Highgrove living – moving in, the first days in our new house

I have had a little break from my blog, but I have great news: we have bought a house! Amazingly we managed to find a character property, with a view, at a location we were interested in, private but not too far out of town (i.e. walking distance to good coffee). Our new home is called “Highgrove”, it is a Queenslander, built in 1886 in South Brisbane and moved to the Sunshine Coast. It has lovely heritage features!

Our new home, Highgrove

We settled the purchase last week Monday and moved in immediately. This is our 18th move, and it has become a tradition to camp in our place on the first and the last night. The night got quite cold, and we should really have pitched a mozzie net. However, it was lovely watching the sun set and seeing all those stars at night. And waking up in the morning to a view of fog over Lake Baroon, the sounds of birds, cows and donkeys.

Camping on our new deck

Last week Tuesday was our 18th moving-in day. Hopefully we will leave everything unpacked for more than just a couple of years this time!

Some moving tips that work for us:

  1. When you pack, make sure all boxes are numbered and that you have a list where they come from in the house, like kitchen, master bedroom, etc.
  2. Ensure batteries are taken out of appliances before the move, and taped on the outside before they are packed up.
  3. Make sure you keep key items out and take them along yourself. Naturally this would include valuables like jewellery, passports, etc, as well as some basic tools to put furniture back together, a tea towel, some mugs, a torch, and very importantly corkscrew & bottle opener and toilet paper.
  4. When you move in, have somebody standing at the door with a list of all the item numbers (see tip 1), to tick them off and ensure they get put in the right room as much as possible.
  5. We always unpack the kitchen and bedrooms first. Put the beds together and put the kettle on for a cup of tea.
  6. An unspoken rule of moving in is that when you unpack you should finish unpacking each box you start with before moving on to the next. Put all items somewhere (not on the ground!). Then breakdown that box to a flat pack and stack it neatly.
  7. Fold any packing paper, to make sure you don’t throw away small items (yes, that has happened to us!), and then put it back into boxes
  8. Removal companies can pick up the boxes, but I prefer to move them on to someone who needs them. Marketplace or Gumtree are great for this!

While I am doing most of the unpacking this time around, Mike has used his toolbox to remove a very ugly electric fireplace from the deck. It looked like quite a big job, but was just hanging of a couple of screws and plugged into an outside powerpoint. The deck looks so much cleaner!

He also starts with removing the several dozens of hooks, nails etc that are in the walls. All those holes will be filled in and sanded before we start putting proper picture hooks on the walls to hang our artwork.

Another moving-in Tip: Look at easy wins that make you feel instantly better! If you don’t like something, just remove it. Give it time to see if you need to replace it or if less in indeed more.

We were completely unpacked by evening of the second day. Two days is pretty standard for us, but it does take a full-time effort. By that time we also already had a trip to Bunnings (our local DIY store, the first of many visits) and Ikea to getting some new book shelves. A move is not complete without a Swedish sounding piece of shelving and an allen key.

And yes, when putting together our Hemnes bookcase we were at step 23 when we discovered things didn’t line up….. back to step 7! Our marriage has survived, sofar!

A newly discovered Ikea tip: order your purchases online and select “click and collect”. The $5 fee more than offsets you browsing the store and coming home with a lot more than you originally planned!

And we welcomed our first visitors; Michael and Alana, friends from Sydney, who were on holiday in Maleny. It was so nice to see these guys!

Our first visitors; Michael and Alana

Day three after the delivery of our goods was for hanging up pictures and paintings. It is amazing how much the hanging of some familiar items makes a house feel like a home. The ones that we are not sure about yet we stack in one place, and we will be dipping into this stack over the next couple of days. Some may not make it on the wall, that is ok as well.

We have also had two lots of builders in on Thursday and Friday to talk about a kitchen, laundry and bathroom renovation, and building some wardrobes. This house has only one (1!) build in wardrobe and desperately needs some more storage. The joy of a 19th century Queenslander.

Mike has declared the weekend as DIY- Free. It is too tempting to keep on running, so that was an excellent call. After all, we have come here for the view and lifestyle. We had our first chance to relax on the deck, enjoyed the marvellous views of lake Baroon during the day, and the stars at night. The weather has been great! I have been doing my morning yoga on the deck, and we have had our breakfast on the deck each morning since moving in!

Monique was our first overnight guest, and she got the honour off enjoying her breakfast on the deck while watching black cockatoos enjoying their breakfast in our macadamia nut trees.

Our first overnight visitor, Monique

As the weather is promising lots of rain next week, I did take a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon scraping and sanding, and then re-painting our letterbox and putting new numbers on it.

On Wednesday, a full week after moving in, we finally have our internet up and running. Yeah! So both Mike and I spent half the day on the sofa, doing our change of addresses. Most can be done online thankfully, that is a change from our first moves 30 years ago!

I managed to complete another project as well; painting an old hat and coat rack that Mike relocated from the guest dressing room to the hallway of the house. He also replaced the plain brass hooks with more period looking ones that we found on the wall in the other dressing room.

Repositioned and updated hat and coat rack

Tip: Take your time and look around to see if you can repurpose items, you may want to move them, paint them to make them fit your new decor.

5 thoughts on “Highgrove living – moving in, the first days in our new house

  1. The house & location look absolutely stunning. I’m sure you will be very happy there. Close to everything but not on your doorstep!
    Happy you saw Alana & Michael & hope we can also visit sometime.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are absolutely very welcome to visit! In another four weeks time we will actually have a proper bed for visitors to stay over, poor Monique had to do with a sofabed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Janny,

    Great stuff and thanks for all of your posts, they have been interesting reads.

    Just wondering how you are going with the rain at the moment, looks pretty devastating in some areas.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are very fortunate, living on a ridge line, the ground is completely soaked. There is some minor flooding along the creeks, but nothing like in NSW.

      Liked by 1 person

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