Greetings fellow Earthlings. I moved to a new home last month. Moving is never fun, and this was the most difficult move ever. You know how some people immigrated to America, homesteaded, and then never moved through 6 or 7 generations, but stayed stuck like lumps on logs in the exact same spot? Now I know why: moving a whole farm is HELL.
We moved 350 miles. About a 7-hour drive under good conditions. 8+ pulling trailers. We under-estimated how much stuff we had to move. We’ve been downsizing and getting rid of mass quantities of Stuff for the past year, and still had a lot. Because running a farm takes a lot of stuff:
— Tractor & implements & equipment
— Workshop full of tools
— Horse, hay, tack, horse trailer
— Corral panels and other portable fencing
We also had an office full of desks, computers, camera, audio, and electronics gear. Terry has her own interests, including workout and exercise equipment, leathercraft, and a bunch of musical instruments. Many books, even after getting rid of half of them. Many music CDs. Well-equipped kitchen. Furniture, clothing and everyday necessities. We moved a minimum of furniture and appliances, as those are always easy to replace.
It took three trips. Three. We rented U-Hauls, and hired loaders and unloaders. (U-Haul’s customer service was fabulous & we had a great experience with them.) Even with lots of help it was still weeks of hard work every day in every spare minute. Movers would have charged about $8,000, with us packing. About $15,000 if they packed. We saved a lot of money. I’m still not decided if it was worth it. We both could have invested the time we spend packing in doing paying work instead.
Some of our friends suggested that selling everything, and moving with nothing but a toothbrush and a change of underwear is a better way to go. We thought of that, and the idea of walking away from everything, all footloose and free, is appealing. It’s a fairly easy financial calculation to make. Figure what we could get by selling everything. Calculate the savings in moving labor, including ours, and other moving expenses. Factor in the costs of selling our stuff, both cash expenses and time and hassle.
Then compare to the cost of replacing everything we need. I’ve often thought it would be most excellent to literally start with nothing, and then obtain new things only as strictly needed. We moved from a small town to large population area, so there is lots more second-hand stuff to shop.
When I factor in the value of my labor, and Terry’s labor, all the work we put into moving, the sell-everything-and-move-with-nothing scenario almost makes sense. The main factor that puts this in the plus column is online shopping. Without Internet mail order we would have to invest a considerable amount of time and fuel in shopping, even for the bare necessities.
The deal-breaker is the tractor and horse trailer, and some other related equipment. Those are high-value items that we bought new and take care of. Buying new blows the whole deal, and used equipment is risky, even when you’re careful.
So, move the just the highest-value and most important items, and hire an auction house to dispose of everything else? If I ever lose my mind and do this again, that might be the way to go.