Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hypothetical Questions

If you were moving across the country...

...would you keep your second car (12 years old and 150,000+ miles on it) that is still in great driving condition and pay the 1,000+ dollars it will cost to move it, or would you just go ahead and sell it and become a one-car family for a little while?

...would you pay the extra (very large) fee to have the movers pack everything (sounds so heavenly!) or would you save and do all the box-hunting and packing yourself?

...would you keep the dress you wore when you were dating your husband that he just loves, but that you will never fit into again despite all the weight you just lost, so it has sat in your closet for over 8 years and besides you are doubtful that it is even stylish anymore even though you love it almost as much as your husband does or would you just go ahead and try to sell it in your garage sale?

ETA: Now that most people have given (great) advice, I should probably give a bit more info. A plane ticket to our new hometown from where we are now would cost 1100 dollars (I know!), or a plane ticket to about 2 hours away would cost around 300, so that's doable I suppose. Also, we are getting a fairly generous moving stipend, but if we did both packing and car-shipping we'd be footing a portion out of our own pockets.

Thanks for all the thoughts...keep 'em coming!
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. sell, save, sell, but right now I'm in the nesting stage of my pergo. so you might not want to take my advice. Good luck in everything!!

  2. Here's my advice:

    1--Keep the car. Settling into a new place is intense, you'll find all kinds of little things you need to get and if hubby has the car at work, you're stuck home. Can one of you drive it to the house? Is there a family member that would like a trip? Pay for their airfare and have them drive it for you. Might be cheaper than the $1000. Might not.

    2--I'd pack myself just because I'm cheap and it gives me a chance to throw stuff away. I'll also know where stuff is . . .generally.

    3--Keep the dress. It doesn't take a lot of room, it's a memory, and it makes your husband happy. Put it in a ziploc bag and stash it in your dresser or cedar chest for memory sake. And, you're kids are getting old enough that they'll be doing those 'old fashioned' fashion shows. They'll have a dress! :-)

    Good luck.

  3. 1) Keep
    2) Pack yourself
    3) Keep

  4. Ummmm Good question. I'd probably pack the boxes myself, but wish I could afford to have them do it. The car- how much use will it be when you get out there? Will the 1K and what you get out of it replace it?If you can get enough out of it to replace it by this winter then why pay to have towed? Never fit into again? Is it one of those dresses that inspires beautiful modesty in Bria? If not out it goes. Good luck deciding.

  5. I agree with Josi. A little freedom when you get there would be great. I'm cheap so I definately would pack myself. And the dress really will not take up that much room and it would be nice to have a reminder to look at with they hubby sometimes. Good feelings.

  6. As for the car, does it have a working heater? That might make a difference.
    As for the dress--I just got rid of some out of style dresses that had been cluttering my closet. Just do it. Take a picture of it; scrapbook it for your hubby and give it to DI.
    And, you know how cheap my husband is, so you know that there's no way we're paying for movers. I do worry about movers though I've heard some bad stories. Although no matter what you do, the stuff is just not coming out as great on the other end of the move.
    All of this is just advice of course. Smart advice, but just advice. And, am I a top commenter? Seriously? I'm honored? What's the prize? Let me guess!!! A size 8, outdated dress?

  7. 1. Keep - bad economy = difficulty in getting new one & might regret selling if you end up needing it.
    2. Save - Our personal situation would make it difficult to spend the extra money for luxury.
    3. Sell - Nesting in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy = a desire to rid the house of all things unnecessary.

    I guess I've just made the questions non-hypothetical, though, as I've just answered them.

  8. Wait! They're still hypothetical. I was thinking rhetorical. 5th pregnancy also = soggy brain. Sorry.

  9. I'm prone to say Sell-Save-Keep, but I actually think everyone on here has really good arguments!

  10. Keep, pack yourself and keep. Unless you are in the big money and then I say do whatever is easiest ;)

    Oh the challenge. But exciting.

  11. hypothetical, but here are my annswers:

    If you don't need the car, don't take it. I love being a one car family. It's very liberating. It's strange to see people with 2 cars in their driveway anymore! But, then again, it would be nice to have a second car sometimes.

    Pack yourself.

    Ditch the dress. (It's clear here that i don't have sentimental value for the dress!)

