Home Sweet Home: a Story & a Giveaway!

Can you believe I have been in my new house for over two months now? Well it’s true!

I have been busy settling in and sorting things out but I have also just tried to soak it all up. This is our dream house. Finally we are in a place that we grow into rather than grow out of. The house where I can see my kids develop into teenagers and into adults.

A home where Nathan and I can comfortably grow old in. Except for the stairs – they may be a little hard to negotiate when we are old and grey and riddled with arthritis….

My New House!

I suspect I have been savouring it all and, in a way, jealously guarding it because it took us so much time and energy and expense and heartache to get here. I also suspect that’s why I haven’t shared a lot of it with you all as yet.

You see, it’s still MY place, MY sanctuary.

The truth is, the road to this house started over ten years ago when, in 2002, Nathan and I bought our first house. Well, technically it wasn’t a house, it was a unit, but it was a foot in the market when prices were sky-high and properties were selling within hours of being placed on the market.

It was a villa in a large complex, easy to maintain, cute and very us. However, after welcoming two children in eighteen months, we decided we wanted to upgrade to a real house with a real yard. So in 2006 we sold, rented for a year and bought our first real home in 2007, a homely little house with a massive 900 sqm backyard.

Backyard - after - longview

Overcompensating? You bet!

Fast forward a few more years. We had added another child to the brood and were now a family of five living in a tiny little house on a huge block with one living area and a single toilet. The kids were rapidly growing and we all needed more space to spread out and have our own space.

Despite the great location, it just wasn’t working. After looking futilely into extensions and renovations it was clear that something had to give.

So, in 2012 we sold our first real house (sadly and very reluctantly) and moved into another rental while we sorted out our future. After attempting to buy a property which fell through and subsequently becoming disenchanted with the offerings on the market we took the plunge into unknown territory and bought a block land.

Our block of land!

We had high hopes of building our dream home on our dream block of land with views that would never be built out. However, after having setbacks with a couple of potential builders we realised building really wasn’t quite right for two indecisive people such as ourselves. So it was back to the property market for us.

After endless open houses with reluctant kids in tow, countless hours spent researching online and a continually revising our list of requirements, we finally found the one. After a period of tense negotiation we finally secured it and the rest, as they say, is history!

While lots of things changed throughout all those years, one thing remained a constant – our drive to research the property market and identify the best property available for us and our situation at that time.

In those early years we relied on the good old weekend property guide in the local paper but nowadays there are endless ways online to find “the one” from the comfort of your own home, in your jammies, while you watch trash TV…

One such avenue is realestateview.com.au which provides a whole plethora of information for would-be buyers. As well as providing property listings it also has an advice centre and a blog with heaps of useful information whether you are looking to buy, rent or even let a holiday rental.

realestateview.com.au-realimage source

It also has a fun interactive quiz that can tell you what type of buyer you are, whether it be a Stress Shifter, Master Negotiator, Digital Mogul or The Supervisor. Apparently I’m a Supervisor – I would much rather delegate the dirty work to others than do it myself…alas, while true, I have never quite mastered that even in all the moves we have undertaken!



To celebrate my successful move after all these years and because the people at realestateview.com.au are a generous lot, they are offering one reader the chance to win a $50 Officeworks voucher. That could come in handy even if you are not considering a move in the near future!

To be in with a shot just tell me your number one tip for a successful move. My number one tip is to outsource whatever you can – removalists, cleaners, gardeners – make it as easy on yourself and your family as possible!

The best tip (as judged by me) will win the voucher. It’s that simple.

The competition will run until 6pm AEDST Thursday October 17. Note the giveaway is open to Australian residents only.



Sharing my story and a giveaway with Grace for FYBF and Rhianna for Things I Know.

Disclaimer: I received a $5o Officeworks voucher as part of this promotion. 

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51 Responses

  1. Emily says:

    Congratulations! The road’s a hard slog sometimes, but soooo worth it. The house looks amazing.

    Best moving tip? Hire professional movers. Takes sooooo much stress out of moving day, you’re not going to throw your back out trying to lift something too heavy, and if anything breaks, they have to replace it. Worth every cent.
    Emily recently posted..Breastfeeding – the lesser known pros and cons

  2. Me says:

    My number one tip would be – agree before hand that you are going to either cook up a whole heap of meals that you can just take out the freezer and pop into the microwave or live on take away for the week before and week after your move. For me there was nothing worse than wanting to get stuck into packing / painting / sorting and having to worry about meals.
    I’m so glad you are so happy in your sanctuary – I feel like that at home except now we are looking at acerage with dual living so that my folks can move in with us.
    Have the best weekend !
    Me recently posted..Thankful Thursday

  3. Be ruthless in the culling – that box of stuff you may want later, or kept for sentimental reasons, will still be sitting yet to be unpacked a year later…
    Lydia C. Lee recently posted..Stumped!

