A Step by Step Guide To Moving Across the Country with a Baby + 2 Cats: Part 4

Our beloved dining room table (that we got from OSU’s surplus store for ~$15)… it was a former library table (or maybe a lab table)

Our beloved dining room table (that we got from OSU’s surplus store for ~$15)… it was a former library table (or maybe a lab table)

Welcome back to the never ending multi-part blog post about moving across the country with a baby and 2 cats!

By my count I’ve got at least 5 more posts in me on this topic… so get ready for a wild ride!

In all seriousness, I’m writing this so that on the off chance there’s another me out there who is googling how to move across the country with a baby and two cats, that she will find these posts and see that’s it’s possible!

For everyone else, you can skip on over these posts!

You can check out steps 1 - 5 here.

  1. Wait!

  2. Create folders (paper and electronic) to store all of your moving documents

  3. Outline what needs to happen

  4. Come up with a preliminary timeline

  5. Set your moving budget

  6. Figure out where you’ll live in your new city

  7. Figure out how you’re going to do the move

I can’t remember exactly, but I’m guessing that I did this next step while figuring out some of the other aspects of the moving process (as it was long and tedious).

Step 8: make a list of everything you own

Seriously. Everything you own.

I went room by room and made a list of everything that was in our 1,500 square foot house and determined if we were going to carry it across the country, donate it, sell it, or trash it.

Organizing is clearly one of my coping strategies for dealing with chaos…

Although we didn’t have a ton of stuff to begin with, this process was a great way to reduce our clutter even more.

When I asked myself, “is it worth it to move this thing across the country?” more often than not, the answer was “no!”

I still have the spreadsheet, there are ~500 things on it. Here’s a snippet of what it looked like.

Our home inventory spreadsheet. If you’re wondering why Ellie’s crib was in a box in the basement, it’s because she slept in a pack and Play until we moved into the apartment

Our home inventory spreadsheet. If you’re wondering why Ellie’s crib was in a box in the basement, it’s because she slept in a pack and Play until we moved into the apartment

On my spreadsheet (which you can see in the picture above), I had a column for the following information:

  • Room

    • Where was the item located, e.g., bedroom, dining room, kitchen, etc. If it was something that moved spots a lot (there was a fair amount of that given all the baby stuff that made its way from room to room), then I just entered, variable in that column.

  • Item

    • What was it (e.g., silver starfish decoration, old dell laptop [yes, this made the cut, ha!], blood pressure cuff, etc.)

  • # of items

    • How many we had

  • Donate

    • I put the number of items we’d be donating here (for a lot of things, especially kitchen stuff, we kept some and got rid of anything that was excess)

  • Sell

    • Anything we thought might give us a little extra cash or that was too big to deal with. We were too exhausted to do any hardcore selling. Our realtor ended up buying most of our furniture, maybe because she felt bad for us?!

  • Keep-Pack Up

    • # of items that could be packed up right away

  • Keep-Out for Use

    • # of items we needed to keep out/available for use

  • Trash

    • # of items that could be trashed

  • Unsure

    • Anything we were deciding on

  • Box size

    • For anything that was being boxed up, I indicated what size box it would need (to help inform our packing supplies acquisition)

Anything that was fragile got highlighted in pink. When there were a bunch of things that I wasn’t able to list out individually (clothes, paper files, etc.) I grouped them all together, highlighted them in yellow, and made a note to review everything/make a decision.

Sure, this might seem over the top, buuuuuuut it made for a really smooth (and less stressful) packing process... which is what you want when there’s an infant involved (at least it’s what we wanted).

Once we decided what was happening with our stuff, Mike took charge of donating and/or trashing it. I took pictures of anything we were going to try and sell (like the table at the beginning of the post).

Next up figuring out a packing plan.