We’re Moving To Fruita, Colorado! And My Moving Bucket List

We are moving to Fruita, Colorado! Fruita is a small town near the town of Grand Junction (which is small as well), on the western side of Colorado. Even though we came across many Craigslist scams, we found one house that we absolutely loved. We loved the location, the house was nice (the picture in…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 25, 2023

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We’re Moving To Fruita, Colorado! And My Moving Bucket List Fruita HouseWe are moving to Fruita, Colorado! Fruita is a small town near the town of Grand Junction (which is small as well), on the western side of Colorado.

Even though we came across many Craigslist scams, we found one house that we absolutely loved. We loved the location, the house was nice (the picture in this post is of the house we are renting), and it was below our budget.

We had everything pretty much riding on this one house though. We didn’t find anything else in the area that we liked and rentals seemed to go very fast in this small county.

We were nervous, but submitted an application and were accepted just a few days later.

The rental house is $1,400 per month, which is more than what we pay for the house we currently own. However, I’m still happy with this amount as our budget was $2,000 per month, which was an amount that I didn’t want to really reach.

Some of you may be wondering why we chose Fruita of all places in Colorado. It wasn’t even on our radar until recently, so I’ve never talked about this small town on my blog until today.

We chose Fruita, Colorado for many reasons:

  • The location is amazing. We are close to many different areas and near the highway so we can have day trips to some amazing places in the area. There are things to do to the west, to the east, to the north, and to the south. Some of these places are below.
  • We are located right next to Colorado National Monument. This means we’re just two miles away from rock climbing, hiking, bicycling, camping, and more in this awesome national monument. We are also right next to Rattlesnake Canyon which has the highest amount of arches outside of Arches National Park. Then there’s also the Kokopelli Trail that goes all the way to Moab from Fruita.
  • We are close to all of the outdoorsy fun in Moab, Utah. We are one hour away from Arches National Park and 1.5 hours away from Canyonlands National Park. We LOVED Moab when we visited last year, so we wanted to be close to this area.
  • Other places close by include Grand Mesa National Forest (I’ve heard the many lakes here are beautiful), Dinosaur National Monument, Uncompahgre National Forest, Gunnison National Forest, and more.
  • There are tons of things to do in the area including rock climbing, skiing, hiking, canyoneering, rafting, mountain biking (some of the best mountain biking is said to be right here), visiting one of the many wineries in the area, and more. While I haven’t done some of these things before, I definitely want to get more into them.
  • The weather. While the mountain towns in Colorado are beautiful, I knew I wasn’t ready for super cold weather just yet. Fruita has weather fairly similar to St. Louis, except that there’s way less humidity. The weather is perfect for us.
  • It’s affordable. We looked for rental homes in other areas, but couldn’t find what we were looking for unless we wanted to increase our budget by a few thousand dollars each month. That just wasn’t going to happen.

And those are some of the reasons for why we chose Fruita, Colorado. While we don’t know if we will be here next year (location independence for the win), I know that we will have a ton of fun exploring this new-to-us town while we have the chance.

Now, onto my moving bucket list.

We’re Moving To Fruita, Colorado! And My Moving Bucket List
Colorado National Monument


My Moving Bucket List

In less than two weeks, we will move over 1,000 miles away, as well as put our house on the market. This is probably the biggest change ever for the both of us.

Even though I will miss St. Louis a lot, I know we will have fun in Colorado. I am ready to leave St. Louis and see what else there is for us.

Before I move though, there are many things I plan on doing as sort of a bucket list so that I can enjoy the time we have left here.

I know we will be back again to visit friends and family, but creating a “moving bucket list” sounded like fun.

1. I plan on seeing my friends and family as much as possible.

While I don’t have any family left in St. Louis, Wes does. We will miss them dearly and plan on visiting often because we know we will miss them too much.

I also plan on hanging out with my friends as much as possible. I know I will miss my friends a lot.

I have several dates planned with all of them and I want to squeeze every second I can into my schedule so that I can see them as much as possible. This will be the hardest part of moving for me – not seeing my close friends as much as I currently see them. Luckily, I already know that I will be back in St. Louis three more times this year, so I will take full advantage of those times whenever I come into town. Love you guys!


