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The house is in chaos…


…but the kids are all joyful and full engaged.  We have all settled down around the idea of our impending move and jumped on board the “get ready” train.   I don’t want this blog to turn into the “Hope’s Moving” blog for the next month, but perhaps small updates on the financial impact of the move and moving frugally would be alright?  Let me know your thoughts.

Over the past week, since the bombshell of our move was dropped…we have gotten busy!  I have been in constant purging mode for four years now, but now we are in Get Rid of Everything that is Not a Necessity mode.  Going from 1800 sq ft to 900 sq ft, I know it’s going to be tight, and while the kids can’t visualize it, I am trying to make them aware of the reality of how having less “stuff” will make apartment living that much better for us.  So with that being said, here’s what I/we have done:

  1. I took inventory of every room in our home including furniture, stand alone technology, storage tubs, etc. including the garage and outdoor space.
  2. I sat down with each child and we worked through their room list asking them what was imperative that they have at the end of this move (meaning when we get into a new permanent home, not just the apartment.)  I thought it was important that I get their feedback so they would feel fully involved in this move.
  3. I then went through everything else and marked it’s importance in three categories…A = Needed in Apartment, B = Needed in Permanent Home and P = Take a Picture of it and sell it!
  4. Based on that list, we moving furniture/items marked P to the garage, cleaning them out and off and taking pictures of them.
  5. And now they are all listed for sale and some going like hot cakes, and some are not.

In addition, I got a small storage unit and moved all our bikes and some of the items we must keep but don’t need for this month.  Let me explain that as I know you’d say, if you don’t need them this month why keep them… 1) there are just a few pieces that are solely being kept for sentimental value and really are not usable.  While I am very proud of how brutal I have been in this purge, there are somethings I just can’t get rid of.  2) Some items are smaller and currently not used, but after I purge the larger items that are serving their purpose, they will be used in the apartment.  Make sense?  My end goal is to purge so much that I don’t need the storage unit, but that will require two things happening 1) my van will have to sell as they extra seats/custom bed must be stored when not in use and 2) I have to figure out where we can store our bikes at our apartment and that probably won’t happen until after the move.

Now as I was going over my progress with my dad he asked if some of this would need to be replaced when we move to a new permanent home.  Yes, it will.  We’ve sold our only dining room/kitchen table, we’re selling 3 of the kids bed frames (their choice,) etc.  However, two things 1) we simply cannot fit all our stuff into our apartment and 2) the cost to store our stuff vs replacing much of it through freecycle/garage sales and even some new balances out.

Last point on this….the money!  We are making a decent amount on many of the items especially since much of it is either handmade, refurbished or we got free.  I have decided to save 1/2 the money towards new furniture when that time comes and put 1/2 toward debt.  Knowing that we have at least a year before any replacements would be needed I am comfortable with pushing forward with debt pay off first before thinking about new furniture.

Side note: many readers noted that I would be ready for a garage sale soon…you are so right!  However, I must get approval of my HOA Board (full disclosure I’m on the board, but certainly cannot give myself approval.)  Tonight is the Board meeting where I will 1) request permission and hope that we will have a community yard sale and 2) have to resign from the Board on when I’ve served for over 3 years.  This move is affecting a lot more then just the place we live and it’s sad and hard, but I just know, and the kids are realizing as well, that there will be lots of new joys and adventures in our new place.


  • Reply SAK |

    I am working on a cross country move and we are using a U-pod to move a limited number of items across country (replacing is cheaper than moving most furniture). We have a space limitation – so we have marked out the space of the pod and everything has to fit in there. We measured the space off – marked in non-permanant tape! – and everything has to fit in the space. You might try that – if you have room measurements – to give the kids a sense of the space. And I’m sure you thought of it – but in case not – lofting the beds in the bedrooms can free up lots of space underneath for a desk/more room. Best of luck!

  • Reply Mysti |

    If your kids have mattresses on bed frames….not a full “bed” unit….you may want to keep the frames. You can get risers for the frame, and then you gain more space under the bed for storage.

    • Reply Hope |

      Mysti, You and my dad must be in sync 🙂
      Only my twins beds would support this and for a variety of reasons they do not want to keep their frame.
      And I’m hoping to purge so much that we do not need this extra storage. I’m really done with “stuff!”

  • Reply adam |

    When I was a kid, we did a budget move and I remember driving all around town at night with my mom to dig boxes out of dumpsters.

    just a quick note that I see free moving boxes on craigslist all the time now!

