The move, in hindsight

Today it is a year since we packed up our home in boxes, shipped them off to storage and left for a two month journey towards our destination.

We have landed, unpacked, furnished and decorated our new home, in another city. Our way here was not a walk in the park, it was uphill struggle to keep sane, to not go completely bonkers and just endure. Our two year old son wasn’t all that happy but adapted when he saw us adapt to new surroundings and situations.

I kept blogging to keep sane and also to scribble down thoughts and daily progress. Some entries are short, others are a bit more meaty.

In chronological order, from beginning to end. (Use Ctrl-click to open each post in a new tab)
2015-07-30: We are leaving Home Base B19
2015-08-01: First day at Habitat L
2015-08-03: Hab L, Day 3
2015-08-04: Hab L, Day 4
2015-08-05: Hab L, Day 5
2015-08-07: Hab L, Day 7
2015-08-08: Hab L, Day 8
2015-08-12: Hab L, Day 12
2015-08-14: Hab L, Day 14
2015-08-16: Hab L, Day 16
2015-08-18: Hab L, Day 18
2015-08-19: Hab L, Day 19
2015-08-20: Hab L, Day 20
2015-08-21: Hab L, Day 21
2015-08-23: Hab L, Day 23
2015-08-25: Hab L, Day 25
2015-08-27: Hab L, Day 27
2015-08-29: Hab L, Day 29
2015-08-30: Hab X, Day 30
2015-08-31: Hab X, Day 31
2015-09-01: Hab B, Day 32
2015-09-02: Hab B, Day 33
2015-09-03: Hab B, Day 34
2015-09-05: Hab X, Day 36
2015-09-06: Hab B, Day 37
2015-09-07: Hab B, Day 38
2015-09-08: Hab B, Day 39
2015-09-09: Hab B, Day 40
2015-09-11: Hab B, Day 42
2015-09-12: Hab B, Day 43
2015-09-13: Hab B, Day 44
2015-09-14: Hab B, Day 45
2015-09-15: Hab B, Day 46
2015-09-17: Hab B, Day 48
2015-09-19: Hab B, Day 50
2015-09-20: Hab B, Day 51
2015-09-22: Hab B, Day 53
2015-09-24: Hab B, Day 55
2015-09-26: Hab B, Day 57
2015-09-28: Home base FLV5, Day 58
2015-09-30: The long journey is over

As predicted, I said before we took off onto this journey that “in a year or two, we’re gonna laugh at this madness” … and we do. This is one of the most crazy and slightly mental projects I have ever participated in, go live in a knapsack for almost two full months with a toddler and emerge alive from it.

Friends followed these almost daily blog posts, to keep up with what was going on, others who heard about this have read these entries and came back with a deeper understanding about how and what went on. Please comment.

The long journey is over

We have landed, moved in and have started to build and form our new home. Some furniture is scattered around the apartment as we had to ditch and throw most of what we had due to time and space constraints when evacuating the house in end of July. We have a few essential items though, beds for everyone, kitchen table, two bookshelves and a desk, some cooking equipment but no plates or deep dishes, which makes meals a bit of an adventure.

I’ve just shared a long list of items to look for and get for the apartment, things like vacuum cleaner, rugs, cleaning equipment and light armatures. When we moved in, the previous owner had taken down and brought with them all but one ceiling electrical box lids with connectors, been through a few stores looking for this type of lid, hearing that they stopped carrying this particular type a few years ago, I’ve seen the correct type, I held it, sniffed it but could not justify 175 SEK each for myself, similar lids though not exactly like the one I’m looking for is about 35 SEK.

It feels so good to know that we are going to stay, that we don’t need to pack everything up and move to yet a temporary accommodation, we are done with that part. I heard someone say that a hotel stay would be fun and nice, I’m f’ing bored with it, the only positive with staying at a hotel is clean towels whenever you want and perhaps no-effort breakfasts, all served. But still, boring.

Now, sitting at the kitchen table, looking around, listening, can’t hear any neighbors, no sounds from the yard between the houses, just the low hum of the ventilation system. Thinking about the last two months, the struggle, how we kept ourselves sane by thinking ahead of what would come, how to juggle everything and make the pieces fit in our puzzle. The biggest scare was when the shower wall broke and I saw for my inner self that the land lord would charge us a hefty amount for it and felt really bad, it could have shot down our budget completely, but instead they trusted us and thought it might have been installed incorrectly. Another moment was when I helped M come to terms with her computer, gave her a few nifty tips on how to do stuff and helped restore and backup “lost” pictures, she was really happy when she understood that her pictures from her computer were accessible in her phone and all pictures she shoot will be saved online, even told her that she could lose both computer and phone and the pictures would still be safe.