2. I want to eat at my favorite restaurants.

Okay, so the rest of this moving bucket list isn’t as serious, but I still wanted to include them because before we leave I need to get a good fix on my favorite meals. I’ve already visited and said goodbye to my favorite Mexican restaurant located up the street, my favorite Korean restaurant,  and I also went to my favorite bakery.

Now, I just need to eat enough fresh gooey butter cookies and some delicious St. Louis BBQ in order to be happy.


3. I need to visit my hair stylist.

Before you think I am a bad finance blogger for spending a ton of money on my hair, that is not true. I visit her just twice a year, but she is amazingly good at what she does and she is quite affordable.

I actually have an appointment with her today and I am still not sure what I plan on doing but I’m excited! Wish me luck!


4. I want to enjoy our house.

Our house is currently a construction zone with all of the updating that we are doing (read the post 5 Tasks We Need To Complete In Order To Sell Our Home Quickly if you are interested in what we are doing), but I still want to enjoy our house as much as possible.

This house is the first house we have ever bought (and the only one we have ever bought), and if you couldn’t tell already, I have attachment issues and I get attached to things pretty easily haha!

Most of our clutter is already packed away, donated, or thrown away, so there isn’t much left to enjoy except for our actual house, but I will find a way to enjoy it! I want to cook in my kitchen as much as I can, enjoy sleeping in my bedroom, and more.

For the last two weeks that we have, I am just going to take in all of the wonderful memories that I have had in St. Louis. Everything has been great here, but I am ready for the outdoorsy fun and beauty that Colorado will allow us to have.

What tips would you give to someone who is planning a long distance move? What would you add to your moving bucket list if you were to move somewhere far away?

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. That looks like a gorgeous house! So happy you found something in an area that sounds amazing. I never thought to create a moving bucket list before we moved last, though I hear you on the food. Whenever I visit NY I make sure to get my fill of pizza and bagels (so healthy…=)).

    The one tip I can offer is to expect the unexpected. We didn’t think our moving truck was going to break down on us, and having to move everything into another truck, plus hitting traffic, made it so we were on the road for 24 hours. I hope your trip goes *much* smoother!

    1. Luckily we are having our stuff shipped. We are going with a company called UPack that will deal with all of that stuff for us!

  2. congrats for your moving but I understand you need to spend quality time with friends and family, howeverI hope you’ll enjoy your new home!!!

  3. The new house looks amazing! Such a big move but also an exciting move. Good luck with everything and I look forward to reading all about your new house and new life in Fruita, Colorado!

  4. Congratulations! The house looks super cute, and l am sure it will be perfect for you, hubby and your 4 legged friends. Great that you found a wonderful neighborhood and you will have plenty of places to enjoy your newly discovered hiking hobby. A friend of mine is moving from Miami to Colorado in a week, and has been visiting her favorite restaurants for last meals. Disfruita!!! since you are moving to Fruita. (it means enjoy in Spanish).

    1. Thanks! I hope your friend enjoys Colorado as well 🙂

  5. Your house looks so beautiful, I must say. Congrats! I think living in Colorado offers you so many opportunities and advantages. If I were to choose where to live, Colorodo would be the first place that comes to my mind. Good luck! Enjoy Colorado.

  6. Kasia

    All the best with your move! The house looks awesome and the area sounds like a really fun place to live.

  7. i hate switching houses too much hustle

    1. Yes, it will definitely be a lot of hassle.

  8. Good luck with the move. Fruita seems like a great place. Mountain biking is amazing and Grand Junction is just big enough that you won’t feel like you’ve given up on civilization!

