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hoping to move overseas...what to get rid of when?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

My Dh works in the wine industry and we have plans in the works to move to New Zealand hopefully by Jan 2012. That gives us one year for DH to finish up his winery asst. certificate, apply for jobs, get job offer (fingers crossed he has 6 years xp), get visa, get passports updated...get rid of most of our stuff. We also need to move into a smaller place (think friend's trailer, or studio appt with us as dd 11 months) in order to a.) simplify and b) save extra money for the move. We live in an expensive area so this is the plan.


So...just some encouragement...what was/would be your process in letting stuff go? We actually don't have much stuff compared to most ppl our age with one child, but far more than we could take into a smaller appt (we're ina  2 bedroom with only a few closets) and defintiely more than we could store. We may be moving for several years or permanently. Yet, there's a chance it may not work out...so...for instance I have several bins of baby clothes/stuff I was saving for baby number two? get rid of? There is a chance I could get pregnant before we go...we have a few "bigger" items..camping gear, electric piano, some furniture we'd have to nix for a smaller place. If for some reason we can't go to NZ we'd plan on moving to Victoria, BC...I guess I need reassurance..this is a big change although we've lived minimal and in small spaces a lot, mostly pre-baby...and yes, we're basing a lot on hoping to get into NEw Zealand (we did our homework, good chances esp with  DH's father a citizen)


So, yeah, talk to me about how you'd simplify! We cut our cells out already, i've donated lots of clothes, but I'm thinking I should streamline all our wardrobes and sew more functional/multi seasonal mix and match items easy to pack.

post #2 of 9

DH got his PhD this Spring and we knew ahead of time that we will be moving somewhere or would need to live on one income. We had a 1400ft house that we would have to do something with. We found a one bedroom apartment and moved into it and rented the house out to friends. Four months latter he got a position in Germany and we moved with just eleven bags, 3 year old and a dog.


First thing we did before moving into apartment, we rented a storage space because we did not know where DH job would take us and what we might need and it gave as flexibility when deciding what to take with us and what to "leave". The cost of storage for us was worth it. When we rented an apartment I went in and decided what would fit into this particular space. I chose to take there only practical and most loved pieces of furniture that fit into that space. Things that did not fit but I could not part with went into storage, those that I did not care for were donated. Some things that made it into starage in the first place were brought out and swapped with things in the apartement because it turned out they worked better than I previously thought.

Long before that move I was interested in minimalism/small space living and books as "tiny house on small planet" and "conran's living in small places" were my inspiration and I knew that one day I would live in small cozy space like that. I have been declatering and getting rid of things that were not used on regular basis for some time.

Things like baby clothes, I kept only those that were absolutely in the best shape and I loved and they are in the storage. The rest I donated. Things like books,tools, camping gear, and crafting notions that did not fit into apartment but would be expensive and take a long while to replace went into storage as well.

We chose not to transport contents of our storage for this move because we moved only for couple years. If this position would become more permanent we would go back and retrieve things that we love.

post #3 of 9
I'm moving in a months time also. I have a big old house with lots of storage and a basement. We're moving in with my SO and his place is a little smaller and he already lives there smile.gif. And it's a four hour drive away. I'm trying not to end up 1. Completely overwhelmed by the task of moving and 2. Completely overwhelming SO who has mostly lived alone or with one person ( I have 3 sons and we have one on the way)
I'd love advice too! I'm going to store a few things, with the plan being that in a year or so I'll empty the storage and either bring stuff out there or get rid of it. So far I've been going one room at a time and packing and getting rid of as much as possible... It feels like a big job.
Good luck on your moves.
post #4 of 9

Hi, mamas. I'm in the same boat. Dh got a promotion that comes with a relocation from USA to the UAE. He'll be in his new position sometime this spring--maybe May?--and I am staying with the kids until they finish out the school year. Then, we'll join him there and set up a household.


We get relocation assistance, and I will begin that process next week. In the meantime, we have decided to get rid of almost everything. We live in an old farmhouse on an old farm, and have 3000 sq ft worth of accumulated stuff, plus farm stuff to get rid of. Plus livestock. It's middle of winter, and we're moving to a location that almost never gets colder than...well, than summer feels like here. I have goats ready to kid, sheep due to lamb in April, and so much stuff to get rid of! Dh travels for his current position and is busy at work, and I have another 2 weeks at my job before I can concentrate full time on this.


Where do I start? Right now, we are attacking stuff, item by item, and using Craigslist. I know I should get my sheep sold so they can settle in elsewhere before lambing, but we have a lot of feed for them, and honestly my heart will break when I sell them. We'll be selling our house and property. It doesn't make sense to keep it.


Do I make a list of stuff to keep? What am I supposed to be doing? We don't have valuables; any family heirlooms I'll hand over to family and they can keep for all I care. Other than my kitchen stuff for cooking, cameras, laptops, bikes, summer clothes, and a few kids' toys...what should I be packing? I suppose, since it won't be hot when we leave, I could pack up their summer things for the new place well in advance, and just leave them with a couple outfits for June? Me, too, I suppose...but packing is a minor detail compared to getting rid of things.


