Home & Garden

6 things I refused to abandon when I moved across the country

Clothing, toiletries, and bed linens? Pshaw.

A car packed up for a road trip Credit: Flickr user: Craig Stanton

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Once upon a time, I lived in the state of Texas. I had a beautiful one-bedroom apartment in a gated community that I only shared with my cat.

Then, I got this job at Reviewed.com, and needed to move to Massachusetts. I was moving into a studio apartment that actually cost more than my one-bedroom in Texas. Curse you, real estate market!

While I was able to ship a lot of my stuff to the East Coast, I still had to pack up the bulk of my things in my car, and road trip myself and my stuff to Massachusetts. Despite the extremely limited space in my car, there were six stupid things I could not force myself to abandon in Texas.

1. Wii Fit Balance Board

Credit: Nintendo

Pro-tip: no one actually looks this cool when they use the Wii Fit Balance Board

I would have never actually abandoned my Wii Fit Balance Board in Texas. Without it, I couldn’t get a great workout in the privacy of my apartment. As it turns out, this kind of privacy is important, because exercising on the Wii Fit Balance Board is not nearly as dignified as exercising on a treadmill or rowing machine.

The exercises in my Wii fit regime simulate yoga moves, snowball fights, and a session with a punching bag, making me look decidedly delirious to my no-doubt puzzled neighbors. The best exercise is the one where you are a bird, and you have to flap your wings (i.e. your arms) to get up over the mountain. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, if you have this balance board, you will get to watch grown human beings flap their arms like they can fly. If that’s not priceless future blackmail material, I don’t know what is.

Despite the awesomeness of my Wii Fit Balance Board, it hogged a lot of precious real estate in my trunk during my road trip because too much jostling could have damaged the delicate sensors on the bottom of the board; that would prevent me from acquiring flapping-related dirt on my friends in the future.

2. Bungee Chair

Credit: Flickr user: technolibrary

One of these things is not like the other.

Okay, out of everything on this list, this elastic chair is far and away the stupidest. I don’t care, though, because even thinking of this chair makes me laugh. If you’ve ever sat in one yourself, you can’t help giggling, because you know you look like an idiot. It looks goofy because it appears that your behind is just dangling out in space. Also, you can bounce in this chair like you would on a trampoline, except it’s using your butt instead of your feet: another reason for laughter!

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Seriously, though, this chair is super comfortable. That was what actually convinced me to cart it over from Texas; it was a pain otherwise, because even though it folded flat, it was still huge, inflexible, and definitely not ideal for jamming into tight spaces.

3. Surge protectors/power strips

Credit: Flickr user: Alexander Baxevanis

Surge protectors and power strips are only on this list of “stupid” items because somehow, in Texas, I had acquired a million of them. When I was packing, I discovered three or four that I’d never opened or used. The hell?

While they didn’t take up much room in my car, I remember thinking I was dumb for bringing that many to Massachusetts when, you know, electronics stores exist in the Commonwealth. However, when I got to my new place, it turned out to be a brilliant choice, because there were many fewer outlets available in the older architecture of my studio. Without the surge protectors, my TV setup, including my Wii, would not have been possible. And now that you know what I do with my Wii Balance Board, you know that would have been a real tragedy.

4. Pur water filtration pitcher

Credit: Amazon

This water pitcher is also not a really “stupid” item, but it’s on this list because I could have chucked it in a dumpster in Texas, used that space in my car for more logical items (clothes or something), and bought one in Massachusetts because these pitchers are extremely cheap.

I love this pitcher so much. I have the low tech version, which doesn’t have an LED indicator, oh no. My pitcher has a sticker spanning three months that you have to manually move every time you replace the filtration cylinder. That sticker and I have a love/hate relationship because every time I want some water, I feel judged because I definitely do not remember to replace my filter every three months.

Sticker hate aside, my water always tastes clean and delicious, to the point when I notice (and bemoan) the difference between the tap water at my place, and the water elsewhere. Even if I moved to the land of Eden, where people are immortal, high speed internet is free, and fresh water springs are everywhere, I’d still probably bring this pitcher.

5. Hoover vacuum cleaner

Credit: Hoover

It would have made my life a lot simpler if I’d left this vacuum cleaner in Texas. In fact, I’m pretty sure my road trip copilot made a dubious face when I rolled this baby out onto the pavement to be loaded into my car.

But no, you will have to pry this vacuum cleaner from my cold, dead hands. My Hoover enables me to clean my carpets without falling asleep by pretending to be an adult for 15 minutes. It has a rotating head, which means that it can get under and around my furniture, as well as present an even more menacing enemy to my cat. I have had this vacuum for at least two years, and I’m pretty sure that I always make the same face of mingled disgust and fascination at the amount of hair and other weird stuff that this pulls off my floors.

But boy oh boy, was getting this vacuum into the car for the road trip like playing a game of Operation when you have a concussion. It never fit quite right, and the slightest movement of its irregularly-shaped self caused other stuff to fall or shift during the ride. I’d hear a plastic-y sounding BONK, followed by shuffling noises while everything near the vacuum was forced into a new alignment, because clearly the Hoover thought it should have had first class seating.

6. A Halloween-themed spider decoration

Credit: Amazon

Aww, aren't they cute?

I am not the queen of interior decorating. When holidays arrive, I am not strategically placing ghosts or Easter bunnies or inflatable snow globes full of Santa on my lawn.

I have a soft spot for spiders, though, and thought this one was adorable. So now it hangs, inexplicably, in my studio all year round. People seeing my apartment for the first time check the décor, and it goes like this: a painting of a fish, a wall, the thermostat, the closet, and then BAM!, a fake spider the size of a microwave.

I really could have left it in Texas, but I thought it could defend my new apartment from people who don’t like spiders. Actually, that probably explains why I don’t get many visitors.

If you ever have to move across the country, be mature and judicious, like I was, about which belongings made the trek with you. Heh, just kidding. Bring whatever the heck you want. But if you bring a vacuum cleaner, don’t be surprised by the sounds of destruction from the backseat every time you stop at a red light.

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