Jun 16, 2008

Moving Madness

In getting ready for the transcontinental move from SF to London, I'm facing stuff dilemmas. Toss it, take it, stash it?

Tossing stuff might mean getting rid of something via Freecycle or the Really Really Free Market. Somethings I further debate the merits of selling. I greatly prefer giving stuff away, but I need money for grad school so I might sell some electronic items. But thinking that I'm going to sell some things seems to be slowing the downsizing process.

Taking it? Still agonizing over what to take with me. Which bike? Which shitty, unreliable laptop? Trivial stuff like notebooks that are tough to find used but may be more environmentally detrimental to ship than to buy new? Subcategory of taking it includes, when to take it? Ship it later, carry it on the plane. Ugh. I hate moving.

Stash it? An awesome client is letting me stash some stuff in her basement. I have reservations as I don't want a pile of stuff to entice me back to SF if there are opportunities elsewhere. But, if I end up coming back here anyway for my cats and friends, what a pain in the ass to have to replace my bed, dresser, etc. I wouldn't really care, I'm not tied to the actual things, but I'm going to be sooooo broke when I get back. Paying for new stuff seems unrealistic, and since I have a free place to put it...

These aren't huge problems, but they are annoyances that make getting out of town more stressful. In some ways, I find having to deal with my crap to be a fine incentive to downsize. I'm shocked at how much shit I have, even as a Compactor. I've got so much art/activist stuff (paper, paint, tools, rope, etc) that I might even donate back to SCRAP. I think that's hilarious, myself. I've got electronics waiting for me to figure out how to recycle them. Mostly I still don't know what to do w/ headphones, crapped out storage drives, etc. Oh the learning. I've picked up a lot of used stuff as a Compactor. Still not thinking about what I'm going to do with it all when it's broken or obsolete. Oh the learning.

9 comments:

Kayotic said...

I went through the same thing about one month ago. I totally sympathize.Incredible what my daughter and I managed to squeeze into my 645 square foot house. Good thing we have this recycling place here and they drool over all the electronic stuff I bring..... cables, broken computers, bits and pieces from stereos.... etc.

Anonymous said...

You have an issue with the bike - taking it is a nightmare - turn the pedals, handlebar, needs a tool - omg - wot will airport security say? pack in the special box, BUT once you get it there - you then have to get away from the airport with this great big box - and now you have a bike which has the brakes on the wrong side for the country... You could buy one there - but then if you are used to the usa version, likely you will not like the brakes being t'other way round. Trust but verify.

grahamfreeman said...

I've been bringing electronics to the Alameda County Computer Recycling Center (ACCRC - http://www.accrc.org/). They take doohickeys of all sorts, functional or not. They also take hazardous waste. You don't have to be an Alameda County resident, but you do have to get the gizmos to them - they charge for pickup.

Good luck!

rachel said...

yeah, i'm concerned with the getting away from the airport bit. i might just have my folks ship some stuff after i find a place to live. i can easily live out of a pack for awhile.

graham,
awesome tip on the ACCRC! thanks a lot!

JJW said...

I'd ship the bike, as for the other stuff, why not Craigslist it...for free or not...people love free electronics...broken or not.

-jjw

www.izzitgreen.com

Molly said...

One thing caught my attention -storing furniture in someone's basement. Please don't do it. Especially since you don't have definitive plans of coming back. Really. You're just screwing up someone's feng shui at the same time as holding on to your own transcontinental clutter. I know, it's artsy-fartsy. But really. I know way too many people who have other people's crap in their storage for decades. It's just a chronic, low-level headache. Have faith that whenever (and IF ever) you return, you can acquire another mattress. Even a used one, if it makes you feel better.

Anonymous said...

oh yes, please give away/sell your furniture. You have to trust that God/the universe or whatever will provide whatever you need when you need it. I know that sounds a little crazy to most people but I am moving out on my own next month and I am so excited to see how a couch and kitchen table will come to me when i need it. I have to confess I did keep my favorite dishes and a vacuum cleaner because it was brand new.

Charlene said...

Hello! I'm enjoying the read, and feeling a bit nostalgic for SF. I also happen to be in the midst of a move to Europe and while severely editing what I'm bringing, am researching shipping options just in case.

Don't know if you've figured out your bike thing yet, but Luggage Free is an option: http://www.luggagefree.com/pricing.asp
They'll transort it door-to-door, $385 to London.

Anonymous said...

If you must take the bike, take it with you ie on the plane. It will go as a standard piece of luggage - ie you won't pay anything for it - except for the box. Then you want your 2nd piece of luggage to be under 55" ie a box 18 x 18 x 18 will do just fine - and don't fly virgin airlines 'cos they were a bunch of tossers and refused to take my box - all the other airlines would take both my box and the bike. btw, check the cost of taking your luggage excess baggage - we shipped and we took excess baggage and we paid a fortune, but it was a better deal on the airline - and we didn't have our excess baggage stuff held hostage/and made to pay extra by the shippers... which is what happened to the rest of it. 3 ring binders are standard in the usa, 2 ring binders are standard in the uk. If you try to save money/space by un-ring-binder-ing lecture notes, its a false economy - paper is different size too. In retrospect, we brought about 25% more than we should have done, but in the end we ran out of time and the stuff had to go somewhere and it was easier just to ship it. Big expensive mistake.