Merging homes with technology

By Jess Faulk

My life has been a whirlwind in the last few months.  As usual, I survived 4 weeks res staff training, opening of the Residence Halls, and the initial flurry of roommate conflicts.  Somehow in all of this, I have managed to help my partner, @robbiesamuels manage a VERY coordinated move in to my apartment. The fun part of it is how much we are using technology to help us get through it all.

Google Docs: “De-Duping”

When we first made the decision to move in with each other, we knew there would be a process of “de-duping.”  We don’t need two of everything and we want to make sure to keep the best of what the two of us have.  To avoid moving over everything and comparing it side by side, we created a google doc with areas for each type of household items.  Cleaning out the kitchen became super easy because we had a quick reference guide for everything we need.  It also happens to be a great way to track your household items in the cloud for insurance purposes!

Google Docs: “Tag Sale!”

Inevitably after you figure out what will fit and what won’t in your new place you need to go through the process of selling or donating all of the extras.  Since my partner’s birthday was coming up, we decided to do the only logical thing – make it a giant birthday/tag sale for all of our friends!

We wanted everyone to know ahead of time exactly what was available for purchase so we created a google doc with columns for item name, original price, selling price, a picture of the item, a link to a similar item online (for reviews/comparison), and columns for tracking who purchased it and whether they paid.

The doc worked brilliantly.  All of our friends were able to view the items before they came, make claims on the items they really wanted before the party, and feel good about their purchases because they knew they were at a fair price.  At some points during the week we saw as many as 6-8 people looking at the document at one time!


Promotion of your sale is key.  Once we posted the tag sale on the evite all of our close friends knew it was happening, but not the wider circle of friends and co-workers in our lives.  Promotion of the Tag Sale (and a link to the google doc: allowed us to spread the word even farther.  Many of the items purchased pre-party turned out to be by folks that wouldn’t have even known about the sale if they didn’t see it through our social media posts.


At the very end, we have turned to Craigslist for our sales.  Anything not sold at the party has gotten the traditional “Moving sale!” post to reach a wider audience in the Boston area.  The best thing about this type of posting is that the craigslist users get access to our comparison Google document just like everyone else.  There is one catch to be aware of on craigslist – you aren’t allow to post links.  In order to get around this we linked the google doc via HTML code which hides the long google name, but allows you to click on the link (example below).

<b>Link to all items for sale (with pictures) and links to similar items:</b>
<a href=”″>tag sale link</a>

Link to all items for sale (with pictures) and links to similar items:
tag sale link

Technology has certainly made this move a lot easier and is allowing us to focus on the stuff that matters most (like how to relinquish a whole closet of clothes to make space for your partner). Hopefully our story and solutions will help you in your next move, be it off or on campus!


Tags: , ,