A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about planning

March (Moving) Madness

The crazy game of getting rid of everything you own

Emptying your house of everything that won't fit in a 5x5 storage unit or the back of a pickup truck is an interesting endeavor. It's an adventure in and of itself and It takes careful planning.

Some thing are easy. Artwork can come down anytime. Unwanted clothes, kitchen items, and miscellaneous stuff can go to Goodwill anytime. Excess canned food and dry goods can go to the food bank. BUT, you have to pack pictures and keepsakes before you sell the tables they sit on. I found this out the hard way as I played a game of consolidating all of our stuff onto fewer and fewer surfaces. If you sell your couch before you leave, you could end up watching TV on the floor. If you sell the furniture in your entryway that holds your coats, hats, and keys, then your coats, hats, and keys end up on your dining room table. Timing Craig's List listings is a true art form!

And if you sell your bedside tables and forget the only light in a bedroom is from lamps, you end up with this.


With one weekend to go, we have almost everything gone and almost all cabinets and closets cleaned out. Next weekend we finish going through clothes, packing the final items in the kitchen, and taking the last load to Goodwill and storage.

Then Arrr Adventure truly begins.

Posted by mrb430 16:20 Archived in USA Tagged planning pre-trip_ Comments (0)

So How Much Can We Fit in the Truck?

Otherwise titled "The truck bed is HOW BIG?"

So today we spent a long day packing up the house, selling furniture on Craig's List ($240 Cha Ching), and organizing stuff for the trip. We've been wondering just how much we will be able to fit into the truck - knowing we have a small bed - and I've been threatening a "practice pack" to see for sure. I'm really good at visualizing space and I'm an excellent packer but this was a challenge even for me. As Scott says, every implementation needs a dry run so today we did it.

Here's a picture of the dry run.

We outlined the bed dimensions on a blanket and "packed it". Included: tool box, winch recovery chains and brackets for use with our high-lift jack, tow strap, 25' of chain, air compressor, two inflatable paddle boards and paddles, three red stackable folding boxes for "stuff", cooler, huge 42x20x20 duffle, another duffle, small duffle, AND WE HAVE SPACE LEFT! I'm feeling good about getting everything in.

Also started securing the truck. Bought a safe for inside, added wheel locks, locking receiver for the hitch, locking pin for the jet ski trailer. And we got our hitch! All ready to go pick up the jet ski!

We've been waiting so long to get started! I'm so glad It's getting so close and we can really start winding down. Two weeks from today we won't have to get up for another working Monday.

Posted by mrb430 17:30 Archived in USA Tagged planning pre-trip_ Comments (0)

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

14 days and counting

Not sure why but Tom Petty has been the soundtrack in my head recently. Maybe it's because when I was in college and I'd hit the road to the beach that's what I played. Maybe it's because his music just has that sound and so much of it is about freedom and change and the road. Or maybe it's because Scott is feeling it too and playing Tom Petty radio every night.

In any case, we are so close to starting this big adventure. I just want to pack the truck and be gone. Since we're winding down at work we spend our days browsing Instagram for photos of the places we'll go, adding links to our travel plan , ordering last minute items, and deciding on the "milestones" we want to insert into the trip.

We'll spend the first month in Florida as I described in my last post and then cross the country to the Badlands and Black Hills for our first place we spend more than two nights! The next real milestone will be meeting the girls up in Banff for July 4th. Of course, those Canadians don't see fit to celebrate OUR independence day so we'll have to settle for beautiful scenery and family.

After that it's another big whirlwind of stops and places until we settle in the San Juan Islands for a bit. Whirlwind, then somewhere on the Oregon Coast. Whirlwind, and then finally out to the Bonneville Salt Flats for Speed Week. I refuse to plan beyond August until I know if we even make it through June! But I like the idea of having milestone places we can plan on and know where we'll be. To have the housing set up so I can envision the place that we'll rest for awhile. I like freedom but I like structure too.

Posted by mrb430 13:36 Archived in USA Tagged planning pre-trip_ Comments (0)

We're Quitting Our Jobs in 23 Days!

Hitting the road April 6

Wow! This has been an amazing process. We are so close to starting our new life and there is so much left to do!

