January 24, 2017

So….to get ready for the big move we had to pre-pack.  Started in July/Aug 2014.  We had the idea that buying things for our big move to TN we should stock up or buy things that we thought were useful for that environment.  So our house started looking more like a storage unit rather than a home.  To accelerate our packing, my parents were selling their home and needed a temporary place to stay until the closing of their new house and some repairs and flooring could be put down.  They needed a room.  My ‘extra’ room was more like a huge closet, and I was suspiciously starting to look like a Class 5 hoarder.  I needed to pack and de-clutter in a hurry.

So it began.  Getting a storage unit, packing, donating to Goodwill or other charitable organizations, selling on CraigsList, or just giving things away.  We got the room cleared out, parents moved in, and we took a short break.  When I surveyed my house, I almost wanted to cry.  That ONE room almost killed me to pack it all. I still had the rest of the house/garage to deal with.  This was NOT going to be an easy move.

We looked at things we knew that we just plain didn’t want and/or knew we couldn’t use in Tennessee down our very rough trail/road.  They were sold as quickly as possible.  Y’all that takes time!  The posts on CraigsList or Facebook, meeting up with people, haggling, taking the post down, etc.  Prepare yourselves accordingly.

Once we finally got the house fairly empty (now we had 2 storage units in Florida), we rented a 26′ Penske moving truck and made the 1st trip to get a storage unit in our local town.  I had asked my husband, “should we try and find a unit before we leave?”  He said ‘No, I think we won’t have any problems.”  WRONG ANSWER!!  We drove 16 hours to arrive at the motel.  Started around 8 AM with phone calls to locate a until, and were met with either no answer or ‘sorry, nothing available.’  We were calling on our cell phones (not local area code), so I decided to switch to the hotel phone.  I located 2 units:  1 local but not air conditioned, the other 1 hour south but had AC and security monitors.  We took the local one.  This IS and issue to consider!!  We knew the stuff in that unit would be there for at least 1 year.  What we didn’t know is how BAD the humidity and wicking from the concrete could be in Tennessee. [At some point I will do a post on vapor barriers and concrete in general here in TN]. In retrospect, I would have taken the unit with the AC – we almost lost a few items.  ALL of the wood and leather had a serious coat of fuzzy mold growing on it.  Some of the cardboard boxes that were touching the concrete were wet and had mold growing on it – it didn’t damage the contents, but still, not what you want to see.  When we finally moved in 17 months later we had to sanitize EVERYTHING!  A ton more work than we wanted and could have been avoided if it was in a climate controlled unit.

We asked why there weren’t ANY climate controlled units around.  We were told because the rent would be too expensive.  You see, here in rural America, electricity is purchased and the costs are high.  So people don’t even bother putting in AC in these units because the rental company would go out of business.  In fact, in our town the ONE place that did have climate control went under because they couldn’t rent their units.  THIS IS REALITY IN RURAL AMERICA, so think about it before you blindly pack up the moving truck that you only have for 5 days and can’t easily find a storage unit, much less one that in climate controlled.

One of the major issues we had was how much to get rid of.  Some things were obvious, like our ocean going kayaks (that guy got a STEAL on them)!  Others, like kitchen stuff, was a little more tricky because we didn’t know exactly what we were going to have due to the fact we were making it up as we went along.  We decided to take it with us and sort it out later.  That did work, but it was a lot of work.  Now I have a fairly large pile of boxes that need to be either donated or sold.  Since moving it’s free or cheap, my attempt will be to sell what I can at a roadside stand.  I attempted to get a booth at a local antique/thrift store, but all their booths were taken.  So, come Spring I will load up and set up to sell my wares.