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What actually happens when your handmade business moves house

They say moving house is one of the top five most stressful things an adult can go through. I was sceptical at first but now, I agree. 

My post about our impending move from July last year reads pretty calmly. At that stage, we were getting the house ready to sell and having it staged was part of the process, so we had to get virtually everything packed away, months before the actual move AND paint the interior and fix the landscaping prior to the staging/photography.

It was also a huge rush to get our house on the market asap because, well, we'd already put an offer on the other house and it was conditional upon us selling ours. It was all hands on deck! Thinking about our new pool was motivating. I mean, look at it! It's small but that's all we needed on a hot summers day.

house with small pool

Pre Move

Getting the house ready for sale

What an effing mission. The timing was against us and it somehow worked out that my husband was away for work when the crunch time for painting and landscaping came to a head, so I was doing most of the house and yard on my own. My father was able to help towards the end and would have sooner, except he'd gotten the flu during all of this and was out for the count until the last few days. I was a painting ninja by the end of it and I'm pleased to say, I didn't knock over a paint tin, even once (which was my biggest fear at that point).

Inside was tough but the landscaping was something else. Firstly, the original owners had planted about thirty palm trees through the almost acre of land. Secondly, it was an acre of land! Boy oh boy. And it needed a lot of work. We'd barely touched it for years. So that meant getting in tree loppers to clear out the dangerous ones and show off the space a bit more. 

tree loppers in suburban back yard

huge tree lopping truck with mulcher

big piles of mulch from tree lopping

We got as much mulched as we could and ended up with three giant piles of mulch that steamed on Winter mornings. It was far too much to move with wheelbarrows, so I hired a Bobcat driver to spread it around the place. He could only go so far into the garden beds (many were two to ten metres deep) so my Dad and I moved it in by hand with garden forks.

very active day on fitbit

I can usually do 10k steps a day without too much trouble but the landscaping really did me in! I tip my hat to anyone who does a lot of physical labour in their day jobs.

My health began to catch up with me

The intense physical labour (nearly 20k steps in a day kind of thing), fatigue and stress triggered some health problems I'd had brewing for some time. Migraines, intense fatigue, pain after eating, sinus congestion/infections, sinus headaches and back pain meant I was constantly feeling terrible. Munching on pain killers, eating convenience food (cereal was my fast food of choice) and not getting enough rest meant I was working until I couldn't anymore and then being bed-bound for days at a time. Once I was well enough, I'd get up and do "all the things" overdoing it again and ending up back in bed. During this time I had a blood test and found out my iron was extremely low, I was very anaemic and needed an iron infusion immediately. I did that and within a week, I felt like a million bucks! For a while at least.

iron infusion

Who's got the time to do this?

I had let the business take a back seat over those few months. Being the only one in our family that could be flexible with their working hours and let's face it, not making the big bucks, meant I stepped up and did most of the house and solicitor stuff. That made my husband feel quite guilty which I understand because if the roles were reversed, I'd feel that way too because who likes to see their partner exhausted with jobs you wish you could help with. So my advice is to expect a big dose of guilt when you're moving because no matter what side of the fence you're on, you or your partner will probably feel guilty you aren't doing more. Even if you literally can't. 

Preparing the house for sale cost a fortune (plus, spiders)

Bunnings (a home depot-like store in Australia) made a killing out of us last year. Paint, painting supplies, light fittings, plants; god knows what else. The tree loppers and the furniture staging costs also blew my mind.

It was an insane time BUT we had an offer on the house within hours of the listing going live and it sold over asking price thanks to an unexpected bidding war, so all of the hard work was worth it in the end. I did get bitten by a bloody spider though. Which I take it back from earlier, THAT is my biggest fear when it comes to yard work. Plus, my husband was away for work at that time and I was home alone with our toddler, frantically working out if the damn thing was poisonous or not and whether I needed to call an ambulance. (it wasn't, phew!) I wish so many spiders weren't brown. 

Planning ahead with making/curing deadlines

Ouch. This part was tough. Working backwards isn't a strong skill of mine so it took a lot of precious brainpower to figure out when I wanted to launch Halloween, (our busiest season).

boxes of cut handmade soap bars rows of handmade soap bars australia soaping supplies ready to move house

I also had to take into account every single touchpoint I'd need with the range, from making it to shipping it:

  • My production space was mostly packed up and I had to relocate back into the kitchen (not an ideal space for me because I had to pack up and down completely each day)
  • What to keep out and what to pack (ie. will I need this mould in the next three months?)
  • Production time
  • Letting it cure SOMEWHERE until it absolutely had to be packed up
  • How to transport the curing soap to the new house without damaging it
  • Where to let it cure in the new house (which has little open storage options)
  • Product photography and editing 
  • Listing the new products online, writing copy, social posts etc
  • Then actually shipping the orders out


Stay tuned for our next blogs which talk about the actual move and then what happened when we moved in.

blog when your handmade home based business moves house

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