The Move Out (Done in 7 Days)

Our 1st goal for the new year: Move out of the apartment. Done.

We didn’t want to move during the holidays, so we waited until January 1 to start packing. Moving boxes piled around the Christmas tree.

This was a seven-day move, so we used two guidelines to protect our marriage:

1. Follow our respective strengths. I am good at organizing and planning the details. Doug is good at making sure the boxes are ready before the movers come.

2. Respect the crazy. It makes me irritated to think about items from different rooms being in the same box. Doug uses a lot of tape. The stress of moving makes people feel and do crazy things. Go with it.

We decided what we needed for the next few months and packed the rest. In only seven days, most of our stuff was neatly boxed, wrapped, and stacked in a single storage unit.

We cleaned up. We turned in our keys. We felt so free as we rode into the sunset.

It feels great to have our stuff put away for a while. We’ll be glad to see it again in a few months from now.

We’re staying as house guests for the weeks before we go to Florence. One goal accomplished, more to go…

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Only found you recently, and you’re off! A great achievement to have packed up so fast – and looking forward to hearing about your next adventures. :)
    alexa´s last post…New 52

  2. I absolutely cannot wait to see what the next year has in store for you! I am so excited for you, I hope one day we can live out our dream of living far away from here too :)
    Birdie´s last post…A Year in Structured Review

  3. Good luck to you!

  4. Happy “New” Year to you! Good luck to you and your family. I am excited to follow your journey!
    Paige´s last post…What I Wore Wednesday Week 2

  5. Good advice I want to remember!
    wayside wanderer´s last post…New Year Reading

  6. ..don’t forget to write! =oD

  7. Sandra Gonzales says:

    My husband and I painted the entire first floor of our home last month. I completely understand what you mean by “Respect the Crazy”. It had been 5 years since we last painted together. I had avoided painting because I didn’t want to divorce or “kill” my husband. I’m happy to say that we kept our last experience in mind and we did a good job of respecting each other’s craziness.

    Have fun in Florence!

  8. Enjoy and have fun! Did all your items fit in that one storage locker? Amazing!

  9. Just got laid off and I am very jealous! I can’t wait to read your upcoming adventure! All the best.

  10. This is so exciting Rachel; the adventure begins….

  11. This is so exciting! Can’t wait to read more!
    Bianca´s last post…Keks der Woche – Cookie of the Week- Müsliriegel – Granola Bar

  12. I look forward to your adventures. Have a glorious time.


  13. Oh moving, how much I do not enjoy it! Your storage room looks pretty organized though.
    Can’t wait to hear more!
    Julie´s last post…memories

  14. Oh good for you!!! I love it… the journey begins and I am so excited for you!!! Bon Voyage!!!

  15. Wahoo! Have an incredible time. We’ll be in Florence probably in April for my husband’s work just for a few weeks this time. You probably will have left by then though. I can’t wait to hear more of your time there. Remember to get the schiacciata from the bakery right by Piazza Santo Spirito on San Augstino. YUm, yum, yum.
    Tepary´s last post…Tucson – Our Big-Little Town

  16. Yip, yip, yip! (My way of saying, excited for you!!)

    steadymom´s last post…My 2011 Ethical Spending Challenge

  17. Your post made me itch to move. :-) And the photos too. We’ve moved 11 times in 7 years of marriage. I guess it’s time to stay put for a while, but sometimes the moving bug comes back!

  18. HI, so you are on the move already… The plan is being fullfilled step by step. All the best for you all on your way to Europe! Waiting excitedly for your posts from Florence and for your impressions from Italy.
    I am waving to you!!!! Have a good safe travel!!!

  19. Wow. What an adventure! Can’t wait to hear about all of the steps along the way.
    Nicole´s last post…sleeping success

  20. Wow, amazing that you packed it up in 7 days?!?! Looks like your storage unit is organized, too. I have to do this packing-up thing but am just paralyzed with how to do it all. (by myself, and I am a packrat/messy, too!) I could sure benefit from a post as to how you packed it up–storage tips, decisions made to get rid of stuff, etc. On another note, maybe it is just my eyes, but does one of the boxes in the front of your storage area have an “open” hand-hold that is not covered? I can see mice, bugs and lots of dust getting into it. At least that has been my experience with storage units I have rented.

    Can’t wait to read your posts on your family’s journey. How exciting!

  21. Just found your site and i LOVE it! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for you this year on your new journey.

  22. Good luck! Can’t wait to see what’s next….
    Shannon´s last post…Free Samples of Nescafe Taster’s Choice Stick Packs

  23. I love the fact that you could pack up so quickly and efficiently. All your things are special to you and necessary. I think I need to look at things in my home with a different pair of eyes. “If I were moving, would I be packing or donating or tossing.” We haven’t moved in 7.5 years and I know that we’ve grown, grown and grown ever since.

    Good luck, and can’t wait to here about your adventure.
    Lauri V.´s last post…Welcome home- Rocket!

  24. Wow, that must feel great! And all in 7 days…the freedom you guys must feel right now! What a great time to do this too, while the kids are still young and not in school. You will be so glad you did this! Good luck!
    Michelle Traudt´s last post…You Are More

  25. Oh, thanks for those tips! “Craziness”–I’d never thought of it that way. When we painted our house in one week before moving in, my husband tried to paint after working all day and I thought he was getting early dementia. Seriously. Now, I know he wasn’t and have a better name for it that you’ve just given me.

    In a few short months, it has to be painted again and then we try to sell and have to box up 1/3 or more of our stuff to make it look good and put it somewhere and then when/if it sells, put most in storage and rent in another state until our house is built. You have helped me immensely. I will try to remember to respect the crazy. Now to figure out our respective strengths.

