blend felt here if you don’t need a ton. And yes, let’s put those wedding table mats to good use!

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    2. Oh, and the bookshelves – We’re just going to have to cram them in the “dining room” area for now – but 7 for the price of one new was too good to turn down! It’s a mix of wide and narrow ones, but some tall cd shelves, plus some shorter shelves… so actually more like 9, all together. Now to get them from Elora to Guelph, either with the help of Brian and his trailer, or turns out you can rent a utility van from Home Depot for $25 for 90 min. Better than doing a million trips in the Matrix!😉 Thank you for the boxes!

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    1. I’ve lived in apartments so long – I can’t wait to have a whole house to ourselves! But it’s going to mean I’m a bit MIA on the CSC this spring… Good thing we have lots lined up!🙂

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  4. Good luck with your move and have fun with the planning and decorating! We’re thinking of buying a flat (or just possibly a house) at some point in the non too distant future, but I’m not looking forward to moving. Last time, we had about 60 boxes in addition to the washer/dryer/dishwasher/fridge…😀

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    1. Buying is exciting! How nice to put the monthly money towards something you own, instead of just giving rent away to someone else!🙂

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  5. It’s so worth it to hire professional movers for the large, heavy items. It’s done quickly and efficiently. You will have fun decorating and most of all, enjoy the luxury of a dedicated crafting studio. Best of luck with the move .

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    1. Thanks Tammy! It’s nice to hear from so many people the professional movers are the way to go – I even made a few calls for price quotes after writing this post!

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  6. I’ve moved 17 times in my adult life and my biggest tips are 1) start early and 2) focus on one room at a time. I am the type to start organizing the living room, take a break to get a soda in the kitchen, and then all of a sudden I’m cleaning out cabinets. Until I go to the bathroom, realize I need toilet paper, and end up in the pantry throwing out old cans. Nothing ever gets accomplished that way! In the meantime, enjoy dreaming about redecorating! That is the best part.

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    1. Ahahaha – that’s so me! Start one job, find yourself doing another without finishing the first… Must. Stay. Focused!

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  7. Oh what a big project you have there! Your new house looks so lovely already. I hope you can spare a room just for sewing. Can’t wait to see your rag quilt. I’m sure it’s amazing with Japanese fabrics.

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  8. We did a big move last summer. My husband left to start his new job before I did, so I had to handle the moving stuff by myself. I’ve moved a lot but this was the first time we’d used movers and it was awesome. So much stress and worry out the door. And they are incredibly fast. Two guys loaded up our entire 2 bedroom apartment in 3 or 4 hours and the guys who unloaded the truck were even faster (I think they showed up at 10a, laid down a bunch of stuff to protect the carpet, and were done and gone before noon). The company we used even gave us boxes for free, which was one less thing to have to chase down during the process. The advice we got when we looked for movers was to just make sure that you have a contract with the company with a fixed fee stated upfront for the stuff they are moving. That way, they can’t give you a low estimate and then change the price once they’ve loaded up your stuff.

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    1. Wow, that is so quick! Do you remember if your contract stated the amount of stuff they would move (item by item? Or just # of rooms?) or if it was a set amount of time they would work? Thanks!

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      1. It was a set amount of stuff. A guy from the moving company came by and did a walk through of our apartment. Since we were having them move everything, he estimated the number of boxes it would take to pack each room up and took an inventory of the furniture in each room and then based the quote (which was then written into our contract) on those estimates. The walk through was fairly quick too–he wasn’t fixating on every item, but rather looking at how big our apartment was, how much stuff we had relative to the size of the space, and then he was paying particular attention to any furniture that was especially bulky or heavy. The contract basically stated that unless we had withheld anything major during the walk through (like, oh, I forgot to mention that there’s deep freezer in the garage that I want moved) they would move everything for a flat rate regardless of the time it took.

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  9. love your inspo pics! Great to declutter, but don’t chunk and later regret…maybe a ‘holding zone’ for stuff you’re not sure about? Regarding removers, try to move on a less popular day. We moved on Friday, which was cheaper than a Saturday. Jen

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    1. I”m glad to hear that mid-week is cheaper! We get one moving day off work from our employer, so hopefully we can move mid-week and get a deal!

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  10. I’ve moved many, many times and the last time was the first one in which I used professional movers. It was so great and they are fast! Be sure and ask around to see which company others have used, since there are a lot of sleazebags in that business. Also, they will need to have boxes well-labeled with the room they’re going in. My advice about packing is to pare down as much as you can first and start as early as you can.

