State-hopping with extra duct-tape

Tomorrow, men in trucks will arrive to cart my life away, or at least those bits of it currently encased in cardboard and duct tape.

They will knock at my door at some ungodly hour known only to shift workers, street sweepers and me on a Monday or Tuesday. And with sack truck in hand they will make off with seven big boxes, ten small boxes and an assortment of newly-cleaned whitegoods. Then, in two weeks, different men will heap it back upon me in my new house in Tasmania, where I have accepted a job.

At least someone enjoys having all these boxes about the place.

My sister and her fiancé drove down in an exceedingly expensive hire car (your resource industry at work) on Sunday to help me pack the place up. I really wasn’t organised, and was forced to invent little jobs for brother-in-law-in-two-weeks to do to prevent him from manically packing everything he could get his hands to into the nearest box. Tomorrow I will strip the bed, put the sheets in the final box and seal it up.

And once the stuff is gone? I will do nothing.

Not by choice, but because there will be nothing in my flat to do anything with. Just me, the cat and a butchered couch which will not be making the journey back east. Nothing for a whole week.

I should be used to this moving lark by now. I didn’t realise how often I’d done it until I was filling out a credit check form to secure my new house in Launceston.

Since going to university in 2006, I have moved once a year. First to a residential hall at Monash, with my clothes neatly sorted into “uni” and “home” piles since the letter of offer arrived on January 11. Then home again, defrosting and cleaning a fridge while drunk at 3am. Then back to Farrer Hall four months later, then to a two bedroom flat in Caulfield South. From thence to a rambling, beautiful art deco house in Caulfield North, a move so close I joked about piling all my worldly possessions on the centre of my bed and pushing it down the tram tracks. Then the big one – Caulfield to Bunbury. And now I’m doing the return journey, with an ocean crossing thrown in for good measure.

So it seems amazing that I should still receive a caustic burn every time I put oven cleaner to the off-the-box use of sparkling up the 12-year-old microwave.

At least one person in my house has been enjoying the move. Climbing in and out of boxes, sleeping on bubble wrap and sitting casually on the crisper while the fridge defrosts – packing has been a three-day theme park for my cat. I hope her chipper attitude to the change carries on until we are settled in our new home. Before I have to, to paraphrase Terry Pratchett, butter her paws on the presumption that skidding wildly into the walls will take her mind off the change of scenery.

Now there is nothing left to do but find hitherto forgotten items hidden away in dark recesses of my flat, which will be discovered 20 minutes after the removalists have left tomorrow.

I still think moving house is tremendous fun. But once these seven big boxes, ten small boxes and assorted white goods are unpacked at the other end, I think I’ll try something new. I think I’ll stay put a while.

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