Making the Move Chapter 2 – How to Pack?

We have a  little over three weeks left in San Diego before we start our adventure halfway across the Untied States to visit family, then we make the big move down to Costa Rica in the middle of February. Lyndsey has diligently been going through all of our belongings and separating them into three major categories:

  1. Coming With Us
  2. Going to Storage
  3. Sell or Donate.

I have to admit, there is quite a bit of satisfaction that you get when you realize how unimportant many of the objects that you have been holding onto really are. Moving isn’t just about carting stuff across borders. Moving teaches us how to respond to change with agility and grace. It forces us to be present for the now and the new. So far there has not been a feeling of doubt or regret when I see that old bike or surfboard that I never ride go to a new owner but instead a feeling of joy and relief.  Kind of like what the hens must feel when they molt away there old feathers and replace them with new ones. I am sad to see some of our plants go, but that is the way the tide rolls when you move to a new country. Not to mention I should be able to grow just about anything I want in the new climate.

Last Saturday morning we had a garage sale and sold off allot of our un-needed/used goods. With all of the items that Lyndsey has been selling on Craigs List we will probably just have one more garage sale and not have to set up at the local swap meet, like we had originally planned.

What we are selling
Pile of clothes that we are getting rid of!

Just yesterday we went through our clothes and made the  three piles, plus one subcategory of stuff that we will take out to our families and leave so that we have warm clothes for future visits. Lyndsey will first take our pile of “Sell or Donate” items to Buffalo Exchange to see if we can get any money for them. The rest will be given away or donated to local charities.

When going through our things, including our clothing we are using the Pareto Principle also known as the 80-20 rule. The 80-20 rule states that  “for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” For countries this 80-20 rule can be related to wealth distribution, for business this can relate to customers or even vendors, for example:

  • 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers
  • 80% of your complaints come from 20% of your customers
  • 80% of your profits come from 20% of the time you spend working
  • 80% of your sales come from 20% of your products

As an entrepreneur I have found that this  principle is indeed true and understanding how it effects your business and work habits can save you allot of time and unnecessary stress with problem accounts. When we apply this principle to our current situation, packing and moving countries,  this means that we use 20% of our stuff 80% of the time. That means that the other 80% of our stuff we only use 20% of the time or never. Clothing can be broken down the same way. As a guy I wear the same three pair of jeans, three pair of shorts and seven t-shirts 80% of the time. The rest of my clothing just takes up space. (Wow, this is pretty crazy to admit considering I own over 75 t-shirts. You would think I was in the garment buis. or something)

So how did we choose what to keep?

First we separated out that 20% of our wardrobe that we wear all of the time. Then we separated out the clothes that will do us no good in a tropical temperature I.E., pretty much any type of outerwear, long pants or long sleeves. These items we put in a bag that will stay with our families. The other items out of the 20% that we wear 80% of the time are coming to Costa Rica with us. With the rest of the clothing we asked ourselves three questions.

  1. Do I ever wear it? If the answer is No, then it goes to the donation/sale pile. If the answer is yes then I go to question two
  2. Will I ever wear it again? If the answer is No, then it goes to the donation/sale pile. If the answer is yes then I go to question three
  3. Is it worth keeping? If the answer is Yes, then it goes to the Keep Box, if the answer is No, then it goes to the donation/sale pile.

These three questions were also used for just about any object in our possession, just worded a bit differently.

  1. Do I ever use it? If the answer is No, then it goes to the donation/sale pile. If the answer is yes then I go to question two
  2. Will I ever use it again? If the answer is No, then it goes to the donation/sale pile. If the answer is yes then I go to question three
  3. Is it worth keeping? If the answer is Yes, then it goes to the Keep Box, if the answer is No, then it goes to the donation/sale pile.

However for some items we also asked ourselves the question

  • How easy is it to replace? If it is something that is difficult to replace, we keep it. If it is easy to replace, we let it go. For example a toaster oven or a coffee maker. We will most likely purchase these needed items before we have time to send our container down. If that is the case… let it go.

So far the everything has been going pretty smoothly and we are surprised how many things keep falling into place. We still have quite a bit left to do… so we will keep you posted!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.