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Baby Steps

August 9th, 2012

The 19th of September is scheduled to be moving day. The day we’ll be en route to Maine in a big moving truck and a car. One of our neighbors is planning on making the tirp with us, so we’re hoping to hit the Common Ground Fair on Friday and maybe Saturday.

I have no desire deal with the stress of living in a house full of boxes any longer that I have to, so our plan is to spend the 17th & 18th packing the things we use every day. That should be more than enough because we don’t have a ton of stuff. Most of the items we owned are use fairly frequently and can’t be packed up now.

There are, however, a multitude of gardening and preserving items that can be packed away. All of my terra cotta pots from the garage, the basement seed starting area, any of the canning jars I don’t plan on filling this summer. I’ve been slowly packing it all into boxes, a few each day. Whenever I start to feel a little stressed out, I pack a box or two.

I’ve had my share of moving experiences. Growing up we moved almost every other year, from one country to another. During the first four years Mr Chiots and I were married we moved four times until settling here. Thankfully it’s been 10 years since our last move and hopefully we won’t ever need to move again after this one. I’ll certainly be glad when it’s all over.

Any great tips for packing/moving?

19 Comments to “Baby Steps”
  1. jennifer fisk on August 9, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Moving allows you to really assess the value of some of your stuff and cull the non performers. Hum, maybe I need a pretend move.
    I attend the Common Ground Fair annually on Friday. It is Senior Citizen Day. It is also School Day but they usually depart by 2 or so. If I couldn’t make it on Friday, I would go Sunday as that is another quieter day not that any day is truly quiet. For me, the CGCF is the beginning of the “get ready for winter season”. You will truly enjoy it.

    Reply to jennifer fisk's comment

    • Susy on August 9, 2012 at 7:37 am

      No doubt, we’ve cleared ourselves of much “stuff” and we didn’t even have much to begin with! Can’t wait for the fair.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Mich on August 9, 2012 at 7:45 am

    I havent moved many times in my life (thank gawd) but I find writing contents on boxes and what room they came from a big headache saver. Lots of rolls of brown tape and good marker pens and lots of good coffee and music are my packing must haves! lol.

    Reply to Mich's comment

    • Susy on August 9, 2012 at 8:42 am

      Definitely labeling everything very, very well to avoid any “lost” items. Though I’m sure there will still be a few things that we’ll have trouble finding.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. daisy on August 9, 2012 at 8:28 am

    It’ll be here before you know it! You must be getting so excited! You’ve already done your purging, so your move should go easily.
    I color-code boxes, so we know which room they go in at a glance.

    Hopefully, we will be moving to our forever home (and farm) later in the year!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  4. Ashley on August 9, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Just a question off topic, can you tell me why you don’t have the sealer rings on your jars (the tomatoes sauce on your shelf)?

    Reply to Ashley's comment

    • Susy on August 9, 2012 at 8:41 am

      There’s no need to leave those rings on after you’ve processed the jars, they don’t hold on the lids. In fact I like to leave them off so if jar loses seal I know it. Most people recommend removing them for storage.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Bethany on August 9, 2012 at 9:28 am

    You probably know all the tricks of the trade, having moved that much. I’ve moved a bunch too, mostly I’ve when I was very young or out of college. A few things that have stuck with me:

    Always go through any paperwork before you pack it. You don’t want to haul junk mail to another state, and you want to know where important documents are located. Loose paperwork is my organizational challenge anyway, so I take the chance to reconsider what I’ve saved. Will I *really* use that recipe I’ve been saving or has it just become clutter?

    You already purge your house regularly, so this tip might not be for you, but I look at everything I own critically and think, is this something I want to spend time and money transporting? While most of my furniture has survived this, some of my thrift store finds that I’d been meaning to fix up someday we re-donated or given to friends. it also frees up my new house for new ideas and local treasures I find in the future.

