Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What to do when you're moving, Part 1

I've moved an average of once a year since...well, since I started college. Let's see, that was 20 (!) years ago. So I consider myself a pro at moving. Especially since the move from San Diego to Boston, where we had exactly two and a half weeks from start to finish to move cross-country. We were both still working full-time. I made it happen.

Fortunately, we have a little more time with this cross-country move. But whether you're moving across the country or across town, the first steps are the same.

(For the purposes of these posts, I'll ignore the obvious first steps, like: Alert your landlord. Alert your parents. Alert your current workplace.)

1. Cull. Go through all your closets, all your boxes, all your bookshelves. Examine, ruthlessly. In our case, we're able to be particularly ruthless, since we're moving cross-country on our own dime. Is this item worth the hassle and expense of hauling it 3,000 miles? In most cases, not really. Some things with sentimental value will live in my parents' garage for a bit; the rest will either be sold (Craigslist) or donated to the Salvation Army (tax credit).

We're selling off all the furniture, except for the bed, my red leather chair, and Grandma's dining room table. We weeded out what's left of our book and movie collections (See Making money off your stuff), took some household items to a furniture consignment shop, and have started a huge donation pile.

Examples of things that are not worth hauling cross-country: a fake Christmas tree. Cheap Target nightstands. Cheap Target floor lamps. Fans. Gardening implements. Anything that is missing parts or only partially works. Our second car.

2. Get rid of all the stuff in the pantry. Not by throwing it out, but by using it. You won't be able to transport liquids (oils, vinegars, booze), and canned goods are heavy. The only kitchen stuff I'll pack are the spices, and I'm trying to use those up, too.

3. Ditto cleaning supplies and stuff in the bathroom--shampoo, etc. Any leftovers (partial bottles of ketchup/dishwasher detergent/whatever) can be listed on freecycle. Trust me, someone will come to get them. (This is a good way to restock on the other side of your move, FYI.)

4. Start making a list of what will need to be replaced on the other side. Furniture, pantry supplies, household items, stuff from the drugstore, whatever.

Up next: Packing!

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