Saturday, February 9, 2013

Asking the Readers-Downsizing/Moving In Retirement

Note:  After I wrote this missive, I realized that I should have been more clear.  My concern is the furniture and appliances. I'd like to know what you think you would do, or have done with those items in my circumstance. I am not a "simplify" person and my stuff-from three sets of dishes onward-will go with me.  Its the furniture situation that is making me want to sell, sell and sell-perhaps.

Well, as I mentioned previously, my house has now been on the market for a week.  Pending inspection and appraisall, I could have a deal in place as early as next week. Or it could take quite a bit longer. My house is not in perfect condition but it is in a high value and high demand area. Match that with the part where I'm a motivated seller, and  something should happen in the near future.

My son has spent the last week either doing research on Dallas vs Denver for himself, or helping me clean and get the dogs out of the house for showings. As the picture above showss, being taken on walks five and six times a day has pooped them out-a very good thing!  On a few showings we've simply gone out on the patio and then inside when the house is being shown. The end result is that he plans to travel to Colorado with me. He's looked at schools, and other quality of life issues and figures that he needs to come with me-and that he can always return if that is his decision. I am leaving that to him-although if he comes he could drive that 20 foot Budget truck (which I would not attempt).

And this is the point where I can use some input, folks.  From those of you who have moved cross country at one time or another and those who have simply downsized.  How on earth does one decide what stays and what goes. All of my other moves have been at government expense, and the items left behind were those deemed not shippable (somehow I am sure that's not a real word).

I'll say here that my furniture, with a few exceptions, are not antiques and have no emotional value per se.  Most items were purchased at Rooms to Go type places when I arrived (after across the ocean moving issues).  The rest is mainly good quality Ikea furniture (the kind made for the overseas market). Either way the resale value on furniture is not huge. Renting a moving truck for a week ranges from $700 to $900 minimum before taxes and fuel expenses. I did the estimate for a week to allow loading times on and off and a leisurely drive because we would probably not choose to drive through the mountains). Thats a quick online look and I am sure that is before any added expense that the company puts on-never mind if a 24 year old will be allowed to drive the truck.

In the other hand,  I would probably be in  short term rental until a found a permanent home to rent (my sister and brother love me, but me and two dogs for an indefinite time is not a recipe for living together). That means there would most likely be some storage and then a repeat move.

I terms of size, I imagine I may expect to lose SOME size in bedrooms and other spaces. In that area I can adjust.  However, I now have two eating spaces where I can expect one, and I have a HUGE open plan family room that holds a three sided sectional-with ease, as well as huge entertainment stands.  finally, my refrigerator and washer and dryer are obviously moving issues.

At this point I have made a large list of the things I am willing to part with, as well as pictures. It may be that somethings could convert with the house. Other things can be sold on craigslist. Eventually (hopefully sooner rather than later) I will have to make a decision in a short period of time.

So those of you who have experience moving yourselves and downsizing, please share. Would you move it all to Denver and then sell what you could not keep?  Sell now to have cash and lower on the road moving and storage?  I can use all the opinions and thoughts I can get-let me have them!

PS, did you ever have a project you did not love,  but figured you had to finish anyway?  This is it.  I'm not sure using gray as a neutral is working for me!


  1. I wouldn't move anything I didn't love and/or realistically believe would fit into my new living situation. It looks like you have large furniture which is unlikely to work well in a downsized space. Also I'd check now to see if your 24 year old can drive the truck without extra cost. Factor in a lot of gasoline too because those trucks get terrible mileage.

  2. Thanks Juhli. My 24 year old can drive the car with no extra cost, that is the age limit thank heavens. the problem is that I have no idea how downsized a space. Really, Im expecting most rooms excep the living room will be the same size and that there will just be less rooms, not that the rooms will all be smaller-but at this point, who knows. Who knows, thats my refrain these days, lol.

  3. Here's what we learned from our big move a couple of years ago: We planned on traveling for a year or two and we didn't want to pay for a massive storage unit so we only kept the most important things (bed, futon/sofa, two TVs, some clothes, and important items like pictures). Then we had a garage sale every weekend for a month plus a massive number of Craigslist listings until we got rid of everything else (two living room sets, kitchenware, two guest room sets, kitchen table, etc. We sold a TON of stuff!). The weekend before final closing we packed everything into a small storage unit then had friends come over and take everything that was left over for free. Then we traveled for a year. We decided to move to Las Vegas so we came back, rented a moving truck, stuffed it with our belongings and drove it to Vegas where we stored the stuff in another storage unit until we bought our house. I am SO GLAD we only had the basics to move (it all fit in a 10'x10' unit). After we moved into our new house we hit up the Goodwill, other thrift shops and $1 store, etc to furnish and decorate because we learned that all of the crap we paid retail for at Macys was worth pennies on the dollar when we went to sell it (lesson learned: a house full of stuff is worth nearly nothing when you go to resell it so why pay retail???). Now we are really happy with our downsized life! Good luck on your move!

