Sunday, March 14, 2010

Musings on Movings #1: Yay UHaul!

Done! We are now ensconced in a house 1/3 smaller than our old house, on a piece of property about half the size of our previous house. It may not sound like much of a downsizing, but our old house was enormous - we got rid of about 1500 square feet of house, which would make a pretty decent size home all by itself. We went from a free standing two-car, two-story garage to an attached one car garage and my office is in our new home's finished basement, so we lost a whole floor of storage. We passed along a ton of useful things, as well as recycling endless stacks of papers and periodicals.

Setting up our new household proved an interesting project. We were committed to reusing as much as possible, but at the same time determined not to move anything that didn't have a clear use or purpose. Just because we owned it didn't mean it was entitled to a parking space in the new digs; this meant unloading a stream of surplus dishes, books, linens, appliances, and furniture. Through curb-gifting (a term I just coined), freecycle and other neighborhood listservs, we found homes for nearly everything, and managed to limit our trash to just a few garbage cans full. And a lot of the stuff in those cans was junk the previous owners had left!

This is the first of many posts about all our discoveries, good and bad. My first award goes to UHaul. We hired folks to pack our enormous library (husband is an academic) and while I got super cheap boxes online at Uline, it became clear that we needed more, on a Sunday afternoon. One of the packers mentioned that UHaul sells boxes which are returnable. They were open, and just a few miles away, with an immense inventory. Book boxes come in 25-packs, returnable with your sales slip. I had about 30 left over, and easy as could be - they took them back, not even requiring that they be bundled. The boxes have information about reusing and recycling printed on them.

Not such a great purchase: our highly rated Tanita Solar scale. It has read-outs accurate to the .5 pound, a nice thing, but in the winter it doesn't power up unless you have a light on. Seems dumb to need to turn on an overhead light to weigh yourself, unless you need the light on anyway.

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