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The Choices We Would Make Differently

The advantage of us relocating before many of you is that we can help guide you on what TO do and what NOT TO do.  We got a great comment asking if there was anything we got rid of we wished we kept, and so on.  I thought, “Yeah, there is.”  Get your note pad out, pencil ready, and listen up!

Let’s start with the big stuff- we got rid of ALL of our furniture because it was very, very old and used. The fact that we actually sold it is a serious miracle!  We budgeted and saved for very specific things, but I think we have found that over the past weeks, we wish we had brought it or saved more money. You will find you will have a budget, and certain items just have to wait.

We sold our Washer and Dryer, and we just can’t afford them for awhile. A good friend lets us do our laundry at her house until we can buy them, so it is covered until we can get them.  But it is rough when we use towels ALL the time and we don’t have any dry ones- LOVE the swimming pool, but not having a dryer with it is a downfall.  We also have found a nearby Resort will also let us do our laundry there, which is closer to home, but a lot more boring.  Craig and Kyra found that the local Laundromat in Kissimmee on Orange Blossom Trail was a bit terrifying and they didn’t feel safe enough to even park- so no more trying of that!

We bought the mattresses first for all of us, so everyone could be off the floor. Then we found the frames, at IKEA actually, so both of the girls beds are completed.  Keep in mind when buying beds, you have to have money for the frame, the headboard, the footboard, and the mattresses.  That doesn’t include any set you would like with it- like a matching dresser or hutch- so if you are watching your bottom line, get the beds first and then add as you go on.

We didn’t have any chairs, so we bought a patio set for the pool area, but for now, is our kitchen set until we find one we like.  It works, it matches, and we finally have been able to sit together and eat.  What also will work is a simple card table and 4 chairs at Walmart for $50 for your kitchen as well until you find, or can afford, something nicer.

Relocation, in its first stages, is all about COMFORT.  You aren’t worried about that bed frame when you have slept on the floor all night, you just want a mattress. You don’t carry about what kind of chair to sit on to eat your lunch, just that you don’t want to eat and juggle on the new couch you just bought.  Its things like that you really don’t care about, as much as the comfort of getting some real sleep and tackling normal life among the stress of relocating.

No, I would STILL sell everything, ok, well mostly everything. We would NEVER want to drive the UHaul, nor pay anyone to move our stuff, it just wasn’t worth it to us. That doesn’t mean it’s not a great idea for someone else, it just didn’t fit into our plans and budget.  The stress of driving through the mountains with our own vehicles alone was enough to give me heart palpitations, I can’t imagine having to drive a U-Haul truck like that.

We have found that we wish we had moved several smaller items, just for the pure convience of them. Example, we moved all the serving spoons, spatulas, etc.. which was a God send when starting to finally cook here. But, we got rid of our pizza oven, and now we really want one again. We made a lot of frozen pizza I guess, so eventually we will get another one.  We got rid of all our dishes, and we bought a new set, but its only a serving size of 4, so we have to wash them a lot unless we buy another set. Same goes for silverware too.  We have plenty of new glasses, and brought a lot of our collectible Disney ones as well, plus we used up the paper cups we bought the first night we got here.

You know how you rent a cabin, and they have NOTHING in the cupboards, so you know you can’t even think about chilling out until you run to the store? Well, that was us June 5th. We were exhausted, we just wanted to crawl into a bed and sleep- no beds, it was the floor. No food, and no one wanted to run to a fast food joint.  We wound up dragging our tired butts to Target where we just grabbed paper goods and small snacks to make it through the evening and next morning.  We don’t recommend this since being tired doesn’t help your decision process, and ANY pillow, etc.. looks good when you are beat.  We would have hoteled it the first night looking back, but we were just so happy to be in the house, we just didn’t think about it much.

I wish we didn’t sell the printer/fax machine and here is why- coupons and deals online.  Yes, we can buy another one, but it stinks when your budget is at its line and you just have to wait until the next pay day.  It will take us a good year to really furnish, decorate, and have this home the way we want it.  Craig bought a table, for a desk, because he works from home, so we hope to get a much nicer one down the road, but again, make do with what you can.

Honestly, all I need is a neighborhood or just ONE really GOOD garage sale here and I could get so much stuff! But here is the thing I learned in FL, they don’t have sales in the summer because of the heat- only in the Spring and Fall… so I guess if I can be patient, I might get lucky with something in a couple of months.  Things like lamps, end tables, tv stand, DVD rack, etc.. are usually so easy to find at garage sales, so here is hoping I run into one soon.  I did find a local Goodwill, which I hope to check out this weekend.

We did bring enough clothes, and I would recommend to you all to have a plethora of swim suits and towels if you want to live in FL.  If you aren’t sweating outside, you will be in the pool.  My kids swim almost 2x a day, and it’s only going to get warmer.  Having a lot of choices for the kids to wear is nice to let the others dry out.

If you have a favorite food of your region, like ours is cheese, you may want to have it shipped to your new home or bring it with. Especially if your kids have a favorite something- you may not find it here in FL.  We mostly food shopped at Walmart in WI, so once we found the Walmart here, the food was the same.  Produce seems to be cheaper here, but milk is about $3.64 here a gallon, where I thought it was about $1 less in WI.  I wish we had packed some of the Merkts spreadable cheese, as we LOVE that, but maybe Mom or someone will send us some in the future.