I want this to be a fresh start. Dh is one of those people who will take anything off someone's hands. We pass a lot along to friends in need, but we have collected a lot of dumb crap. I can't imagine how we will get rid of it all. And you can't really have a rummage sale in winter in WI. What the heck? We're not hoarders by any stretch, but we're smallholders with 10 acres and livestock and a traditional lifestyle (canning and cooking and gardening and all that). Believe me, the tools and stuff really add up.


We're eating through our freezers' contents so we can sell them. Tractor is for sale. Can't sell snowblowers until it stops snowing. Do we sell garden tools, or leave them here for the next folks? Do I wait until March/April and have a sale? What if the house sells before all the crap is gone? I am overwhelmed.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

hopefully we'll get replies from mamas who have BTDT!!

post #6 of 9

Well, it has been just a couple days and I don't know what to say. It's like I opened my arms to the universe and it's just...providing.


I've craigslisted a few things and they've moved fast. Seems good to post toward the weekend in order to get the stuff out of the house by Monday. And also not to price things too high.


That's great, but even better is how serendipitously new homes for our livestock have appeared. My whole flock of sheep are going together to someone we really, really love, and my milk goats are going to close friends and family. Laying hens will be sprinkled throughout the neighborhood, and even the bees will have good homes.


I'm feeling better already. And I can attack what debt we have with the money the sales bring in. In a couple of weeks, I just might have some grasp on this.


Hope things are going well for others.

post #7 of 9

I know Zoebird moved to NZ from the US, and she lives very minimally..maybe she would be able to help you out with some tips if you write to her?  idea.gif


She is always very helpful in her posts, so I feel sure she would not mind giving you some advice.

post #8 of 9

We move every few years and have had to get used to living with less and smaller.  Ovens are smaller in Japan and in Europe, so I'm guessing they'll be smaller in other countries as well.  We had to get rid of all our pans that were bigger than 9x13 size.  Also, stovetops tend to be smaller. . .less burners.  Get rid of pots and pans. . .we do just fine with a small dutch oven, a small and large cast iron pan, and a stockpot for making pasta and applesauce.  Washers and Dryers are a lot smaller, so you'll have to do laundry more often.  People in Europe and Japan live with less clothes, towels, etc. . .than we do in the states.  I have 6 bath towels (one for each of us and 2 for company).  I try to minimize clothes. . .I'd like eventually to get us all down to 7-8 outfits to help cut down on laundry and space.  Also, those washers and dryers tend to take FOREVER to wash and dry. . .takes a whole day to wash and dry two tiny loads.  I try to hang stuff out as much as I can, but where we are now, it rains a lot!  Get rid of big furniture!  Most won't fit in your house or will damage the flooring.  A lot of houses in Japan and Europe have stairs that are not conducive to king sized mattresses. . .they will have to be folded to be moved in which damages the mattress.  Also, with furniture, here in Europe you have uneven ceilings (at least where I am) so we can't really have any furniture in our bedrooms except for beds and maybe very short dressers and stuff.  Homes in Europe don't usually have closets, so everything in your closets. . .well, you'll have to find places to put it.  We have a basement, but things down there mold and I don't really like going down there too often.  Anything valuable. . .you might want to think about, crime can be pretty bad. . .not violent crime, but break-ins are pretty common all over Europe.  TVs are different, so if yours isn't the right kind it won't work over here (we're tv free, so I don't know the specifics).  Another thing, electronics work on different wattages.  We use transformers for things, but we've been told our electronics with motors won't last as long so you might want to either leave things in storage, bring your things and use transformers, or buy new things.  Transformers are bulky, heavy, and kind of loud.  They also pull a lot of energy, so you want to unplug them when you aren't actively using them.  We love to camp, so we have a lot of camping gear too.  We keep it on shelves in the basement, so hopefully it won't get moldy.  


Hope this info helps, I'll come back and post more ideas as I think of them.  Good luck with your downsizing :)  It's a challenge moving to and from new places, but I wouldn't trade it for anything!  I love learning about new cultures, learning how to live in other countries, even the learning how to do without my favorite "stuff".  

post #9 of 9

I am actually relieved at the issue of TV & video. Presumably we will buy a TV, and I look forward to having just one. We have 3 now, even though only one is ever plugged in and watched. Because we will be moving to a different climate, I can get rid of most of our clothing--once winter is over! That's probably the bulk of what we would pack. I don't use a lot of electrical appliances in the kitchen, but that's a good tip about the pans. We aren't shipping furniture, as we have a 1000-lb limit anyway. We'll ship bikes, clothing, shoes, kitchen pots/pans/cooking utensils, some toys, books, towels, toiletries, decor items, and a couple special blankets. Maybe some sporting goods. It is strange and not a little embarrassing to consider what we actually need v. what we own.

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