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  11. I second everyone’s recommendations for professional movers. They may be more expensive than doing it yourself, but they’re worth every penny. These people move bulky, heavy stuff for a living and have all the equipment, manpower, and procedures in place to do it quickly and efficiently… and most importantly, without hurting anyone! I’ve moved many times in my adult life with various levels of heavy furniture and appliances, and I only used professional movers the most recent time. What an eye-opener and life-saver. I’ll never move without movers again.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve heard that the quote you get from movers is often about half of the final cost, both in terms of time and money. This is exactly what I experienced. Mentally double the cost and time estimate when you get your quote, and you won’t be unpleasantly surprised on moving day. Good luck and congrats on the new space!

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    1. Wow, the quoted rate ends up being half the price? Yikes. Glad to have a heads up about that. (I remember finding out during my wedding that it is expected to tip the caterer 15% – YIKES! That was 15% on a large bill! Now I’m trying to be better informed up front!😉
      I”m so happy that everyone is raving about moving with movers. Clearly once I try it, I’ll never go back!

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      1. I totally second the advice to expect to double the quote, unless you can find someone who will do it for a fixed price upfront. We’ve been nastily surprised by that! And have found that it always takes much longer than they estimate as well. Basically, I’d still use movers but would prepare for the ‘worst’!

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  12. How exciting! Look forward to seeing more of your new house. My top tip is to give each room a number. Put a room number onto all the boxes/furniture, and a paper sign on the door and wall of each room. So much easier and quicker than writing / explaining which is the second bedroom etc. Our movers loved this! Hope all goes well. X

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    1. Numbering the rooms is a GREAT suggestion! I’ve always done colour coding, but numbers is probably easier for everyone else to remember. Thanks!

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  13. When my husband and I were first married, we moved 6 times in 5 years. We never really decorated because we never knew when we were going to pack up, so everything needed to fit in his truck and my car for one trip–easy peasy when you are kid-free. Plus, landlords didn’t seem to like it when a person made nail holes. I’m surprised your new landlord is OK with you painting–the ones we had all wanted all white (or beige–that was the hardest!) walls. Seriously though, I highly recommend paring down to things that will fit in one or two car trips, because renting is so unpredictable! I was never so glad to own something as my house!

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    1. Wow, you lived light! We’ve moved… um… 5 times in the last 7 years, and this will be there 6th. We’ve got so much more stuff now that we are living permanently in Canada, so this is going to be a big one! Our landlord is actually the one doing the painting – he is repainting the whole house before we move in! Better him than me!🙂

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      1. Yeah, we had a knack for renting houses that people had given up on ever selling–only to have them sell out from under us in less than a year. Probably my husband’s meticulous yardwork.😉

        And when it comes to painting I’m of the “anyone but me!” camp.😛

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  14. I didn’t know this! How exciting! BTW, I say take the hit and hire the movers. You’re a bona fide grown-up. You deserve the assistance and your friends and family don’t need the extra work – everyone’s older than they were when you were at uni.

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    1. Everyone is older – that is exactly the problem! And my dad, who is the fittest and always does a ton, is going to be mid-hike… he tried to convince me that he could take his one day of rest in Orangeville and come move stuff for me, but no WAY am i going to let him throw out his back lifting crap and ruin his hike! Time to pay some pros.

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  15. Congratulations! Exciting. I’d go with professional movers too, if you can afford it – 10 minutes is possibly doable on your own in 2 weeks.
    My mother has just been offered sheltered accommodation and has to move quickly and of course downsize considerably – one bedsit. She’s trying to give away – well everything that not sentimental. We’re taking quite a bit in a van we’re hiring (150 miles each way). It’s a hard hard task for my mother.

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    1. Good luck to you and your mother in the move! It’s a hard time of life for her to move and downsize – I hope she likes the new place!

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  16. Gosh I’ve moved so many times I’ve lost
    count! The last few times have been with professional movers and the more organized you are, the faster they can work, the less time it will take and the more you can avoid surprise charges.

    Empty all your drawers so that they aren’t dealing with stuff rattling around inside. Tape the drawers that are loose shut so they don’t get damaged.

    Put your cutlery trays into grocery bags – they stack well that way. Wrap cooking knives in kitchen towels – bag those too.