  9. How exciting! It sounds like it’s going to be an awesome place for you guys:-) Enjoy the BBQ while you can!

  10. Your new house is beautiful! Good luck with your move. I drove from NY to CO with a friend of mine a few years ago to help her move to Fort Collins, CO, and the road trip was really fun. Enjoy the drive! I’m planning on moving this summer so you’ve inspired me to start a moving bucket list as well. It will mostly be filled with restaurants that I really want to try before we go. 🙂

  11. My advice is don’t draw out the goodbyes. Saying bye is tough enough without sitting around waiting for you to depart so do it as quickly as possible and then leave. My husbands family are in Ireland and mine are in New Zealand so we are pretty much always saying goodbye to someone. It really sucks!

    That said, all the best with your move. Looks like an amazing place to live.

    1. Thanks Emma! I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to everyone 🙁

  12. Congrats! I love Colorado! That’s A LOT of house for $1400. I’ll be lucky if I find a decent one bedroom apt for that amount in NY 😉

    1. Thanks! Yes, the house was a great deal. We are super happy.

  13. Reading this I could feel your excitement!! Good luck to you and Wes! You both sound like adventurous people and seems like you chose a great place to relocate to that fits you both as well. I hope to do that for myself in a few years’ time too.

  14. Matt

    First of all, congrats! I lived in Fruita for seven years and it is AMAZING! You’ll love it! It absolutely has some of the best mountain biking and camping literally five to ten minutes from town. Check out Palisade and see some of Colorado’s most beautiful wine and fruit bearing areas (that’s really why it is called “Fruita” by the way), Fruita is host to the fat tire festival. Nearby you have the Palisade Peach Festival, the Cherry Festival, and the “Mike the Headless Chicken” celebration! Nearby you’ll be able to go to the Olathe Corn Fest, hike in Escalante Canyon where it’s rumored that Chief Ouray was buried in a secret grave after his death. I could go on and on but that would ruin the unbelievable amount of U.S and Colorado history your going to find in this part of the state. It basically never ends!

    Have fun!

    1. Thank you so much for all of these awesome tips. I’m so excited!

  15. Amy

    What a lovely house! Congratulations on your upcoming relocation! Enjoy getting to know a new place!

    My random moving advice is collect more boxes than you think you’ll ever be able to use. They fill up quickly!

  16. Rachel

    Nice blog! I checked it out after you liked one of my pics on Instagram. I too just moved to the Grand Junction area over a year ago from Dallas, Texas and can relate to all that you are saying. This is a very fun and adventurous area and I think you will be happy. I think you will love it! Nice find too on the house! I can relate to the craigslist scams around here that’s very weird. Btw I am a hairstylist myself and I would love to meet you and do your hair. 🙂 I work at Innovations Salon off of Patterson in GJ near to the mall. Check out our website at http://www.innovationssalongj.com Happy moving and I hope to meet you soon! (: Rachel

    1. Thanks so much! I will check out the salon’s website 🙂

  17. SO excited for you guys, Michelle. I’ve never heard of Fruita, but been to the Denver area, and CO is absolutely gorgeous. You guys will love it, I’m sure. Love the idea of a moving bucket list too. So often we don’t take advantage of all of the fun in the cities we live in. Can’t wait to hear more about this wonderful adventure!

  18. Leah Briick


    moving is filled with such a wide range of emotions. The excitement of a new town and exploring, the confusion and thrill of decorating a new house, the joy of new adventures and the sadness and (let’s be honest) grief of leaving friends, family, familiarities and your home behind. We moved from Arizona to Georgia 2 years ago. While I was so excited to be back in Georgia and leaving the heat, leaving my friends and family was difficult. One of the most cherished items I have is a journal from my friends each having written a personal message about a cherished time and message for our future. Webwereguven ours at a going away party. However if a small gathering is not possible, perhaps create your own and have each person you see write a note during your last visit. Another thing we did on our drive across country was to query Yelp for local restaurants and spots to see where we could take a very brief break to stretch the legs and fill our tummies. Plus we got to have a little adventure to break up the drive. The fun of searching for a place to stop was like a treasure hunt. Good luck with the move and I pray it is free of any calamity.

    1. Thank you so much for the advice Leah. Appreciated 🙂

  19. Congrats on finding a beautiful rental house and the area of Colorado you’re moving to sounds very fun and accessible! I’ve never moved across country before but I bet you have a lot of planning and organizing to do. But you’ve got the right idea by tying up all your loose ends with your bucket list before you go. I’m so excited for you!

