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November 02, 2007


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Another example of the throw-away society we've become. Very wasteful.

It's not wasteful if you donate or sell (e.g., Craigslist) what you're getting rid of, and then buy again secondhand (e.g., Craigslist) in your new city. It's certainly less wasteful than burning so much fuel to transport large items of furniture across the country!

I think it's a great idea if you aren't attached to your furniture. The other plus is that your new home will have a different layout and you may need different furniture anyway.

I don't think this is wasteful at all. I think, depending on your move, it can be very useful. I am acutally moving next week. I'm staying within the midwest, but still moving about 600 miles. I have not sold everything, but I've chosen certain items. The stuff we're keeping is the stuff we absolutely love or absolutely need. The truth of the matter is that it actually feels pretty good to lighten the load. I love the stuff we have and I don't miss the extra at all.

Now I will admit that there are a couple things I will be replacing once we settle in to our new home but I don't mind that either. I'm still coming out hundreds of dollars ahead in the long run.

Michael, you're taking an overly narrow view of waste.

There are things besides furniture and other household items you can waste. To name a few: your time and effort, your health and safety, fuel, the services of professional movers, the use of a large truck or shipping container, storage space. All of these things can be measured in dollars. If the move is long-distance, the things I listed could easily cost more than replacing a few interchangeable personal possessions.

This is a pipe dream. My wife and I tried to "lighten the load" when we moved cross-country. It is not realistic to expect to replace tons of simple furniture and other items once you arrive at a cost anywhere near what you "save" on the move.

You might be able to do it, but it would take months of garage sales and craigslist searching to find all the items you'd need at a low enough cost. The cost of the time to find, purchase, and transport the items should be weighed against the savings that you may or may not realize in the end.

On top of that, some items just can't wait. Not everyone can wait a month or two to buy a vacuum cleaner, for instance. You'll likely pay retail for quite a few things. I know we did.

To twist an old saying, "The cheapest vacuum cleaner is the one you already own." :)

I was the guy that did the other long post on the original moving article and I can't agree more with this and completely failed to mention this in my original post and applaud the poster as it's great advice. Some of the things I have helped people move or seen moved by movers is mind-boggling. I'm talking playground sets, mulch, broken appliances, and cheap and old kmart/walmart/ikea furniture. The majority of my stuff is going to charity, friends, or being put on the curb with a free sign after advertising on craigslist/freecycle. For a few items I may try and sell them through craigslist if I can find the patience to deal with the craigslist types that answer ads. It is simply not worth it to ship my cheap couches, ikea entertainment center/shelving, 2 beds, patio furniture, bedroom furniture, end/coffee tables, and things that I frankly rarely use. A lot of the things I'm not moving won't even be replaced when I do move.

Stuff I'm actually moving cross-country with me

-electronics(highest density there is)
-media and games
-book collection
-vacuum/steam cleaners and cleaning supplies
-limited kitchen things. The plates and pots/pans are being given away but the nicer things will be kept
-a dlp tv and a couple tube tv's

shipping or taking with me on a trip to the new location that I can't replace if something happened like theft or accident on the move
-some important papers
-family heirlooms and collectibles

It definitely helps that I have cheap furniture and have viewed a lot of things as disposable or temporary. I haven't invested a lot in high quality long-term home furnishings and I'm sure once I've moved and purchased some that I'd be moving a lot more things the next time

We moved cross country and tried to get the company to let us just trash our stuff and buy fresh. They said no, instead they shipped all junk (gradute students) cross country, and it cost way more to transport than if they had offered us say $5k for everything.

If you're a few months away from selling your house, one thing you might try to do is to sell / get rid of the pieces of furniture and other things that you don't really want BEFORE you put it on the market. This does a few things:

1) It gets the shabbier stuff out of the way, making your home look nicer.
2) It opens up the floorplan a bit, which makes the place feel roomier and bigger.
3) It means you have that much less to transport when it's time to move.

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