Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How Pinterest Made my Move Easier

The relaunch grows ever closer! We have a launch date (October 1st!) and we're getting content put together, designs finalized, pictures taken, and trying not to pee our pants with excitement.

But...that's still a ways away, and I'm missing my Pinstrsoity Pals. So I thought I'd get you an in-between post. Not the normal Pinstrosity post, but not part of the relaunch either. Just some tidbits I learned that I want to share!

After moving away for college I'd moved about every year or two for about 7 years straight (with 4 of those years being married). I thought I had a handle on moving. Easy peesy. Then we moved to Silver City and stayed there in our big beautiful rental for 5 years.

We had space to accumulate and spread out. We knew there was a possibility that Silver City could be permanent, but it could just be temporary. We had no idea how long we'd be there. And then we added Darrow to the family and the extra stuff poured in.

And then suddenly we were moving. Not only were we moving but we were downsizing from the 3 bedroom spacious double wide to a one bedroom rental under 800 square feet. I had my work cut out.

What do I pack? What do I sell? How do I pack it so it's easy to find and fit in the small space? How much sentimental stuff can I keep? What's the best way to pack the stuff we're taking? It was pretty overwhelming.

I'd spent all year decluttering, and yet I still had more to do. How do we accumulate so much stuff?! It's ridiculous!! I felt embarrassed.

So in an attempt to hide from the daunting task, I ran away to Pinterest. Oddly enough, it was there that I found my first motivation to get going and how to approach the task at hand. These were pins I'd saved a long time ago, but they were just right.

from Living Well Spending Less

from Style Carrot
With that we got ruthless with what we got rid of. Not as ruthless as Em and Chip...they are serious rock stars when it came to deciding what to take and what to get rid of. But we felt like we did really good for us with what we got rid of. We only kept the most sentimental and got rid of any fluff. Those yellow plates that don't fit in the microwave and make the food look blah...sold them. Kitchen table that definitely wouldn't fit in the new place, sold it. Books we never ever read, donated to the library. Great-Grandmother's sewing desk, kept that! It's now our computer desk. We picked the things that were non-negotiable as far as taking them with us, and then sold off what we could until it would all fit. We were determined to not get a storage unit, and to make everything fit in the truck, trailer, and car we were using to move with. And we did! It was really freeing to get rid of so much stuff. It's hard. It's hard to let go of items, because everything has at least one memory attached to it. But in the end it's just stuff, and your stuff should never own you.

Now we are here in our little house and the stuff we have with us is truly the stuff we love. It makes the home feel so happy wherever you look.

So Pinterest helped me know which items to pack, but then it came down to actually packing them. Eek. I enjoy packing...the first 5 boxes. After that it's not fun anymore. But, I did find some pins that helped me to pack things so they stayed in order, in one piece, and in place.

For previous moves I'd just left my jewelry in my large jewelry stand and taped the doors shut. By the time I got it moved and in place everything was jumbled and a mess. Since I sold the jewelry stand, I didn't even have that to keep everything in. I found small boxes for my earrings and bracelets, but this came in so handy for my necklaces! They didn't tangle, they stayed in one place, and it was perfect. Seriously, this is super easy and I may use it when I go on vacation and not just for moving.

from Martha Stewart
Martha (or her team) says: "Make a masking-tape X across mirrors and framed artwork. While this technique won't prevent shattering, it will help absorb shock and hold the glass in the frame should the item be dropped." We have a large mirror that we picked up for free with a cracked corner. Doing this helped keep all the pieces in place and we didn't end up with any more cracks. Everything came through just fine!

from listotic
I'm a cheap mover. I try not to buy boxes, or the expensive shrink wrap, or even bubble wrap until I absolutely have to. I raid cardboard bins around town. I find friends with box donations. I use sheets and towels to pad things. So when it came to packing our cups, this was perfect. I already had the paper bags on hand, and even if I didn't they are definitely more cheap than bubble wrap. And, not a single dish broke.

from The Wicker House

As everything but our pants and undies hang up in our closet, packing up the clothes (even after downsizing it to a good capsule wardrobe-but that's another post) was going to take up a lot of room if we used boxes. This made it so easy to transport the clothes, keep them clean, and save on packing/unpacking time. When we got to the new place we seriously only had to hang them up and pull the bag off. Now, getting the bag on can be's not as easy as you'd think. Either that or I was just done and tired and all thumbs that night which is very probable.

And then, the First-Things-First box, as we called it. Inspired by this pin:
photo found on buzzfeed. Original link no longer works. 
The idea of the First-Things-First box is to put items in that you'll want/need right away. Buzzfeed says, "This includes things like a box cutter, paper towels, trash bags, eating utensils, select cookware, power strips, phone chargers, toilet paper, tools, etc. The clear bin allows you to see in side; it also separates itself from the myriad of cardboard boxes."

In our box we had toilet paper, a shower curtain (which we weren't able to use immediately because there wasn't a curtain rod...but it was easy to find the next day after we bought a curtain rod), a few small flashlights (the small little LED ones from Walmart), box cutters, tape, my packing notebook (more about that later), a phone charger, some pens, and some cash. It really was handy to have that box and to know where the quick essentials were.

And now my packing/labeling system. I combined a few ideas I saw on Pinterest into a system that I felt would work great for us. With moving into a tiny house I wanted to be able to know what was in each box without having to open it up and dig through it. I also wanted to be able to find the box I needed without having to unstack an entire mountain of boxes only to find I was digging up the wrong mountain. This system would work with moving a large house as well as small houses. 

Here's how this works. 

Masking tape (one color for each room)
Index Cards

I divided my house into 5 rooms (kitchen, living room, bedroom/bathroom, storage, and Cameron's classroom), so I had 5 different colors of masking tape. 

Each box was labeled with a room and a number (for instance, Living Room 5, or Kitchen 8). For each box that I packed I would write down on the index card exactly what went in the box and the number of the box. I tried to be specific so I knew exactly what was in each box. The only non specifics were books. Those just got labeled books. Here's what the cards ended up looking like: 

As I filled up an index card I'd tape it into a page in my binder. 

To label the boxes I used my sharpie and coordinating masking tape to name and number the boxes. On top of the box in the upper right corner went the room and box number (i.e. Living Room 3). And then on the upper right corner of each side of the box was the box number as well. 
(Please forgive the grainy DSLR was in the repair shop when we moved and my phone had to suffice). 

This meant that no matter how the box was turned (as long as it wasn't upside down, which most weren't when they got put in the truck/trailer), I could see the box number and what color the label was (telling me what room it went to). 

This sounds tedious, but it really was absolutely fantastic and saved a lot of hassle, especially when unpacking. If I'd been more obsessive I would have packed it in the order I wanted to unpack it (i.e. unpack box #1 first, then #2, etc.), but I didn't really know what I'd want or need first as I actually had never even seen the house in person, only over Skype. 

As I got unpacking I could open my binder, see what all was in the box and see if I was ready to unpack that one yet or not. If I was looking for a certain item I could open the binder, find it on the card, and then easily locate the box by sight before having to do any digging.

And now we're here and mostly unpacked. I've been waiting for my couch to come in before I unpack the main decor boxes and now it's finally here!! Guess what I'm doing today!! But...even the idea of unpacking anything makes me feel blah. I'm so done with moving. I hope we don't have to move for a while. I forgot just how much I dislike packing/moving/unpacking! We may just stay in this little house for years so I don't have to pack us up again!!

If there are any of you that enjoy packing and moving...let me know. I'll hire you next time!