  26. And you’re off! Yay! I’m so excited for you and your family and I can’t wait to hear about all of your adventures.

    Thank you for how much you’ve inspired me. You might not know this, but you’ve been my simplicity mentor this past year; I’m pretty sure my husband thinks I’ve deluded myself into thinking you and I are best friends because of how many times I’ve said the words: “Guess what Rachel said?”

    Now I have my own simplicity blog and I owe a lot of my perseverance to you. Happy New Year and safe traveling.
    Jennie´s last post…Interjectional Thoughts Or Why I Decorate With Books

  27. Sounds so deliciously free! We did the same many years ago – put our stuff in storage and traveled Europe…came back to the realization that we did not need or want half the stuff we stored – now that was freedom. Good luck in your travels.

  28. Buona fortuna, amica! XOXOXOXOXO Can’t wait for the next chapter!
    Megan at SortaCrunchy´s last post…Achieving Your Parenting Goals in 2011 through Parenting with Positive Guidance

  29. Wow, well just wow!. Good luck to you and the family, I hope you really have a great time on your travels. This a going to be a wonderful time for the anklebiters, you too, take care.

  30. what an adventure!

    Don’t forget Assisi- look at the sunset for me
    priest’s wife´s last post…a simple womans daybook for January

  31. It’s finally here! Yay! Safe journey, and enjoy all that Italy has to offer…wonderful people, lovely fresh food, beautiful scenery, memories in the making. You will be refreshed with a new perspective after living outside of the U.S. for a while. And, I can no longer say that I’m ‘Denise, at the other end of the Tollway’! Bye,bye Addison!

  32. WooHoo! I’m impressed with how fast you managed to do it all! I’m so excited for you guys too!
    Frances´s last post…Homemade Toothpaste

  33. Denise C. says:

    YAY!!! YAY!!! YAY!!! I’m so excited for you!!! ;)

  34. Oh wow!!! I’m just sitting here, imagining what it feels like to be heading off into the sunset on your adventure! I can’t wait to hear/read more! xo
    Meegan´s last post…triple-choc bikkies

  35. Lovely.. All the best.. Can only imagine the sense of exhilaration and freedom that you must be feeling.. Oh and so, exciting too.. Can’t wait to hear from you next..
    Prerna´s last post…Booking it with Life as Mom- My List of 11 Great Books to Read in 2011

  36. Wow, you’re really doing it! I’m kind of in awe. Can’t wait to follow along on your adventures.
    Minnesotamom´s last post…Handmade Birthday Banner

  37. I am in Italy for a few months, too! My husband has a 1-year assignment here in Naples. We visited Florence over Thanksgiving break and was reminded how wonderful it is. My children and I will be spending the next 3 months in the UK, though. But we’ll be coming through Florence on our way back to Naples. Would love to meet up if you are going to be around in early May. Enjoy the adventure.


  38. Wow! Impressive.

    Your processes always seem so seemless and organized – but I’m sure with packing and getting ready for your European adventure, it is all in the presentation, hehe. Packing can be quite chaotically stressful.

    Have a beautifuly time in Italy and during your several weeks before heading there.

  39. Items from different rooms in the same box irritates me during moves to–but even more irritating is things that don’t fit in any size box. grrrrrr. Congrats on the 7 day move!
    Tracey´s last post…One Word 2011 Patience

  40. What a great start to your adventure… With the Australian disasters, its amazing how many people are reminded that its just “stuff” and what matters are people… please pray for Australia at this time. I have put some links on my blog this week about the disaster.
    angelvalerie´s last post…compassion and mercy…

  41. vermontmommy says:

    I cannot wait to read all about your new adventures.

    “Respect the crazy.” That is the best advice I have heard in a long time.

  42. I have lived in the same house for 21 years. We have raised our 4 kids here and now they are about grown. Our house was once bursting at the seams and now it seems almost empty. I have been slowly going through things and clearing out and organizing, I can’t imagine I could pack in 7 days though! In a year or 2 we plan to travel around the country living out of an RV, so I am trying to weed down even more!
    Can’t wait to read about your adventures!
    Living the Balanced Life´s last post…There is a God and it isn’t me

  43. I am so excited for you. Have a wonderful new beginning.
    don_mae´s last post…Testing… Testing… Here’s My Test Quilted Star

  44. I hope you will write a lot because I am absolutely thrilled to hear about your adventures!

  45. Oh the joys of packing!

    I wrote during our last move:

    No matter how organized you think you are, you’re still going to wind up throwing a wayward shoe you found under the bed, a half-used bottle of shampoo, a too-late discovered library book and a box of spaghetti all in one box.

    I can’t believe you’ll be in Florence so soon!
    Kait Palmer´s last post…Hooray for Play!

  46. Well done! As someone who moves often, with another one hovering within the next year, I’m adding respect the crazy to my list. I wish I’d known sooner. I have a lot of crazy coming out while I pack – we shall embrace it!
    melanie´s last post…11 on 1-11-11

  47. dude, you don’t go living in tourist cities like Florence or even worse, Napoli. florence is expensive and hot in summer, Napoli invaded by trash since years and full of thieves.

  48. Holy cow! I feel your pain on this one! I just packed up all my belongings and loaded into a 4-door sedan with my dogs and my roommate. We drove across country for 3 days from Kansas City to Seattle! I’m so excited for you guys and your adventure! Your blog is such a help and encouragement to me. Reading about your Florence experience will be wonderful, I’m sure!