  4. We’ve never used a professional moving company – although next time I’ve already put down that we will! My best tip is to pack stuff from the same room into boxes and then label the outside of the box eg “kitchen”, “bathroom”, so it doesn’t matter who’s helping out, at least they know what room to dump the boxes in.
    Janet @ Redland City Living recently posted..5 Reasons why I love Candles

  5. Rhianna says:

    I am so glad that you found somewhere that you love. We currently live in a shoe box, that we love but for five is rather cosy. It has a roof and a yard and there is a pool in the complex so really nothing to complain about.

    My best moving tip – Sell everything first! No seriously use it as a chance to get rid of as much as possible and start a fresh

    Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses lovely and thanks for sharing what you know xx
    Rhianna recently posted..Things I Know About Time Flying

  6. Rita says:

    I’m so glad you found your dream house Kirsty! Best tip for moving will be: Be organized and don’t wait to the last minute to do everything. Start to pack early, write what’s in the boxes and in which room this box goes. And, the most important tip is don’t panic! Breath and take time to relax… That’s why you need to start early!
    Rita recently posted..Things I know

  7. Sif says:

    I’m a moving veteran! I have so many tips it’s hard to know where to start.

    I guess my number one tip would be to have a ‘moving day box’ In that box you put essentials; kettle, cups, toothpaste and brushes, hair brush, deodorant, tea, coffee, sugar, milk. Make sure you offer removalist’s a cuppa – it makes them more conscientious!

    I also have two tips for moving with kids. Give them a back pack for their most precious items – even if your just moving down the street! It makes them feel in control of something.

    Second tip, pack the kids stuff last and unpack it first – especially beds and toys!
    Sif recently posted..Things I know about short fuses…

  8. oh wow, what an incredible journey you have been on! Congratulations on the purchase of your home. It looks like a gorgeous, spacious family home and I’d feel jealously protective of it if it were mine too! I’ve haven’t bought into the property market yet unfortunately, but if I did I’m pretty sure my buyer type would be ‘supervisor’ too! I’ve never bought or sold a home before, but I’ve moved house probably over a dozen times. I awlays get rid of heaps of stuff every time – donating things to charity, selling on ebay, even ‘regifting’. I haven’t held a garage sale yet, but I definitely will when we have to move out of our current place – it is bursting at the seams with stuff we don’t need!
    lizzy allan – muddle-headed mamma recently posted..Backyard Birthday Treasure Hunt

  9. Kate says:


    My No.1 tip would be to write a big list of everywhere that will need your new address, from your bank to the stores you hold loyalty cards with. Change your details with them ASAP after the move, and check them off the list as you go. It’s so easy to forget the little things like this when you do a big move, and the longer you leave it, the more likely you are to never get around to it.

  10. Wow what a stunningly beautiful house! Congratulations to you all! It must knowing that you can settle in and you won’t be moving again anytime soon… why would you ever want to leave such a gorgeous place?!

    We have moved quite a few times now and I totally agree with your outsourcing idea. However, one tip that has worked really well for me is to have a bottle of champagne ready for popping after a hard days moving… and fish and chips for tea (usually eaten while sitting on the floor as all of the furniture is still in a pile and the plates/cutlery are still in boxes!). On that note, my advice is also to bring a straw to drink the champagne out of… this way you don’t have to go rummaging for glasses! Lol these are my well worn moving tricks! 🙂
    Lucy @ Bake Play Smile recently posted..Everyone needs a laugh now and then!

  11. Di says:

    Give yourself plenty of time to pack, so boxes are filled with items room by room and not all shoved willy nilly, here there and everywhere. It makes things so much easier when it comes time to unpack, the boxes go directly to the right room of the house and it’s home in no time.

  12. Sandra says:

    My biggest tip is to start culling as soon as you can and have a massive garage sale or donate the excess to charity.

  13. Sharon M says:

    Happy Housewarming! I have moved fourteen times in twenty six years, sometimes interstate, mostly by choice. Bit of a gypsy!! My number one tip for a successful move is to drop children and pets off at a relatives or close friend so you can totally focus all your energy on the organised move. Your stress levels will be nowhere as high, believe me!! All the best for the future!

  14. Karina w says:

    Hire a good removalist! It’s worth every penny!

