Moving Extravaganza 2012


After ten years in a very cool apartment in the awesome city of Hamilton, I have up and moved to Toronto!

In some ways, it isn’t a huge change.  I’ve worked in Toronto for twelve years. I’ve shopped, hung out with friends, gone dancing at funky goth clubs, crashed on many couches and overall, enjoyed my time in TO.  And even though my little home in Hamilton has been 1-2 hrs away (sometimes 3 depending on traffic!), I always liked being able to leave the hustle and bustle of Toronto behind.

So what triggered the decision to move?  I’ve been stubbornly clinging to my Hamiltonian life for so many years…why now?

Well, I could say that it’s because I’ve been dating someone in Toronto for two years.
But he would have just as easily moved to Hamilton and found an apartment with me 🙂 so that wasn’t the deciding factor.

I think one of the biggest reasons is simply that I got tired of the commute.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve found myself spending 3, 4, sometimes 5 days in a week at B’s place in Toronto. Spending so much time here gave me a sense of what life would be like if I wasn’t commuting back and forth to work. How much extra time I would have in each and every work day.

Yep, commuting.  Twelve years!  It’s hard to believe it has been that long…I started when I was 21 and spend my 20s on trains, buses and subways.

Commuting in this instance meant getting up at 5am, catching the 6:15am train to Toronto, followed by the subway, arriving to work around 8:20 or so.  It also meant getting off work at 3pm, but arriving home around 6pm.

Initially, commuting back and forth wasn’t a huge deal.  I admit, getting up at 5am was a struggle at times, especially when the weather was crappy or when I’d decided the night before that I could stay up “a little later than normal”, but more often than not, I enjoyed my hour-ish long train ride. I wrote, read, sometimes got a lot done!

Okay…or I slept.  Sometimes there was just no choice in the matter! 😉

Over the years, I’ve also met some awesome people on the train!  The Train Gang!  My fellow commuters, who have more than once caused me to laugh to tears!  Dora the Explorer, Cranky Lady, the Tree Cow, Kumbaya, Itchy Cabbage Farts…the craziness and fun on the WestBound Lakeshore GO Train was never-ending! It’s THAT stuff that I’m going to miss!

Even some of those Train Gang members who stopped commuting over the years continue to be close friends and that, if nothing else, makes me thankful that I commuted for as long as I did.

But over the years, I’ve just grown weary of the travel.  The days where I finished work at 3pm and just wanted to be home without the long ride, became more and more common.

One evening, many years ago now, I sat down and calculated how much time I was spending travelling back and forth every year.  I included the walk to/from the train/subway station to my home/workplace, the GO train ride back and forth, as well as my subway ride to/from work.  It was years ago that I figured this out but the total stuck with me.

28 days spent annually, just traveling!

A a month of my life, every year, spent getting to where I was going. Times twelve years….that works out to be a year of my life. Granted, that was assuming I was commuting back and forth Mon-Fri for ten months of the year…and towards the end of the 12 years, my travel was less and less as I stayed in the city more and more….

But still!  28 days!

It was eye-opening.  A little shocking.  And thus, years later, I remember the number. It stuck with me, nudging me every so often when I was cranky and cursing the 5am darkness.

But over the past couple of years, as I mentioned, I began to spend more time in Toronto and I found myself enjoying the wake-up call at 6:30 or even 7am instead of 5.  I could stay up a little later, sleep in a little more and hey, I could be home by 4pm rather than 6.

And so, after more than a decade of stubbornness and  hundreds of conversations ending in “But I *LOVE* Hamilton!! I like being able to leave the big city behind!” I began to rethink my living arrangements.

Sure, the consideration began with a boy 🙂 but as I thought about the amount of time I was spending in Toronto already, the amount of work I was able to find that seemed to all be within the Greater Toronto Area, and the time I would save on a day-to-day basis…that 28 days loomed larger and larger.

So I made the decision and now, here I am…surrounded by corrugated boxes and chaos!  Well, day-by-day the chaos is giving way to organization and I have to admit, I like this part.  It involved trips to Ikea!  Always fun!

And although the move means I leave many friends in Hamilton, I know from massive experience that the trip is do-able and now when I commute, it’ll be because I choose to go and hang out with everyone!  (Or it’ll be when I want to rent a car as it’s SO much cheaper renting from Hamilton! *wink*)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PACKING

I began packing a month before the actual move date.  I spent a lot of time purging and getting rid of stuff.  Ten trips to the Thrift Store later, an apologetic woman with a somewhat panicked look in her eyes turned me away at the door.

“So sorry but we can’t take anymore donations.  No space! Our back room is packed to the ceiling!”

Wonder if that was all my stuff? Hehe

I even shredded old bills and papers…the four garbage days in April at my Hamilton apt looked somewhat like this:

I just have to say…I LOVE my paper shredder!

I did get rid of a lot, but not enough.  The Great Purging of 2012 continues at the new apartment and even though it can be time-consuming and frustrating, I really like the feeling of starting new…getting rid of old stuff that’s just weighing my down…that I don’t need…never use…can’t even identify…Ten years in the same apartment and stuff kind of piles up on you.

I attacked cupboards with gusto, especially in the kitchen.  Expiry date from six years ago? Into the bin it goes!

The problem with attacking cupboards first, is that you then find yourself going back to double-check…triple-check…quadruple-check (is that even a word?) and your brain is going,

“IT”S EMPTY!  YOU”VE ALREADY CHECKED!”

Eventually I solved this problem:

“We are empty! Leave us alone!”

“See that tape? DON’T TOUCH IT!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MOVING

Moving was an interesting experience.   I began the search for helpful minions…I mean friends!!…weeks prior to the day 😉  I am SO appreciative to those who helped out on the day because they had to deal with this….

My stairs!

Yep, I lived in an attic at the top of those 40 stairs.  B counted them for me. Then multiplied them out by how many trips he made up and down the staircase.

It was far! 😉

Or is that high?

Anyway…so yeah, I can’t blame anyone for being busy that day! LoL I *also* wanted to be otherwise indisposed but you know, it was my apartment and stuff so I figured I should be there. *wink*

The wood planks on the stairs were my friend Mimi’s idea…Thanks Meems!  What an awesome suggestion!

Non-fragile boxes were slid down the planks and even heavy boxes were held but moved via sliding…SO much easier!!

We took about four hours to load up almost everything, with a break in there of course!

Feeding the minions! …Ahem…friends!  My lovely most awesomest friends!!!

Chilling after hours of stair-climbing

Where’s the beer?? 😛 (Peter! You crack me up! lol)

Response to the question…”How you guys doing? Shall we head up and get the remaining boxes?” 😛

By the end of the four hour loading…we were all starting to lose focus and the silliness was creeping in!

Peter winding up my lights for me. Ineffective! 😛

The ECSTATIC and HAPPIEST part of the day?
Arriving at the new place…which is on the main floor of a house…and unloading the 4-hr load in barely 90 minutes!!!

Our new place is behind the windows to the right of Ben, who was trying out our new porch!

To all my insanly awesome and supportive friends, those who made it out on the day and those who were unable, I love you all! I am so lucky to have such amazing people in my life!

Thank you all so much!

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