    Isn't it fun making decisions for other people?!

    Good luck.

  12. A reliable car like that will cost more than $1000 to replace, so I'd definitely take it.
    I've only had movers when they are paid for by the company, but it is fabulous. ( ours packed everyting, and then stuck the minivan in the truck too!) But if it's your dime, you'd better do it yourself.
    I try to not be a packrat, but I have sentimental clothes I've saved. Just get it out of your closet so It's not taking up clothes space.

  13. I would say get rid of everything you don't need, and have someone else pack your stuff. It's A LOT less stress.

    But on the other hand, you never know what you might need in the future. But there always might be something better out there for you!

  14. Keep the car ( nothing worse that being stranded in a new town ), pay the movers to do the packing and keep the dress !

    I still have the dress I wore when I met my Hubs at a Regional church dance and he loves it. ( I made it myself ) I don't fit into it anymore either. It's in my hope chest, along with the pants he was wearing on our first date and every once in a while , I take them out and live those wonderful memories again LOL

  15. Definitely keep the car. Pay a college student to drive it for you and fly him home. I'm still betting it would be cheaper than shipping it.

    I've had good experiences and bad with professional movers. My advice is based on how much time you have. If you could pack up a bit every day without making yourself sick or crazy or both, then I recommend doing your own packing. If you're up against a time crunch, or if you have another obligation like a wedding or something, then let the movers do it. You still need a brain when you get to Michigan.

    I'm probably the only one weighing in this way, but I think you should get rid of the dress. I kind of think of clothes as things that should be used, and if some poor mom could buy your dress at DI and feel pretty and confident doing so, I think that's a much better use for it than hanging in your closet collecting dust.

    Joel gets to keep the beautiful woman INSIDE the dress. Let the dress make someone else beautiful for a while.

  16. I would keep the car just cause you never know what you will end up with when you get there. I would just try to find a cheeper way to move if there is a cheeper way.

    Pack yourself then you can get rid of stuff that you don't want/need.

    The dress, get rid of it only when you are ready. But ya know I still have a pair of "skinny" jeans waiting for me. They are of course waiting a very long time... sigh.

  17. Keep the car, and fly whomever can drive it there home.
    Pack it yourself, if at all possible. That way you'll know where it all is, and throw out the junk as you go. Nothing worse than unpacking something that you didn't really want around anymore anyway.
    Keep the dress, if it doesn't take up too much room, and IF it's THE special dress with lots of memories attached to it. If he just liked you in it once upon a time, then toss it.
    I don't enevy you having to move, but what a great adventure. New places and new spaces. How's things going with the new house?

  18. If it were me I would probably: Sell the car - can you even get $1000 out of it? One car isn't that bad, although the extra freedom could be nice...

    If I could afford it, I might hire the movers...although I'm really cheap when it comes to stuff like that so probably not. However with that big a move, it might be only slightly less expensive to do it yourself...difficult one...

    I like the idea of scrapbooking the dress and selling it.

  19. The one thing with the car is least you know all about it. If you sold it and then bought another with that money, you may or may not get something as good...

  20. I would keep the car!
    I would pack myself (for the reason everyone else listed)!
    I would get rid of the dress!

    PS- I hope soon you will be giving us a play by play of your cruise. I love cruises and it will really make me feel like I went on one to read about yours! :) Not that you're very busy or anything, right?

  21. Hmmm, I'm not sure what I would do about the car situation. Now that we're down to one car ourselves, I REALLY miss having a 2nd car. However, I do get the car once a week - which means driving Jason to and from work. It's worth it for one day of independence! The other plus is that we have a library and a couple of playgrounds within walking distance, and that gives us stuff to do without a car - which is probably why I'm not pulling my hair with insanity. I do miss being able to run errands on a whim, but we're in money-saving mode right now. When we do get a 2nd car, I've learned I think I will continue a lot of the habits I've had to develop - like planning all my errands into one day, including dr's visits. It's one aspect of frugality that you don't really think about until you are sharing a car.

    As far as the clothing, I still have 2 dressed that I wore when Jason and I were dating b/c they're my favorite. I think I'm still holding onto some outlandish hope that one day I will fit into them again. But, I'm mostly keeping them for sentimental reasons. (corny, I know. But I just can't let go of them.)