  15. Kerry-Anne says:

    My number one tip would be make sure you don’t organise the blind and curtain fitter the same day ss the furniture arrives – especially when you haven’t quite measured the door correctly before buying that fandango washing machine, and buying the couch that definitely will fit in the room … but not bend around the hallway and door for ease of placement hahaha – yes experience lol
    Wishing you lots of happy memory creations in your new home .
    Kerry-Anne recently posted..The Versatile Blogger Award

  16. Sue B says:

    After moves with me going crazy at the other end wondering where things are…. even knowing that this box came from the bedroom & that from the kitchen, didn’t help much. The last time my daughter moved we numbered the boxes & kept a list explaining exactly what was in each box. Sadly a box went missing when the removalist changed trucks, but it was box number 45 (books & office stationery). It’s also a security measure rather than writing “fragile, crystal” or “x-box & games”, like a beacon on precious/expensive items.

  17. Jennifer B. says:

    Give yourself time!…
    For every room, every person, assess what goes into those boxes and ditch what hasn’t been used in the past four seasons. New house, fresh start!

  18. AmberB says:

    Organise a box that you can keep separate from all of the others, that you can put all the essentials that you’ll need to use in the first 24 hours of your move. Think wallet, keys, toiletries, cups, paper plates and cutlery (for lunch and dinner that day). It saves having to go through all of your stuff frantically trying to find what you need. Also yummy snacks and drinks to bribe family to help out works wonders 🙂

  19. Isabel says:

    What a lovely house! Congratulations!

    My best tip would be to label every box with a number and where it belongs to, for example #1. Kitchen. #2. Sunroom. And then write down the content of each box on a piece of paper so you know exactly where things are when you need to find them before everything is unpacked.

  20. It is probably the easiest way to move by getting a removalist ,but some people cannot afford to do this ,I am one of those people .We have moved 6 times over the last 10 years and have always done it ourselves.My Tip is Have everything boxed and wrapped a month before if you can ,then also make sure you get the biggest truck you can .So you don’t have to make to many trips because that is a real pain believe me .

  21. Lani says:

    We are hoping to find our ‘dream home’ next year when there’s an apparent downturn in the market. We’re currently living in the first house we’ve owned together but we bought it when we were abroad and before having kids… fast forward 4 years and it’s tiny for the four of us! But it is still lovely being in our own home… watching the flowers we planted bloom, doing little renovations. We’ll miss it.
    Lani recently posted..A special occasion wine

  22. Grace says:

    Congrats, Kirsty! Your new home looks fabulous!
    Tip for house moving? Get your husband to do it all.
    Nah, just kidding! (Kinda).
    Seriously, my tip would be to write a things to do list but base it on a schedule.
    You know, a month out start throwing out big stuff out.
    3 weeks out start labelling boxes etc…
    Grace recently posted..FYBF – Girl Rising

  23. Kim m says:

    My best tip is to leave a new role of toilet paper in the toilet for the people that are moving into your house, along with a small box of tea or coffee in the kitchen, good karma and all that!

  24. Mary Preston says:

    Don’t be too hasty in your decisions.

    – You want great removalists, cleaners etc. Ask around.
    – Yes, have a big sale up & donate goods, but if unsure pack it. I have regretted getting rid of treasures.
    – Makes a list of priorities. It will ensure you do things properly. No regrets later on.

  25. Katrina says:

    Put the essential kitchen items in a box together so that you can find them easily, things like plates/cutlery, kettle, toaster etc so that you don’t need to open up 12 boxes to find everything you need just to have breakfast the next day.

  26. Cyndie says:

    I have moved often including overseas and I have to confess I hate it! I agree with your tip to outsource everything you can.

    My tip: start selling on eBay or Gumtree things you no longer need or that you know you will no longer need once in your new home. It can take a while for buyer to find your listing or pick up the items and you don’t want to end up moving furniture you don’t have a need for just because the buyer hasn’t yet picked it up!
    Cyndie recently posted..Natural Skin-Care: Plunkett Pharmaceuticals Review (+ Giveaway)

  27. Michelle Gray says:

    Start sorting through your stuff well in advance, cull what you can, will make packing much easier.

  28. Callie says:

    For interstate moving we saved almost $1000 by hiring a shipping container from a company. We packed everything ourselves and a sub-contracted moving company loaded and unloaded the shipping container for us.

  29. Don’t leave things until the last minute! Pack in advance and be as organised as possible. It reduces stress on the big day!
    Di @ Max The Unicorn recently posted..REVIEW: Scholl Express Pedi Electronic Foot File

  30. NO WAY – two months?? That has flown by so fast! Great giveaway lovely – no tips as I’ve never moved house really – just a few boxes to the first house hubby and I built!! xx
    Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me recently posted..My baby boy almost drowned and it was all my fault.

