Moving is No Fun, Not to Mention Exhausting!

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It’s 8 am on Tuesday and the removalists are already here (4 Russians, an Algerian and a Tunisian). They start with the apartment down the road from us where Jean Michel’s sons have been living for the last 9 years, just giving me time to pack up the last cartons (our bedding, bedroom curtains, toiletries, etc.)

Cartons stacked the night before the removalists arrived

Cartons stacked the night before the removalists arrived

The Algerian is assigned to the kitchen and the first thing he does is ask me to make him coffee! I’ve already cleaned the espresso machine but I make the coffee anyway …

One of the Russians is assigned to packing up all the crockery, glasses and other breakables, while the others start taking all the cartons down. When the bookcase cupboards are empty, they start wrapping them up in thick blankets.

Sofa and armchair all wrapped up

Sofa and armchair all wrapped up

My entire office is dismantled before my eyes probably the most time-consuming part of the move. Gradually everything disappears and by 3 pm,  the apartment is completely empty and most of the dust and dirt vacuumed up. My trusty cleaner is coming next day to finish off. She calls by to say goodbye and we’re both in tears!

The end of my office

The end of my office

I take one last photo of my view of the Palais Royal Gardens.

Last photo of the Palais Royal gardens from our balcony

Last photo of the Palais Royal gardens from our balcony

We finally arrive in Blois around 7 pm and unpack the car. I reheat the dinner I’ve prepared in advance and we celebrate with a glass of vouvray, the local natural sparkling wine. We sink thankfully into bed.

Having got up at 5 am to drive from their depot in the Paris suburbs, the removalists arrive bright and early at 8 am. This time there are three of them, all Russian. They just manage to get the truck into the front yard and we show them round the house including the two large pieces of furniture (a cupboard and a dresser) that we want them to switch around. Groans all round.

The first truck in our garden

The first truck in our garden

All the cartons we packed are labelled but not the ones they looked after or the furniture so we have to be constantly ready to direct them. A lot of the stuff is going into the little house as well to await the future gite that Jean Michel is going to renovate in one of the other buildings.

It’s fairly chaotic particularly as one of the men speaks very little French. At 10.30 I suggest coffee, tea and biscuits in the garden. They welcome the break and we learn a little more about their lives. One of them started out on the streets of Paris but as he explained  there was no work in Russia and a man has to provide for his family.

Chaotic kitchen

Chaotic kitchen

All the furniture is remounted and I unpack the glasses from a special high carton called a tonneau or barrel with dividers inside. I also remove the clothes on hangers from the cardboard wardrobes so they can take them back.

By  2.30 pm everything has been unloaded and reinstalled and we are eating lunch in the sun in the garden.

Lunch in the garden with the remaining rubbish behind me

Lunch in the garden with the remaining rubbish behind me

Inside it looks like a disaster area except for our bedroom and the downstairs living room which I have purposely keep carton-free. We have a welcome siesta and start on the most urgent unpacking.

Fortunately our friends and neighbours Françoise and Paul have invited us for choucroûte with morteau sausage. Never has a meal tasted better!

Much appreciated choucroûte!

Much appreciated choucroûte!

Five days later the house is starting to look normal. Jean Michel has done a lot of drilling and only the office is still full of cartons. None of our pictures are up on the wall except for those that were already there before the move. I’ve finally found the carton of dirty sheets and towels but the notebook in which I so carefully noted the contents of all the boxes has still not turned up.

The upstairs living room free of cartons

The upstairs living room free of cartons

Nothing is broken but we are very sad to discover that a 6-bottle box of wine is missing including a bottle of 1999 corton charlemagne and a ladoix from the same year. I wonder at what point they disappeared. I just can’t believe the Russians took them.

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17 Responses to Moving is No Fun, Not to Mention Exhausting!

