Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Packing on two continents

Unemployment has been good so far (well, except for that no income bit). I stopped working on the 2nd of June and got on a plane for the US on the 8th. I'm here for 3 weeks sorting out all the stuff we left behind when we moved to Abu Dhabi for "2 years". Now that we're continuing the adventure in  UK, it's time to sort through properly and decide what we'll ship to UK and what we'll get rid of.

We had a 3 bedroom house in Wisconsin and put most of it in storage when we moved to Abu Dhabi thinking we'd be back in a couple of years and pick up where we left off. Little did we know we'd catch the expat bug so completely and decide to stay in the sandbox for 5 1/2 years and then decide to continue our adventures in the UK.

As a result, I'm faced with a storage locker worth of stuff to organize, which has been some work and a fun trip down memory lane. The first order of business was to get rid of all the electronics - nothing will work in UK due to the different voltage. Some has gone to family, some is posted on Craigslist and some to St. Vincent de Paul. And a lot of it I would have loved to take with me, but I learned that hard lesson after burning out a boombox and a hairdryer in my first month in Abu Dhabi.

Next up is the furniture. The challenge here is that we don't yet know where we'll live so have only a vague idea of how much space we'll have. In general, I've been informed that UK room sizes are smaller than US so I've been trying to keep that in mind. We'll see.

And then there are all the boxes of misc. stuff - kitchen stuff, decorations, clothes. I'm sure I've sent away stuff I will regret, but something had to give. And I'm now down to a manageable amount to ship across the pond.

Shipping company comparison was another fun adventure and at one point you have to just take the leap of faith and sign with someone. They come on Friday and we'll see if I made a good choice - too late now to change the plan.

Our shipment will take 45-60 days to reach UK by boat and I'm hoping by then we'll have a house sorted and can move things right into our new place. If not, we'll put it in storage there and have to move everything twice - not ideal.

Despite the work and the expense, I'm excited to have some of our familiar things in UK - should make things feel like home a lot faster.

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