Author Topic: Theoretical Cost of Moving/Storing Your Stuff - An Exercise in Minimalism  (Read 4337 times)

onemorebike

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My wife and I are considering a big move in the near future. The new home would be 3-400 square feet smaller than the current one (1800 sq.ft. with a two car garage - we do 90 percent of our living in the main level of this home). We have the opportunity with this move to finally to do a full, post-mustachian declutter and part ways with some of the less informed purchases we have made in the past. I hope not to pack anything that hasn't been thoroughly used in the past year.

Also, as a part of considering the cost associated with moving all of this stuff (the move would be long distance) I've started looking around our sparsely furnished home and started to think about what we own that we should bother to move and what would we might just sell and purchase again on the other side (or not!). This has been such a game I've had a hard time not picking things up and listing them on ebay/CL, donating them to GW or putting them out on the curb with a free sign.

So, this thread is for those of you that might be interested in considering this theoretical move in your own home. If you were to be moving across the country to a smaller home:

1) What stuff would you keep?
2) What would you sell and purchase again at the new house?
3) What would you sell or dispose of and not bother to buy again? (and why haven't you already done this?!)

-onemorebike

MayDay

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We did this two years ago.  We moved xcountry from a 2000 sq ft 3 bedroom ranch (half the sq footage was basement) to a 760 sq ft 2 bedroom rental house. 

We got rid of:
An extra couch that I kind of err great as I loved it, but it wasn't practical to store for a year.
Our dining room table, it was too big for the rental house.  We later bought a new (to us) smaller one, which I like more, but it makes h crazy that we donated a table then bought another.
A guest bed that was ugly.  Picked up a much nicer one at a garage sale for 25$ once we got here. 
A coffee table and end tables that I just didn't really like anymore.  We haven't replaced the coffee table, I picked up two end tables at garage sales, and I like them way more than the old ones.
A ton of outgrown kids stuff that we had been storing in abase thee was a third.
A ton of misc shop supplies like scraps of wood that we might need someday.  Have re-accumulated some of these.
Garden supplies that were bulky, like tomato cages.  Rental didn't have a garden.  Have repurchased now that we have a garden again. 
A million tiny things that we haven't missed at all, so I can't even tell you what they were. 
Lots of clothes.
Duplicates of anything.  Like we had three rakes, given to us, so we kept them in case one broke. 
Etc etc. 

The problem for us is that we weren't downsizing permanently, but when we moved we had no idea how long we would be in the tiny rental.  So we tried to balance getting rid of stuff that wouldn't fit in the rental, with possibly moving back into a bigger house and needing them again.  I think we did pretty well.   All the new stuff we bought used so it's not like anything was too pricey.

schimt

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I am in this predicament at the moment also. I was living with someone in a 2 car garage town house, she moved out and to another state, leaving everything behind. I now have until the end of November to get rid of as much as possible and move into an apartment with 2 roommates. They have been there for years, so there is not much they need for the house. I basically need my things for the room.

I am not looking forward to all of the work, but i am excited to get rid of many things that i feel are weighing me down. I'll be watching this thread for any ideas!

begood

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So, this thread is for those of you that might be interested in considering this theoretical move in your own home. If you were to be moving across the country to a smaller home:

1) What stuff would you keep?
2) What would you sell and purchase again at the new house?
3) What would you sell or dispose of and not bother to buy again? (and why haven't you already done this?!)

-onemorebike

We did exactly this five years ago, onemorebike. We moved from 4200 s.f. to 1300 s.f. We sold whole rooms full of furniture. To answer your questions:

1) We moved what would fit in the new house. We measured the dimensions of the rooms in the new place and my mister made templates of our furniture. We configured the rooms and sold all the furniture that didn't fit in the new place.

2) If we wanted to keep it, we moved it. We didn't end up selling at one end and buying new at the other. Some of our furniture is big - we're tall people who lived in a ginormous house - so we went for fewer pieces in the smaller rooms. I love the effect - no clutter.

3) We do have a (mostly) dry basement for storage, so while we dumped a bunch of Xmas decorations, we still kept some and store them in the basement. Kids drawings, craft supplies, art that doesn't currently fit anywhere but that we're not ready to part with - all that lives in the basement.