The journey was long but we came home, a new home.

Home base FLV5, Day 58

Touch down!
Today we moved in. The moving company called just before 11 when I was at work and I went down to the entrance to meet them, hand over keys and instructions. I left the office at about 12, met with wife in the apartment and the went to fetch our last remaining items from Habitat B. Got there and gathered our stuff, with help from our cohabitant we got the stuff transported to the apartment.

Out of about 40 boxes, we have killed about 8 this far, beds and kitchen table assembled and temporary light fixtures are up.

Unpacking after two months is a bit like Christmas, open a box and find stuff you need, that was almost forgotten.

Noticed lots of small stuff missing, started lists of things to get.

Long day, woke up at Habitat B, went to work, go to Home Base FLV5, go to Habitat B and back, unpack and shuffle things around. Now in bed, sore feet but happy, we have landed.

Hab B, Day 57

Today we got the keys!

We took a moment to look around and get a feel for the apartment, went across town for IKEA, spent about 2 hours touring IKEA for this-and-that, mostly looking at stuff, inspiration. Escaped with only 1200 on the receipt, which could be considered pretty low.

Went back to the apartment to dump the stuff, have another look, replaced a dead light bulb (actually a low energy spiral bulb) with a LED dito. We needed to eat something so we went o a nearby center and had pizza and kebab, the son ate pasta carbonara. Copied post box key.

Hab B, Day 55

Today we signed all the papers.

We finalized the papers with the broker and as soon the seller has signed, the papers are going to the bank for processing, settling the deal.

At the bank we signed yet more paperwork to finalize the loan, prepare everything for tomorrow, when the signed contract arrives.

In the end, we are going to get the keys to our new apartment at earliest tomorrow evening or Saturday, when the seller has moved out and the apartment has been cleaned.

Talked to parents and invited them to come and check out the apartment after we have moved in, that would be anytime after Monday lunch, as that was the the first possible slot we could get with the moving company. Stuff stored at parents place could be moved as soon as next weekend, servers, bicycles and pram among things.

Our Internet’s will be up and running from day one as we arranged with the ISP to have it connected as soon as previous habitant is disconnected. We even have the intarwebs router waiting on location, since we visited earlier in the summer.

It’s gonna be nice to have our own space again, living in a knapsack since beginning of August in 4 different locations, shelling out something in the neighborhood of 20000 SEK for just housing and accommodation, other costs increased as well because of not being able to cook and freeze or even stuff ingredients into freezer.

We iz happsy!

Hab B, Day 53

There is some movement in the planning of moving into the apartment; seller has stated to move out and clean the 25th September, broker is very eager to finalize and close the deal with payment.

I have an appointment with the bank on the 28th.

Trying to reach out to the bank to reschedule the appointment to this week, if successful we might move in Friday 25th or some day next week, as we are going to use a moving company I need a firm date to plan around, at the moment everything is sliding towards next week.

Feeling stressed, squashed between the wish and strive to move in and the knowledge that the bank could delay the whole moving machinery til next week.

Hab B, Day 51

Bicycle race started at 09, we left the house at 09:15 and managed to get past the road block, went to baby stuff flea market in a part of town we hadn’t been to yet, on our way to the next way point, I discovered that our son had a tick on his forehead, went to find a pharmacy and a tick-picker and found one, continued on to way point to pick up a autumn/winter cover all for the son. Went back into town and took a walk, a quite long walk. All in all we walked for 2 hours and 43 minutes, almost 10 kilometers and 16194 steps, so we are a bit sore.


Hab B, Day 50

Spent most of the day criss crossing town, farmers market like fair on the square and shopping to groceries in the local middle eastern shop. Tried a new restaurant and were positively surprised, it’s close to the office so there might be return visits just based on the pasta-beef dish I ate today.

Yesterday was a bit calmer at the office, thursday was busy busy as there was more or less chaos and I had to work overtime to solve a problem, resending messages that got messed up, left the office after 7 in the evening.

Tomorrow they are gonna shut down the road outside at 09, so we need to leave before that, some kind of bicycle race or similar. It’s gonna be closed to 16 so we need to keep ourselves busy until then. The mission is to get across town, to a neighborhood we haven’t been to yet, to buy some stuff for the son and then back to the town. After that we have nothing planned.

Also, the broker have indicated that our seller is possibly moving out earlier, nothing we have heard directly from her, but that revokes pretty much all previous planning about the moving day. New round of planning and trying to get the schedule to fit without overlap or gaps.

