Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Preparing for a Big Move

A couple of years ago I moved two states away using only my large car. I didn't have enough space to bring everything, so I used this as an opportunity to clear out the clutter. I used up everything possible in the weeks before the move. I made meals out of items in the pantry and freezer and didn't buy any non-perishable groceries. I used up the last little bits of lotion, shampoo and perfume so I could throw away a few bottles, rather than bring several half-full bottles.

I threw away any non-essential papers and scanned those that I needed. I burned these to a disk and also emailed copies to myself as a backup. I recycled all those magazines that I thought I would read again, but never did. Old gifts that were no longer enjoyed (or never were) were donated. I sold books, CDs and DVDs that I no longer wanted to the secondhand stores around town to clear out space.

There were many items that were falling apart and needed to be replaced. A wobbly pizza cutter, thread bare socks, outdated clothing, and a terribly ugly lamp were all items that I desperately needed to replace. I used them until we moved and threw them away the morning I left. I replaced them after the move.Some items were so big that it would be more costly to move than to replace, such as my mattress and old couch. I threw away the mattress and sold the couch and armchair. The first couple of days in the new home, I was sitting on the floor, but I soon found a nice set for a low price.

Even if you rent a truck, by simplifying you can rent a smaller truck to save money. You'll also save the cost of boxes, tape, and the chiropractic bill after loading and unloading all of that stuff!

I originally published this as a tip at The Dollar Stretcher as part of their "Yes we can help this reader" section. You can see the original publication as well as other reader responses at http://www.stretcher.com/stories/00/000117a.cfm

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