    Don’t get rid of too much either. If its something you need, even if it’s something you use only seasonally, or requires extra time packing, don’t get rid of it planning on one day replacing it. First of all, it leads to buying something at the last minute when you realize you don’t have it (which just promotes more consumerism) and second of all, it’s really annoying when you realize you no longer have that extra fan for the guest bedroom.

    That’s all I’ve got. Most of the other stuff, like labeling thing was already mentioned. I’ve been told to try color coding boxes, but that’s just a detail. Another minor detail is that I pack my clothes in suitcases so I can find them easier and use fewer boxes. Good luck packing, sounds like you are pretty organized about it all. Hope the move goes well!

    Reply to Bethany's comment

  6. Turling on August 9, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Have someone else do it for you. That’s my best packing and moving tip.

    Reply to Turling's comment

  7. Joshua on August 9, 2012 at 11:35 am


    I see your shelves of canned goods, and I wonder whether you are familiar with Tarter’s reusable canning lids and gaskets? Although they cost more money up front, the heavier of a canner you are, the more they will save in the long run.

    I don’t work for Tarter or anything like that–just a happy customer. I’ve been using their lids for a while now, and I couldn’t be happier. The only downside is that if you gift canned goods, you have to think ahead and make some with disposable lids, because you won’t want to give away your reusable ones and not get them back.

    Reply to Joshua's comment

    • Susy on August 9, 2012 at 11:40 am

      I have seen them, though I don’t can much any more since I focus on growing/harvesting all year long. I actually prefer the Weck jars with glass lids & rubber seals because I’m a bit leery of any plastic coming in contact with my food.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Joshua on August 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm

        I’m not familiar with the Weck jars. I’ll look into them.

        FWIW, the Tattler lids are BPA free, although I know that doesn’t resolve all concerns.

        Oh, and it’s Tattler, not Tarter. Whoops.

        to Joshua's comment

      • Joshua on August 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm


        Given that the Weck jars don’t appear to be in standard shapes and sizes, do you have to adapt canning recipes at all? Seems like that would matter.

        to Joshua's comment

      • Susy on August 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm

        No I don’t change recipes, for the larger Weck I use the quart times, for the smaller I use the pint times. I generally just use a large stock pot for canning so they fit well inside that. I also like that the Weck jars stack much better in the pantry than regular jars. I also like that the seals can be reused if necessary, though I generally buy new ones. Just in case a time ever comes when I can’t get any new ones I could fall back on my old ones just in case.

        to Susy's comment

      • Susy on August 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm

        And yes, I still have concerns even though they’re supposed to be BPA free, no plastic is inert, thus it will be leaching something into the food whether BPA or something not recognized at the moment. I really don’t want to take my chances, especially since I go to so much trouble to grow my own food to avoid any chemical contaminants.

        to Susy's comment

  8. sarah on August 9, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Get more boxes than you think you’ll need!

    We’ve moved 9 times in the past 9 years, 5 of them over 1000 miles. Label boxes clearly, give yourself extra time for everything, take breaks.

    At least moving into a house you won’t have to deal with the logistics of double parking the moving truck on the street, going up and down flights of stairs, getting the super to let you in, etc.

    Reply to sarah's comment

  9. Missy on August 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    The first two things to do when you arrive in Maine–
    1. Clean the bathroom well and unpack your bathroom stuff.
    2. Set up and make your bed.
    Everything else can really happen gradually, but you will be so grateful that you can take a shower and flop down into your bed at the end of the day without unpacking boxes.
    Thankfully, you should never have to move again. =)

    Reply to Missy's comment

    • Susy on August 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      That’s funny that was our basic list except our #1 is: set up coffee maker!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Deb on August 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I agree with taking the rings off the jars. Why buy so many when you can remove them after 24 hrs. and use them again and again? I do know it’s recommended to perhaps have the rings on during moving as there’s less chance the seal might come undone. I did that in the times we’ve moved esp. when we moved 700 miles from MO to OH. Sounds like you ahve it all in hand and are getting ready slowly which is best. best thing is no kids to work around and move. Good luck with all of it.

    Reply to Deb's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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