    Ensure you get your money’s worth from your movers – let them put things into rooms! Label boxes with the room they go to on the top and at least 1 other (or two) sides so that if the boxes are stacked you don’t have to move them to see what’s written on the top! Taken one step further, create a box list on paper or your phone: # of box, room & general contents (#1, kitchen. pots and pans). That way you know exactly what’s in each box after they’ve all been moved without having to open one and go “oops, not that one”, and you can more easily unpack what you need first.

    When the movers arrive at your new place, have one person be around to direct them where to place furniture – exactly where you want it. That means you’ve got the measurements for each room, door, window, and closet placements in advance and have planned out where each piece of furniture goes, because you’ve also measured your furniture😉 If you’ve figured this out and let the movers do the placement, it will help you get right to unpacking and you can get a head start on decorating in your sketch.🙂

    Keep a box or suitcase with you for your “immediate needs” – daily toiletries, pj’s, sheets for the bed etc so that in the worse case scenario you’re not digging through stuff to find what you need to have a good night’s sleep or wash up if you’re feeling grimy from the move.

    My husband used to work in the relocation industry so if you need more details about what to watch for with movers let me know (insurance, time, fees) etc.

    Whew. Also, if your’re not wanting to buy or search for packing supplies – use Frog Box – highly recommend them.

    We’re doing the opposite in a few months. Downsizing our large house to a condo!

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  17. Congrats on the new house! It looks lovely 😊 I love professional movers, they keep your stuff and your house from getting damaged and save a lot of lifting! For small jobs like the ikea cabinets I’ve had good luck just getting a guy with a truck off kijiji!

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  18. How exciting! I can’t wait to see your rag quilt. The king size quilt is so beautiful. Once I get back from the honeymoon, I’m going to be cutting pieces from my scraps for a mini-quilt for our couch, too. Eventually, I will try out a king-size quilt. I have a quilting sewing machine that I’ve only used for actual quilting once. LOL!

    I have no advice on moving. I hate the process of purging and packing, but the second every box is delivered to its new home I am in heaven. A whole new place to organize. I have that happiness once and then organization is a chore. LOL. So, I usually organize a ton up front. I guess that’s my advice? Hahah.

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  19. Take it easy. We moved in January (for the 4th time, I think) and taking some days off at work helped a lot. Even like that it was a tiresome experience and we’re still working on the apartment.

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  20. Congrats! Your new house looks awesome – I can’t wait to see the inside. Personally – I HATE moving. When John and I moved into our house which was our first house together, I swore we would never move again. We did hire movers which was sooooo helpful. I just looked up companies, called to compare prices and read reviews online (which weren’t as popular back then, but did still exist). It worked out just fine. We moved lots of the small things on our own and had the movers do the big and heavy furniture.
    Also a rag quilt is a real quilt!! I can’t wait to see it all finished! I love all the bright colours!

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  21. Wow, that is an amazing deal on those bookshelves! And you’ll have to show us the quilts in your new space once you get it set up. I don’t really have any moving advice– being the broke musician who only had lots of part time jobs, I lived with my parents post college to save up for a down payment on a small place. Of course, then I met Doug. He already owned our townhouse, so I was able to just take a carfull of stuff over during the several months leading up to our wedding, and had very little furniture to mess with. We are talking about when we might want to start looking for a single family home to accommodate any siblings that Hobbit might have in the future, and I’m already dreading the process of packing this whole place up! Good luck!

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  22. I hired movers (in Toronto) for my last 2 moves, and it was the best decision I ever made. My last move (of a 1 plus den) was 2 hours, start to finish. The moving part was so quick that I was basically fully unpacked by the end of the day. When I compare that to moves made with (extremely helpful!) friends that took 12 hours or more…

    You may have booked everything by now, as I read and comment behind the times as usual, but I’d just say don’t underestimate how much stuff you have when you talk to the moving company – the companies I’ve used, I didn’t have to give them a time or price limit, instead they gave me an time and price estimate based on what I told them I had. And then I paid based on the actual time it took, so the better information you give them, the closer to reality your quote will be. And you can cut down on the time (and money) by being completely packed up and organized when they arrive – my last movers actually complimented me on my efficiency!

    Last tip – if you have a lot of stairs at either end, consider getting 3 movers instead of the standard 2. You pay more for the extra guy, but you save money on time. Generally you work out ahead in the end. Stairs are tiring, even for professional movers!

    Good luck! The house looks so cute, it’s very exciting.

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