    When my sister moved, they packed and moved all the small things themselves. but then hired movers for the big stuff: couches, beds, refrigerator. (That's an idea that I certainly never would come up with on my own! But how smart!!) Maybe taking that approach would help you save some $ and keep the 2nd car?

  22. I say keep the car. We dropped down to one car when we moved here, and while there are some advantages I'm fed up with waiting an hour and a half for Levy to get home on the bus or spending all day playing chauffer. I finally caved and let Levy get a motorcycle (scooter actually). Let's hope he doesn't kill himself.

    I would pack myself because like everyone else I'm cheap. If you can afford the movers then go for it, and enjoy every minute of not packing!

    I forgot to get back to you, but ABF/ U-Pack does bring the truck to your house. You can either pay for room on the truck or individual pods (relocubes) and they can either be delivered to your house or you can take your stuff to the terminal. The longer the move the cheaper they are (local moves are better with U-haul...)

    If it's just one dress it can't hurt to hang on to it as long as it makes you feel happy to have/see it. Sometimes when I look at my old clothes it just makes me depressed- that's probably a sign that I should clean out my closet :)

  23. I'm all for someone else doing the packing. And I'd definitely keep the car.

  24. You sound like us last summer, when we were getting ready for our own cross-country move. We were in a REALLY similar situation, actually, right down to sentimental clothing that no longer fit. Here's what we did:

    1. Sold the second car. So far, so good. We like having just one car; less gas expense, fewer repairs to make.

    2. We packed and moved ourselves. Speaking as someone who has moved 14 times in her life, I can understand hiring movers, but I've had bad experiences with paying them to pack the boxes. So I would at least pack the boxes yourself. And here's the BIGGEST tip I can offer: get FREE apple boxes from your local grocery stores (just ask the produce guys). We packed everything we owned into apple boxes (about 210 of them); that way, everything is a uniform size and the truck is easy to pack. Also, apple boxes are super-strong, because they're double-walled! And you can break them down flat, so you can save them for your next move, if need be.

    3. Keep the dress. You'll regret it if you get rid of it. At the very least, it'll be an heirloom.

  25. I should add that we were able to get rid of the second car because now we live our lives on a much smaller scale. The Tailor walks to work (and he finally got a new job, and he can walk to that one, too), and I work at home, so we don't use it that much. So if your new house is close to Joel's work, then so much the better. But if you have to do a lot of driving just to do everyday things, maybe you should think about keeping that second car.

  26. Moving across country stinks!!! If you have the money, I would pay for packers. But, then again, I didn't. I saved the money. But, we also damaged alot of furniture in the process and broke a whole lotta things.

  27. I hate such questions. Especially when they involve money. I say: Be rich and hire the packers and buy a fabulous new car when you get to your new home.

    About the dress? Personally, I'm a thrower awayer. But if my husband ever told he me he loved a dress of mine I'd probably keep it forever.

  28. Let us know what you do! I can tell you what we did.

    We sold our car. We only could have one shipped (at no charge to us) and a ton for a second. I don't mind having one car. If I need the car we take Mike to work. If we don't need the car, I have no problem being at home with out one. BUT I have neighbors that are always home, and Mike is only 15-20 minutes away. But we also have plans to get a second car in the future. When? Up in the air still, but there are times when two cars would be nice :)

    We had movers. It was SO NICE! We did have somethings break, none of our small pieces. It was our bigger older furniture that broke. They paid to have it all fixed. And whatever they couldn't fix we got money for new ones. So it worked out for us. It was AMAZING how fast everything was packed up and gone. They got to our house about 8 and were gone within a couple hours, and our house was completely empty.

    The only hard part was not knowing where things were as we were unpacking. . . but the time it saved me was so nice. Plus they loaded and unloaded all of our furniture. We didn't break any backs trying to move our piano, or china hutches.

    The dress. Good question. I hang on to my favorite things for awhile. A long while. I finally decided that next week I will be going through my closet and throwing everything out. It's hard because I tell myself I will fit it again, but I really don't know if I will.

    The way I told myself it would be okay, is if I do happen to get to be that size again, I get to go on a shopping spree. I hate clothes shopping. But the thought of being able to go into the store and buy my old size. . . that would feel too good to pass up!

