The move is on.
The last three days have been spent preparing for Monday 21st August. That is the day that a courier will come with a giant van (probably a blue one but I’m willing to be surprised), take a bunch of boxes filled with our stuff, and then drive it all the way to our new address in Finland.
On Tuesday 22nd August, we hand over the keys of the flat to the lettings company.
On Wednesday 23rd August, we fly to Oulu on a single ticket from Gatwick.
It’s all now starting to feel very final. In the process of throwing away stuff and packing things, we’ve remembered just how much of a soul-destroying task moving actually is. The long-term goal is obviously worth the brain pain, but it’s pretty intense to go through. Especially when you’re trawling through memory boxes and deciding which ones should be kept and which ones are not important.
Some other random observations from the last few days:
1) Spiders, everywhere
Every time we explore a part of the flat that hasn’t been disturbed in months (maybe even years) there’s bound to be a spider lurking in the shadows. I cannot begin to explain to you how many spiders have faced my wrath.
2) We have more stuff than we originally thought
I’m fairly certain that whenever anyone goes through the moving process, the following thoughts take place:
At the start of the process: “This will be fine, we don’t have that much stuff.”
Halfway through the process: “Shit, we’re going to need more boxes…”
3) Vacuum packing
As well as ordering a selection of cardboard boxes, we also ordered some vacuum-pack bags. You know those things that you always see on Masterchef when someone puts something into a vacuum-packed bag and puts into a water bath? (This is usually accompanied by one of the judges moaning that the resulting product will be dry, from what I remember of watching it anyway.) Imagine that but without the water bath, and instead of food, imagine it with clothes.
It’s bizarre, but these may yet prove to be quite useful in making more box space available.
4) How to not go insane
We’ve been trying to ensure that neither of us go completely insane in the packing process,. One of the things that’s been helping me is how I’ve resorted to convincing people on Facebook to snap up unwanted furniture from us. Basically, I’ve been taking the piss in my product descriptions. See below for a couple of examples:
Selling a bed: “When you hear about the state of the world these days – Trump being Trump, Brexit being as messy as absolutely every single expert predicted it would be, Michael Bay films – it’s no wonder that a bed is the only safe place left. We are offering one of these safe places. This is a decent-sized double bed that also comes with a bonus mattress, the ultimate in current sleep technology. There are also drawers underneath but they are a bit shit, so maybe don’t use them unless you absolutely have to.”
Selling a storage unit: “Are you a big box fan? I don’t blame you, given how sturdy and formidable they are at storing things. You can make your box dreams a reality with this clothing storage unit! Keep all of your hot fashion items in one of seven variably-sized boxes.”
It’s profoundly silly, but it breaks up the tedium quite nicely. And at least it’s forcing me to be a bit creative during what can be quite an non-creative process.
5) It’s good to start early
The main reason for taking Thursday and Friday off work this week was so that we could focus on starting to get ready to move. I am so happy we decided to do so. It’s not fun, but it means there’s a chance that the last few days might not be stress-filled. The next challenge will be ensuring that we enough energy after work – we both have two more conventional work weeks left with our current employer – to build on the momentum and to keep pushing through the seemingly endless list of things to do before we go.
That’s it for now. Hopefully I can blog a bit more over the next few weeks and months. Aino and myself have been talking about fun things we can do to keep people up-to-date about our adventures in Finland (as well as updates of what’s actually happening in the country) and there’s a couple of ideas we’re going to explore. More info once we’ve decided what the hell we’re going to do.