Moving is fun! from California to Illinois

Date : 02/11/2022 10:00 (JST) Category : Blog

Hello everyone, this is T in Illinois! I just moved from California to Illinois 2 weeks ago. Our new place Chicago is 3200km far from California. It is almost as far as the distance from Japan to the Philippines. I feel like I came to a different country! I will write about our moving this time. Hope this helps for your future moving!

US map

How to minimize the moving cost

I moved to the previous apartment in October 2021 but my husband told me we may move to Chicago when I unpacked the last box. 3 months later, we flew to the icy Chicago covered by snow in the middle of the winter. We thought there would be more snow in February so we planned to move as soon as possible in January. 

As we wanted to minimize the moving cost, we decided to give or throw away all the furniture and most of our stuff. We reached out to some moving companies but they said they did not accept small moves like $2,000 and even if they did, it would take 3 weeks to be delivered. Nothing met our needs so we only shipped our 2 cars and some small boxes by the carrier without using a moving company.

We packed clothes, toys, books and gifts from our friends and families in the boxes. For car shipping, we were allowed to load some stuff so we loaded a keyboard, vacuum, monitors and kitchen items. I split the kitchen items in the car and box to use when we arrived at the new home. 

As a result, we made 7 boxes, 4 suitcases and 2 cars with some items for moving. It is not too bad for me and I believe my kids do not have any complaints because half of them are their books, toys and stuffies. They did not give up any stuffies this time.


Powerful item for moving

I always keep some moving material at home like boxes, paper bubble wraps, tapes and big plastic bags for glassware. If we buy the packing material, we have to pay extra and everything goes into the trash after we unpacked them. You need some type of packing material depending on the items. My best item is a compression bag. 


I found half of our boxes are kids’ items and the others are clothes. Summer clothes, winter clothes, formal wear and swimsuits. I love Japanese compression bags. Those are not expensive at all but the quality is very good. Besides, it is totally re-usable. I have more than 10 or 15 compression bags. It works just as a cover of some documents and paper items, too.

For 15 or 20 minutes every day, I packed little by little into the compression bag. I felt achievement when I packed some. That is another tip to keep calm during the moving period. You need to see what you have done and feel the progress. Otherwise, the house gets messier and messier and you will be in a panic. As for the glassware, we did not bring much though but I wrapped each carefully with my kids’ stuff. 

New life in Chicago

As we expected, the weather is so different in Chicago. It is beyond our expectations regarding the coldness. It is freezing. My kids always popped outside with barefoot and half sleeves when they were in California. But they learned to layer and cover themselves.

Unfortunately, our Californian clothes did not work so we bought new ones after we arrived here. We got brushes which everyone has to remove the snow from the car. I did not know the name of that specific brush but the shop staff pointed it out when I asked at the store. The thing that you need changes by where you live. My son’s yellow character jacket was the thickest one in California but he had to switch to the outdoor brand jacket. 

A boy is playing with snow.

We were able to downsize our life this time successfully. We spend longer to purchase the new furniture and house items. I always think we can bring the item to the next place or not. And of course, I am keeping all the moving material.

So far, we do not have a big dining table. We do not have a sofa and TV. We do not have a microwave either. But it is no problem. The one which my husband really wants is a plastic wrap, not a sofa, not a TV.

Moving is fun! 

I am a mother of 2 powerful kids and I am a full-time worker, and also a Mamasan&Company’s worker so I do not have much time to pack for moving. I had to sell some furniture. I had to meet friends to say thank you most of the weekends before we moved. We still have the daily routine for work and kids’ school by the last minute of the moving. 

March is the moving season in Japan. The best thing is to enjoy the new place. My kids just finished their first week and they really enjoyed it. 

Don’t be scared of moving, just be ready and enjoy it!

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