  20. Congrats! Moving always brings challenges, so just be open for things not working out perfectly and that will make the move a lot smoother. Are you hiring a moving company or DIYing it? Good luck!

    1. We are hiring a company called UPack. They drop off a trailer at your house and then we pack it up, and they deliver it to the house.

  21. Tonya@Budget and the Beach

    Seems like a really cool place, and 1400 is what I pay for just a small apt in LA. You got a whole house! I’m supposed to visit some national parks in utah this spring, so I’m excited! BTW don’t forget to pack LOTS of lotion!

    1. You’ll have fun in Utah. We love it there!

  22. lisa L

    The Grand Mesa is beautiful and 1of my fave places to camp. Co Natl Mon. Has tons of wilderness even camped all the way at the top..forget the name of that little town..Glade park I believe. Magical places.. Keep expecting good. You won’t be disappointed.

    1. Thanks Lisa! We camped at Colorado National Monument last year. Loved it.

  23. Congrats on moving, how exciting! I took my dogs to all their favorite spots before we moved – their favorite dog park, their favorite place to get treats and they said goodbye to their favorite friends too. I think I was more concerned about them than myself in the transition 🙂

    1. What a great idea for dogs! Love it.

  24. Elroy

    Black canyon of the gunnison. And Telluride. I love the San Juans!

  25. Jen @ Save to Splurge

    Good luck with the move, Michelle! It sounds like you and Wes will have an amazing time in Colorado. Enjoy!

  26. Good luck on the move. It seems everybody is “digging” Colorado now a days. Leave a time capsule hidden in the walls or in the backyard somewhere. I would have rented it for a year, because if things don’t work out in fruita, you have the option to return.

    1. Yeah we are thinking about that as well. We are going to try to sell it first though.

  27. Congrats and good luck on the big move!

  28. Petra Varsányi

    Aaaww, congrats! What a beautiful house, and omg how beautiful Colorado is! It is on my list to visit there once, idk when, but I’d surely love to.

      1. Kristina

        My husband, myself, and our 3 kids are trying to move to fruita from Iowa! I am having troubles finding any type of rentals online, so my question is where do I look?

        1. Hello! You’ll love Fruita! We just searched on Craigslist for our rental. Be safe though! I wrote a post on this – http://www.makingsenseofcents.com/2015/02/4-craigslist-rental-scams-to-avoid.html

          1. Kristina

            Thanks so much!

  29. I am SO excited for you and this awesome adventure you are going to take!! I have moved quite a bit since graduating college and with every move, I grew, learned more and met people I never would have met if I stayed in the same place. I never really thought of a moving bucket list, but I definitely indulged in all of my favorite restaurants before leaving town. Enjoy partaking of yours!

    1. Thanks Shannon! I’m not a huge fan of change haha. I’ve had the same friends for a decade and Wes has had the same friends for almost two decades, so it will be interesting.

  30. Hi Michelle! Congratulations on deciding where you want to move. How exciting! I like the moving bucket list. I would maybe add in that you should take lots and lots of pictures of your house, your friends, and your favorite places.

  31. Ashima Gupta

    You really have planned it thoroughly. Great place by the way!!

  32. Congrats and you made a nice choice. I have spent some time in Fruita and at the very least we pull off the highway for gas and a nice meal in Fruita’s quaint and charming old down town at least once a year. Recreation is the name of the game there and all the places you mentioned. Moab Utah is at the top of our favorites list. Not to mention the Vineyards within several minutes east of you and the California coast is a doable drive for a getaway. If you are into Craft Beer, then Colorado is the place to be.
    Good luck with the move.

    1. Thanks! I’m excited 🙂

  33. Connie @ Savvy With Saving

    Such an exciting time for you! Fuita sounds like a wonderful place to live and the new place looks gorgeous. Enjoy as much of St. Louis as you can before you leave! Even though you’ll be back, it just won’t feel the same as visitors.

