moving 3000+ miles and need some help - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: take the bed and get a bigger trailer??
yes, take the bed, it's worth it, even when $$ is tight because you are preggo etc. 0 0%
no, leave the bed you can get a furnished place or a futon or something 5 100.00%
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#1 of 11 Old 07-04-2011, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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We've already gotten rid of a lot, a lot of stuff! We thought we were moving overseas but now are moving across the country instead. Much of our furniture will be left here or taken to the dump, it was free.


stuff we're taking: (to give you an idea of how big trailer we may need)

electric piano and bench (piano goes flat, not bench)

small round wood coffee table

maybe small corner bookcase if we have space

shelving units x2 that we will dismantle flat

boxes of baby stuff (due in jan)

large box books

large box of dh's wine school books that he does reference and our taxable and other imp financial papers

all our clothes...guessing 3 sm suitcases plus about 2-3 med boxes.


3-drawer about 1 metre high storage thingy

a lot of kitchen stuff, though i have decluttered lots

1-2 sm boxes for dd's toys. she doesn't have many but the wooden stove top and sink will take up the most space

sm wooden rocking horse

sm wooden rocking chair

large box craft supplies

large box fabric

sewing machine

winter coats, boots etc. for three of us

large basket linens (some fo these will be in car for camping)

car will have: cooler, clothes, tent, stove (camp), food, random stuff, toys for dd


stuff we're for sure leaving:

probably two of three mattresses

double pull out couch

2 dressers

kitchen chairs and table (ugly and free and big)

large coffee table


We've already gotten rid of our bikes, lots of outdoor stuff we never use, excess clothes, and I'm wittling away more.


My questions are thus:

1.) how the heck do I tackle packing over 1 month for a big move like this? in the past we've just shipped a few boxes out, back before we had dd and furniture

2.) would you get a 6'x12' trailer for 600$ odd dollars (plus we need to install a trailer hitch for somewhere around 400$ of parts+service...but it's still cheaper than renting a big truck and we don't have enough stuff for a big truck anyway) or a 272$ 4 by 8 trailer? they both require the same hitch...the main difference is we could take our queen sized bed which won't fit in the smaller trailer...the bed is nice but it was free... we will be moving somewhere for about 3 months, and then need to mvoe to a new community at the end of my pregnancy for the birth in order to get proper prenatal care....I feel overwhelmed and unsure about what we need. On the one hand, a bed is nice and sometimes tricky to get, esp for free and without a truck, and I am preggo and expecting baby soonish, on the other hand, it's a huge price jump and one more thing to lug around to the second is very tight... if you didn't take the bed what would you get to sleep on for 2 adults and a 16 mo??

3.) what else would you get rid of, if anything? esp since replacing it may not be possible for a while??


I feel so overwhelmed, any tips would be appreciated.


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#2 of 11 Old 07-04-2011, 11:48 AM
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I only have a minute to post and I'll write as fast as I can! We moved from NoVa to Seattle a couple months ago, and with only what fit in our Rav-4. I had my guitar shipped out by a friend, since it wouldn't fit. :^/ But we left most everything behind, and only brought the most important clothes, documents, pots and pans (All-Clad, how could I leave them?! :^p), a few toys (including heavy train stuff, legos, a bag of soft snuggle buddies, a bag of books), my sewing machine, our sleeping bag and blanket and pillows.. and that's all I can think of at the moment. There was more that I can't think of and we packed the back full, even though we never meant to or thought we actually would. That turned out to be an annoyance, for obvious reasons. We could've hitched a trailer; we've got the set up for it, but we didn't want to "risk it", so to speak, because we've just never done that before and it seemed too dangerous (and considering the insane storms we went through in Wy and Montana, it was probably extremely wise! (But only in hindsight. ;^p))


One important thing: Things can always be obtained again, somehow, someway, even for free. We would've brought even less if we had known how freaking expensive the gas would be- Because we had the back loaded. It was heavy. We just took a trip down to the Oregon coast, and didn't even have to stop for gas. On the way from Va to Seatown, every time we stopped, dh got coffee and gas. We didn't realize how much gas mileage was actually lost (plus money) on that trip until we went to Oregon last weekend. The difference was quite insane, let me tell you.


