In a perfect world, I'd love to move by bike. But I don't think my kittens would enjoy the ride. The big move is approaching quickly and we've been doing a lot of thinking about our stuff, what we want to take with us and how the cats will handle the car ride.
Moving to a new apartment can be stressful and expensive. To minimize these issues we've focused on three strategies.
1. Do a cost benefit analysis.
Moving is expensive and it's important to do a cost/benefit analysis before you run out and rent a U-Haul. For a fleeting moment I considered keeping our household stuff. But that moment died quickly after I looked up the rental costs of a U-Haul. For our move, renting a small U-Haul would be $398, plus gas and insurance! I can't imagine the cost of moving a whole house! I'm grateful that we've downsized our stuff.
2. Donate now and find free or low cost furniture later.
One can furnish a room very luxuriously by taking out furniture rather than putting it in. - Francis Jourdain
I never thought I'd be saying this, but we'll be donating our household stuff and purchasing used items in Portland. Why? It is more cost effective to give away our household items and buy used items. I know this sounds a little crazy, but it's amazing what you can obtain on Craig's List and Freecycle for little to no cost.
So far we've given away household plants, our bike rack, a monster cat tower, our chair, and other odds and ends. If anyone lives in the Sacramento area and needs a good used bed, please email me. The bed needs a good home.
This strategy might not work for everyone and that's perfectly okay. Like I've said before, everyone's simple living journey is different. Finding balance and the "enough point" is challenging and I think this move will be the perfect opportunity for us to discover what we need in our lives and what we'll miss.
If all goes well, we're going to purchase a tiny house this year or consider biking across the country. Large pieces of furniture won't fit in a little house or on a bike, so this is a perfect opportunity to donate extra stuff and declutter.
3. Accept help from friends and family.
Accepting help isn't easy for me. So when my folks offered to help us move I was hesitant. I didn't want to inconvenience my parents. To be honest I didn't think we'd all fit in my parents truck. 4 of us and 2 cats? Yikes! Plus, my mom is a heavy packer. She usually brings 4 or 5 BIG bags when traveling. :)
I decided that these concerns were foolish. Spending time with my parents and showing them around Portland are more important than stuff. Fitting us, the cats and our belongings in the monster truck shouldn't be a problem. If we don't fit in the truck, we can always rent a small car.
Thanks to my parents our moving costs will be very low. We're paying for gas and I'm going to put them up in a hotel for a few nights. (We're selling our bed and I don't want my parents sleeping on the floor.)
Wish us luck implementing these strategies. I'm hoping they work out. And I'll be sure to report back. :)
For more on minimal moving read: Minimalist Moving Questions to Consider.