Sunday, March 30, 2008

How the Internet is helping me move

As I have been organizing the move, I have been hyper-conscious of the indispensability of the Internet. I am in Boise right now, and where I want to be is Seattle, so the only (obvious) bridge between the two is the Internet.

Apartment Search
I am searching for apartments on several websites. SeattleRentals,, property management sites, etc. I am reading tons of blogs, compiling information in order to get a sense for the neighborhoods on a day-to-day basis (as opposed to my quick visits in the past). I am even using the brilliantly awesome WalkScore to rate how walkable a neighborhood is, since a big draw to the area is the rad public transit and our hope to sell the car. I have also discovered Apartment Ratings, where people rate apartments not only on a scale, but leave helpful explanations of their experiences. I am using Google Docs and Spreadsheets to compare all the apartments we are looking at. (a column for the walk score, a column for the rent and the square footage, etc.)

Saving Money
I'm using another Google spreadsheet to track our savings goal for the amount we want to have in order to make the move possible. We used Mint to create a budget, and we check it daily to keep on track. Every dollar I stay within budget translates into actual dollars saved for Seattle.

Earning Money
We have sold gobs of furniture, electronics, books and DVDs via Craigslist, Amazon and eBay already, and plan to do so much more the closer we get to the actual move.

Culture Search
As I get a sense of what neighborhoods we will likely inhabit, I'm getting a sense of what is offered in the area as far as things to do. In order to make friends, since I will have neither school nor old friends nearby, I found a scrabble group on Facebook. I searched for the all sorts of cultural institutions, places where there are shows, etc., and have them all bookmarked. I have post-undergraduate goals along the lines of learning languages, finishing my novel, tackling my "to-read" list, etc. The Internet, in all its glory, has directed me to language learning classes, places to take writing classes, and neighborhood reading groups via GoodReads. I've already got a filled calendar, three months before the move date!

It makes me wonder how people moved big distances before the internet. The only thing I'm sadly not able to do entirely over the internet is job hunt, so that, though I have an internet head start already (thanks to, NW Jobs, and more), it all has to wait until I'm physically there.

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