27. September 2010 · Comments Off on Let The Games Begin — Vollmer PCS* 2010 · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

*Glossary: PCS: Permanant Change of Station

Don’t fret, we still have a few weeks.

Eight, to be exact. Almost exact: 8 weeks from Tuesday the 28th.


My brain has officially shifted into “Prepare to Move” mode.

This is becoming old hat for me. Let me set the stage here. I grew up a military brat. This means I’ve experienced all or part of military moves 3 times as a kid. I was pretty young during those moves, but my sister can tack on the two she experienced in high school while I was in college.

In fact, I blogged during our previous move from North Carolina to here in 2008.

Since I joined the Air Force and married Dave, I’ve experienced 6 moves, and this move from Nebraska to Florida will be move #7. So goes life in the military.

I’ve developed somewhat of a routine to prepare the family for these moves. Today I will cover the first two of those items in my routine, and I’ll be blogging about the next several actions in the next 4 weeks or so.  Stay tuned for fun stuff like househunting, choosing/registering the kids for their new school, removing batteries from toys, getting the “do not pack” room ready, and arranging to transfer utilities/change addresses.

1.) Clear out the extra stuff. This meant meticulously going through clothing, linens, books, toys, and kitchenwares and purging the extra stuff. Clothing and toys are pretty easy…if it’s outgrown, it’s going. Same for books. Nothing breaks my heart more than getting rid of books…but it’s horrible on the weight (we have weight limits on military moves). So I have to get rid of all but the most popular books, reference books and professional journals. For linens and kitchenwares, I ask “Did I need this while we’ve been living in this house?” If the answer is “No”, it goes. The new climate needs to be considered too…obviously we won’t be needing space heaters, winter boots, sleds, snow shovels or 20,000 pair of mittens in Florida, so those items go also.

While I’m cleaning out the extra stuff, I’m also keeping an eye on out of place items. When the packers come through the house, they’ll arrange things by what room they’re in. So if one of the boys’ toys ended up in the kitchen, it would get packed as a “kitchen item”. I have to go through the house and get all linens in one place, all toys in one place, books in their appropriate places, etc. Especially the out-of-season clothing I’ve been keeping in our basement. I have to put it all together in their respective closets.

2.) Consider how to get rid of this stuff. Lots of options here. Take it to Goodwill, take advantage of one of those charitable organization’s trucks that will take items right off your porch, bundle it into lots and sell it on eBay or Craigslist, or have a garage sale.

I chose the latter. This is the 3rd home in a row where we’ve been able to have a yard sale to help get rid of our stuff, and I HAVE to give props to the Eastern Nebraska yard/garage sale subculture. They’re the most polite and most respectful of start and end times.

A week ago we marked off our garage into areas (i.e., “clothing”, “toys/games”, “electronics”, etc.) and set out all of the items we planned to sell. This past Friday and Saturday, I had a yard sale. In my opinion, it was very successful. We made nearly $600 and I had spent about $80 in advertising/signage and other supplies. This blogger has a great article with tips on successful yard sales. I just now read this blogpost and I can say that I followed many of these tips.

Day 1 (Friday) had fabulous weather and I was graced with several dozen parents who were dropping off/picking up their kids at the school around the corner. The only earlybird I had was only about 5 minutes before my advertised start time, and I had a steady stream of customers from 6:55am till 3:45pm. I was able to put about 2/3 of my stuff outside on the lawn and in the driveway and it made things really easy to show. We made about $450 of our money on the first day.

Day 2 wasn’t nearly as good. The day was plagued with thunderstorms and a chilling wind. My first customer didn’t show up until 90 minutes after my advertised start time! I could only put waterproof stuff outside the garage, and stuff everything else into the garage to keep it dry:

From 2010 09 25 Garage Sale
From 2010 09 25 Garage Sale

Only made about $125 on the 2nd day. I had marked just about everything down to 1/2 price, which was a contributor to the low total.

Today, I converted the garage back to its intended purpose…a place to keep our vehicles. I packaged up the clothing (about 1/2 of what I started with), housewares and books and stuffed it all into the back of the truck. I was thrilled that everything I needed to go to Goodwill fit into the truck (with all the back seats down, of course!):

From 2010 09 25 Garage Sale
From 2010 09 25 Garage Sale

Tomorrow I’m off to the Goodwill shop right up the street to drop off the remains of my yard sale, then to the bank to deposit all the quarters and singles I’d accumulated over the weekend.

Until next time!!!