  29. I was going to say to take a picture of the dress and get rid of it, but I get rid of most stuff eventually. Seems like most people are telling you to save it. Could you make the dress into something else, like pillows or a top or something?

    Having someone else pack does sound heavenly. If you could just get someone to UNPACK and have stuff exactly where you want it. :-)

  30. Having moved across the country on multiple occassions, I can tell you this:

    car- sell it, not worth the money, for that many miles/etc

    to pack or not to pack: Our last move, I did choose to pack. B/c it was a perfect time to dejunk. Plus, b/c I am a professional organizer ( LOL, seriously, but that just sounded so pompus) I was able to have control over what went in what boxes. Because I knew what our new home was like, I packed according to what went into each room. Each box was labled for each room. So the day our stuff got to our new house, it only took me one day to unpack, I swear it!

    Good luck and I would keep the dress, b/c it may be back in style when your DDs are that size :) LOL

  31. oh and we saved ab out $2K by packing ourselves. good luck

  32. Have you considered ABF UPack? You pack up the truck, (but you can also get boxes and stuff from them) and then they drive it out for you, or store it, or whatever. When my sister moved back east, they rented the whole truck, packed their house and their small truck into the moving truck and flew back.

    As for your dress...keep it if you want. I've given away some of my favorite dresses and regreted it. But then again, I have a hard time getting rid of anything with even a particle of sentimental vaule to it.

    Glad you had fun on your cruise, those pics could be post cards!! :)

  33. I would probably sell the car and have the moving company pack. We had the luxury of having a moving company pack and move us and it was wonderful. I would keep the dress just because of the sentimental value. Good luck.

  34. 1. I would keep the car. I would hate for you to get to a tiny town where you know no one and be stranded because your husband drives the car to work every day.

    2. I would pack everything myself. I did just that last year. I started early with non-essentials, cleaned one of the bathrooms a week before we moved and closed it off to everyone, and did things like wash walls and clean out cupboards a week or two before moving. That way there was less to do on moving week.

    3. I would keep the dress in my cedar chest. Maybe one day my daughter might like to wear it!

  35. keep the car. (we sold ours when we moved from UT to KS and it would have made more sense financially to keep it.)

    pack yourself. boxes from Uhaul or other moving store. pack your kitchen stuff WAY more padded than you think you need. We had about a dozen things break on our move (movers drove it but we packed it)--nothing terrible but it was kind of a bummer.

    keep the dress.


  36. Having moved about 10 times in as many years of marriage (don't get me started on how often we moved when I was growing up!) I would love the luxury of having someone else do all the work. Good points have been raised about that though, if you pack it, you know where it all is once you get there and you can sort through what needs to be packed and what doesn't. I don't even have the luxury of considering it though, we're broke, so I'm doing all the packing up around here...

    As for the car, if you kept it how much would the gas to have it driven out and then the ticket to fly whoever drove it home cost you? Gas prices are climbing up again at a ridiculous rate right now, would it really save you money to do it that way. Also, could you replace it with a decent vehicle for the $1000 you save by not bringing it? If not, have it shipped.

    When it comes to clothing, the only things that I have for sentimental reasons are the outfits our children wore for their baby blessings, and that's only because our girl wore my old blessing dress that my mom had kept and passed down to me and our boy wore my husbands old blessing outfit that his mom had kept and passed down to me. I still have my wedding dress, but I don't know if I will keep it forever and it wouldn't bother me all that much to not have it anymore. Six years ago I sold the dress that I wore to a dance date with my husband when we first started dating at a yard sale when we had to sell almost all of our belongings to move and start over and I sometimes wish I hadn't because it was beautiful and I think my daughter would have looked great in it someday, but I knew I would never fit into it again, but if I had to do over again, I still would have sold it.

  37. Having moved across state lines, but never really across the countyr, I don't know what my advice is worth, but here it is ... keep the car, get the movers if it is anywhere near the realm of financial possibility, turn the dress into a cute throw pillow so you can have all of the memories ... and the closet space. :)

  38. I forgot to say that your moving expenses (if you hire the movers) are tax deductible as well if you are moving for a job. It may cost more, but really? Can you put a price on sanity? :)