We planned on buying beds and a couch or something to sit on, but just bought beds, and were lucky enough to get a couch and table and chairs for free from friends. This is the first time I've ever had an actual dining table and chairs in my life, ha! Still, they're only used for dh to lay his hoodie on when he comes home from work. Anyway, we bought beds, and I would suggest getting a cheap futon for your family once you get to where you will be. Our dd is 5 1/2 now and is so big, and she still squeezes in with us on occasion (last night :^p), but our queen bed we have now doesn't fit us all well, and she has her own full bed now. She slept with us all the time up until a month ago or so. She just doesn't fit anymore! :^p So, considering your dd is so young, my opinion is that you guys will be just fine with a full or queen cheap bed of whatever sort for a long time. Even two small futons, since you'll have two little ones soon (two futons for you all to sleep on). Before that though, you could do with an air mattress for a few months, and that's all I can think of regarding that. We've used them after moving for a few months a couple times, and they're just fine for that amount of time. There are also sleeping bags/pads to use, which is what I'd do in your situation. Just wanted to throw out the air mattress idea out there, too; slightly more comfy, I guess. 


Honestly, you really only need to bring what you -really, really- need, and nothing more. The gas expense + possible-trailer expense would be crazy. And I mean Crazy. We learned that the hard way, and we just had a small SUV of stuff. Dishes, clothes, furniture of any sort- they can be purchased again, and for cheap or free. You never know what will happen, and we were very pleasantly surprised, and had no idea the furniture situation would work out so well for us. And we moved from a 1100 apt to a 864 or something..? We were in 2 bd 2 bth before and now 2 bd 1 bth, and it's fantastic. And I am a serious minimalist, and really thought I was before we moved. And the cupboards didn't have much in them, and we didn't have much furniture, and I was SHOCKED, shocked, I say! At how very much stuff there actually turned out to be when it was all out and we were getting a pile in a corner of the living room of what we were going to take. I still can't believe how much stuff there was, because of what I thought there actually was, if you see what I'm saying. So I lived my dream of leaving most everything and moving across the country in our truck, and it was wonderful. But now I know that I really didn't have to bring a whole bin of clothes of mine and dd's, and all those toys. They could've all been bought again. Even the pots and pans; they were so heavy. They were expensive and I used them often, but we could've made the trip easier and bought thing again cheaper once here, and I could've gotten new great pots and pans if I really needed them for Christmas or something. In hindsight I could've made that trip much, much better and easier than I thought I was at the time! 


I wish I could have my dh write some of this to give his ideas too, and so maybe your dh could read and get ideas or whatever, but those are my thoughts (and I told dh what I was writing about and he said not to forget the weight of the truck, gas mileage and gas costs! ;^p). If you have any questions I would love to answer them. I hope I got my ideas across okay; I'm not the most articulate person in the world...  My main point I think I'm trying to make is that I would've done it differently if I'd known better, and I thought I was doing well! But we really had no clue what would be in store, and the important thing is to pack lightly- you can, and it will absolutely be okay. You never know what will happen, and it will make the trip much, much, much easier and smooth to pack as light as possible.


Sleeping bag pads are cheap (Thermarest's are great!), and a Futon is cheap when you get where you're going. All the stuff you're planning on taking I would not take, -except- some clothes, the sewing machine, a baby carrier, any important papers, and what what will be in the car, and that's it. I know it's hard to leave the other things- it was for us! And I don't have a serious attachment to stuff, but we truly did not need to bring half the stuff that we did. These are my thoughts on what I would do in your situation (doing mine over again in my head, heh). :^) I hope this all helps a little! Have fun, and it really can be a lot easier than you think. Moving is stressful, even if you have one backpack of things, so accept that and smile about it. :^) Seriously, take it as easy as possible, especially because you're going to have a baby soon and the less you bring, the less stress and more joy and excitement there will be. Please let us know how it goes, and I'll keep an eye out for other posts of yours or keep track of this thread, so I can know you are doing okay and feeling good. Good luck to you and your family! :^) 

"Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion."-Thich Nhat Hanh 
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#3 of 11 Old 07-04-2011, 12:38 PM
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:( I wrote a long post and then went oohhh I can vote! And lost my whole post. Such is life.


I just moved cross country this January, and then moved cross town this last week. I'm so tired of moving, and it is just me and my pet. 


