The DIY move and a packing party

We choose option C. DIY the big move. We looked into moving companies, but $2000 to $3000 just to move our stuff (not including paying for gas in my car to get us there) was out of the budget. Andy flew in Friday night to help me finish packing, load the Budget truck and get last minutes things done. The house was about 80% packed into boxes by the time I picked him up from the airport at 7:00pm on Friday, January 27. Did I mention my last day of work was Friday? Yep, silly me… I worked the entire week before I moved cross country. Probably not the best idea, but I suppose the most money conscience decision! After work on Friday, I picked up the 16 foot Budget truck and car trailer with our friend, Will. Will dropped it off at our house and I went to get Andy at the airport.

Next thing we knew, there was a packing party at our house. We knew 2 of Andy’s friends were coming over to help move the big items down the stairs and into the truck. But, we were not counting on Will, Marcus, Katy, Rachelle, and Annie to help!

your house move

Katy and Will brought Corona’s and limes, yum! Rachelle picked up some Little Ceasers hot and readies, Bota Boxes (wine in juice box containers), and Grandma’s hummus with pita chips (this hummus is hands down the most d-leesh hummus brand.) We listened to old school 90’s music (think TLC’s Waterfalls) and boxed, carried, and sung our little hearts out. It certainly made the night more entertaining. And with 7 people carrying boxes down it went well, 7x as fast.

I foresee Bota Boxes at picnics on the beach in the near future! Just so you know, they’re very tasty.

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I left out a few things until the very last minute… since the kitchen was all packed away it was handy to have:

  • Paper products (to eat and drink)
  • trash bags (for last minute trash and Good Will giveaways)
  • zip lock bags (screws from picture frames, TV mounts, curtain rods)
  • Clorox wipes (clean up the mess from the packing party)
  • scissors, tape (duh)
  • paper towels
  • magic erasers (clean walls, baseboards, doors, love these things.)
  • vacuum (vacuum yourself out of the house)

We moved all of the boxes from here:

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To here:

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Good ol’ Google taught us  how to pack a moving truck (our budget truck did not have what they call an attic, the space that hangs over the cab of the truck):

your house move

We (as in Andy, Marcus, and Will), not me, put the couch and fancy futon at the front of the truck facing each other. We piled boxes to the roof on top of the couches.

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Our neighbor let us borrow a blow up air mattress, and we slept on the living room floor. Our sweet friends brought us coffee and breakfast tacos the next morning as we packed last minute things, cleaned, and dealt with a dryer issue. Note: I hope they have breakfast tacos in Florida and I have a hard time spelling Flo-rida, and every time I type it I say to myself “flo” like flow and “rida”… makes me giggle. The night before, we realized our dryer was broken. It was burning hot to the touch and smelled like tanning bed. We called the dryer guy, he thankfully came on Saturday morning at 9:00 am. We paid him $50 to tell us the problem is most likely a clogged, dirty, dryer vent.

FYI homeowners: you are supposed to clean your dryer vent (not just the little fuzz catcher in your dryer) but the actual pipe that goes from your dryer to the outside every 2 years. The dryer guy recommended a steam cleaning company (they have the right equipment for the job: big vacuums) It cost us $85. Andy checking the air flow from the dryer vent. (It is supposed to fell like a hair dryer on medium) Ours felt like a sucky hair dryer on the low setting.

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We finally hitched up the car and left Austin, TX at 2:07 pm on Sunday!

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We decided to do a surprise stop by my parents on the way out of Texas to have dinner and say good bye. My mom baked us some goodies!
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We drove to Baton Rouge, LA and stayed in a La Quinta Inn. The free waffle breakfast was a plus. This is Andy “mad” at me because I’m hurrying him out the door… he is a putzer, a big time putzer. Anytime we are trying to leave, you can typically find me tapping my foot  at the door with an exasperated look on my face, calling Andy’s name and telling him we are late… He has no sense of urgency!

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We were back on the road by 8:00 am. We accidentally drive through New Orleans instead of around it. Oopsie. But, I’m happy we got to (kind of) see new Orleans.
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I did a first, and bought scratch offs on our drive. I see the scratching thrill, but loosing the dollar doesn’t make it worth it for me. Next time I’ll put my dollar to good use and buy a york peppermint patty instead. I was actually going to buy one lottery ticket in every state. Apparently, Alabama does not do the lottery, and I somehow missed Mississippi. I only wasted $3.
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We stopped every 3 hours or so for our gas guzzling truck, stretching, bathroom breaks, and treats. We were told this bad boy gets 8 mpg!
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Feeding the truck…

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We made it into Florida! Then this happened. Thankfully, we were not involved in the crash part… just the aftermath, hours later. We were so close, but so far! The highway was closed down, and the detour cost us 3 hours.
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It was stand still traffic. We took pictures for entrainment.