    1. Thanks Connie. Can’t wait!

  34. Congrats – it sounds so perfect for the two of you!

    One thought – make sure you’re up to date with doctors, dentists, and your dogs’ vet checkups. Then, you’ll have some time to find new providers out in Colorado. Also, you could ask for referrals – they might know someone.

    1. Great reminder! We are up to date, but that’s something I wouldn’t have thought of.

  35. Congrats on choosing a city and finding a rental! Fruita sounds awesome and exactly like what you wanted. A moving bucket list is a great idea too–makes sense to enjoy your last few weeks in the Lou to the fullest. Have fun and good luck!

  36. Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom

    You found a gorgeous house! It sounds like you found a great little town that’s got everything you want (and way under budget? great work!)

    Good luck with your move. Enjoy your home and friends and local businesses while you can.

  37. That house looks so cute! I’ve honestly never heard of Fruita but it sounds like it will be a nice fit for you. I definitely couldn’t handle the mountain weather in CO even though I love going snowboarding there.

    1. It’s a very small town of like 12,000. We are just minutes away from Grand Junction, which is supposed to be the bigger “city” around here, but it’s still smaller than the suburb I grew up in haha.

  38. MissionListMama

    I am super jealous! I grew up in Colorado and someday will move back. We lived in the Loveland area; Estes Park is still by far one of my favorite places to visit! As I work to pay down my student loan and car debt we haven’t been able to make it that far but it will always be on my list!

    1. We loved Estes Park when we visited. Definitely a favorite.

  39. zut

    Congrats. I live outside of Denver and we visit Fruita once a year to go mountain biking. Make sure to visit with the Mayor of Fruita – Tater. 😉

    1. Haha who is that? Tell me more!

  40. Best of luck Michelle! I’m sure you will be very happy there. Colorado is one place my wife and I want to live, but right now, we have family close. It’s a great help with a small toddler. One day we will make it out there or some other mountain area!

    Best of luck with the move!

    1. If you visit Colorado within the next year, let me know! 🙂

  41. I’ve never heard of Fruita, but it seems nice. Moving can be fun because it pushes you past your comfort zone.

  42. Barrie

    Looks like a nice house and the area sounds beautiful. So what did you decide to do with your hair?

    1. Thanks Barrie! And I did a blonde color melt 🙂

  43. Bree

    Congrats on finding a place! I just moved to Washington State after living in California my whole life, and it’s a bit weird adjusting to a new area, but it is also so much fun exploring and getting to know the area! It’s refreshing to be somewhere new! I’m sure you are going to love living somewhere new and unknown!

    My biggest tip? Unpack as much as possible as fast as possible because once you lose momentum, it’s hard to find it again!

    Good luck!

  44. What a great house! I’m looking forward to seeing the many adventures you will have in Colorado! How fun to move to a brand new place with so many adventures in store!

  45. Good luck with the move! Welcome to the west–you’ll love it! We love to do our outdoorsy things!!

  46. Friends of mine own a vineyard in Grand Junction! That part of the state is GREAT! I think you’ll love the tempo and the people are really friendly.You can also go to White Sands In New Mexico. Also, it’s not goodbye, it’s until I see you again.

    1. Thanks! I’m excited 🙂

  47. nicole dziedzic

    Wow a move is a huge thing, congrats on you the journey to the moving process. New things and experiences are always good for the soul.

    1. Thank you Nicole 🙂

  48. Pamela Gurganus

    Congrats on your upcoming move! I love Colorado and hope to go back to visit and take my husband with me, as he’s never been.

  49. Susan Osborne

    Congrats on a wonderful new home and location! If you ever come to Denver, look me up :).

  50. Michelle L

    Beautiful house and congrats on the move Michelle.

    1. Thanks Michelle 🙂

  51. Liberty Fontanilla

    Enjoy, Make new memories. 😀

  52. Congratulations! Colorado is a wonderful place to live. Perfect for almost every outdoor activity and so pet friendly. The Palisade Peaches and Olathe Sweet Corn that some of the other comments have mentioned are no joke – delicious! For your moving bucket list – visiting with all your friends and eating at your favorite places and you can combine those together. When I got ready to leave Denver for Maui, I swear I was going out to breakfast before work and to dinner/happy hour afterwards every day to catch up with as many people as possible. You could also start your “I’m moving to Fruita and I can’t wait to….” list to get you even more excited about the move.