    • Reply Hope |

      Hey Adam,
      I’m lucky to have many friends who are business owners and thus get lots of incoming boxes…they are donating those to me weekly! And since it will be a quick move (no storage I’m not inclined to the need for specialty boxes.)

  • Reply AY |

    Way to go Hope! I know it’s been a rollercoaster with the house but I think you have a great attitude about it and I’m excited for all the good changes this will bring, mostly in the arena of saving money, living more simply and being grateful for the small things. You are very brave and I hope this process goes as smoothly as possible!

    • Reply Hope |

      You are absolutely right, AY. I can already see changes in my mindset and my load gets lighter with every single box/bag/item that is purged.

  • Reply emmi |

    I’m interested in anything about downsizing, especially getting the kids to downsize themselves. We are way too materialistic. And no matter how much I try, I can’t seem to get to the reduced place I’d like to be in my own life. I need someone to inspire me!

    • Reply Hope |

      Me too, Emmi! After the comments on minimalism last week I started doing some digging and I’m pretty motivated and trying to steer the kids that way too. Slow going but I can see the freedom as they remove things from their space. I think this is going to be a great move! And definitely LIFE CHANGING!

  • Reply CanadianKate |

    In June we cut our home size in half but 1) it was 4K to 2K square feet so I won’t pretend it was anything near the challenge you face, 2) I don’t have kids at home anymore, and 3) I’m cheating because stuff I was ‘saving’ for my son is still out at the house (which closes in October) because he was in Australia when we moved. He’s moved home (was living at the house for us while it was unsold) and is now desperately looking for another place to live.

    Two comments:

    1. Completely understand finding a storage locker for things you won’t be using in the next 2 months, like bikes. We still had the house so used it for that purpose. You’ll be hyper focused on the move so things like bikes, board games, camping gear, can all be put aside for the moment yet you’ll likely need all those things after the move.

    2. Be very discerning about what you’ll keep for the permanent house. Our equivalent was stuff saved for our son. We moved from a large property to a city apartment but saved the extension and step ladders, lawn mower, gas trimmer and tools for our son who intends to buy an acreage in a few years and build his own house. The issue is: to store this stuff will cost us $200/month. With $5K (if it takes him 2 years to get a place) he could buy new (or gently used) tools and gardening things when (if) he buys the property. So financially it makes no sense. On the other hand, a number of the tools were from my grandfather’s and father’s workshop so, aside from quality, there is an emotional reason to hang on to some things. We have a month to purge our apartment further to make room for the things we’ll be keeping for our son.

    I would ask your dad if you can store things at the house you are in now (neatly boxed) until the house sells. That will save you a few hundred dollars and make it easier to sort through things after the move. I was amazed at how much that came to the apartment went back to the house for longer term consideration. Not much has come in the other direction (except the large cooler.)

  • Reply hannah |

    This is the first place we’ve lived in that has a garage ( tiny, but a garage). The other apartments were small, two bedroom. My husband hung our bikes from hooks in the ceiling.
    Buy large rubber-coated C hooks, predrill a hole in the ceiling, and then screw the hooks in. The bikes can hang from one wheel so they fall vertically in a corner, or hang both wheels on two hooks so the bike is parallel with the ceiling.
    In a two bedroom full of people this would be tight, but might be do-able depending on how big your bikes are.
    Upon leaving, we just filled the holes with putty and painted over them to match the ceiling. Not noticeable at all, and the property owners never complained, even though they saw the bikes hanging.
    Large hooks on the wall work great for hanging outdoor furniture, tools, cleaning materials, anything you can think of.
    Also, don’t be afraid to build storage that goes vertical. For instance, in our old cramped space, we had a closet that needed vertical storage instead of clothes. My husband built a shelving unit out of pallet wood that gave us three levels to store large bulky items on. This really maximized the space.
    We had a tiny kitchen, so my husband built a shelf high up on the wall with hooks below it to hang our pots and pans. This made them much more useable, and freed up cupboard space for better use.
    We also put a lot of shelves on the wall. Habitat for Humanity sells wood planks dirt cheap. We bought solid wood, such as 2X8, painted them, braced well, and gained a lot of vertical storage. This would work really well in a bedroom where space is needed for memorabilia, books, games, etc.
    It will take a while to come up with creative ideas for storing your items in better ways. But that’s ok, the best ideas take time to think up. 🙂

So, what do you think ?