  4. We have done a great deal of moving. Over 19 houses on three continents. Spouse just retired from the Air Force. About half the moves we did ourselves for various reasons. What I have learned the hard way is less is more. I would defenitely take sentimental and small pieces of furniture. We are moving ourselves completely now so we are going to have to downsize even more.
    Best of luck,

  5. Cash, I admire you. I dont think Im ready to be that extreme though. I am going to another living space, my goal is a sixteen foot truck, but we shall see. Also, I am the original thrifter, but absolutely refuse to buy used upholstered furniture. I would ned up hitting someplace like lazyboy again.........sigh

  6. Sandra, I will be moving a couple big pieces of furniture (sleighbeds and dining tble) but I agree most of them will go and I will replace after I see what the options are. The sectionals and the big cabinets can go. Aso in my case, I bought all this stuff within like two days after getting off a plane from germany. When I move, I'll go piece by piece.

  7. I want to just say to everyone-please keep those comments coming. Even though my initial answers may be all are making me think. Someone will have to pack and unpack, someone will have to store, and someone will have to drive that truck.-guess who?

    Also, I'm reminded that I purchased all this stuff at rooms to go in lets get a house that matches quick mode. It will be a nice opportunity to rethink a look.

    And I have LOTS of non furnitures stuff to pack alone!

  8. I might suggest offering the washer/dryer refrigerator to the new owners if possible. I didn't in my 1st house, and because of selling/moving issues, the fridge and washer sat in storage for 18 months, the stove for even longer.

  9. Wow, that's a big truck! I'd guess any new place you'd move into would have a refrigerator and washer/dryer, so it may not be necessary to move those items. Only other suggestion: Take lots of pictures of the stuff you get rid of ... for sentimental purposes.

  10. I think you just have to wait and see how big the new place will be. Your furniture is nice, and looks like it will go great in most any space. I don't think I would sell it, since you won't be able to get much for it, and it is expensive to replace. Yeah, it just really all hinges on the new space.

    The question is the washer and dryer. Out here in Texas, the dryers seem to be mostly electric, but maybe in CO they are more into natural gas.

    My husband and I moved to Allen in 2005. I really like Allen. Great library! We moved to Mckinney in 2008, but with one thing and another I still spend a lot of time in Allen, especially since they built the Villages at Allen and Fairview (we lived just down Stacy Rd. from there. When we first moved there, it was open land and cows!. Also, the high school was normal-sized back then).

    We hired a moving company to move us from California to Allen. It was expensive, but worth it to us. Nothing missing or broken. I do wish I would have gotten rid of more stuff before I moved, but more in the nature of tchotchkes and small things like that. I wasn't sorry to move all my furniture and appliances. For one thing, shopping for furniture and appliances is on my list of most-hated things to do. The only "big" thing we had to buy was that darn electric dryer (Ha - which we bought at Lowes on McDermott!). And also, the movers put everything in the right place and put together the beds and even hooked up our appliances for us. Yay! And they are pretty fast, too. Would have taken me weeks to do what they did in a couple of hours.

    No matter how well you plan, though, It seems you always have to rush rush rush around at the last minute, and then when you get to the new place you ask yourself, "Now why did I move this can of creamed corn 1500 miles, and yet I managed to leave behind my vacuum cleaner". I've moved four times, and this sort of thing always happens. So I wouldn't worry too much about every little thing.

    I really hate moving. I hope we stay here a long time, but my husband likes to move around. Thank goodness for moving companies. Good luck on your move! Phew! It's a lot of work!

  11. I would take ONLY what I loved!! Why pay for moving and storage to end up selling things on the other end. Having a garage sale in a home is doable, not sure you could have one once you get in an apartment or condo in CO. BTW I am not a grey person but grey is HOT right now, someone will be loving your quilt!!

  12. DW, that is a great idea. I beleive my future homeowners have come from another state. My realtor suggested I make a list of everything I was not taking with me and I did just that.

  13. Tom, im definitely not getting rid of anything I have an emotional attachment to, but I do have lots of pictures of this house

  14. Tessie, thats funny. Although I am moving to Denver to be near family, with all the build up I would be leaving allen anyway. There is just too much building up and more to come, especially along 121. I couldnt even get on 75 during the month of december.

    Money does not allow me to take everything or to hire a moving company, so I have to make some kind of decision although I am not a decision person

  15. Barb: Factor in also the effort of moving all that furniture and household items in/out of the house, truck, storage facility. I've done moves myself, and last time hired a company to do it. It cost 9,000.00 to move my household across town.
    The cost of the truck for a week will be a fraction of the total cost of the move itself.
    Best of luck to you, you have a lot on your plate. I'm in the camp of your readers that think you should get rid of unwanted items BEFORE paying the cost of getting them to Colorado.
    Hope you have a quick house sale.
    I'm not a fan of grey either, but it is a popular color right now.

  16. Barb, I am also in the "get rid of everything you are not totally attached to" club. I rarely move, but had a stretch of moving three times in a year.. DEFINITELY don't move Fridge & washer/dryer. I did & they died, because we moved ourselves.