  53. Christy Peeples DuBois

    I really like the house you are moving into. It sounds like the land of opportunity that you are moving too in having sooo many activities within arms reach. The picture is gorgeous, as I’ve never been to Colorado. I can relate to your attachment to things, your home. You will miss it for sure but you will take your memories I’m your heart and mind. I will be praying for you during your move and transition. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Christy. Appreciated 🙂

  54. Jessica

    It seems like you have done a great job planning. When we moved from KY to CA, we shipped the majority of our belongings via a transport service and then packed our vehicle with a lot of stuff we’d need for the drive, as well as very fragile items. For us, this was cheaper than a moving truck. We really tried to enjoy the process of getting there too by stopping at interesting destinations along the way.

    I love the idea of a moving bucket list. Every time we visit my hometown I have to hit up my favorite restaurants, so I totally feel you on that front! Enjoy the rest of your time in STL and congrats on finding a great place!

  55. Gina Helton

    My sister and her husband own a furniture store in Grand Junction! You will have to get your new furniture from there! 🙂

  56. Congrats on the move! I love Colorado. If it weren’t for my work, that’s where we would be headed.

  57. Michael

    The house is lovely! And the area sounds absolutely perfect. All the good natural spots are out West 🙁

  58. The house looks lovely and so does Colorado! It’s going to be a very busy time. Make no mistake so what I think you should plan is some “me” time with your husband and your dogs. Take as much help as you can. If friends and family want to help, let them! Go for a walk, go on a picnic,hike up a mountain. Don’t forget the reason that you moved there.
    It’s going to be a fantasic adventure and I can’t wait to read all about it LOL!

  59. Congrats on finding a place and the move!! It has to be scary and exciting at the same time! I love the idea of how much outdoor activity options you have. I’ve never been out west yet in my life but want to visit more and more with all that I hear.

  60. BIll

    I just moved from Colorado, my life-long home, at my wife’s urging due to financial reasons (expensive to live there). I am not happy about it. Now I want my finances to vastly improve so we can move back. There are things there that I already miss (many of them you listed.

  61. Yolisma

    Hi there,

    I maybe moving to Fruita this summer, do you love it? Is it a cute town? I have a great job lead (sounds promising), but I have also just applied in Denver. I am trying to decide if Fruita is where I am meant to be or do I continue or wait out for Denver? What can you tell me about the town? I have been to Durango, Telluride, but not Fruita or Grand Junction. I am a girl that has always been tied between city and country life. I love them both.

    1. We love Fruita a lot so far! There are tons of outdoorsy things to do here. Grand Junction is just a few miles away, so we’re not missing anything by being in a small town.

  62. Jodi

    At the risk of sounding like a stalker…Oh my goodness, it is a small world!! I started following you recently because I want to start blogging again and I love your informative posts. I found your blog from Pinterest. As I was browsing your site today I realized that I live down the street from you (if you still have that rental). What?! I grew up in GJ and have lived in Fruita for over 10 years now. We are just south in Windsor Park. It is a great little town, although when we visit Denver I find things about the big city that I miss!

    1. We actually moved from Fruita earlier this year to RV full-time. We were just there last week going through our storage unit though. We LOVE Fruita 🙂

  63. Miranda

    How has your family liked living in Fruita over the last 5 years? I just opened up a coffee table book, Canyon Country, and inside is a beautiful image of sandstone towers in Fruita. A quick google search led me to your blog. I have for many years longed to live in the desert since a 2016 trip to Joshua Tree. Maybe one day we’ll be Fruita neighbors! I bet it’s truly wonderful to have nature at your doorstep.

    1. Hey Miranda!

      I no longer live in Fruita because I am now living on a sailboat. However, my sister still lives in Fruita, so I visit often. It’s definitely one of my favorite places and I may live there again when we settle down in the future again, haha.