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My gosh…  Our move.  We’ve now been in Vernon for a little bit more than a month, and while I wouldn’t say we’re ‘settled in’ just yet {there’s still so much to do!}, we’re certainly settling in.  Thankfully, this move has been one of the more low-key moves we’ve done, and let me tell you – we’ve done quite a few moves in our time.

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This time around we used a BigSteelBox for our long distance move instead of renting a moving truck like we usually do and if there’s one thing for sure, it’s that I didn’t miss the usual speed fill the truck / drive to your destination /  speed unload / have the truck back within 24 hours routine {I’m exhausted and stressed out just thinking about it}.  Having a shipping container to load at our leisure undoubtedly made the process a lot more chilled out and doable with two little loves running around, and for that I’m grateful.  We chose to have the box delivered a few weeks before we planned to leave Vancouver, so we had plenty of time and were able to get the majority of the packing and loading things into the box done  in the evenings once Grae and Sam were in bed – win!

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There were all kinds of important things that needed to be done during the daytime, after all! Final playdates with special friends, Vancouver bucket list items, and most importantly, an art-themed birthday party to celebrate my sweet Miss G turning 7 {more on that to come soon, hopefully}!

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We also did a massive kids’  stuff sale one weekend after donating a ton of stuff at our local drop box and thrift shop.  I really wasn’t up for doing a garage or yard sale, and though I love the East Van Kids’ Sell & Swap group I’m a part of on FB, I just didn’t have time to take and post pics of each item and then make arrangements for each mama to come and pick up her items.  So a playroom sale it was!  Our playroom had already been emptied out for Miss G’s birthday party, so I just organized the items by size, asked for a flat $2 per item {mostly at least – there were a few things tagged for slightly more} and invited the mamas in our area over to take what they wanted.  Thankfully it was a total success and we sold the majority of it, then just donated the rest.  {If there’s one thing I’ve learned from moving a lot in my lifetime it’s that there’s no sense in moving things you don’t need or use…  Selling and donating things means less work!}

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After getting rid of everything we no longer needed or wanted, we got  serious about packing things into boxes and moving them into the BigSteelBox.  For the most part, I packed things inside the house and B packed everything out to the shipping container and dealt with all of the stuff in the basement and garage, working for a few hours each night {and sometimes during Sam’s nap} and enjoying our kiddos and Vancouver for the rest of the day.  Thankfully my mom and Rorie were able to come for a few full days closer to the move and my gosh – we killed it on those days!  Four extra hands made a huge difference in what we were able to accomplish each day.

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Before long, our house was fairly empty and the BigSteelBox was nearly full.    Now not going to lie… The situation got a little desperate near the end.  So desperate, in fact, that we began packing all soft items in plastic garbage bags so we could stuff them into every last nook and cranny available in the box {#keepingitclassy}, and even then, our lawn mower and a couple of other items ended up not being able to come with us.

For reference, our Big Steel Box was the usual 8 x 20 and our Vancouver house was 2300 square feet of finished space with a fully furnished living room {only one sofa}, kitchen, bathroom, office, playroom, and 3 big bedrooms.  We also had some bikes, some winter tires, some patio furniture, and some seasonal stuff downstairs in storage and there was no way we would have been able to fit everything into our shipping container.  That was actually with us selling our washer, dryer, butcher block, desk, table, 2 shelves, and 2 dressers to the new tenants who were moving in after us.  All that being said:  if you have a biggish house filled with a decent amount of stuff, one standard shipping container  *may* not be enough.

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But you know what?  It all worked out in the end and my gosh did it ever feel good to have the box picked up and know that we were {mostly} done.

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For the next few days, we worked on cleaning our empty house while sleeping on foamies at night, eating take out twice a day, and sneaking in little Vancouver adventures whenever we could.

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Eventually we were off.  With a car absolutely loaded to the gills and two mattresses that kept flying up on the highway, we made our way to the Okanagan.  Leaving our big, old, odd house – Miss G’s first home when moving back from the Middle East and the place we finally brought our little preemie bubba home to after a long NICU stay – was a little bit sad.  I always find leaving somewhere I’ve called ‘home’ a bit hard…  The moment you have to say goodbye, all of the wonderful memories it’s filled with come flooding back, but I think that’s just the way it goes.  When we were first leaving Canada  to teach in Kuwait, my principal {and my biggest supporter career wise} told me to leave a place when you still really love it so that you’ll always have its happy memories with you, and I think that’s sage advice.  Wise words, Wayne Carlaw. Wise words.

