Slowly but surely…



We’re moving to California in four short weeks and I’ve slowly begun setting things aside to pack (see mess above).  Packing for me is almost routine at this point, and yet, still never easy.  In the last six years I’ve moved from Monterey to Switzerland to San Francisco to Manhattan to Morgantown and now back to San Francisco again.  I’m very much looking forward to heading west, but the amount we have to pack up this time is particularly daunting.  Any tips my lovelies?  Have you ever made a cross-country move?  How does one determine what stays and what goes…?

28 comments on “Slowly but surely…

  1. Sara

    ohhh packing…
    ive moved 13 times in the last 2 yrs and i’m not looking forward to the next move…
    good luck with everything!! it’s so fun to start fresh

  2. celia

    ah! i have to write you!! have you guys found a place… i’ve got tips. i’m off to the city for most of the day, but will email you this evening.


  3. Kate

    The good thing about packing up is that it makes you realize what you have, and you should only keep the things you really really love!

  4. Katie Armour Post author

    Celia — I can’t wait! We have to get coffee once I’m out there!

    Kate — You’re onto something here! I’m trying to downsize big time. Only the most treasured things must come with us!

  5. Modern Traditionalist

    I’ve moved several times but have always had the luxury of corporate relocation. Everything is turnkey.

    I love moving, though, as it affords me the opportunity to sort and purge. More like it FORCES me to purge.

    I say little Alfred stays…


  6. Elle

    Ooohh…. we’re moving to the bay area in 12 short weeks… my biggest tip is to use ABF Movers…. you pack your stuff and load it on the trailer and then they drive it across country. They are affordable and reliable… we’ve moved from Arkansas to New York, New York to Florida, Florida to New York, New York to Austin, and now we’ll be moving to the bay area… ABF is the best moving solution we’ve found!

    I’ve started some small packing too, I just packed up all of my winter clothes last week… now I’m thinking of packing up my winter/fall boots…. and perhaps some of our excess dishware!

  7. Elizabeth Rose

    Reading your above comment I’m sure that most things are treasured so that leaves the option of renting a u-haul to drive across country. Just think of all the treasures you could find while traveling across the country!

  8. Lindsay

    Good luck! I have no tips that you wouldn’t already know :)
    I am getting ready to pack up here for the summer (in 3 weeks the packing begins- gah!) and I’m simultaneously looking forward to it (I love throwing stuff out) and dreading it (trying to fit the remainder into two suitcases to bring home- eek!)

  9. Colleen @inspiredtoshare

    Oh, I hope everything goes smoothly! It’s so daunting, especially that many times! We are moving in the fall and I need to downsize as well. Only keep the things you LOVE and that you’ve used/worn in the past 6 mos – 1 year maybe. So you’ve changed wedding plans? Choose the least stressful option (with moving as well!!). I put my save the date up on my blog if you’d like to take a look! xoxo

  10. brittany barney

    ahhh moving and packing are the absolute WORST. i seriously hate it! and can not believe you have done it sooo much! we are moving too in a couple of weeks, and am totally dreading it!
    ps, good luck!

  11. Katy

    So happy for you both! Just don’t let John do what my dad did. When my parents moved from MD to CO in the 70s they tried to fit everything they owned into one van. After a certain point, the van was packed full. However, my mom kept carrying boxes out and setting them next to the van for my dad to pack. When she would go back inside for more, my dad would run the boxes around to the back of the house and put them in the shed. My mom had NOOO idea until they were in CO and started to look for things! After she got over the initial anger, she thanked my dad for doing the spring cleaning for her! Anyway, best of luck! :)

  12. Kirby

    Dear Katie,

    I wish you all the luck in packing. my friends say I am an expert packer. but I don’t think that term qualifies for moving. I moved to NYC in a few suitcases and my parents brought more and more everytime they came for a visit. I have no clue how to move cross country excpet to rent a van and drive.


  13. emily

    I’m always super anal when moving..from Oklahoma to Florida to storage to Oklahoma to storage to a house :) I letter coded all my boxes and had a Master key list so I knew “G” went wherever I went, or could stay packed away for months :) Good luck! Moving is fun!

