How to Plan a Cross Country Move

tips for planning a cross country (or local!) move

Moving. Funnily enough, this word doesn’t invoke as much dread in me as it used to. Still one of the most annoying tasks around? Sure. But if you’ve done it a time or two, you get your systems down pat, and once you know how to handle each phase of the moving process, the whole thing is a lot less daunting. Several of you have mentioned that you’re getting ready to embark on big moves too, so I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve picked up on how to plan a cross country move (or even a local one too!).


1. Begin the purge process as soon as you know you’re going to be moving.

Because a) nothing drives me nuttier than paying for someone to move shit I don’t even want and b) nothing will stress you out more than opening up boxes and having to figure out where to put stuff you don’t even want.

There are a few things you can do in the weeks leading up to your move to help purge:

Don’t worry about taking lots of trips to your local donation center. You can designate areas of your home for “donation piles,” and collect things as you go before your move. A couple days before the movers arrive, box/bag everything and then drive it to the donation center of your choice. Make the designated donation pile somewhere simple and obvious, where all members of the house can dump stuff there.

— Or, build your donation piles, then call for a donation pickup. If you don’t have time to drive stuff to a donation center — or, like me in New York, can’t easily haul lots of bags and boxes down by yourself — many organizations will come by your place to pick up donations (even more so if you have larger pieces of furniture). This can take one less errand off your plate, which during move time, is huge.

Sell clothes and accessories on a place like ThredUp. I did this recently (for the fourth time!) as I was cleaning out my closet in anticipation of the move. The clean-out bags come straight to your door, so it couldn’t be easier.

Craigslist stuff. You will be shocked at what goes for free or very low cost. When we moved from SF, we sold the vast majority of our furniture in less than a week, all on Craigslist. And on the flip side, in New York, when we had a gagillion boxes after moving in, I listed all of them for free on Craigslist and kid you not, they were all gone within a few hours. People even took all our crumpled up packing paper!  Read the full post +

In this post:

Images: Hangers – Death to the Stock Photo  |  Blue Dining Room – Lonny, April/May 2010  |  All other images – “Hollywood Remake,” Lonny, August 2012 (a favorite home decor feature!)

"All we wanna know is where the stars came from, but do we ever stop to watch them shine?" - Jon Bellion


weekend links

WHEN YOU READ A LOT OF INTERNET MEMES THAT START LIKE THIS: Because it’s the way we’re all writing now.

SNAP TO IT, SNAPCHAT: Are you guys on Snapchat? I joined a while ago and have sent approximately four Snapchats, ever. But it seems to really be taking off among my friend and colleague set. Here, on why Snapchat is the anti-Instagram.

CUTENESS: Okay, little J.Crew peplum top — I had sworn off anymore peplum in my closet, but for you, an exception may have to be made.

THE EVOLUTION OF A PRINCESS: A great look at the history of the Cinderella tale, and how the main character’s passivity has changed over time.

TEN SMART HOUSE RULES: I really liked this post on ten rules Emily and her husband established about their home. The one about the house being 10 minutes away from “guest-ready” is something I’m trying to work on (I’m thinking 15-20 minutes is probably more realistic for us…)!

FULL OF JOIE: Joie — purveyor of my most favorite comfy-dress up pants — is hosting their friends and family sale through the weekend, where you can take 25% off your entire order. More Marcher tops for me, please.

UNBREAKABLE: Are you guys watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on NetFlix? OMG, it’s like 30 Rock has been reincarnated, but even weirder, and with even better New York jokes. We burned through the entire season this week, and there was a moment in one of the last episodes where I laughed so hard I cried. It was the hardest I had laughed in a long time, and it was awesome. If you were into 30 Rock, you will LOVE this show.

THE INSTA-TRAP: A funny and scarily accurate piece about one girl’s week-long ‘fashion girl’ Instagram experiment. Instagram: if you want the truth, I love it and I hate it. (I also loved this Insta Natalie published this week, which was an awesome behind the scenes anecdote about capturing the perfect Instagram photo!)

IRRATIONAL PARENTS: Can I be honest? I can’t even imagine how different parenting must be today than it was for my parents. I’m sure every generation says that, but then sometimes I read pieces like this and think, “Whoa. Times really are different.”

IT’S JUST AMAZING WHAT WE CAN DO: Joe and I really enjoy watching Vice every week when it is on (I almost wrote ‘when it is in season,’ but that makes it sound like asparagus or something…). They recently aired a 40 minute special report on three “paradigm-shifting” advances in the treatment of cancer. As someone who is currently dealing with it in her own family — and with the knowledge that so many of you have known someone with cancer — I found this piece hopeful, inspiring, and all around astonishing. A really cool thing to watch on YouTube this weekend, if you get a chance.

