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Preparing For Your Move

On Why Buffalo?

There’s a lot to get done when moving, but it becomes especially hard when the move is a very long distance. Since we went from Virginia to New York, we’re going to focus on moves that are about 500 miles away or more from home sweet home.

There are several major questions you need to ask yourself: How much stuff do I have? How am I going to move all of that stuff? What is my budget? How much money do I need to save? How do I tell my family? What if I have roommates, what do I tell them? What will be our new cost of living? Does my job allow transfers, or will I need to be on the hunt when I arrive? How long can I survive without a new job?

Jeez, that’s a lot of questions! But we’ll tackle them all, and as long as you think things through thoroughly, you should be able to have a fairly painless moving day.

First, let’s tackle the problem of stuff. How many possessions do you have? Are you going to take all of that with you? I highly advise having a yard sale, giving clothes away to charity, and getting rid of all trash or junk before you move. The things that you don’t need and don’t use will take up valuable real estate place in your moving truck, and ultimately waste money. This will also give you some extra cash to add to your budget.

Once you’ve streamlined your possessions, you have to decide how you’re going to get everything to your new home. There are surprisingly few options out there when money is definitely an object.

Flirting With Minimalism

On Zen Wednesday

After many months of talking about it, last weekend the Ben and I took a big step. We finally started tackling the boxes and boxes of stuff we’ve had sitting in the garage since we moved. You can learn a lot about yourself by approaching a project such as this from a mindfulness perspective. As you clean through the clutter, you are forced to consider your motives for collecting all this stuff in the first place. The thoughts and feelings that came up for me were rather enlightening.

At one point in my life, I owed tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt. While I’m not particularly proud of that fact, I am proud that over the last few years I have managed to dig myself out of the hole (with the help of a budget and a supportive husband) and I am now living debt-free. Looking at all those boxes of stuff took me back into that consumerist headspace where I bought what I wanted, but not necessarily what I needed. I realized a couple of things;

1. When I was younger I didn’t really know myself, so I tried on a lot of different personas to see if they fit. This also meant buying a lot of accessories to go along with each new reinvention; was I a raver? A back-packer? A snow boarder? A kick boxer? I was all of these, for a minute. But ultimately I abandoned most of these identities as I figured out what really mattered to me. Some of the stuff in boxes was like a veritable snake skin of youth I had shed across the years as I came into my own. Interesting to consider, but no longer needed in my current life.

2. I realize I sometimes buy things for the person I want to be, not the person I actually am. Exercise equipment purchased for that awesome athlete I wish I was, but am really not, is a prime example of this.

3. This is a rough one to admit, but I realized I’ve also bought things for praise and status. Having a high-end bag, awesome new outfit or sexy designer shoe can get you a lot of compliments. If you’re basing your self-worth on external feedback, this might make you feel good for a minute. And it did. But I’m not sure this works for me anymore.

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