Purging & Packing: What to dump, what to store, and what to bring

Exactly a month from today, we will be on the road! It’s hard to believe it’s really happening. We started talking about this crazy scheme almost a year ago! Most of the apartment is packed up, wedding plans are all in motion, and right now we’re counting the days until the adventure begins. Here are the stages:

We’ve spent the past 6+ months or so paring down our belongings. I sold things on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Nextdoor to “let go” of several items from clothing to furniture– things we don’t want to spend money to store. In all, I estimate I made over $1000, plus it has kept us from needing to upgrade to a larger storage pod. I also made a couple of trips to Goodwill to get rid of things that weren’t worth listing separately. All in all, we don’t have a TON of stuff (apartment dwellers = no attic or garage full of stuff, no large appliances, etc.).

Speaking of Nextdoor, I scored an absolute haul of moving boxes for FREE from a neighbor via the app. She had used professional movers and had neatly re-folded probably $300 worth of boxes, packing paper, and mirror boxes (for packing framed artwork). I was gushing my thanks to her and she was just like “please just get this out of my garage.” And I found another trove of used boxes in the trash room one day. We also purchased a few of these storage bins from Home Depot on the recommendation of a coworker who had to pack up her home after it flooded during Harvey. I still need to buy some wardrobe boxes and dish packs for the final stage of packing.

The storage/moving pod arrives the morning of June 13. We chose this option over a traditional storage unit because we’re not clear where we’ll end up a year from now. With the pod, we can have it delivered to us, whether that’s a different Houston neighborhood or another city altogether. We ordered a 12-foot pod… hopefully everything fits!

What to take with us
This is a little bit of a struggle. I think back to when I studied abroad in France for a year… and I brought wayyyy too much stuff. Tons of clothes that I didn’t even end up wearing, tons of books– all packed in three large, heavy suitcases. So with that life lesson in mind, we’re trying to find a couple of sweet spots here:

  • Bringing the right things, so that we don’t have to spend a lot of money re-purchasing things that are sitting in storage.
  • Maximizing the available space in our car, without packing it so full that we can’t see out the back window.
  • Not lugging around a ton of stuff that we don’t end up using.
  • Bringing things that improve quality of life (our own pillows, good kitchen knives) and some sentimental tchotchkes, to make it feel like home.

But first, Mystery Trip. That’s right, we’re going on one last vacation-vacation before the grand adventure begins. Where will we go? Only Braden knows. More on that later this week!

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