Bit by Bit: A Lesson in Long-Distance Moving

Photo Source: Kat Kelly, Vexteo Media Group LLC.

Kat Kelly – Eight months ago, I packed my family of three adults, two children, three dogs, three cats, into a tractor trailer, a box truck, a trailer, and three cars and I left my home state of more than two decades to head north.

It was a move that I never anticipated I would make because I had adopted the southland as my homeland. But, living in the deep south during a pandemic, a rapidly intensifying climate shift, and a great deal of political upheaval and distrust was not the kind of energy that I wanted my family to sit in.

Atlanta will always have a piece of my soul and it is still home to my business. And who knows, maybe someday I’ll be back, but for now I’m planted firmly in the part of the north that still considers itself the south. So, it’s comfortable and familiar.

Check with me after winter. But, I digress.

One of the things that I anticipated with the move was that I would be able to quickly unpack 440-some boxes and settle in as I never really had in the home we all moved from.

Our family is blended and so our unique need is that we have two distinct living areas and also combined space.

As I sit here at my desk, in my office that is about half the size of my prior office, I’m surrounded by still unpacked “loose ends.” There are piles, some of which were piles in our prior home, and there are bags and a few boxes. My drum set is not together and the movers lost my bass drum feet – yep, still bitter about that. But I am having to chip away bit by bit at what remains.

We got rid of as much as we could before we moved and have had a yard sale and multiple donation runs since landing here. I know it’s a bit out of order to move and then part with things, but we had to do what we had to do. It would look different if I were doing it now.

But the point of this piece is not to share how I’ve failed at my personal move towards minimalism. What I’m offering here are a couple of learned lessons in patience with oneself and ways to tackle these types of long, drawn out processes.

Everyone approaches these things differently, but if you’re finding yourself stuck, do one pile at a time. Put it on your to-do list or your calendar. Set a reminder for “one pile” or “one box” and then do it bit by bit.

While it might take a long time to get it done this way, it ensures that those stalled moments don’t become permanent fixtures.

As you are going through things, identify what each item’s purpose is to you. And if it doesn’t have an obvious purpose, you can apply the Marie Kondo (love her) method of “does this item spark joy?” If the answer is yes, find a rightful home and then replicate that for the future.

Speaking of Marie Kondo, I really enjoyed her book and her series on Netflix. For me, I wasn’t able to adopt all of her principles as they didn’t resonate with me. But, I took what worked and have applied that in my life.

Now if I could just get my kids to adopt that mindset….

Happy clearing.


Kat Kelly is the founder of Vexteo and is still finding ways to live better and loves learning and sharing.


Photo Source: Kat Kelly, Vexteo Media Group LLC.