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Cooking Without a Spatula: Unexpected Challenges of a Cross Country Move

Let's dive right in. I've never been one to shy away from change. I lived in the Midwest all of my life until I took an incredible professional opportunity and relocated to Tampa, Florida in 2014. It is amazing how much of your life can fit in a box truck. Until December of 2021, I lived in Florida. I rented three different apartments and owned three different homes. Each time I moved, I carefully curated my belongings and found new places to shoehorn them into my home. After moving a total of 10 times since 2010, you'd think I would be an expert. I certainly thought I was.

Until, that is, my husband and I decided to move to Alaska.

Now, I am sitting in my incredible new home with awe-inspiring views of the Chugach mountain range. And what and I thinking? My butt is sore from sitting on this folding chair. There is so much that I wish I would have known before attempting this cross country move. This post is going to focus on one aspect: Packing for success in your new kitchen!

Pack for Success: Kitchen Edition


When we decided to relocate to Alaska, my husband and I thought we had done a pretty good job setting ourselves up for success on Day 1 in our new home. We knew the bulk of our possessions would take weeks to months to ship from Florida to Alaska so we carefully planned out our luggage. The hats, gloves, boots and all of the winter gear made it. Important documents, laptops, medications: Check, check, and check! In the end, we had ten checked bags that we carted around the Tampa airport with an incredible assist from family. My critical oversight: The kitchen. We had planned on purchasing replacement dishes, glasses and pots and pans but I failed to think of the smaller items which make every day easier in the kitchen.

If I had to do it over again, one of my checked bags (or in this case, checked boxes) would have been a kitchen essentials box. Plastic totes are fantastic for long distance moves and many meet airline requirements for checked baggage. They are less expensive than luggage and can be secured with zip ties to enhance security. I'll be using Greenmade totes in the future when I want to maximize my checked baggage. A checked bag may be upwards of $50.00 but it is cheaper than repurchasing each of these items and will make your first kitchen adventures far more successful. Below are the items I wish I would have packed and flown as a checked item. Feel free to get creative with your packing! Kitchen towels make great padding and will be useful in your kitchen.

Silicone Spatula

Wooden Spoon

Vegetable Peeler

Microplane Grater

Kitchen Scale

Slotted spatula

Set of dry measuring cups

Measuring spoons

Glass measuring cup for liquids

French press

Metal mixing bowl


Baking sheet

Bottle opener +/- Corkscrew

Can opener

Cutting Board

Chef's knife with blade cover

Coffee tumblers

Hot pads and oven mitts

Ice cream scoop

Kitchen Sheers

Pizza cutter

Kitchen towels

Learn from my mistake! Dedicate 1 checked item to your kitchen and you will be far happier while you are waiting for the rest of your belongings to make the long trip. For now, I'll continue to guestimate to the best of my ability as I wait for gear to arrive. The Dutch Baby Pancake I made today was surprisingly delightful, even with eyeballing the wet and dry ingredients.

I hope that I save someone the headache and possible stomachache of eyeballing measurements. Stay tuned for in-depth dives into sewing projects, cooking adventures, and outdoor exploration as I attempt to become the Adaptable Alaskan!

95 views2 comments


Kitchen scale! Bring that, and all other measurement tools become redundant. Love that you are blogging this adventure!


Jan 05, 2022

We'll look forward to more updates on your Alaskan Adventures. Maybe one featuring your Alaska adventure partners, the 4 felines?

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