Monday, June 13, 2011

Keep It Simple - The Story of our Move from Maine to Texas Three Years Ago

Travel light.

Three years ago, Matt was approached by his friend about a business opportunity in Dallas too good to refuse.  We decided to leave Maine's fast declining economy and start fresh.  That was our goal when we first decided to move from Maine to Texas in a Scion XB.  If you’re familiar with the car, you know they look like little toasters on wheels.  These are not cars that you’d associate with luxury travel, but somehow, Toyota has managed some Japanese magic.  What looks tiny on the outside actually proves pretty roomy on the inside.  Despite the magical car, we knew to plan for our move early.  With 2 dogs, a ferret and a snake, planning was paramount.

Japanese magic!

We started by separating all the “junk” from all the “must keep” items.  For about two months prior to our move, we held weekly garage sales.  Surely, our neighbors would let out a collective groan as we hauled out our crap each weekend.  Living on the 3rd floor of an old Victorian apartment building, this was both a challenge and a workout.  We were determined to start fresh and leave what was burdensome and unnecessary behind.  There’s nothing quite like unpacking a box that was left sealed from your last move and realizing you have no earthly use for the contents anymore. 

“So that’s where I put my old  insert useless item here !” 

Being together for almost 10 years, we’d accumulated quite a bit of Stuff.  Stuff was everywhere, really.  We had closets of Stuff stored for some imagined future use.  An antique mirror bought at auction – too large and heavy to hang properly.  More shoes than any seven people could wear in a lifetime.  Christmas ornaments and kitchen mini appliances, knick-knacks and old puppy toys.  We had it all.

Spare junk bedroom and the Nyxie blur pup

And we sold it all.  Little by little, we sold furniture, clothes, shoes, suitcases, appliances, books and artwork.  What we didn’t sell through garage sales, we sold on Craigslist or gave to neighbors and our dear friends.  It was liberating!  “Keeping it simple” took on a whole new meaning.    

We kept the photographs, the love letters we’d sent to one another, the plants, some clothes, treasured odds and ends, some jewelry and important documents, books I couldn’t bear to part with, and the creatures.  Miss Poo, our ball python, was placed in an old pillowcase in a reptile-proof Rubbermaid and Haimmie, our ferret, was set up in a cat carrier with hammock and all.  He wasn't sick then so we weren't worried about how the trip might effect him.  The girls were sardined into a half-backseat covered with soft blankets and pillows, their personal effects within easy reach of us in the front seats.  With everyone packed in tightly, we drove out of Portland for the last time.  It was a scary, exciting time.  We felt free and unencumbered by the Stuff.  The important Stuff was there with us in that tiny, magical car. 

The Pack was headed west- together!


  1. wow, that's a big move...scary, but exciting!

  2. That takes commitment. Amazing.

    Best wishes on your move.

  3. As long as you has your furkids (and scalekids) with you, wot more duss you need?

  4. Yes you had the important stuff, the dogs and the ferret and a snake. Is there going to be a second chapter??? How long did it take you? How did the ferret take the trip?? I tried to give you my reaction and I couldn't get it to work. I wanted to say interesting!!! I really loved your story.
    Thanks so much for your visit, I do love your company.
    xx, Fern
    PS, Tom and I have been together 29 years and still love each other a lot!!! We are soul mates!!!

  5. That so mirrors momma and dad moving from Chicago, sans the unload Stuff part (which now they really wish they had because 14 years later, there are STILL boxes in the basement that have never been unpacked)! Of course at that time there was no WDA just lizards and a Sheltie they rescued on the way out of town. Thanks for sharing and stirring up memories for momma to tell us.

    Siku Marie and The White Dog Army

  6. Wowserz! That sounds like a huge move! Mommy says she can't believe you traveled in such a small car. Are you glad you moved?

    I wanted to thank you so much for such kind words. You are truly a shining site in the blogging world and I'm glad we're friends. :)

    Woofs & hugs,


  7. BOL, I love it! I can't imagine a road trip with my two monkeys - much less a roadtrip with them and all our worldly belongings! Kudos to you!

  8. Wow...that is some move! You are brave for tackling it, in a small car, with your pet family all aboard! But home is not a specific city or town...home is where our family (including our furkids) are! Hope you are settling in well in Texas and I can't wait to hear part 2!

  9. Amazing how much stuff peeps can accumulate! Must be part pack rat I say ;) Good for you for decluttering!

    Waggin at ya,

    PeeS: Don't worry about me being eaten by gators. Mom only takes me into salt water. Gators only live in fresh water :)

  10. It was amazing! You've a lovely magic car!

  11. Happy Tuesday Flag Day woofs & hugs!

    PS.. Congrats on your award!

  12. I can't imagine what a change that must have been. And I hate moving. So glad we won't have to do that for awhile.

  13. Hope you'll tell us more about what happened next.

    Love and licks, Winnie

  14. You are very brave to move that far, especially with animals. I hope your husband appreciates what a great wife he has.

    We've moved so many times I've lost track. Our biggest move was from Texas to Pennsylvania with a Collie and two Siamese cats. When we got to our new house (3 stories + a basement), the cats had the most fun of all. They started at the top, checked out each room and closet, and proceeded their trip all the way to the basement. I could have never bought a toy that would have given them that much pleasure. It's the little things in life as they say.

    I agree with Winnie. I hope this story continues.

  15. Be sure to check out Tuesday's post on inspiration...and thanks.

  16. This is a fantastic magical car story! Amazing that you were able to sell or gift most everything you didn't need! No trailer for the car trip?!
    My mom loves the "ahhhh!" from cleaning out those closets, rooms or places that seem to collect... problem is that dad is not on board, or doesn't have time!!! Can you send us some cleanout magic wishes! :)
    Many thanks for sharing your adventure!

    Sweet hugs,
    Sierra Rose

  17. I'm not moving anywhere right now, but you've inspired me to start going through my basement and removing anything that has been down there and untouched for longer than a year.

    Glad your move went well and you had plenty of room for all of the important things in your life.

  18. Hello Arwen's Pack! We have passed on an Award to you! Check out our blog today, if you would like to pick it up!

  19. Now if I had my choice in a perfect world of course I would be move TO Maine, but the world isn't perfect so I will be looking forward to your upcoming posts.
    Have a great day!

  20. That was so good! I was right there with you getting ready for your journey, except for the bit about the snake. I had to go back and re-read that part. This would be a great first chapter of a book. I hope that's what you have in mind.


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