How to move cross country in your car…

On Monday I packed everything I owned into this little Toyota and headed for the Twin Cities. It was an adventure. Sort of like driving a tiny truck. My side mirrors were all prepared so that I could see behind me. I had a car-top carrier full of all of my clothing lashed to the top of the car. It made a clickity click thwop sound the whole way there. (Luckily, though, it was only about as loud as a heavy rain.)

Here’s how I did it.

  1. I bought a car-top carrier for all my clothes. I put them in a bunch of cloth bags that I had and just shoved it all there. It was a Rightline Gear Sport Jr. with 9 cubic feet of space. I fit my laundry basket in the middle so that it had some shape to it. The reviews on Amazon suggested that I buy extra straps, because the provided ones were insufficient. They were correct–I wanted to put it through the car, rather than using any clips. The straps weren’t long enough to do that twice, so I was lucky that I also bought these. The investment cost about 100$.
  2. I shipped all of my book collection through Media Mail. I put a good 200lbs of books into the mail for about 115$, with tracking. It was rough to get all the books to the post office and such, and the boxes were ungodly heavy, but they arrived ahead of schedule–even though I made a mistake on the address! The mailman was also KIND ENOUGH to wheel them into my grandparents garage, because he is a good human, and saved them a huge mess of trying to figure out what to do with 200lbs of books. When I see him I will tip him enormously.
  3. I got rid of all my furniture, or made a sort of promise to come back for it later. It made my apartment go quickly, too, to be able to say that I would leave it all.
  4. The packing itself took a good week to get everything into all the appropriate boxes and space. I put a square of tape on the floor to demarcate the size of my car, and I filled it up with empty boxes and crates and other things. Then I just set to work. Took apart boxes, packed everything into tiny spaces. Worked tirelessly. I actually really enjoy this sort of work. It makes me feel like I can win at a game when I get all these things into small spaces.

2014-09-16 11.48.43I also get stupid excited when I can pack everything such that it’s all accessible until I need to unpack it. I packed this bin full of my “desk stuff”. All my markers and pens are easily accessible–my business cards and my postits and my batteries, business cards, binder clips…necklaces, make up, jewelry, binders, sketchbooks… I’d go on, but you get the idea. And then under one tray is another box of useful things. Nail polish, make up, etc. This took me like five hours, for better or for worse. But, now when I’m staying in my temporary housing, I can get at everything I could possibly need.

It can be done, this moving in a car thing. When I arrived my grandparents were floored with how much I had gotten into that little car. It was planned well, executed well, and I had the help of friends who got it squared away easily and well.

I’m glad I survived the drive! And onward, now…for my first day of work!

2014-09-22 14.17.05


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