  14. Katie Armour Post author

    MT — There will be lots of purging indeed!

    Elle — Ohhh ABF sounds like a dream! We’re actually bringing very little with us because I have an entire apartment (no joke) in storage in California from when I lived in SF. We’ll be doing lots of unpacking when we arrive!

    Elizabeth Rose — Good thinking! I need to scout antique shops along the way!

    Lindsay — I remember doing that each summer! It’s bittersweet indeed!

    Colleen — Your save the date is to die for, ahhhh we’re both getting married!!! hahaha xoxo

    Brittany — Good luck to you too! It seems everyone’s moving right now!

    Carolyn — I love the sound of a little cottage! Plus there are things I could force John to get rid of–I fully understand!!!

    Katy — I LOVE your parents and their stories. That is all : )

    Kirby — I wish I could say the same of myself! I’m getting there. I moved to NY with five suitcases—I’d shipped design books ahead of time : )

    Emily — Holy smokes, if I’m half as organized as you I’m all set! That will never happen by the way : )

  15. Lauren

    I put things that I’m sure I don’t want and things I may be able to part with in the same box. If in the middle of the night I wake up thinking about any of it, I know I should keep it. Good luck dear! xoxo

  16. ashley

    moving is never fun- good luck! atleast you have an exciting new/old home in your future! give the city a big kiss from me :) i miss it :(

    I think you and i are tied for number of moves, but I still am no good at it. Our last move seemed so hard and I only moved 2 blocks away, but into an apartment on the 4th floor with no elevator. did i mention in germany you own your own appliances and kitchen? so a washing machine, oven, refrigerator, even my kitchen sink was carried up the stairs… even though I had some strong men to help out, it was not exactly what i would call fun. but i am sure moving across the country is not so easy either, but driving coast to coast would be! is that in the cards?


  17. KateMcG

    So here’s a great idea- anything you don’t want, or can’t keep, drive that stuff to DC and deliver to me :) I’ll take good care of any brass animals, clothes from your closet, flea market finds, pugs, etc…

    Can’t believe you’re moving back to SF- so excited for you and John :)

  18. Diane @ InMyOwnStyle

    Hi Katie –
    I have moved 5 times in my married life. Corporate re-location much easier than doing the whole house yourself, which I have done twice. Just take what you love, and organize organize organize the boxes so when you get to your new home the task of unboxing goes so much smoother. Just think that you have become so good at it that when you are all done you can write a how-to book about the process.

  19. Brandi

    Wow! You’ve really moved a bunch! When I moved cross country this past August, I could only take with me what I was able to fit in my RAV4. Obviously you won’t be in that position, but it’s a good time to ask yourself what you need and what’s just stuff you could do without — sometimes getting rid of a few things can be quite good.

  20. eringianni

    wow!!! what stress, what fun, what excitment!!! i am lame lame lame… i’m going to fed ex you what i owe you this week, only fed ex isn’t working!!! volcanic ash and such. what should i do, i don’t want to weigh you down with extra stuff while you’re moving. yikes. i’ll wait it out this week and see if it passes, if not i’ll find alternative solution. sorry! and congrats!!!

  21. kiri

    my moving experience is pack it all and decide on the other side- you throw stuff away in haste and have regrets-

  22. Habitually Chic

    How exciting! I’m so behind on my blog reading so I’m late to the news! I hate moving because it’s so much work packing but it is nice to purge and then redecorate a new place! I need to visit SF and when I do, we’ll have to get together with Grant K. Gibson for dinner and drinks! Good luck with the packing and purging!

  23. Angela

    Welcome back to SF! We LOVE your blog here at Ruby Press. And what chic little treasures! Are those brass quails I spy??

  24. Joanna

    I cannot wait to see how your new place looks! Good luck with the move!

    I visit the bay area a lot; my boyfriend is from Napa so he has family living all over Napa and Sonoma (we’ll actually be in Petaluma next weekend for his niece’s first birthday). Maybe you and I can meet up for coffee one of these days (Blue Bottle is divine)!

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