    If your bed is new (last few years) & you love it, move it; otherwise make it your first purchase when you arrive. Small/sentimental pieces (think CAREFULLY about these) are ok, but I'll bet your family would lend you some stuff to fill in if you didn't take much. By the time you move the craft items you absolutely want & the sentimental items you absolutely love & possibly some of the IKEA items (if they move well) you might see how much stuff you actually have.

    The big trucks can be driven, but they ARE a hassle & if you can get items into a smaller truck, it's worth it. If you have not already done so, double check the cost of moving yourselves vs. a moving company. (sometimes you can pack your items & that saves $$$) Because TX is a popular place now, folks leaving TX may get a better moving rate.

    Good luck & hope this helps.


  17. Thanks Pamela. Honestly, all I am talking bout here is furniture. All of my non furniture stuff will go with me-no question on that one. Dishes, pots and pans, clothing collections, all of that will go. the only things I am waffling on are the furniture and appliances-and I agree, I am not sure I feel comfortable moving those at lall! Time to list some furniture I guess.

  18. Barb, have you talked to your family about which areas in and around Denver might be most practical for you to live? With their suggestions, you can scope out areas you might like for prices, room sizes and configurations, lot sizes, and see if they come with appliances. Investigating stuff like that (if you haven't already done so, of course) might make your moving decisions easier.

    Good luck to you! I've moved several times; but most of them have been local moves, so there was more room for error.

  19. Barb, my advice is to sell the furniture and appliances (or include them with the house sale if that helps the deal). My wife and I are retired and are living in house #8 that we've owned in 35 years of marriage. That doesn't count the temporary apartments in between houses. Furniture from one place almost NEVER fits or looks right in the next one. Appliances are pretty "disposable" these days anyway. After 5 years they are on borrowed time usually. We are listing our house for sale in a couple of weeks and moving 1100 miles to be near our son. We have decided to sell all furniture, appliances and a good bit of other decor. I'm not driving another moving truck or paying a moving company again. We will box and ship via FedEx ground several boxes of things including most of our clothes so we can drive our small car with just a few extremely fragile possessions. Even if shipping the boxes costs me $500 or so it will still be worth it not to have the hassle of that truck.

  20. Jean, we were talking about doing that but I have changed my mind. We will put what we keep in storage here, move up there and get an extended stay place, and take the time to look. Looking online is really not working for me. Up until yesterday I thought I was going to sublet for six months but I changed my mind. I need to be there and decide, lol.

  21. Don, Youre suggeston willbe my gideline, although I am not selling everything. I agree that at this point moving appliancs is probably crazy.I will be leaving the appliance and much furniture behind. I most likely will take my bedroom and sons bedroom and the other items that can be used interchangable depending on the room. Unfortunately I have enough stuff that it will still require a truck-Dishes, fabric inventory, Christmas decoraations and the like. Hopefully a very small truck, lol. More on all my "stuff" tomorrow.

  22. I would go to an apartment/ house the size you are hoping for. Walk around. What do you need? You certainly do not want to have to rebuy!
    Is that a sectional AND a love seat? Keep the love seat for sure. Do you have some side chairs that work in several rooms? Tables are easy - even simple chairs are expensive. They can go on the top of each load row in the truck. Many rentals do not have overhead lighting, keep lamps (pack shades in a shade box). Will a outside patio set work indoors for a dining room table? We used mom's glass outside table inside and it is great.keep some outside chairs no matter what.
    Most rentals (kids in mil who are also moving and renting) do have fridge, stove... Washer and dryer are less rare( and you can sell yours if they have one). They are expensive to replace.
    I also think you should keep your better art until you get into the place. You will probably get a better price in artsy Denver :) one Army wife told me at the beginning of our 14 move career- art makes the home. She was right.
    Use wide sarn wrap to cover mattresses and box springs. Keep your best coffee and end tables- again expensive to replace.
    They key is the size of house you are interested in. When mom went from 3100 ft to 900 ft we got rid of larger things- but it was surprising how comfortable we made the livingroom with her "old" overstuffed chairs and a love seat....her place is crammed with art and memories:) best tip I learned when moving her? If you are moving a dresser, take each drawer our and Sarn wrap it and slid it back in. No reason to unpack them. Do the same thing with clothes in closet- keep in hangers and wrap them!
    I'm pulling for you Barb. Go for it.

  23. Hi Janette, it's one large sectional..a two seat portion, a three seat portion and the chaise part. You are right that I need to look at what I will need and I am still loooking at that. While I dont want to have to rebuy manythings, There are somethings I would be happy to let go. And the cost of moving/storage makes some things cheaper to sell and reby and others more expensive.

    No art is being sold, as I said, the only things I am thinking about selling is furniture. I am not downsizing anything else at all. except furniture.

    Im looking forward to it!

  24. It’s super site, I was looking for something like this international Moving

  25. I swear the next time I move (which better not be until I'm much, much older), I'm hiring it done. On our last move almost everyone bailed on us so there were just THREE of us moving everything. Total suckage.

  26. I absolutely agree with the author of this article. To sell the house actually is not so fast and not so simple. Sometimes I even start to wonder whether it is worth to move. And it is not so easy to choose the company for moving. For all my life I moved once, and these guys have helped me in this. I may safely recommend it.


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