Getting Rid of All My Stuff

13.10.22 11:23 PM By Shanley

Move #31 to New Zealand 

Picture this: while winding down for the day last June, my job-hunting husband receives a phone call from an international number. "You better answer it!" I encouraged. That call led to a couple more calls, which led to a few video interviews, which led to an August trip to Auckland, New Zealand. Which led to a job offer! What, what, WHATTTT!!!!

It takes about 20 hours to fly from Tampa, Florida to Auckland, New Zealand. This is what we looked like when we arrived around 7am - 2 days later.
Thank goodness for the new SkyCouches on Air New Zealand!
Remember, we left in the middle of summer in Florida, but it was winter in New Zealand, hence the warmer clothes.

This has lead us to the decision that we're going to sell almost all our possessions to make the move to New Zealand. You would think, "Oh, she's a professional organizer, that should be a breeze!" And you'd be wrong. 

This will be move #31 for me (#5 with this hubby), and I'll admit, we've done a really good job whittling down with each move. But then you discover new things you "have" to have, and so spaces get filled again. Moving across the world certainly makes you reevaluate what you "need." Our goal is to make the move with only 3 large suitcases and 2 carry-ons each. We plan to buy everything else we need when we arrive.

Yes, yes, we know. "It's EXPENSIVE in Auckland." In New Zealand in general, in fact. We've come to learn that's because it's far. It takes a long time to get things. New Zealanders try to be sustainable. There's less options, etc.

We've done a bunch of research - did I mention my husband is a Virgo and an engineer who likes data and I'm a professional organizer? All that being said, we still feel like it's a better option to get new (to us) things there. We definitely plan to take advantage of "op shops" - opportunity shops, a.k.a. thrift stores here in the States, and things like estate sales, etc. We're hoping to take advantage of higher quality older things that people like us are letting go of when they move away from New Zealand (why anyone would want to move AWAY, we've yet to figure out). I'll let you know how that shopping pans out. 

Until then, "Operation: SELL. ALL. THE. THINGS." begins.

One of the compounding issues in this scenario is that back in July our landlord didn't renew our lease so we had to move (#30) from our condo in Tampa, Florida. Because hubby didn't yet have a job, but had a few options in the mix, we decided to move to a furnished rental in St. Petersburg, Florida. This meant all our things got professionally packed and moved into a storage unit. 

Fast forward to a job offer in New Zealand, and you can imagine us now side-eyeing all our worldly possessions packed into a 10'x30' storage unit. We realized we now had to unpack everything to determine if we wanted to keep, sell, or donate - just like I do with my clients.

Um, no thanks.

Is there a way to hire someone to do that for me? Oh yeah, that's right, that's ME. Well, one of the things I love about moving so much is that it continually reminds me exactly how my clients feel when they're going through this too. 

It's hard. I mean, HARD. No one else can make these decisions.

I always tell my clients, "You're probably going to cry, and that's ok." Well, that's no different when it's a professional organizer moving. And it's amplified when you're moving across the world and decide to get rid of almost everything. We've been incredibly lucky with an offer from family members to store some things at their home. But even that option certainly makes you evaluate whether something is even worth storing. 

If I'm going to take up space in someone else's home, it's gotta be pretty special and sentimental. On top of that, we have no idea how long we will be in New Zealand. Is it worth storing for 1 year? 2? 5? Is it worth shipping over in 7 years after we've become residents and bought a house? This is the exhausting process we are currently going through with EVERY. SINGLE. THING.

Enter the conversation about a yard sale.

Initially, we were going to have a yard sale. But that's a LOT of work. This is one I had for a client a few years ago. It took over a month to prep and we were all exhausted when it was done. But they made good money, and at the end of the day, everything was gone!

So hubby and I started setting things aside in those aforementioned "keep, sell, donate" boxes. Then, Hurricane Ian hit. And we fled for our lives. We ended up with family in Tucson - which we were already planning on doing before we moved to New Zealand, but this just rearranged the timeline a bit. While we were in Tucson we got a little distance from the exhaustion of sorting ALL. THE THINGS.

And we realized we didn't want to anymore. 

When we got back to Florida, we decided to go the estate sale route. We spent a day scouring the internet and calling companies to figure out how that world operates. We've been lucky to find a few gracious people who shared guidance about how to proceed. That's how I like to run my business, and I always appreciate other small business owners who do as well. There's enough business to go around, and if I can make your life easier by passing along information and resources I've gathered, then by all means, please have that information!

Watch this space and I'll keep you posted about the estate sale process goes and how much we take with us. If you think I could be of assistance to you in the same process, here’s my direct scheduling link:

Until then, move forward with Peace & Grace!