Throwback Thursdays… “The Choices We Would Make Differently” commented and reflected on.
The original post was written on June 23rd, 2011, about 2ish weeks after we officially moved to Florida. This Throwback Thursday idea is to not only shed light on where my heart and head were back when, but to also throw in the spotlight of what life truly is for us in Florida NOW. The updates are in BOLD, enjoy!
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! (So I chose this post because I definitely found it interesting to talk about because of this being a very raw post back then about our move. But now being 2020, and having moved to Florida twice, it should ABSOLUTELY be helpful to someone who is about to relocate here soon! )
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. (So all I can remember is the cold, hard, living room, berber carpeted, floor that we chose to sleep on while we waited for beds to be bought and set up. I think we were naïve to think this would be some easy task, the shopping for a HOUSE full of furniture. It would more work out to more bites that one big swallow.)
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! (Hey, PAST AMY, YOU ARE AN IDIOT! Let me tell you people what you DON’T get rid of that you already have- a washer and dryer, mattresses, a couch, and small appliances. Trust me. Trying to do laundry at a Resort was honestly just awkward as all get up, and I found I never had or could get enough quarters for the machine. My best moment ever was getting our new washer and dryer…it’s like God himself delivered it on Angel’s wings and said “Here Amy, you are forgiven, wash and dry free my child!” LOL)
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. (Seriously Amy? Yes, you need beds, kind of important. And for anyone who was curious, we still don’t have a bedroom SET, we just have a bed frame we like, as do the kids. I guess we aren’t “SETS” kind of people LOL)
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. (Ah yes, the poor man’s dining set. Living the dream folks, patio furniture in my kitchen. HOW did anyone enjoy reading this??? LOL Wowsers, I really wasn’t jaded yet)
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. (OK, she’s right LOL When you don’t have a decent nights sleep during a relocation period, it makes it near impossible to get anything done. Comfort is key right off the bat!)
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. (You know what we SHOULD have done, should have rented us one of those PODS- I hear they are all the rage and can be quite dependable with moving you and a great deal on the pocket book…… SAID NOONE EVER)
We have found that we wish we had moved several smaller items, just for the pure convenience 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. (Not sure why we didn’t have room for our pizza oven…it wasn’t like it was a brick one from the back yard, I mean it wasn’t small either, but that is pretty odd to me. Pack your pizza oven folks, because pizza is always an easy go to when you are in the middle of moving and unpacking!)
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 stayed at a Hotel the first night looking back, but we were just so happy to be in the house, we just didn’t think about it much. (Yes, agree with all of this today. Book a nice room for your first night so that you have a comfy bed, hot shower, and the ability to get your bearings about you before the real work begins the next day. Even with our second move, we raced to get to our new home in time for the Realtor who had a strict schedule, but we didn’t have any furniture until our PODS showed up (a WHOLE other story). Always have a Plan B when it comes to moving.)
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. (Yes, a printer should have been a priority as well and agree with this. Also hitting the yard sales up immediatedly when we got here would’ve been hella smart because we would’ve saved a ton of money and probably found some cool stuff!)
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. (Ok so my past self and present self think alike….good to know I haven’t lost all my marbles yet!)
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. (Yes and yes!!!)
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. (PUBLIX now carries Merkts cheese- and it is glorious. Now we also have a Culvers, so if they could just get a Happy Joes down here, this Cheesehead would be set!)
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. (My Mom would eventually get us all the scrapbooks from her house and I took several trips back home to grab the rest from my Dad. So if you need to store it for a move, feel confident that you can get it eventually when the timing is right).
So the golden question, WHAT did we bring with us? Here is our list: (Oh Lord, like you all really care about what I packed LOL)
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
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 (Nothing to specific here…LOL)
Small Kitchen Utensils
Cards and misc items for fridge
Our Hamsters Jack and Gus, Gus (Rest in Peace my fuzzy friends!)
Filing Cabinet (Because we couldn’t buy THAT here??? LOL)
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 (EXCEPT FOR MY PIZZA OVEN!!! LOL)
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 Dad 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.
I truly hope you enjoyed this look back into the mind of where we were at, 9 years ago. I can’t believe its been that long, but I am super happy that we are still here, and we are still making it home as much as possible!