I won't be moving with my bed next time, as it takes up the bulk of the space and hassle and expense. No amount of free stuff is free anymore if you have to pay to move it over and over. If the price difference between the trailers is around $300, then you know you can get a decent bed for under that cost. Splurge instead on a good air mattress. That goes a long way to making the weeks before/during/after the move as comfortable as possible, and takes up way less space. Of course that depends how far your pregnancy is if you are comfortable getting up from such a low bed. 


I wouldn't throw away any of the furniture. Put it up on Craigslist and/or have a moving sale. You would be surprised what people will pay a few dollars for, and it will at least give you a little extra cash. Put what is left up on Freecycle, to pass on the help to others. When you get to your destination, reverse the process. Scrounge Craigslist/Freecycle/Moving Sales for deals. You will likely find similar things for similar cost and have been saved the hassle of moving it 3000 miles. 


Are the shelves your basic flat pack, build it at home style? I've tried moving with these before and they never make the big move without damage. Just a thought.


Knowing what to keep unpacked for the transition period is the hardest part, and the part I did worst. Maybe keep track of what you use in a week, and then decide what you can do with less of. For example, you use your pots and pans, but can you cook a meal with the smaller saucepan and skillet? The biggest thing will be blankets and pillows, because they take up lots of space but you can't really do without at least one per person. 


Good luck!

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#4 of 11 Old 07-04-2011, 01:21 PM
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I would not take baby stuff. Baby stuff is easy to find almost everywhere.  I would not take 'ready to assemble' furniture, that does not travel well. So that means the bookcases don't go.

Books get shipped USPS book rate, slow and cheap. Much cheaper than paying for gas to drive them out.

Crafts, are we talking kids crafts, or adult crafts,  Kids crafts are cheap and you can replace them easily, adult crafts, be honest- are you really going to do them?  If you haven't done them by now is it worth the space they take up in the move?

DO you know where you are going to live?  Is the piano even an option?  Pianos are a PIA to move and are heavy.  think $$



I've moved so much its not even funny.  What I would take in your situation are important papers, clothes, medications, and that's it.   Everything else can be replaced when you get settled.  When the baby comes you can get babystuff then.  Ship the books if you want and ship the box or 2 of toys.


Have a yard sale and get some extra cash for the road trip.

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#5 of 11 Old 07-04-2011, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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wow, thanks guys, i hadn't really considered gas at all... bag.gif I don't drive yet (dh does) and thought I was being thrifty with the trailer and hitch idea...but you know...maybe ya'll are right and a lot of our stuff is better off making some $$ for us... we are really broke and this is a faith based move to be closer to family and dh to have a better chance at going from asst. winemaker to winemaker...a lot will be going on our line of credit...some unexpected expenses lately (like dental work, neededto get done before we are without benefits).


In terms of bed stuff, I am only 12.5 weeks preggo right now and our mattresses are on the floor currently, with the bed set up in the spare room for guests like great grandma who can't sleep on the floor.


In terms of baby stuff etc.: what about breast pump worth 200 bucks new and got for 50$? I had a lot of need for it with dd1 and I anticipate maybe needing it again, but truthfully maybe only at the doesn't take much space, but there is so much stuff like that. What about winter tires? They fit our car and were from a friend?? We are moving to a place with much snowier winters and will be traveling 3.5 hours regularly to see midwives.


Even if we wittle things down a lot, our car is small and will already have a biggish (but folded flat) stroller we use a lot that was free, a large tent, camp stove, cooler, dd's carseat, sleeping bags x3, sleeping mats x3, and couple sm suitcases of clothes.... I was looking at this:  because I think we will need more space, even if we ship the books and toys. things like comp printer?? dd's high chair (nice, wooden) and the rocking chair and horse wouldn't be easily shipped.


I guess I'm feeling a little freaked and attached to stuff...but thinking financially and overwhelm wise that this makes more sense. Does anyone think the roof thingy above would add too much to gas?

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#6 of 11 Old 07-04-2011, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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One big box i have is dd's future clothes...mainly this fall/winter including a few nice woolies i got on sale for her...and she already has a lot of clothes. Any advice on bare minimum but still presentable and warm enough wardrobe for a tot? (16 mo and gets dirty a lot)

I was thinkingof getting flat diapers anyway...maybe I should try to sell my prefolds (dd is in sposies) and just keep my nice wool diaper covers.


