How Much is Your Stuff Worth?

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I've been looking into ways to get myself and my stuff across the country, and the two big moving truck rental companies both estimate my rental cost at $1,400, plus approximately $1,000 in gas. I am fairly certain that the value of all my worldly possessions does not equal $2,400...

Don't get me wrong: I am very lucky to have some lovely things... just not $2,400 worth of things. I don't have any electronics other than a 6-year old laptop and a suitcase turntable, and I have minimal furnishings (though I'm tempted to keep my very-comfortable mattress and my phone-talking chair). However, I have many items of great sentimental value. On all my other cross-country moves, I jettisoned almost everything, holding on to just the barest of essentials. But now I'm a little older, and I've lived in San Francisco nearly 7 years, and I seem to have gathered some things. As I've been packing my box-a-day, I've noticed that nearly everything I own — at least all my best stuff — was given to me as a gift. I guess I buy myself dresses and wine and comfortable shoes for work, but not much else! This means that all these cherished things are imbued not just with their own beauty and usefulness, but with the love I feel for the giver. I don't want to give them up, but I also don't want to pay $2,400 just to keep the stuff I already own.

I've been looking into other options: mailing all my books via Media Mail, maybe even mailing everything, shipping everything on Amtrak (49¢/lb!), and would love to hear your suggestions. I spoke with a friend who'd had to make the same decisions when she moved out to California a year ago. She wasn't able to afford the sky-high moving costs, and ended up donating almost everything. This meant she had to start from scratch once she arrived, but she concluded that was the more affordable option. 

Have you ever had to think about the total value of all your possessions? How much would you pay to keep all of them? And if you buy almost everything used like I do, can you imagine what it would cost to replace everything?

(Image: Heather & Dave's Eclectic Enclave)

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