Tag Archives: stuff

Working the checklist: Bought a trailer

Spent yesterday in Marysville buying a cargo trailer. It’s 5′ x 10′ — a couple of feet longer than we had originally planned. When we drive to Mexico, this is what we’ll transport all of our belongings in. The car is solely for people and beasties. So stuff either fits in the trailer, or it has to go!

As the main driver in the family, I drove home from the dealer. This was my first time pulling a trailer. (Nope, I’ve never pulled a horse trailer.)

I pulled the new trailer from the lot in Marysville all the way to our house in Fall City, which on a Saturday afternoon ensured I got lots of practice with starts, stops, merging, changing lanes, curves, straights, and TRAFFIC. (Also bumps. Lots of bumps.) It was an entirely successful trip, though, and I got lots of practice going forward.

I got a little practice backing up. Before we even left the dealer, we pulled into an empty area, and Jay taught me the principles of backing up and turning the trailer while in reverse. On the way home, we stopped at Safeway, and while he ran inside to grab a few things, I practiced parking (and using reverse to straighten the trailer between the lines.

When we got home, we decided to pull into the driveway, then back it into a spot at the front of the property. I nailed it on the first try. (Jay was very impressed. He was impressed by how well I had parked it at Safeway too, though that took me more than one shot.)

I’ll get more practice over the next month as we use the trailer to transport a bunch of stuff from the house to whatever charity ends up with it.

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So what’s next?

What’s next? Excellent question! I wish I had an equally excellent answer.

We are going to travel — that’s a given — and we know our first stop is San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. What we don’t know is when we get to leave. Because of some… particulars… about finalizing our temporary residence visa in Mexico (and a need to return to the US at the end of July), we either leave by May 19th or we cannot leave until Aug. 1. Whether we leave now or then depends on when the house sells. We need, at bare minimum, a strong offer by next Thursday, May 11, or we officially set the move date for August.

In the meantime, we’re moving forward like we’re leaving on May 19. That means we’re working hard to get rid of nearly everything we own. Initially I’d envisioned having a giant yard sale, but that was ultimately impractical because:

  • We don’t have tables to display everything in the yard, and renting tables would cost more than we’d make in the sale.
  • The house is too small to display things, particularly since the things we can’t get rid of until last minute would be front and center.
  • We can’t guarantee a sunny day for a sale, which means even if we got things into the yard, we couldn’t guarantee they could stay there.

I nixxed selling more than a few things online. That’s a LOT of work, and it means strangers coming by the house constantly — or constant trips out somewhere to meet strangers. No. In the end we decided to share some things with friends, and then to donate the rest. Honestly, after selling the house, the tax write-off would likely be more beneficial than the ready cash anyway.

I’d hoped to find a charity who would come in and pick up everything. There are plenty of those out there, but apparently only one — Habitat for Humanity — does pickups wayyyy out here in the boondocks. The downside is that they don’t accept everything. The upside is that they’re willing to make more than one trip.

Our final plan:

  • Go through everything in the house. Divide into donate, keep, give away, and throw away piles.
  • The donate pile we have to further divide into what Habitat will and won’t accept.
  • We’re gradually dropping off things Habitat won’t accept at places that will, and we’re meeting up with various friends to give them the things they want.
  • We recognize that we want to hold on to more than we can realistically take. So we’ve given ourselves permission to be lenient in the first cut, and then when we have the trailer, we’ll make another cut. Our hope is that we won’t have to store anything.
  • On the very last morning, we’re going to hire some guys with a truck to come get the last of everything. They’ll likely have two stops to make — one last donation drop and a final trip to the dump.

We’re not getting rid of anything we’re using yet, since we haven’t decided exactly when we’re leaving. (Although, to be completely honest, I’ve given some things away to friends that I’ve needed. I’ll probably need those things in Mexico too, but I should be able to replace them down there.)

I’m rather overwhelmed at the prospect of leaving in less than two weeks, but at the same time, I’m very, very excited and more than ready to start our traveling adventure. I really hope an offer comes in!

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