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Interview with the person who saved money by moving house themselves

FMM: Ok Jo, I’d like you to sit down on the couch over there and tell me when it all began.

Jo: Thanks. Just here, like this?

FMM: If you’re comfortable you’re in the perfect place.

Jo: Great. Well, I guess it all began when I asked my partner Richard which company we should use to move house. He just looked at me like I was talking crazy. When he said we were going to move ourselves I could tell he’d been thinking about it for quite a while.

FMM: And were you surprised by this response?

Jo: Yes, I was. We had a horrible experience with our last move. They were late, slow and damaged a few of our things but I still assumed we’d be using a removalist to move house. I mean, when the toilet breaks we call a plumber and when the car breaks down we take it to the mechanic so...

FMM: But Richard had other plans?

Jo: Yes. Unfortunately Richard had decided we were going to hire a van and call up some friends to help. We weren’t going to waste our money on a couple of strangers to move our belongings again.

FMM: How did you feel when you heard this?

Jo: I just remember looking around the room at all of our things. The fridge did not look light. How the couch and the dining table got up the stairwell was a mystery to me. Then I remember looking at my Richard.

FMM: And what did you see?

Jo: I definitely didn’t see a fit and strapping young removalist I can tell you that much! He said he’d call up Matt and Jerome to help with the heavy staff and that we’d be fine with the rest.

FMM: Matt and Jerome?

Jo: Family friends of ours. Both builders. Richard said it’d be fun. We’d get the BBQ going and a few beers and make a day of it. I wish I had kicked up more of a fuss at this point.

FMM: It didn’t go according to plan?

Jo: The list of things that went wrong is long.

FMM: I’m in no rush. This is your time.

Jo: Ok, well firstly I didn’t realise how expensive it was to hire a truck! To make it cost effective we would have to pick it up at 7am in the morning and return it before 5pm on the same day. That meant getting mum over to mind the kids at 6:15 so we could both drive out to the hire place. It was just another thing to organise. Matt and Jerome are really nice guys but they didn’t seem overly enthusiastic about spending their Saturday off work moving our furniture. They both agreed to meet at our place at 8am so we could knock it over before lunch. We got a message from Matt the day before apologising profusely but he’d injured his back at work so would have to sit this one out. That left us with Jerome who had to get his kids from basketball at 11am.

FMM: It must have been stressful dealing with all of this while packing your house.

Jo: You better believe it! When we were doing the inspection I started getting really anxious.

FMM: Anxious about the new house?

Jo: No anxious about the truck! The truck inspection. When they started talking about insurance and not being covered if we drove it in to a bridge or a tree I felt like I was going to be sick. As we walked around the truck in the rental yard Richard began to realise he had made a big mistake. He tried to hide it but I could tell. He’d never driven one before. He kept scratching his neck and kind of winching.

FMM: I see. Go on.

Jo: When we arrived home Jerome was sitting on the bonnet of his car looking a little impatient. We were late. When we told him Matt had bailed he looked even less impressed. When we opened the back of the truck he asked where the trolley was. Me and Richard looked at each other and that’s when I knew the day was going to be a total disaster. I went up to bunnings to hire a trolley. On my way there Richard called to frantically ask what box our bedsheets were packed in because we didn’t have anything to wrap the furniture with. I also needed to buy some ratchet straps and rope because we didn’t have that either!

FMM: Things were not going well.

Jo: No they were not. To make matters worse I couldn’t fit the fridge trolley in the back of my car. Jerome would have to drive over in his ute to grab it. When I got home for the second time I saw that they had loaded all the plants into the truck first because they were at the front of the house. The truck was already a mess! Soil and water all over the floor in the back. Richard looked like he had just gotten out of the shower. He was covered in sweat and it was only 9am. When I walked in the house the kids were now going crazy. Richard had half opened a dozen boxes when he was looking for sheets and now the kids were throwing things all over the place. There was no way we’d be able to get the truck back before 5pm so I called and extended the booking. More expensive to hire on a Sunday mind you.

FMM: Did it get any better after that, now that you didn’t need to rush?

Jo: When Jerome left at 10:30 for an 11am pickup we felt defeated. The truck was only half filled and I had a bad elbow from time as a barista. I decided to start ringing around for a removalist but they were all booked out. We ended up with a couple of nice enough strangers from airtasker helping us. They were about as clueless as us but we got it done in the end. The couch didn’t fare too well. The tear in the upholstery cost $400 to repair and our fridge door has still got a ding the size of a football in it which reminds me of the hell we went through every time I look at it. The TV ended up with a cracked screen and the airtaskers ended up costing more than removalists would have because we got them in last minute.

FMM: Do you think the day had anything to do with the breakdown of your relationship with Richard?

Jo: Maybe the writing was already on the wall but it definitely did not help. 

FMM: Thanks for sharing Jo. Is the couch yours or Richards?

Jo: This one? This is going to Richard.

FMM: Great. Well, whenever you’re ready to get up we’ll take it out to the truck. No rush though, we start with boxes and we’ll get to the couch after the fridge. Chill out the backyard if you like, we’ll be fine from here.

Jo: Thanks so much for letting me offload! You really are friendly moving men.