Last time I discussed a list of things to think about in determining what household items and furniture you may want to store while you’re on the road.
Take Notes and Take Pictures
One thing I forgot to mention was the suggestion that our storage company gave to us. That is to take pictures of the things you put in storage. He said you’d be amazed at how many people forget what they have is storage after being away from it for several years. I thought that was a great idea! I also took notes on things like where keys to certain drawers in dressers were located, or what boxes certain items went into. Anything to spark your memory after being away from things for a long time. Then the next key is to remember where you put the pictures and the notes!
The Next Two Categories of Piles
Now it’s time to go cover the last two categories, stuff to get rid of and the things you want/need to take with you.
Remember these are only suggestions, and we’d love to hear from others who have experience with this task. Let’s make it easier on those who follow suit.
To pick up where we left off, here are the remaining two categories:
Category 2 – Things to get rid of:
There are many actions you can take with the items you no longer want or need. Here are a few ideas:
- For things that are still of use you can donate to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or many other organizations that will resell the items in some kind of thrift shop. By using this option you can write some of the donations off of your taxes but you need to refer to a tax accountant to determine which items and how much you can deduct.
- If you live in an area that allows estate sales or garage sales, you can put many of your items up for sale.
- If you live in an area that does not allow sales, you can still set items out in your home and invite friends and family over to see what you have for sale. It’s surprising how effective word of mouth can be in spreading the word about furniture and other household items for sale. Many friends and family know someone who is moving or in need of some new things.
- You can also list things on Craig’s List or eBay and although I’ve never personally done this, I have friends who have and they say it works great.
- You can give a lot of items away as gifts. Instead of taking a bottle of wine to someone’s home as a hostess gift, give them something from your give away pile and know that it will be used by a friend. Or if you know of students going off to college or moving out on their own for the first time, they can always use household gifts. Use your imagination.
- If it is records or documentation that you are disposing of, be sure to be cautious about shredding the items that have any kind of valuable information on it. Watch for social security numbers, account information and other items that can be used to steal your identity. My philosophy is – if in doubt shred it. There are many companies that will shred documents for you for a price. Places like Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, and many others.
- The rest of the stuff (that’s a technical term) can just be tossed. Be sure to dispose of hazardous material properly. Consult your local government websites to find out the locations and when the sites are open. The rest can be given to waste management companies or taken to the local landfill or recycle location.
Category 3 – Things to take with you:
This is the tough category. The fact that you will have very limited space must be kept in the back of your mind at all times. What I am listing here is by no means a complete list of things you need, but it will certainly give you a start and may trigger some other items you’ll think of. If you have other items you wish to add to this list please write about them in the comments section.
In addition to the obvious things like clothes, food, and other essentials here are a few other items you may not think about.
- You need to think of what legal documents you may need. Things like tax documentation in case of an audit. You may not have to take these with you but you will need to store them somewhere you can get to them easily. If you store your things with a storage company they will more than likely charge you for getting into the boxes. You also need to have things identified so you can find them easily.
- If you are planning to travel into Canada, Mexico or any other country besides the USA, you’ll need to take your passports. These are often forgotten about, so make sure you stick them on board and remember where you put them.
- Additional checkbooks are often forgotten. Most of your financial transactions should be done online, but if you have some that are not, then don’t forget the checks.
- Remember to fill all of your prescriptions and bring the prescription with you for refills or arrange with your doctor to have some way of refilling them while on the road.
- Don’t forget your pets’ medications as well. You’ll need to make arrangements with their vet to refill them while on the road.
- Speaking of pets, don’t forget to take the shot records for your pets. Many groomers or kennels (if needed for whatever reason) require immunization records. They are also important if you have to take your animal to a vet not familiar with him/her, or across the border.
- Bring the appropriate membership cards for organizations you’ll be using such as Good Sam, Escapees, fuel cards, FMCA, your vehicle insurance cards for both tow vehicle and Rig, and roadside assistance memberships to name a few.
Remove Some of the Stress
I know this all sounds pretty basic, but it’s very time consuming and can be stressful if you are pressed for time. This is why I suggest you start planning early. The more you can do ahead of time, the more peaceful moving experience you’ll have.
Another word of caution…make sure you keep all of the things you want to take with you completely separated from the things you are going to store or getting rid of. Things start happening very fast and if you have movers helping you, they’ll out number you. Even though you think you are organized, they move quickly and if you’re not careful, they’ll scoop up a box and have it stored before you’ve had a chance to tell them it wasn’t for storage. The next thing you know, you’ll be searching through storage boxes for that article you meant to keep with you.
I know I haven’t covered everything but I hope this gives you food for thought.
If you have additional items you want to add to this list, please write in a comment and we’ll compile a wonderful list for all of those who become full timers in the future.