It is a HUGE project to pack up and move out of the house for a year.
Tons of stuff to be done. Here is a quick recap of the parts, not necessarily in order.
- Find storage – We own a three-bedroom house in San Rafael. The house also has a small guesthouse in the backyard. It takes a storage space of around 15 by 20 to hold the furniture and stuff from a three-bedroom house. In Marin County, that costs about $500 per month. We decided to put everything into the guesthouse, which was going to be a very tight squeeze, but had the advantage that we could load it up over a longer period.
- Purge, Purge, Purge – We came up with a purge list of every nook and cranny in the house. The front room was divided into four areas, the kitchen into ten, etc. We wanted each area to be manageable. The list of nooks was posted on the bedroom wall. As we purged each area we got to cross it off. What got purged? Anything we wouldn’t want to unpack had to go. The process was simple. Load the back of the car with everything we could let go of and take it to Salvation Army. See more on purging in our other entry.
- Fixing up the house to lease meant painting, refinishing floors, landscaping, all those things we had deferred in recent years.
- Contracting with a management company to lease and manage the house while we were gone.
- Planning the trip meant itineraries, booking Airbnb apartments, buying airfare and cruises.
- Plan, Plan, Plan – Lots of tasks in a variety of areas. Another task list, this one was just the major stuff that needed to be done for the next three months. It really helped motivate us to get started in November, three months before we were to leave.
- Work, Work, Work – Then we needed to execute. Painting, packing, updating addresses, etc. With the reward of getting to cross things off of the list.
And with all the hard planning and jumpstart on the move, we still went late into the night making the final sweep of the house, getting the last items crammed into the guesthouse.