What you have to do is sit down and THINK of what you use, every single day. From sun up to sun down, think of what you couldn’t live without and what you touch during your everyday life.  Now take that list and see if it fits into your moving budget and/or method.  We weren’t able to bring everything, and wound up storing at my Moms and my Dads homes.  We stored things like scrapbooks, pictures, and yearbooks- nothing we were going to need “right this minute,” and we needed the space for other items.

So the golden question, WHAT did we bring with us?  Here is our list:

  • Clothes- mostly summer
  • Winter Coats- you never know
  • Toys/Stuffed Animals for Emily
  • Books that the kids enjoy
  • DVDs and Video Games and their systems
  • 2 TV’s
  • Disney Collectibles and Glassware (Items we can’t rebuy)
  • Monorail set for Christmas tree- we LIVE near WDW now, how could we NOT bring it with us for this Christmas? LOL
  • Make-up/ health items/ Hair Items (Familiar is good with your daily grooming routine)
  • Ipods and IPhones
  • Some pictures for the walls
  • Disney Lithogaphs
  • Small Kitchen Utensils
  • Christmas Ornaments
  • DVD Player
  • Computers
  • Magnets
  • Cards and misc items for fridge
  • Jewelery Box
  • Our Hamsters Jack and Gus, Gus
  • Shoes
  • Filing Cabinet
  • Em’s Medical Records
  • Tools/ Scissors (YOU NEED SCISSORS FOR EVERYTHING!!), and Tape
  • Lots of Misc Items thrown in at the end to bring because we had the space too

Now, your list may be completely different, but this is what we could literally fit into 2 vehicles, plus get the van and car to FL as well!  We hope to travel back to WI to pick up the rest next summer, or having Mom and Bob bring some of the items to us when they come to visit.

There is no perfect plan, and you will find that you just learn along the way. I must head to Wal-Mart or Target every other day because of a curtain rod I need, or a snack, or Craig needs something special to hang items on the wall.  If you can afford to move your own items, and they are worth it TO move, go for it. Otherwise, make a list, and get ready to shop as much as you did when you first got married!  I hope this helps your relocation efforts, and please feel free to comment or ask questions in the comments section.

8 Comments »

  1. Interesting post! I don’t know that I will have exactly this kind of situation in my future, but you never know! I am hoping to move to Florida for a few months later this year and I have had to answer some of these questions (though my situation isn’t exactly the same — I’ll be subletting my apartment in NYC and hopefully moving into a furnished place in Florida). My budget has a decent amount allotted to “miscellaneous” so that I’ll be ready for the unexpected. It also had a line item for the Food and Wine Festival…so I can eat my little heart out 😉

  2. I found a Salvation Army store in Kissimmee at the corner of Vine (192) and Main Street. Where did you find the Goodwill Store.?

    What neighborhood did you move to? Are you East or West of I4?

  3. Thanks so much for your guidance Amy.
    My husband has already put his foot down that his jukebox will be coming with us. Just with that item, we know there will be a U-Haul.
    I can see leaving drinking glasses behind as they’re heavy, cheap, and not worth toting 1100 miles when you can buy a whole set for $8.00.
    I now feel easier about adding the yogurt maker, Kitchen-Aid mixer, toaster oven, electric kettle and ice-cream maker to our U-Haul space since we use them all often.
    I’m torn on our bedroom set which I love love love! The bed is a king sized canopy with the armoire and dresser having delicate shuttered doors. While I love it and it could cost thousands to replace, I’m considering selling it because it’s sure to get knocked around and chipped during a move. It’s matte black, making it easy to notice a gouge or chip which I’m sure will happen. This is the kind of stuff that is going through my head as we add some detail to our plan.
    It’s a good thing we have at least 2 years ahead of us so there is time to decide what to bring, what to replace, what to give away, etc. As I learned from you, plans can change–stay flexible!

    Garage Sale #1 is coming up in July. Huzzah!!

  4. This is really helpful to all of us..I appreciate you taking the time to try & give helpful tips like this..I see some things now as I sit here typing that we can do without.

    Have you looked up the local Yahoo freecycle group online? You can always post what you are looking for etc..
    Also, I have a printer here if you’d like to have it..we have 3! Lol..the only problem is the adjustable arm for 4×6 prints but ise otherwise excellent..idk how much shipping would cost..

  5. We sold mostly everything too and the items we wanted to keep, we put in PODS. PODS transported them to their storage place in Ocala. What worked best for us was renting a furnished house month-to-month so we only had to bring clothes, toiletries, etc. When we found the house we wanted to buy, after settlement, we had the PODS delivered one at a time. The first one was the one with the beds in it. Then we shopped consignment stores and Craigslist.

  6. Hi Amy,

    Our move is 10-13 years away, but it’s awesome seeing this kind of information. One thing that might be an option to avoid having to run out to the store right away would be to place an order with something like GardenGrocer.com. We’ve had them deliver when we’ve done a DVC stay, and they’ve worked out great. I just checked and they deliver to homes, too. It would be a bit more expensive than just running to the store, but very nice to have it delivered so you don’t *have* to go to the store. Keep up the great blogging!

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