Sunday, January 3, 2016


Kitchen Planning
Hi there.  I'm Kara - the woman who lives in this blog.  I've been gone way too much in the last year and I feel a huge need to blog again.  My commitment to myself is to tell my story - as authentically as I can - as a memory keeping activity - but also hopefully to inspire others.

I even have a giveaway planned for later this month so check back!

Today's post is all about the thing that is consuming most of my life right now - my upcoming move.  I've moved about six times in my life - the majority of which were tied to college - so I'm not a huge moving expert.  That said, I am pretty organized and I'm trying to kid myself into thinking I've got this move pretty well under control.  So, I'm going to share a few tips that have worked for me.

1. Ask for help!

I am so lucky to have an incredible support system - from my best friend, to my family, to a great church family, to work friends - I've got a great #squad.  To say that I couldn't have gotten packed and as ready as I am without my best friend Gayle would be an absolute understatement.  She's been a huge help every weekend since I sold my house - and just an emotional support all along (I may or may not have broken down in tears randomly a few hundred times during this process).  My family has been amazing.  Everyone knows how awful moving is and most people will help out in some way if asked - so ask for help.

2. Put a day between when you take possession and when you move.

My current house was "move in ready".  I moved in a few hours after I took possession.  That was a HUGE mistake.  I didn't get to do a really thorough cleaning of the house.  My new house is what I am classifying as a "move in ready fixer upper".  It must be cleaned.  I've scheduled my closing on a Friday and moving on a Saturday.  On that Friday, I've got cleaning and some light repairs being done along with installation of cable and security systems and delivery of a couple of new appliances.

3. Measure your new place and "test" your furniture.

This worked extremely well for me before I moved into my current house - so I decided to do it again.  Gayle and I went into my new house and took measurements of each room.  Then, we measured my existing furniture.  I made a graph paper diagram of the new house and little cut outs of the furniture.  Then I could move around the furniture 100's of times by literally only lifting a finger.
Make a paper plan of your new house and cut out little pieces of your furniture to move around.

Since I am moving into a smaller place I knew some things wouldn't fit in my new house.  This helped me realize just how much of my current furniture won't fit in my new place. I'm still probably moving one or two pieces that ultimately won't make the final cut - but making a paper space plann allowed me to a) tell the people helping with move day exactly where the furniture should go in the new place and b) give away/sell a LOT of pieces before I actually move.

I also know that for me to feel "settled" when I wake up in my new place on the first morning my kitchen needs to be set up - so I've asked my nieces to set up my kitchen for me on moving day.  For that, I made the plan pictured in the photo that opened this post. It's a simple line sketch that shows all the cabinets and drawers in my new kitchen and what goes in them.

4. Purge rigorously

For the last year or so, I've worked very hard to keep my home in order.  The items on this list from Gretchen Rubin are a lot of the tips I've used.  I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing just as I put my house on the market to sell.  I am a classic overbuyer and I doubt I'm cured, but I have gotten rid of A LOT using the "does it spark joy" mantra.  I'm guessing I will get rid of even more on the other end of the move.

5. Figure out how to get rid of all the things you purged

I feel like I've gotten rid of a lot. That said, very little has gone in the trash.  I did three things with this move that have been really effective for me.

  • Set up a "give away" group.  
I created a Facebook event for my move and added my family and closest friends to it - people I asked to help me with the move.  I set it up long before I had moving day set in stone.  As I purged, I posted photos of items in the event.  Anyone who wanted something just posted a note and then we arranged transfer.
For one item - my piano - I went wider to Facebook proper.  The piano was literally snatched up in 5 minutes!  Two pictures and a post and I got rid of a piano! 

  • Try a local consignment store.
 I am very lucky to have a fabulous consignment store just a few miles from my house.  I've used them for a few items that I thought I could get a little money from.  Helping a local small business and getting a little cash in my pocket is a great thing.  There are consignment stores for both household goods and clothing. I've had better luck with the household goods but I've also consigned a few clothes.

  •  Identify local charities and donation centers.
A lot of what I'm getting rid of has just gone to donation.  In the end, it's faster than any other method of getting rid of things.  I've spread the donations I've made around between:

  • Goodwill - clothing and housewares
  • Teacher's Treasure (a local teacher shopping depot) - art, craft, and office supplies
  • Habitat ReStore - larger furniture (they pick up!!!)
  • The Library - books and DVDs 
While I haven't used it, other groups like Freecycle allow you to post items you're giving away and others can speak up for them and come and get them for free.  There is also always CraigsList for selling items. 

My final tip is to commemorate both the process and the day.  From putting the house on the market to moving day will be about three months.  There have been huge ups and downs in that whole process.  I've commemorated that process in my journal as well as using my Facebook group and finally through a hashtag - #karaisonthemove - on socialmedia.  I've invited my family and friends helping with moving day to use the hashtag too.

I can't wait to share all the upgrades and updates that are going to happen in my new home here on the blog.  I hope you'll enjoy the journey with me.

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