Hab B, Day 48

Crazy at work today. Woke up at 04:10 as son decided it was a good idea to kick his dad in the face, managed to get him to sleep again, did not fall asleep myself until much later, was awaken by son again just before 06, went up and went to work. Was on call from 06, first interaction came about 08 and from there it was full on crazy. Got home at 19:30-ish, so quite a long day.

Hopefully tomorrow isn’t gonna be equally busy, but experience says it is going to keep on until at least lunch.

Hab B, Day 46

This morning I met with our seller, the lady we bought the apartment from, to fetch laundry room key and some mail. She drove me down town and we talk about moving in and out from our separate perspectives, she can’t get into her new apartment because the elderly couple she bought her apartment from were slow about moving out and into their new apartment, there was something about some walk in closet to be built before they could move in and such. I told her about our plan to hire a company to move our stuff in as soon as her stuff is moved out and the apartment has been cleaned properly, we would just need the bed to be in place and assembled to sleep in our new apartment the first night.SFD98C86789431042838FA0F413C0620D23_920x

The other stuff we could unpack and arrange during several weeks .. or days, whichever comes first. Our 40-ish boxes and assorted stuff won’t take that long to unpack.

A bank employee called today, to arrange a meeting .. the thing is that they called last week to arrange a meeting. When I told that I already had an an appointment the phone call went sideways, the person started talk with colleagues and came back to the call briefly, said goodbye and forgot to hang up, still talking about the confusing situation.

Emailed yet another moving company yesterday, still waiting for a reply .. or reaction. As the quotation form on their homepage didn’t fit my needs, it didn’t have any options for entering storage as origin or describing items or amount of boxes. At the moment we only got one quotation, at a somewhat fair rate.

Hab B, Day 45

At work I started to dig into a new technical area today, the idea is to take some load off one of our teams by teaching myself parts of a platform were most of the team members lack in knowledge.

Haven’t given the move much thought, but need to get a quotation from yet another moving company the have something to compare between. The lady we bought the apartment from have contracted a company to have her stuff moved, thinking that if they are moving her stuff they could move ours as well. But first things first, a quotation.

Colleagues are asking about the move, have we moved in and so on. Answering that we are living at a B&B and are just waiting for the month to pass.

Hab B, Day 44

Yet another trip across town, today in another direction. Visited a few stores to check them out and got some groceries.

Have gotten used to living at the bed & breakfast, having to share the cramped space with another tenant, we can call her “M”, we’re getting along fine and this morning she took our son for a walk, wife were a bit jumpy and worried, of course nothing happened and they returned OK.

Hab B, Day 43

Today is my mothers birthday, on our way across town I called her to congratulate her and also congratulate both mom and dad on their 44th wedding anniversary.

Updated them on what and how we are going to handle the move, the bank and other stuff.

Across town we went to check out an Asian shop, to our surprise it was really good, wide assortment of known products and low to moderate prices. Had lunch and went on the shop for groceries and then found a low budget thingy store, left with fly swatters and hand wash detergent. Probably a return visit, to most of the places.

When thinking about it, I do not miss Eskilstuna, at all. Not on any plane, not the city. I miss friends.
As we have been living in Västerås for a few weeks, I have come to like the city more and more, sure it has it’s quirks but so does all cities. One of our reactions just a few days into living in Västerås were “Why they fuck didn’t we do this earlier?” and that still stands, should have moved earlier.

Hab B, Day 42

The work week was crazy, lots to do and think about, drained when coming home in the evenings. I like it.

Still looking for moving companies, the remaining two companies that I sent a request for quotation has not responded back, at all. Gonna check with the lady we bought the apartment from, as she hired a company to move all her stuff and also clean the apartment, maybe they can offer us a good price and we don’t need to synchronize with with another moving company — they could move our stuff in as soon as they were done cleaning… is my thoughts.

Tomorrow we’re going across city to explore and evaluate the last Asian shop of many in town, wife has been through all of them, checking them out. One without price tagged items where the price is disclosed as items are being punched into the cash register, another where prices on items seem to have been multiplied with 1.5, 2 or 3 or as I expressed it when I heard about the price levels, “WTF?!”. Otherwise they were stocked with were few items or were stocked with items from a single country, lack of diversity.

Hab B, Day 40

Busy day at the office.

Got yet another moving company reply today, they wanted to know more about the stuff, how many boxes, furniture and such, comes through as professional. The other two companies has not been heard from, think I already have an idea about which company to choose.

Have an appointment with bank about finalizing the loan and financing for the new apartment. Looking forward to it, to have everything in writing and get it done.

Son really enjoys the new daycare center, he has already picked up the routines.