“Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go, purge yourself.”
– Tina Turner
Today we are going to cover the slash-and-burn, take no prisoners, everything must go mentality that comes with going to university in a foreign country. It’s not unlike dying, kittens, as “you can’t take it with you.” Which means you’re going to have to pawn, sell, trade, donate, lend, dump, or burn all of that “it” and it’s good to have a plan.
I’ve written before of the Great Purge that preceded each of our family jaunts here, and that’s a good starting point, but the crucial difference for me is that this time there isn’t a poly-government organization, private company, or even a well meaning stranger paying for us to up sticks. This is all on us, and it’s going to be a meticulous, if bare bones operation.
When prepping for a cross continental hop, the clued up traveler (that’s you, ducklings) sits down with their roommate, travel buddy, or significant other months in advance and has a conversation. This conversation covers the Big Items about which major decisions will have to be made. Cars, if they are to be kept, must be stored and insurance must still be paid on them in some cases, therefore arrangements must be made. Furniture must either be sold, given to friends, or set on fire in the backyard for toasting marshmallows during your farewell bash. Electronics and appliances are the same (not for burning obviously, you minions are awfully immature). Decisions about what to do with the majority of the things that make up your household need to be made weeks, if not months in advance, not just before you head to the airport.
Example, we’ve decided to store the car at my parents’ house. If we end up staying in the UK longer than anticipated, we can always sell it for extra funds and if we come back to the US, we have a car ready and waiting for us. The furniture on the other hand? That’s going. It’s either purchased from Craigslist or Ikea so we’re not particularly attached to it and it’s still in good enough shape to be of use to another pair of starving newlyweds.
After those are out of the way, you get to the funny items. My parents bought us a lovely bright red Kitchen Aid as a wedding present that will be sold only over my dead body. J. says ditto on (of all things) a very nice waffle iron. We have a truly glorious set of pots and pans that we are prepared to go Gollum over if anyone suggests getting rid of them (the precious…). We’re keeping the playstation, but not the large TV. The dual DVD and VCR (because I have one or two treasured tapes from childhood, and I’m not ashamed to admit it) stays but almost all of the kitchen appliances go.
The point? Be ruthless and be honest. Know what is worth keeping and what you can sell without pang that will give you a little extra money to work/play with. Most of our household items are newlywed quality stuff bought on a newlywed budget – ergo they’re decent, but selling or even giving some of it away doesn’t hurt us, personally or financially. We won’t have to find storage for it, manage it, or worry about it. Less really is more.
Personal items, now, that’s where it can get traumatizing. I’ll give you a bit of time to recover, my fragile little darlings, before cracking that particular whip over your head. Next time…