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After a quick 6 hour trip, we arrived in the Okanagan – our new home.  While away, our house was painted top to bottom in a true white and I can’t tell you what a difference it made to the overall brightness and feel of the house.  So long, beige on beige…  Please never come back.

What you see in the photos above was pretty much all we had to live with for the next ten days…  Because a shipping container takes time to transport, we were told to be prepared for it to take full two weeks, and we were.  {Well except for Brad not having anything to wear to work but jean cut-offs, baseball tees, and well-loved Vans – hah!}  While I must say that  I do really enjoy having a bed to sleep on, one thing this particular move taught me was how little you truly need to make it through the days…  Some soap, a few outfits each, a 4 piece set of plates and cutlery,  a couple of foamy mattresses, a basket of borrowed toys, and we were all just fine.

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That being said, I think we were all pretty stoked on the day our BigSteelBox arrived in Vernon.  Opening that thing was like Christmas come early!

Now you could obviously do it any which way you want, but in my opinion, one of the biggest perks that comes with moving house in a shipping container is being able to unpack it slowly and avoid being totally overrun by towers of boxes.  We immediately brought in and set up all of the big pieces of furniture we’d  put in the box last {things like our sofa, beds, our dining table, etc.} and after that our plan of attack was to bring in a small loads of boxes, get them fully unpacked, and only then go out and grab more.  By doing so, I think the task was much less overwhelming, the house was much less cluttered than it could have been, and there were very few boxes ever available for little hands to rummage through.

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moving g's room 2

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So where are we at now?  Well, as of a couple of days ago, which is pretty much exactly a month since its arrival, our BigSteelBox is officially empty!  We do have several boxes scattered about the house that need to be unpacked, but not an overwhelming number.  At the moment, our kitchen is pretty much done save some bar stools I need to find and purchase {harder than expected}, as is Miss G’s room save some shelves I need to purchase and a chair that’s on it’s way.  Sam’s room is very much in progress still {though it’s on the top of my list for this week} and our room hasn’t been started just yet – hello, disaster area!  Both bathrooms are currently functional, though both could use a runner and some prettying up.  Our living room is bare.  We’ve got a couch, a chair, a television, and a stand, but it’s seriously lacking a carpet I’m waiting on coming back in stock as well as some plants, a coffee table,  and decor that need to be purchased at some point.  Our dining room has a table and chairs, which is all it really needs, and our little office nook still needs bookshelves and a desk {says the girl typing on a computer that’s currently set up in her closet}.  The playroom is *sort of* set up, but it needs a whole lot of organizing and a table and shelves for a creative space.  All that to say that there’s still a ton of work to be done, BUT – my very best friend and her lovely family are coming up in just two short weeks {I can’t wait!}, so I have plenty of motivation to get it all done before they arrive.  Fingers crossed at least!


Disclosure:  We were provided with our BigSteelBox and the transport service in exchange for sharing about our experience.  As always, my opinions are completely honest and my own and I wouldn’t share if I didn’t think it was a fantastic moving option.

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5 thoughts on “Our Move

  1. Love this. What a genius idea for such a big move. Looks like it made life (and the move) a whole lot easier!

  2. Wow, that was pretty amazing. And for sure it is a great way to move. It’s a pity that you can’t do that in Europe, its not normal to have enough place for a container in the yard neither the Street. And as I saw the F
    Photos and remembered how your old place war from another posts I was saying, oh, so they really left that haus? But… Wow… The new one looks incredible. I am already in love with the new play room. I don’t think I can ever have one like this (or maybe I could, buy my kids will be then too old for a Play room xD). Congratulations and good luck with the work that ist still left.

  3. Like other people I also hate moving family especially when it needs to move all the things including living stuff and furniture! But this big box has made the move more easier and comfortable! I have recently found this website useful for entertainment and I like it. By the way, thanks for sharing this post with us.

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