  31. Lauren A says:

    My tip? Be heavily pregnant! I didn’t have to lift a finger with packing and unpacking. Everybody insisted I sit back and do nothing except tell people where to go!

  32. renee hermansen says:

    pack everything in rooms and label the boxes so you can put them straight where they belong.

  33. Karlene says:

    Start culling clutter and packing as soon as possible. It’s never too soon to start and in the early weeks it’s still exciting (well, at least less of a chore).

  34. Zita says:

    Check the weather forecast!!! Last time I moved it rained and rained and rained and it just sucked!!!
    Congrats on the house again, it may have taken a while but I am sure it was worth the wait..
    Zita recently posted..for another FFS edition

  35. Michelle Harris says:

    Make the first night in your new home special.
    Flowers, candles and a nice bottle of wine and a take away meal. All of these things relieve the stress of moving and create a happy memory of your first night in your new home.

  36. sonia says:

    Place cats with a cattery…so no need to worry about them having a cat fit.

  37. Wendy S says:

    My number one tip is prepare,prepare,prepare!
    We started moving everything out to the driveway so the removalists took less time to load the truck, they even let us help. Even the kids carried boxes out to the truck. It saved us a lot of money in removalist fees.
    We helped unload at the other end and only got them to move in the really heavy furniture.
    Wendy S recently posted..C’mon deliver the letter, the sooner, the better… Part 5

  38. Ask friends or in-laws to help clean the house when everything is in the van and reward them with a dinner at some swish restuarant.

  39. Chont says:

    I so feel your pain!! I moved interstate less than a month ago and it’s the biggest thing we’ve had to do with a family of 4 & 2 cats. My tips are plan early- sell off all the unnecessary items, particularly furniture & give yourself time to do that. Never reject offers of boxes because even though you think you have enough, you usually don’t. If possible, fly your kids up so that they don’t have to make the long boring journey even more stressful. Mark boxes clearly with masking tape on several sides- that way you can quickly tell what’s in each box regardless of which way it has been stacked. masking tape pulls off easily & preserves your packing if you need to use it again. Use bubble wrap or hand towels to wrap crockery and glasses rather than newspaper; you won’t have to wash it all before packing away.

    The Officeworks voucher would come in extremely handy- the school system in this state is different to the one we just left & we have to purchase specific exercise books that can’t be bought in supermarkets. Very expensive. Then I’ll have to buy more next year again *cringe*

  40. Renee Ballantyne says:

    Being organized by labeling!!!

  41. Kerrie Moss says:

    Book your pets into a kennel/cattery etc a day before, during and after your move. It saves a LOT of hassle and stops you wondering where little Mittens has run off to.

  42. Jacky B says:

    Pack an essentials kit in and take it with YOU. Include an esky with milk and a few snacks and a box with kettle, loo paper, rubber gloves, tea, coffee, first aid kit etc. Make sure you’ve got the phone numbers of everyone involved (agent, lawyer, removalist etc) on your phone and finally get someone to take the kids off your hands for the duration of the move.

  43. Rhonda Lockery says:

    My number 1 tip is to start cleaning two weeks before moving ,do 2-3 rooms then use them to store packed boxes in until you move

  44. Melinda says:

    Best tip, wrap all wine glasses carefully and have one handy at all times!

    congratulations on your new home.

  45. Cathy says:

    Have a garage sale! Don’t pack items that you haven’t used in the last four and earn some money to pay for a cleaner!

  46. Ginny says:

    Having moved across three continents, I’d have to say the best tip to a successful move is to have a system: take the time to catalogue and oragnise boxes because moving isn’t just about packing and clearing out, it’s about settling in too and the better you know where everything is packed, the sooner the whole family will be able to enjoy the new home!

  47. Katrina Corbett says:

    By labeling boxes and the contents are inside, that way you don’t have to go through multible boxes when you need something straight away.

  48. cath says:

    Pack items not often used first,for unwanted items consider a charity or garage sale if you have time,and make sure you confirm your moving details and times with your new real estate so your not left out in the cold oh and last but not least good luck.
    cath recently posted..I Must Confess…Pride of my Posts

  49. Harriet says:

    Thanks you for sharing your story…. It is exciting to move to a new place, isn’t it! We are in the sphere and I love when people share how their personal moving experience! Thumbs up for the post! Greets, London Removals Ltd.

    • Kirsty says:

      Hi Harriet! Yes, moving is exciting although I’m so glad the move is over and we are more than settled in now. Always good to have a plan and to have assistance during the move to make it that much smoother. Cheers from Australia!

  1. October 18, 2013

    […] week I wrote that it has been over two months now since we moved into our new house. And apart from a post about […]

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