Monday, June 27, 2011

Minimalist Me

Above is a photograph I came across while perusing The Everyday Minimalist. It's a snap of Steve Jobs at home in 1982, presumably pictured with most or all of his possessions at the time. TEM paired it with the tagline quote from SJ, "All you needed was a cup of tea, a light, and your stereo, you know, and that's what I had."

So, why am I suddenly turning my attention to minimalism? I'm fairly certain this isn't new knowledge to anyone who reads this blog regularly/knows me in real life, but if it is, I'm moving to NYC in August for grad school. And while I have moved within Austin every year for the past seven years, I've never made a cross-country move.

It should come as no surprise that moving hundreds/thousands of miles alone is not glamorous (yes, even to NYC) and is instead incredibly laborious. However, I genuinely had not thought about how I would move my cat, desktop and laptop, jewelry supplies, musical instruments, and any essential odds and ends until I visited the City last weekend. The reality of the move didn't sink in until it came time to find a place to live in a city I've only visited a few times.

For the fall semester, I'll be living in a furnished sublet that's a 20 minute walk from NYU. And while the unit itself is nothing to sneeze at (silestone counters, hardwood floors, and a clean bathroom and kitchen), it isn't my gorgeous, spacious, brand spankin new Austin apartment. Oh, and I'll be sharing one bathroom with three other girls in the sublet. If that's not a premise for a sitcom, I don't know what is.

As inane and superficial as it sounds, I'm pretty broken up about the prospect of leaving behind a lovely home I share with my boyfriend and most of my possessions (leaving behind my friends has not set in and I'm convinced that when it does, I will have a meltdown, guaranteed). I am by no means a minimalist, I hoard more than I care to admit, and until airlines started charging for checked baggage, I did not pack lightly.

This all leads me to the question, how will I make it work? I've considered shipping everything ground and taking the delicates with me on the plane (including a sedated cat), renting a car in Austin and packing up the essentials, and my dad's favorite solution (which I consider a horrible idea bound to be laden with problems) of hiring movers.

Currently, everything is up in the air except my last day at work and the date I need to be in New York. I have a little over seven weeks to figure everything out and determine what I really truly NEED to bring with me. If you happen to see me in the meantime, any advice is much appreciated.

Action Jackson out.


Model Citizen aka Bonnie Rue said...

hmmph. I moved once with a pod. I got to take my time packing... but I'm not sure you could put a pod of the streets of ny. Also - it was much more costly than I was originally led to believe.
Stuff is just stuff - you'll feel better with out it.
Time for a YART sale!

Beth H said...

When we moved from Seattle back to Austin, we hired movers so that we could enjoy an awesome road trip & not have to worry about our stuff. But that was a little different, because we knew we were moving here permanently & felt it was worth it to bring everything from our household rather than start over. So just to let you know, in case you are considering hiring movers, it is not a horrible idea. I'm happy to report that we had no problems at all with our movers - they were awesome! We did have a couple of things break, but they were delicate pottery-type things that I prob didn't pack very well. Overall, they did an amazing job. But it can be pretty pricey and you should def get a recommendation from a friend if you go with this option (don't know the name of the co. we used off-hand, but can look it up for you). However, i agree with Bonnie that in your case you'd probably be happier without most of your stuff. Maybe ship a couple of boxes of absolute essentials & have a big garage sale to get rid of the rest (& get some fast cash!)? When I lived in Germany for 8 mos. I put most of my stuff in storage. It was kinda costly, & in retrospect, not worth it. So try to avoid that option. Also, when we moved from Seattle, we flew our cat down here via Fed Ex (yes, seriously!). They have a special office at the airport for animals & they seemed very good with them. We got some kind of mild sedative from the vet for Pooky & he was totally fine. So don't worry too much about your kitty if you decide to fly with her or FedEx her. : ) Hope this helps! Feel free to ask me if you have any other cross-country moving questions.

Action Jackson said...

Thanks for the tips! Really good food for thought. I'll have at least two weeks after my last day of work to sort, pack, and move my stuff. That said, the time to plan everything out is now! Yart sale's not a bad idea...

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