Edited to add: We kept minimal kitchen stuff. One set of mixing bowls, one set of measuring cups/spoons, pots and pans we used most often. I was amazed at the stuff that had accumulated in the kitchen alone over twenty years of marriage.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 09:04:25 AM by begood »

RyanAtTanagra

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We did this 3 years ago as well.  We went from a 2 bedroom house w/ a garage to a 1 bedroom apartment across the country.  Nothing we owned was worth the cost of a moving truck, and neither of us wanted to drive one 3000 miles anyway, so we took only what would fit in our Accord and S10, which was pretty much just us, bikes, cats, clothes, a computer, a couple tool boxes, and our backpacking gear.  I feel like there should have been more but I can't think of anything else we have that came with us.  Oh, books.

We got rid of:
 - All furniture
 - 2 motorcycles
 - All kitchen stuff
 - TV and electronics minus one computer
 - My brewing equipment (very :-( )

We bought a truck cap before we left so we could keep everything secure, then sold that when we got to the other end.  Then hit up goodwill for dishes/furniture/etc as needed.  Also Ikea for a lot of stuff which was painful but hard to beat it for things like $20 coffee table and $8 end table (we're not staying here for good so don't need high quality things that last our lifetime).  The only thing that was expensive to re-buy was the bed mattress.  Ours was old and probably needed replaced anyway though, so I guess it forced me to break down and do it.

We also put a few things in my parents crawl space, but I don't remember what anymore.  More books probably.  Hopefully my original NES is there, too.

The nice thing about craigslist is if you're not in a hurry to buy and sell you can pretty much come out even, maybe even ahead, by selling before you leave, then buying again on the other side.  Even if there's a COL increase, just means you have to be more patient.

Spartana

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So, this thread is for those of you that might be interested in considering this theoretical move in your own home. If you were to be moving across the country to a smaller home:

1) What stuff would you keep?
2) What would you sell and purchase again at the new house?
3) What would you sell or dispose of and not bother to buy again? (and why haven't you already done this?!)

-onemorebike
I am selling my house soon and will be getting rid of everything - and I mean everything. Keeping just one box of important papers and photos, my bikes and collapsible trailer for the dog, some other sporting equipment and camping gear, and my clothes. Everything else will be donated. I already got rid of almost everything and what's left (beside furniture) will all fit into my vehicle. I am a minimalist anyways so didn't have much to begin with so was easy for me. I plan to travel awhile before I settle down anywhere and so with no need for storage or moving hassles, I can take as much time as I want looking for the dream hovel in the dream town - where ever that ends up being.

« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 12:38:57 PM by Spartana »

Zikoris

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I'd keep my antique rocking chair, clothes, spongebobs, laptop, and critical documents (contracts, tax returns, identification, etc). My boyfriend would add in his game systems as well. I'd keep the quilt my grandma made me, and the pottery dishes the other grandma made me (both that I still use every day). I'd probably use towels as packing material like I have in the past, so there would be that as well. And the cat.

I'd be sad to see the kitchen table go, since it folds up and out in all sorts of different ways and looks cool. I'd probably buy the exact same one when I got there, since it was from Ikea. This is the one: http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/50208535/.

In addition to the rocking chair, that would probably be about four large suitcases and one cat carrier.

galliver

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Recently went through this non-hypothetically, although there was an additional factor involved: My advisor was paying for relocation costs "within reason". Obviously, relocation costs don't cover "toss/sell and buy again." So, we shipped by UBox.

We kept my futon, my desk, bf's dresser and kitchen table, a cubey shelving unit, and both our extensive collections of kitchen appliances and glassware, though they may not have been worth the $1k it took to move them (actually, altogether, probably was. Roughly.). We left both our twin beds, I left my dresser (thought it would sell well with matching bed, ended up selling to girl who took over my lease). I gave away to friends or Goodwill a bunch of clothes and random household goods (wine rack, fan, space heater, etc). He left his nondescript Target bookcase to his roommates. Upon arrival we bought a mattress/bed, thrifted an awesome coffee table and nightstand, and bought new shelves and chairs when we couldn't find any we could tolerate at thrift stores/CL.

