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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Moving Abroad: What to Pack

The flat is filled with the scent of cardboard boxes. Boxes, like stacks of political yard signs, have an evocative smell you forget until you meet them again. It all comes rushing back. My moving friends will likely have traumatic flashbacks upon seeing these photos. Sort of like when Huw Edwards warns BBC viewers about upcoming flash photography -- be warned, but know, too that it is all going very well. No complaints. Nothing missing, broken or just plain forgotten. Yet.

We're sheltering in place amidst packed boxes, disassembled beds and any and all charm we've amassed is bubbled wrapped for an ocean voyage. We're picnicking in the living room for meals. Only two more days of this until the boxes and furniture all depart and rental furniture arrives. All going well so far and I've only been a tiny teary. The movers, bless them said, "we don't mind if you cry. But usually people don't do it until the last day."

Somewhere in these stacks is my pig. Would be funny to see "pig" written on the wrapping just like "lamps" and "coffee table." And because I now speak British English, I'll know what "trollies" and "brollies" mean when we unpack in Nashville.

But still. You want to know what to pack when moving abroad? Pack whatever it is that you use and like and would miss. Not unlike going on vacation. This isn't the time to live without. Moving is hard enough without going on a lifestyle fast. This isn't a campout - it is your life. So take your 4 tubs of cookie cutters. Or whatever it is that makes you feel at home.

And by all means, be sure to bring the important things back, too. While I was doing the school run yesterday apparently there was some question between the movers and the Mister about whether these "sticks" were rubbish. Smart men all of them to delay a decision for my return. Apparently they cannot recognize a multi-fuctional piece when they see it. Don't they know this is a key component of our Thanksgiving tree?  Great Halloween decor. The possibilities are endless.

Maybe hearing the quiver in my voice, Big Brother asked me "aren't you excited about moving?!  I'm SO excited! I feel like now we know London and we got it all figured out. So it is a great time to go and do that somewhere else."

Wise counsel, my love and I couldn't agree more. The good news is, we're good at finding places we love to live. The bad news is, we're good at finding places we love to live!  And while I'm not super at maths, that all adds up to good news.


  1. I love that you are coming back to my side of the pond - but hate that you are leaving London - bittersweet - can't wait to see you!!

  2. One of the nerve-wracking parts of moving out is the packing. You may find it hard to decide which to keep or leave behind. Just like what you said, it's important that you bring with you those stuff that you feel like it's hard to live without. Remember to pack your things on those boxes depending on their designated places. It'll be easier for you to unpack your belongings if you know where to place them.

    Allan Sutherland @ General Store-All

  3. That is a lot of boxes. Looks like you've got a huge physical chunk of your well-being to carry along. That's good, that's fine. Just make sure you've got everything checked and likewise sealed.

    Dave @ Orbit