300 kg of books. This is after donating several boxes to the library. And we thought we might get away with simply shipping this all by mail!
There's an amazing quantity of stuff that we, two young adults with a limited interest in consumerism, had accumulated over seven years. Without a car, furniture had to go, dishware had to go, but parting with books was just out of the question.
The big move from Toronto to Boston took us a whole month of preparations (full-time) and will likely take us another month of settling in (part-time). What we learned is applicable to any major move by airplane and should help streamline the process next time around.
The principal difficulty was that, unlike in my previous cross-border moves, there was no home in which furniture would remain after departure. We did end up getting a storage space for the books, thus postponing the issue to a next major move, but otherwise we're now pretty much starting from scratch.
Dear future self, take this advice to heart :
- get a quality dolly (sturdy and with 3 positions) + bungee cords
1. Getting rid of stuff is hard. Three options: sell, dump, donate.
- sell: craigslist and such take a lot of time because people ask silly questions, people change their minds or simply cannot plan their lives more than a day ahead. Therefore, it is worth posting only stuff of a certain value. It is hard to sell large furniture because people are not ready to rent a uhaul just for this one bookcase. Good photos and low prices obviously help. Things that do not sell at all: specialty stuff e.g. rare dvds or fancy photo paper. *Garage sale: only if time permits. *Second-hand stores are a waste of time.
- donate: plants, even ailing ones, go well for free on craigslist. Otherwise, it is best to arrange pick up with a charity well in advance. Unless pick up is arranged for the very last day, there will be things you will not be able to donate, for personal convenience, e.g. printer
- dump: large brown bags for leaves are great because they hold their shape and are easily transportable with a dolly. *Got stuff with sentimental value? Is it really worth carrying it around with you all your life? If not, take a picture, backup the photos and dump the original.
2. Friends are of great help, especially with taking stuff out (if you failed to sell and arrange donation pick up). Love you, folks!
- small boxes from the liquor store are the best for books because paper weighs a lot. To pack books, watch youtube tutorials.
- get a good traveler's scale, to avoid crazy repacking ten minutes before boarding
- a desktop computer is transportable by plane: tower in carry-on, screen in luggage. Even so, it seems like I'll have to open it up and fix some connections.
- (minimize handle damage) : put tape around the whole luggage and handle for better redistribution of weight
- tape zippers together (they seriously can open)
- bring tape and scissors to the airport
- the cat issue: we transported him in carry-on, a vet prescribed a sedative. It kinda worked; border control were very kind. All found him cute. He meowed a bit on the plane, but it could hardly be heard because of all the noise. To avoid bad surprises, cat was denied food and water since evening before, by advice of the vet. Kitty loves the new place with spacious windowsills and lots of activity :)
Upon arrival :
- unlimited data for frantic google map checking
- life without a mattress (or equivalent) is impossible. A quality air mattress is fine, even with a cat in the room.
- life without furniture is OK.
- home delivery and musings about perhaps maybe getting a driver's licence? yes?
Good practice for the future :
- throw away stuff as life goes on, don't leave it to the day of the move
- if storing cables e.g. ethernet, label them with origin, usage history, condition.
I will add more info as we progress.