Whew. We’re in the home stretch, the final countdown, rounding the corner. A week from now, our movers will be here and we’ll be on our way. Remember when you were a little kid and you asked your parents how long ’til something happened, and they said, “2 hours,” or “2 days,” or “2 weeks,” and no matter the amount of time ahead of you, it felt like forever? I’ve been like that little kid again, because time has moved so slowly this month — especially compared to the rest of our time in New York. But the good news is, we’re pretty much ready! A couple loose ends here and there, but emotionally and logistically: ready. I can’t wait for what’s to come.

In the meantime, I’d be lying if I said there hasn’t been a little bit of mental chaos for me. Joe and I have made a great team in managing such a big move in a very short amount of time, but I’ve been cramming in several design projects in between and trying to finish as much as I can before we leave. It’s made for very little headspace in my brain, but thankfully, I’ve still been feeling invigorated and happy and excited for this next chapter. There are so many fun things to look forward to next week!

How is everyone doing? I know things have been a little quiet around here (see above paragraph), so I’d love to know: what’s up? How’s March going? Is it warming up where you are? It snowed for like 15 minutes in my neighborhood on Wednesday and I legit looked around for the snow machine, wondering if it was some kind of sick joke. Cut to today, when we’re supposedly getting another 3-6 inches — because it wouldn’t be the first day of spring without it, no? The New York weather gods have a hilarious sense of humor. Is it California yet?

Hope you all have a great weekend!


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Herbivore Botanicals

All natural skincare that looks gorgeous in your bathroom

herbivore skincare set for oily skin

herbivore botanicals facial oil

Ok, I’ll cop to it: this isn’t a rave review of any particular new beauty product. In fact, I haven’t had the pleasure of trying anything from Herbivore Botanicals yet (chalk it up to a medicine cabinet that’s currently overflowing, trying to use up products I already have, and secretly waiting ’til I have a bit more storage space in San Francisco). But do you ever come across those brands that have you so captivated from their philosophy, product line, and packaging (!) that you know it’s probably going to be a home run? That’s how I feel about Herbivore.

I started coming across images of Herbivore packaging on Pinterest sometime last year. Funnily enough, they would always spark my interest from a design perspective, and I never really stopped to explore the products behind them. Happily, when I was sourcing brands that produced charcoal beauty goodies, I re-discovered Herbivore in a product capacity, and I’ve been crushing on them hardcore ever since. This is one of those product lines where you absolutely want to try everything — which keeps getting harder, because I feel like every time I stop by to peruse their site, even more products have been added to the mix!

herbivore calm dead sea salts

Based out of Seattle, Herbivore has completely exploded in the last few years, selling a huge array of products for both face, body, and even a men’s line. The clean, modern aesthetic of the package labels? Amazing. Totally all-natural, non-toxic beauty products? Ohhhh yes. Founders Julia and Alex emphasize that the company doesn’t use any fillers in any of their products, meaning virtually every ingredient in an Herbivore product is an active one. As they write, “This results in pure, highly concentrated and effective formulas that are a rarity in the skin care and cosmetics world today.”

My need-to-try picks? I’m intrigued by some of the aroma inspirations behind Herbivore’s products — specifically anything jasmine, which is one of my favorite scents ever, as well as this body scrub that smells of coconut and rose. I’m also itching (literally, on recent cold winter days) to try the Phoenix facial oil, which is deeply hydrating and packed with CoQ10. More recently, Herbivore launched a coconut milk bath soak, which I’m going to order once we are back in California. Do you know how hard it is to find good all natural bath products? Ok, salts are relatively easy, but milk soaks like this are much, much tougher. I like that the coconut milk bath soak has baking soda in it, which I’m thinking means it’ll fizz a bit when it hits the water.

herbivore coconut bath soak

herbivore clay masks

I’m not 100% sure, but I believe Herbivore started out on Etsy, and you can still purchase products from there. These days though, they also sell on a separate site, are in small boutiques all over the world, and even sell online at retailers like Urban Outfitters. It’s a good idea to check a few different sources if you notice products are sold out in one place; for example, Herbivore’s bar soaps — one of their original and most popular products — are often sold out on their main website, but you can find them on UO and on Etsy. I can’t wait to place an order this spring. Have you tried any of Herbivore’s products yet?


In this post:

Products pictured:

Skincare Collection for Oily/Combination Skin  |  Facial Oils  |  Calm Dead Sea Bath Salts  |  Coconut Milk Bath Soak  |  Facial Masks