We have accomplished quite a bit though. The Coop is on the market and we've been doing Open Houses and chasing potential buyers. We've been selling furniture on Craig's List like crazy (the house is soooo empty). We've seen our doctors, got updated prescriptions, got vaccinations, and planned for keeping in touch on the road. Our financial house is almost in order. We've aligned our bank accounts, opened some new ones and closed others. We've been seeing friends and visiting favorite places one last time. And we've been making plans.

Like our "We QUIT Our Jobs" party! At the end of the month we will say good bye to the OCC as we "retire". But since we're technically quitting our jobs, we thought that was more fun! Can't wait to see our friends and colleagues one more time before we take off.

After that, our first month we will be in Florida waiting for the rest of the country to warm up! First it's off to Fernandina Beach to visit Scott's sister Julie and establish residency. Then we're off to Matlatcha, Florida, a small island community outside of Fort Myers, where we have a house on the causeway between the mainland and Pine Island. We've decided to take the jet ski as it seemed too good a place to not have it (and I found a place to store it in Apalachicola for $25 a month once we take off). Then up to Redington Shores, on the barrier islands outside of St. Pete, to another house on the water and more jet skiing. Then finally a few days up in Apalachicola where I have fond memories from college of $1 oysters straight out of the bay.

We are looking forward to this time to relax and get warm but also to discover what our days will be like without work in them. What will the new patterns and rhythms of our life be? Will we adopt the healthy habits we talk about and long for but can't find time to maintain now? What new things will we discover about each other? How will our dog, Cadeau, adapt to life on the road and having us around all the time?

We recently rediscovered an old Tom Petty song that sums up our current mentality to a tee. In the words of the immortal Tom Petty:

It's time to move on
Time to get going
What lies ahead I have no way of knowing
But under my feet, babe,
The grass is growing
Time to move on, time to get going

Posted by mrb430 11:59 Archived in USA Tagged planning pre-trip_ Comments (0)

The Amazing Act of De-cluttering Life, continued

The multi-purge process explained...

Sixty days out from retirement today!

We reached another milestone this past weekend in listing our Coop for sale. After months of painting and upgrading counters, floors, bathrooms, and closets, it looks like a show home and ready for sale. But that part was easy, really. Just planning, cash, and sweat-equity (mostly Scott's!). The hard part was ridding ourselves (mostly me) of the things accumulated over 12 years of living in one place. We've had house sales, made countless trips to Good Will, given items to family and friends, and plain old thrown stuff out to get down to the bare bones required to show the house, not to mention to move onto our adventures without a semi-trailer of stuff.

The process has been illuminating, cathartic, frustrating, sad, hard, and ultimately amazingly freeing. It wasn't always easy. The way we did it, and this really worked for us (read that me), was to do it a little at a time. The first pass actually was kinda easy. Just getting rid of stuff that didn't hold much, if any, value and we knew we'd never want. Lots of clothes, nick-knacks, kitchen stuff, books, and stuff packed in boxes and in the back of closets was in this category. Then we proceeded to probably three to four more rounds. Each one peeling away progressively more; each time asking the questions: where did I get this? what memories does it hold? will I ever use it again? would I miss it? And each time deciding what future home the item might have: should it just go in the trash? would family or friends want it? could Good Will sell it? could we sell it? is it actually worth anything?

We did sell things and we will sell more. We didn't make thousands but we made something and it felt good to see items go to new homes of people that liked them. Some things that family and friends took were really special moments; knowing that the item wasn't just getting thrown away and allowing me to tell the story of the item's history. This was especially true for the items that still held some meaning but not enough. And let me just say, it's weird where sentiment lies and what gives inanimate objects meaning. For me, it's been mostly about the origin of the thing - where I got it and who was with me - but sometimes it's just the shear length of time it's been in your possession. Getting rid of stuff you've been hanging onto for thirty-plus years is sometimes really hard - even if it's just a T-shirt.

So you might ask, what remains? Well, of course, we still have some furniture but that will all be sold or given away. Items destined for the storage unit include original artwork and my beloved iron baker's rack in case we ever get another permanent home, kitchen items I don't want to part with or would be expensive to replace when we get that new home, and a few pieces of pottery I've collected on travels...and that's it. In the end, and I really think Scott has known this all along since he has very few material items he has brought forward through life, what matters is your memories, what you do today, and your future - and none of these require material possessions to hold onto - though, admittedly, they can make those memories manifest.

Posted by mrb430 08:56 Archived in USA Tagged planning pre-trip Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 7) Page [1] 2 » Next