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Should It Stay or Should It Go.

I haven't moved in 7 years, so I'm a little rusty when it comes to tips for making it run as smoothly as possible. 

It's tricky with us since we are storing most of our things and only taking furniture and essentials. There's no point in moving our entire house for one year. So with that, there's the "what to store", and "what to take" issue. 

Because what we take, we will have to turn around and bring back. So with every thing I pick up, I say to myself, "is this worth hauling across the country?", and "is this worth paying to store"?  

And it's amazing how many of my things are not worth either of those options.

I want next year to be as simple as possible, with the sole focus on my husband and our babies. I don't want to hinder that with STUFF. 

Stuff to dust around. Stuff to organize. Stuff to cram into corners. Stuff to slide under the bed. Stuff to stub my toe on. Stuff to snag my dress on. Stuff to make me a crazy lady. 

So. Much. Stuff. 

I texted my friend today and asked her why I had so much stuff. Her response was spot on! 

"Because that's what we do in America. Collect stuff. And more stuff."

Yup. Nailed it. 

The theme for our time in PA will be Basic Living. I'm embracing my inner colonial woman, I'm telling you guys! ;)

Sans the corset. Owchie. 

In the purging process, we have donated truck loads, sold a lot, and are keeping only things we absolutely love. It's so liberating!!! I love not having closets stuffed full of junk that I might use one time 8 years from now. I can breathe! Do y'all know how beautiful an empty shelf is? 

So, in the midst of our packing process, I would love any advice from you guys. Y'all always seem to have such good tips on a vast array of things! And that's why I love you. 

Nighty night! 
I am a modern day homemaker with a passion for family, cooking, celebrating, decorating, travel, and memory making! The Lord has blessed me with the desires of my heart in my husband and our two sons. We recently built our dream home and cultivating a loving and happy haven for my family is where I find so much joy.


  1. I move all the time and it really keeps my level of junk down. I do a huge purge before we move and then inevitably do another purge when I get to the new place. Things just don't fit in new space like they did in old spaces and I tend to get rid of more stuff after I've moved too. My only tip is to be as organized as possible - label every box, use sheets and towels to pack valuables, pack small boxes so that they aren't too heavy to move, go to the liquor store and ask for beer and wine boxes because they are the perfect size for moving (if you are packing and moving yourself - if you are hiring movers then you don't have to worry). Also, ask a bunch of family and friends to help and buy them food and drinks as a thank you. Packing and moving are miserable tasks and can only be made fun with friends and family!

  2. We did the same thing when we left Memphis. We knew we would be living in an 800 square foot rental house for one year before buying a home, so we would be storing all of our non-essentials. Purging before packing was huge, as you already know. The other thing that really helped was instead of labeling boxes with words, I used numbers. Then, I had a binder in which I wrote a detailed list of everything that was in each box. There was a list for every room of the house, with numbers for each box, so the box would say K1, and on my kitchen list next to 1 I would write every little thing in detail that went into that box. It made Jonathan CRAZY as we packed, but it paid off because I knew exactly where every item was, even in storage. When we moved in all of the Attic and Garage boxes when straight into storage, and I knew exactly how to prioritize unpacking the rest. The other huge benefit was that if I ever REALLY needed something that I had put in storage, I knew exactly how to find it. This also came in handy once we moved all that stuff to our new house. Slightly anal and crazy, but we were all glad I did it!

  3. After moving 3 times in the last 4 years, trust me when I say don't skimp on packing supplies. Yes they are expensive but it's way more expensive to lose/break the only things you actually decided to take. I agree with Katrina too about labeling everything. I would use colored tape for different rooms and then put what was inside the box as well with a sharpee marker. Made life less stressful when you need to find something in a hurry once at your new home. We have always hired movers and have had great experience with that. I do recommend keeping a close eye on them as this last time we lost a box (filled with my canon camera :( ). The last night before our move I bribed all our family with pizza to come help me finish up. Best decision ever! Praying for your sweet family as you begin a new chapter. T-town will miss you guys.

  4. Okay, my first tip is to pack up your family like you are going on vacation for 2-3 weeks. This means clothes, toiletries, snacks, toys, and anyone's favorite pillow. These are the essentials you need, since it is easier to live out of a suitcase during the transition than it is to unpack an entire box of bathroom stuff to find your toothpaste/ shampoo/ etc before bed. I would also create a box of "first things to unpack" and take this with you too. The most important thing here is bed sheets. Since we are always up most of the night before moving, once we are done moving we usually crash and nap for a few hours, then get to unpacking.
    Next, I would suggest trying to label each box with the room name in a different colored sharpie (eg kitchen = red, master bedroom = green, etc). With our last 2 crews of movers there was one guy who spoke English and the rest did not- so they didn't understand the writing on all the boxes, and put boxes in the wrong rooms. Now I know to color-code the boxes by room, use short room names (eg MBR for master bedroom), and then when we get to the new house the first thing I do is hang up signs at the door to each room with the room name and color. Don't use labels on boxes, as they can peel off in the heat and humidity of a moving truck. Write in sharpie straight on the box, and write on several sides of each box.
    When moving small kids, many parents try to set up the kids rooms first, to make the transition smoother for them. Other families send little kids to the grandparents' or other relatives' house for a couple days around the move, so they are not under foot during the actual moving day, and so mom and dad can focus on the last big rush of packing and first big rush of unpacking. Oh, and when we have family help us move I always make arrangements to feed them VERY well (Lou Malnatis deep dish pizza and good local craft beer, since we are in Chicago). Happy well-fed movers make for a smooth move. Even when we hire movers I try to have plenty of bottled water and soda on hand, because those movers work really hard! I usually have a few things break during a move, but this is normal and it is mostly replaceable stuff anyway. I hope this helps, and good luck w/ your move!

  5. We just moved after living in a house for 5 years. I thought I had done a good job purging donating, transfer station and giving away, but I still found things I don't need as I unpack. Good Luck!

  6. We are an Air Force family & spent 4 years living in Japan. We were only allowed to bring about 3500 lbs worth of belongings with us & had to store the rest. Take it from me, only store something if you just absolutely cannot live without it. When we moved back to the states and had our stuff that was in storage delivered, it was THE MOST INFURIATING thing I've ever dealt with. Why we stored some things was beyond me. Our new neighbors probably thought we were hoarders with as much stuff as we threw out. We literally dumped out boxes only to throw everything back in and then out to the trash it went. Good luck on your move, PA is where I am from. Love it there!!!!

  7. Wow. I don't have any suggestions, but I am going to remember this post, and have a look at all the excellent suggestions you got, when we do move in a few years.

  8. I was gonna enter some tips here, but looks like your friends have it covered. Good ideas!

  9. We are purging right now. We are fixing up the house, putting it on the market and hopefully moving from the urban core to the country! I have so much stuff that I've tossed and have to donate. I'm packing a lot of our decor that I feel I will use but most is being donated. I'm kind of liking the decor-free walls.

  10. Whitney it sounds like you have it all under control. Getting rid of "STUFF" is so freeing. A few years ago Bruce and I moved from 2400 square feet into a tiny apartment and we got rid of a lot of unnecessary stuff. Then when we knew we were going to move to California we got rid of a lot more and it was so freeing. So for your one year away take the least to get by with so you are not spending your babies time dusting and shifting stuff all around.
    I look forward to following your fun times on your blog.
    I love you and your precious family.
    By the way---I too wrote on 3X5 cards everything in each box I did have to store and marked the boxes ex: K-1 for kitchen…. I still have stuff stored at Eric's in a shed and my 3X5's are with me. Very handy for when I did need something.
    Best to you all.


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