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We made it safe and sound to Fort Lauderdale at 3:00 am, and went promptly to sleep on the double decker aerobed. Woke up in the morning to find a ticket on the ol’ Budget. We parked it in a mall parking lot. Whoops.
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The only eventful happening of the un-loading process was the couch. The 3 year old, brown Basset, 85 inch long couch that would. not. fit in the elevator. True story. We tried taking the ceiling out of the elevator. Andy even attempting walking it up the stairs, but it would not fit through the stairwell door. Sad, but true. We could not fathom giving the couch to Good Will. So, we threw it back in the Budget and took it to a consignment store. Here she rests in the front window spot of Everything Under the Sun in Fort Lauderdale, FL. She was a good couch.
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And here is the final cost of the big move:
– 5 boxes and 30 feet of bubble wrap from Home Depot- $13.86
-15 boxes from Specs- free
-13 boxes from– free
– 9 copy paper boxes- free
– Budget one way truckcar trailer, and 12 furniture blanket rental- $675
– Gas from TX to Fort Lauderdale- $608

– Florida turnpike toll- $7.50 because we had multiple axles! (After we realized we would have to pay this multiple times, we took an alternate route!)
– 3 lottery tickets- $3.00
– One night in a hotel- $79
– Car snacks- $20
– Lock for the Budget (bought it from Budget, don’t do this)- $14.00

Total cost to move from Texas to Florida: $1,420. 36

Would I do it this way again… Yes. Unless I had kids, that might change my mind. Have you moved lately? Were you at all involved in the I-75 fiasco in Florida? Have you ever used a consignment store? Do you feel sorry for me and my couch? I went to visit it yesterday at the store… it’s price tag is $585.


  1. What a trip! Your move sounds so exciting! I'm hoping to move across the country in the future, heading west. :)

  2. We moved ourselves with friends a year ago. Thankfully, I don't see a move again for us in the near future. Maybe we didn't drink enough to make it so entertaining 😉 In all honesty, most of the house wasn't so bad, moving the hubby's studio was the hard part.
    Glad it went relatively smoothly! That I-75 backup was insane. We are too far south for it to have caused an issue but it was so sad to hear it on the news.

  3. You are amazing because you even make moving fun!!

    Welcome to the East Coast!!

  4. My husband is in the military so we move every three years or so. Since we have been married we have moved from Washington to Georgia, Georgia back to Washington (without kids just our little Yorkie). In 2011 I moved back to Georgia with a 2 year old and a 3 month old. That was an interesting 5 days across the country in a pickup truck. From Georgia we moved to Kentucky. The two little guys and I moved back to Washington while hubby was deployed and then just under 5 months ago the military packed up our Washington household items and the boys and I got back in the truck with our car in tow and traveled another 5 days to Kentucky. Here we live for the next three years at least. Love reading your blog by the way.

  5. This trip look like so much fun!!! I love how you documented everything–you even passed through our city ( New Orleans)! Glad you made it safe and enjoy Florida– it's beautiful– so want to move there :)

  6. Welcome to Florida! We are actually moving soon… whenever we get a closing date. But only 30 minutes away to a house over twice the size of our current house (old house: 1490 sqft, new house: 3490 sqft). Luckily we can make multiple trips… but we do have 2 kids, 2 cats, and a dog.. Yikes.

    Yes, that horrible accident on 75, I read an article in the Tampa paper yesterday (while packing my box a day) and it made me cry. Glad you weren't involved!

  7. Love your post and all the pics honey!!! I still can't believe you left me for Florida but it looks like you're having fun:)

  8. holy smokes what a move! can we talk about those wine juice boxes for a second? i tried the ones from target and they were gross and a half but i'd love to know if those are awesome, because i think they're a perfect way to bring wine with me wherever i go :)

  9. A little wine makes most things better :) What kind of studio does your husband have?

  10. Thanks! Like I said above, wine makes most things more fun :)

  11. Holy smokes. That is an insane amount of moving. Thank you for the sacrifices you and your family make to protect our country and keep it free :)

  12. I can't vouch for the Target ones (although typically I am a target enthusiast!) But, the Bota boxes are tasty… maybe not the most delicious wine I've ever tried, but definitely not gross me out either. taste + convenience factor gives them an A in my grade book :) let me know what yo think!

  13. You'll be here soon!!! Only 3 more weekends soon!

  14. Congrats, welcome to sunshine state! Moving can be fun if you make it. wine always helps. Everytime we have to move we have done it ourselfs! this last time we hired some movers and we just packed our things. It was good to know the movers did all the hard work of loading and unloading. they even put some furniture together. It also helps to keep a emergency cash stash in case u run into any problems along the way. u never know with moving.
    I hear u with the couch, i would not git thru the front door no matter how many angles we tried. it had to come thru the back door and hang out on the kitchen counter & washer machine. Then we somehow angled it thru the hallway and my sons room-the arch way is too narrow. So my couch is n my son's room and a day bed(spare bed) is in the living room acting like a couch.
    As for kids if moving within the state have someone care for them-cus they will be in the way. otherwise ride in a separate car so you can care for them individually.
    my husband works security for a building where some of the victims were members of a church. Sad story.
    Best part is unpacking and finding things you have not seen in awhile.