I am having a problem with the's ver nice short of being a "real" piano and dh is a former piano performance major and plays everyday. We got it fora great price...but...maybe we can just rent something similar when we get there? The keys are weighted a certain way and stuff like that that he really notices. We were living in a suite that was owned by people who ahd a music store so we got a great deal. dh doesn't have very much stuff...what do people think? how to make sure one way ro another he has a nice pianoish thing to play, he's a bit adhd and it keeps him calm to have it. It's electric and the legs come completely off so that it's justa  keyboard, the stool does not go compact at all though.

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#7 of 11 Old 07-05-2011, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, we've decided to forgo the trailer, but possibly get a cartop carrier and ship 2-4 boxes (books, toys, maybe winter items) but I'm having a really hard time with the baby stuff...I got rid of a lot already and had one main med sized rubbermaid bin...the problem is that a lot of it is sweet little organic onesies dd wore and my mom spent a lot of $$ on, and also a bunch of handknit things, some heirlooms, some dresses both dd and I wore as babies, a few outfits that are really sweet and swen by friends...newborn gowns which were super hard to find...babylegs...wool longies, some of this stuff we can;t afford to replace but shipping is also scary (heavy, big box) mom will be coming up to visit and might be heartbroken, seriously if some of the stuff is gone...and I might be sad too. And stuff like the breastpump and nursing pillow?


I'm having a hard time weighing the pros and cons of spending more$ to ship vs having to track some of these items down again...many are worth $$ (sepcial covers etc.) and I got on a good sale. maybe I'm just being sentimental here... I'm pretty ruthless generally and having very little issue with selling or donating most of my stuff...also, what about dd's belly cast?

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#8 of 11 Old 07-05-2011, 03:13 PM
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Hi there- we're also in the midst of a big move- so i can share some of our insight... maybe?


If you only have a rubbermaid bin full of baby stuff you want- keep it, but use a spacebag.  It won't take up much space  traveling that way.  The breast pump- well- I am in the middle of a similar dilemma.  I decided not to take it, and will replace it with a new one instead.  Yes, it's a big expense, but worst case scenario, I can rent a hospital grade one if I need it.  Nursing pillow?  Not worth the trip-  unless you want to use it for comfort while riding in the car. 


If it's a nice keyboard, and your dh is a musician, take it. Replace the stool at the other end. 


The belly cast?  If you love it, send it ahead.  


Printer- replace it- they are pretty cheap these days. 

Snow tires?  Sell them and replace on the other end. 



The nice baby furniture?  Sell or gift and replace.  I know it's hard.  I opted not to sell ours, but to gift it to a family who couldn't have it otherwise.  I'll look for replacements when we get there.  


We're doing the move on a tight budget, and it simply isn't worth the cost of shipping for most of our stuff. 

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#9 of 11 Old 07-06-2011, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks, I had to google what a space bag was but now i'm thinking it would be helpful for stuff like our puffy feather duvet as well. Thanks so much for that tip.


we're on the fence about the piano, have to see how much we can pare down and really, we may be able to fit it in the trunk flat without the stool...

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#10 of 11 Old 07-07-2011, 07:16 PM
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I have no advice (though the advice you've gotten from PPs sounds great!), only sympathy. We're also in the middle of planning a cross-country move & it's really hard to whittle down to a manageable amount. DH is a writer, so we have a TON of books. I'm willing to get rid of just about everything, but DH isn't.


Every time we move, I'm amazed at how much stuff we have... I was amazed pre-baby, but now!?


Anyway, good luck!

Mama to my little busy bee. 

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#11 of 11 Old 07-08-2011, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I am doing pretty good -bins are piling up by the door, shelves are emptying, other bags and boxes are being picked up by freecyclers and dropped off to charities. It is freeing but doing it while pg is a bit intense, esp with a teething baby, I ams till determined to keep the rocking chair or horse and squish them into the car. they are special to me, solid wood, handmade and dd loves them. I can;t see them being easy to replace...


I am scared too because we will need to move again when I am 37 weeks pg to a community 3.5 hours from our new home (in dec) so I can birth with midwives that will do a  home vbac. I am happy about my decision but so overwhelmed, and not sure how that move will go, if we will have a bed by then etc. plus it will be to a ski resort area where rentals can be $$ that time of year. :P This mainly means we probably shouldn't accumulate much during my pregnancy.


even though it's a good move in the long run, i feel apprehensive about being alone and new un a community while expecting, and even if I meet people I will be somewhere else for the immediate birth and pp...


we git the car top carrier,,, it holds 18 cubic feet, Im having trouble picturing how much that is...

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