In retrospect, I'd be willing to spend $1-2k out of pocket transporting the things I genuinely like long-distance, mainly to avoid the hassle or expense (pick one) of re-acquiring similar things.  But I do also see moves as a great time to purge the things we keep "just in case," that we don't actually care about much.

DarinC

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My wife and I are considering a big move in the near future. The new home would be 3-400 square feet smaller than the current one (1800 sq.ft. with a two car garage - we do 90 percent of our living in the main level of this home). We have the opportunity with this move to finally to do a full, post-mustachian declutter and part ways with some of the less informed purchases we have made in the past. I hope not to pack anything that hasn't been thoroughly used in the past year.

Also, as a part of considering the cost associated with moving all of this stuff (the move would be long distance) I've started looking around our sparsely furnished home and started to think about what we own that we should bother to move and what would we might just sell and purchase again on the other side (or not!). This has been such a game I've had a hard time not picking things up and listing them on ebay/CL, donating them to GW or putting them out on the curb with a free sign.

So, this thread is for those of you that might be interested in considering this theoretical move in your own home. If you were to be moving across the country to a smaller home:

1) What stuff would you keep?
2) What would you sell and purchase again at the new house?
3) What would you sell or dispose of and not bother to buy again? (and why haven't you already done this?!)

-onemorebike
What kind of stuff do you have?

Certain things, like inexpensive ikea furniture, may not be cost effective to bother moving. Other things, like a book collection, are difficult to pack/move, but don't cost a whole lot, especially with those storage contains that are dropped in your driveway to pack at your leisure, and would be expensive if you purchased them again.

I'll probably be in a similar predicament sometime soon with my grandmother's/my furniture and I've decided to build a couple storage sheds at my mom's house and move the furniture there. Once my wife and I go from renting to buying wherever we decide to settle down, I'll move some items into our new house.

With that said, I have the tools and ability to build a couple sheds and move my grandmother's stuff with my pickup/trailer and help of two or three friends. If I had to pay to have all this stuff moved for me and stored, or have to pay to move it in/out of one or more rentals, I would probably sell/give away most of it.

Beardog

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I'm facing a similar question.  I expect a period of renting in between selling (Spring 2015) and buying.  While some of it is very high quality, my furniture is mainly from thrift stores and is not worth storing or paying much for moving.  So I will get rid of all that I can (Goodwill, Freecycle, etc.) and will just keep some minimal quantity for renting. 

RunHappy

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Re: Theoretical Cost of Moving/Storing Your Stuff - An Exercise in Minimalism
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2014, 10:12:52 PM »
I did this a year ago.  To figure out what I really needed, I kept a pack of stickies on the coffee table.  Anytime I used a piece of furniture or whatnot, I would put a sticky on it.  After about a 1-1.5 weeks I made note of everything that had a stickey and decided to keep it.  Everything else was Craigslisted.

I got rid of 2 bedrooms worth of furniture, dining room table and chairs, 4 bookshelves, 5 chairs/couches, 2 dressers, lots of clothes, shoes, 2 sets of dishes and 1 set of pots/pans, and more.

Also to note, on moving day I ended up trashing 2 more chairs and 1 broken bookshelf and I was glad I did.

Edit:  I still ended up with a 5x5 storage unit that kept mostly holiday decorations.  This weekend I will be sorting and getting rid of the storage unit.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 10:15:45 PM by RunHappy »

flashpacker

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Re: Theoretical Cost of Moving/Storing Your Stuff - An Exercise in Minimalism
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2014, 11:03:30 PM »
We moved hemispheres with 2 suitcases, and the stuff we've been most annoyed at having to re-buy is garden stuff, kitchen items, and basic tools.  Other stuff it was nice to have a change e.g., sofas, and we purchased second hand.  We're not particularly DIY but we've realized we used small tools much more than we imagined we did.  I wish we hadn't put anything in storage but we thought we needed to do that at the time because we weren't sure how long we were moving for.