  15. Dear Jamie,

    This is a really fun blog! I found you on Pinterest because somebody pinned your tutorial about how to fix a cracked iPhone (a problem I’m currently having!). Then was curious and read your story only to find out you now live near me. I’m in Boca Raton and I blog about Italian food, wine and culture at

    I moved here from New York six years ago. I look forward to reading more of your helpful tips and the experiences you and your DH have as you become Floridians. You guys are an adorable couple.


  16. Cristal says:

    I left my beautiful Florida in January 2012 to move 1200 miles away to a totally different climate and time zone where I find myself in Chicago, IL. I packed up my suv with everything I could possible if, having to leave alot behind, not only belongings but loved ones. I left Northeast Florida @ 4:45am and arrive to Northern Illinois @ 8:30 pm(much late the same day) 16hrs and I did it like nothing. Perhaps it didn’t seemed so bad because I had love and new promise on my mind and had to stay focused since I was by myself. I did the lottery ticket in each state and I missed Kentucky, LOL. The drive was beautiful, very spiritual! Might I add we drove home for the Holidays, our first long road trip, it took 22 hrs and it was one point from terrible. I came here for love and found alot more; I managed to find a nice job with decent pay, I live in a community that I love and I’m with the person who today I share my life was and we’re planning for the future. It was a huge sacrifice to leave my family and I never thought I would live in a non-tropical climate since I was raised in Florida and my roots are in the Caribbean. The winters here are harsh and long, it’s May and I’ finally getting to wear flip flops and sandals, wth! In Florida your more active, here you hibernate for 6-8 months. Overall, it was a good decisions…I’m accomplishing alot more and my life seems right. I will miss Florida and evitably we will find our self in the Sunshine State within a 5-10 years (we’re only 30). Enjoy it honey, its a sweet lifestyle! #BEACH&SALTLIFE #FLIPFLOPBABY #NATURALSUNTAN

    I loved your blog because, it took me back to all the times I’ve moved usually within the city and those have been quite intense and moving from state to state most be crazy (but it can be fun, it’s al about the experience.) When I left Florida I left a huge storage full of my enitre 2 bedrrom apt. and decided to get rid of everything except for my personal things and my knick knacks, of course. It was going to cost my alittle more then $2000 to make that trip so I decided I will start anew here and start literally from 0 but it’s been great!

    I discovered Goodwill and consignment shops here that are out of this word. Although, I purchased some new things (dining table, bed, living tables, shelving, and some housewares); I would say 40% of what’s in my home now has been purchased second-hand, re-purposed abd we love it! Clothes, housewares, etc.

    I really feel for you and your couch, I do! Damn, thresholds, at 85inches she was long and probably so comfy!! I have given stuff away only to go to visit the person I gave it too and yearn to lay on it like I did when it was mine! I know its tough, but it was funny you went and visited it in the store, cause that something I would do!

    I think a Moving Party is a great idea and a wonderful memories to have!! Now, that I’ve been here a year and a half, and on our 2nd lease in our apartment; we are planning on moving to a bigger place anf the end of this lease. I am going to have to hire movers because I live on the 2nd floor and my door is quite a ways from the parking lot and we have alot of stuff now. I don’t want honey and I getting back problems so I am really considering it.

    All your pictures, captions and tips are great! (I like the moving truck diagram and I wouldn’t mind trying tha BOTA BOX) jeje! I hope you and Andy have enjoyed your new lives in Florida…I hope your been blessed with success and happy memories. I kno it can be difficult to be away from everything you know nd those you love but that’s what live is all about. You grow up and life takes its turns you find yourseld in places you never thought you’d go and doing things you never possibly thought of doing but from that you grow and discover who you are as a women and how great is to have someone next to you along for the ride!!

    ENJOY MY SUNSHINE STATE! I want to give you some tips about the being a FLO-RIDA resident:
    It’s not always SUNNY, it can rain alot too
    Always carry Sunscreen and Sunglasses
    Always try to wear the least amount of clothing without going naked…it hot in Florida
    You can never have too many bathing suits, shades and summerwear
    The area that you live n South Florida is very diverse, theirs alot of culture-
    Enjoy it! Mojitos and the best food
    Don’t pee in pools but its ok to pee in the ocean, LOL!

  17. Acheleia says:

    I’m glad you included the truck packing diagram! I’m doing the opposite of you guys though, I’m moving from Florida to Oklahoma! And yes. We do have breakfast tacos. 😀


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