  1. Anda says:

    Wow! Your hose in Blois looks so bright and inviting with the new furniture in it. I think you are going to have a blast there, Rosemary. And with the holidays coming, it’s going to be even more appealing. On the other hand, when I see what a gorgeous apartment you had in Paris, I’d feel sorry moving out. That view …. a million dollars!

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      Thanks Anda! The view was pretty stunning but I know we’re going to love living here. Arriving in bright sunshine really made things easier, I have to say.

  2. Jill says:

    Hi Rosemary! 🙂 I know packing and moving is exhausting..but you are looking great!! I must admit I felt teary when reading of you taking your last photo of your view over the beautiful Jardin Royale..I know how I would have felt if it had been my view! But onward and upward to a wonderful new life that you have been dreaming of and planning for, for what seems a long time 🙂 You’ve done it!! A huge congratulations to both of you…I LOVE it when a plan comes together! Looks like a may just have to head to Le Blois for a look around and take aperos in your gorgeous country garden.:)
    Lots of love
    Jill.xxxxx

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      Hi Jill – I was amazed at that photo. I look better than I was feeling, I can tell you. Thank you for your well wishes and I can’t wait to have an apero with you in our country garden!

  3. Not knowing the value of the wine, I can only say at least that’s the only thing amiss about the move. It’s quite a process to sort through.

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      I phoned the removalists today and they said to send the details so they could “sort it out in-house”. Who knows, maybe it’ll turn up!

  4. Gaynorb says:

    At this point one would normally wish good luck in your new home. Of course your home isn’t new, but your life there will be.

    You seem to have prepared for and managed the move very well. It’s a pity about the wine which must leave you sad to think that someone you trusted might have taken it. I hope it turns up.

    Good luck!

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      Thank you for your wishes. I’m fairly sure that one of the removalists (whom we didn’t know) was responsible for the disappearance of the wine. I phoned the company today so am keeping my fingers crossed!

  5. Susan Walter says:

    Phew! What an effort moving is! At least you had the great advantage of moving into an already set up house. Although it does let you fall into the trap of not opening boxes for years 🙂

    We had no breakages when our stuff arrived from Australia, but we lost the odd thing in transit. We think it was because customs officials opened every box in the warehouse without our knowledge and repacked everything very badly. I’d say some things got accidently thrown out with excess packaging or maybe they broke things and rather than tell us just tossed them. I don’t know.

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      It certainly is an effort. As I unpack the boxes, I keep thinking “why did I keep that?”. I know what you mean about the unpacked boxes though …

      How annoying to have the customs officials go through everything. I had trunks sent over on two occasions but took them through customs myself so they weren’t even unpacked thank goodness.

  6. sillygirl says:

    We moved once from Seattle to Dallas and “somehow” they lost one section of our four-section bed – so they had to buy us a new one which never fit. They also broke a lamp which they “fixed” (a bungled job that we rejected) and then replaced. Six months later we were moving again and low and behold they found our bed – stored with someone else’s things that had been moved in the same truck. Bed recovered. BUT when they arrived in Spokane they said we had so many pounds of goods – up from the previous move and we hadn’t acquired anything. We had the option of them reweighing the truck – we would have to pay for that if we were wrong but it WAS less – because they had slipped in someone’s boat in our load and thought they could get by with us paying for it. Lesson learned about double checking things!

  7. Pingback: News on the Home Front | Aussie in France

  8. Johnny says:

    I am sorry that your wine went missing. I know that moving can be exhausting but, it looks like you had a fun time with it. We are planning on moving this summer. I hope to have as much fun with it as you did but, I hope that nothing goes missing.

  9. Danielle says:

    Every move is very exhausting and stressful… the thing is that after a move often there are wonderful new things that are happening! It seems that you did really well with everything! Your view is fantastic! Thanks for sharing your story! All the best!

  10. Hazel Owens says:

    I hope you ended up finding the wine that went missing. It’s a hassle to move, but it seems like yours went more or less smoothly. I’m glad that the Russian removalist was able to find work in Paris; it must be difficult for people like him just struggling to support their family. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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