lapenn (lapenn) wrote in just_domestic,

Short-Term Move and Furniture

Greetings! In June, I am taking a job about 7 hours away from where I currently live (and 10 hours from my parents' house, where I will store everything I can't take with me). The job only lasts for 3.5 months, so I don't want to make multiple trips. The town I'm moving to is in a remote location on the southern Oregon coast, and the nearest big store is a Fred Meyer 30 minutes away. Essentially, everything I bring will fit in my car (Toyota Matrix).

It seems like I'll be in an unfurnished studio apartment. I haven't yet found a way to find furnished rooms being let in the town (or possible there just aren't furnished rooms to rent).

What are the best things to take as far as furniture goes? I already plan on using my packing bins/boxes (rubbermaid tubs and the boxes that reams of paper come in) as bookshelves and a stacking area for my snake's cage.

I'm thinking of bringing an air mattress for a bed, but I'd rather not. Any ideas on what else I could use for a bed? Or any fold-up type beds that are easy to pack into a mid-size hatchback/wagon car?

Also, any good ideas on how to maximize packing space and what I need to pack? I figure I will pare my belongings down to the bare essentials. There's lots of hiking where I'm going and a public library, so I don't need to bring too much to entertain me.

How do you make a cool, comfortable apartment for 3.5 months with only that which you can fit in your car? I don't want to buy too much furniture that I'll just have to abandon, and I doubt they have a goodwill nearby.

thanks :-)
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When packing, use clothing instead of newspapers to wrap fragile items. Pretty much, shove your clothing into every nook and cranny you can find, and use that to minimize taking anything you don't need (like the newspapers).

Pack the big, not-quite-so-flexible things in your car first, and then fit everything around that.

When I lived in a different town for the summer, I just brought a twin-sized mattress. No box spring, no bed frame. Just the mattress. It fits comfortably on top of your car. PLEASE be sure to tie it down properly, though! I almost was hit on a highway by a flying mattress once. That would NOT have been a pretty sight! Another option might be checking Craigslist or Freecycle for a free futon mattress? I think those are probably easier to pack than a regular mattress.

Just remember that with careful packing, your Matrix can fit a whole heck of a lot of stuff. People are always surprised by how much I fit into my Corolla. Make sure you pack carefully and don't neglect spaces like under your seats!
ooh, good ideas on the clothing! I never even thought of that. Clothing will probably represent a lot of what I bring, since it's fairly cool where I'm going (coastal city and all). Also a great idea on the futon mattress, because I do live in Portland, OR, right now.

How much can you fit in your corolla? I actually haven't bought the Matrix yet. I currently drive a corolla, but it belongs to my brother and I don't get to keep it after graduation. I love the corolla, but I've never tested the limits of cargo space. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it, since it seems like the Corolla gets better gas mileage than the Matrix (admittedly, gas mileage and cargo room are my two biggest concerns in the car I'm going to buy this next month).

thanks for the great tips :-)
When I was living in the dorms at school, I could fit almost my entire dorm room in it. Of course, I'm talking about the beginning of each year - before I would accumulate so much crap that it would take 2 car trips home!

I know they've redesigned the Corolla since mine rolled off the lot (it's a '97), but I think the cargo room is about the same. And the gas mileage is a bit better, too. (I'm currently getting about 32 mpg doing mostly highway driving.) But regardless of the age of my car, I would highly recommend it to anyone. It takes minimal maintenance, and in the 105,000 miles that my car has gone, it has never had any major problems and still runs almost like new!

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Grab a couple of those collapsing camp chairs; they're less than ten bucks at walmart and they fold up into a very small space. They'll make more comfortable seating than anything else small enough to pack.

I can't think of an easily portable bed more comfortable than an air mattress, as long as it's one of those "guest bed" air mattresses, not an old camping style one.

Take some long stretches of fabric and the fixtures you use to make swags over windows, they way you can have window treatments no matter what size the windows are, which will make it look more homey and less bachelor pad-y.

For kitchen stuff, take a bare minimum of utensils and dishes, and nest them inside each other when you pack. Ideally, take a largeish bowl or two that can be used for both cereal/soup and mixing stuff.

If you're going to have a TV/DVD set up or a computer with a DVD player, ditch your own collection at your parents and get Netflix or Blockbuster online for the duration.

Finally, see if there are any flea markets in the area. There probably is at least one, and you can get any last minute essentials/extras there once you see what you need.
great call on the camp chairs. I've already got one, and I could easily pick up a few extra.

no TV, but I do have my laptop. My DVDs are already in a CD wallet, so I've got that covered :-)

I really like the fabric idea. I'll have to try and hit a fabric sale around here sometime soon. How many yards would you recommend bringing? Also, I'm assuming I should probably hem the fabric edges?

thanks ^^
The yardage really just depends on the window size/look you're going for, so I couldn't say, but if you bring a ton and there's more than the windows need, you can use the rest to drape over ugly boxes and make them into nightstands/coffee tables/etc. As for hemming- since you presumabley won't need to wash it in such a short time, unless it's a very ravelly fabric, you don't need to hem it- either hang it such that both ends pool on the floor, or just trim any danglies and arrange the bottom folds so that it isn't obvious. If once it's hung it bothers you unfinished, you can always tack it up with a few stitches or some iron-on adhesive, butI find it's usually not noticeable, especially on a dark fabric.

And good idea with the CD wallet, although I'd still recommend Netflix. I sign up for it anytime I'm going to be alone for a while- during summer classes and when the boy is away for training and times like that. It gives me something to look forward to during yet another night home alone and having a new movie to watch at home provides an instant invitation/activity to do with new aquaintances.
I would avoid bringing furniture, or any furniture other than a bed, and then check the for sale ads when you get there. Or put up want ads of your own. People are always getting rid of cheap used furniture, even in smaller communities.
For a bed, I would just pack my two sleeping bags and use those.

I second the suggestion to wrap your breakables in your clothes. I don't imagine you should need to bring too much stuff with you. I would be satisfied with a few sets of dishes, cookware, a couple weeks worth of clothing and some reading material. I would add in my camera and paints for when I want something else to entertain myself. I probably would add into that a smaller chair that would fit in the car.