Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What's it like to make an international move???

First, have on hand plenty of boxes, preferably the ones your tranquilizers were shipped in, because your going to need loads of them too. In fact I don't recommend any kind of move unless you are on mind-altering drugs. It lessens the pain a lot--trust me. I'm a veteran. I have moved over 20 times in my life, and this is the third international move as I said before. It doesn't get any easier with experience, nor with age. In fact the older you are the worse it gets. You just don't have that get up and go anymore. It's gone, probably left behind at the last house you lived in. Anyway...

Moving is high-anxiety drama. Especially for a pack rat like me. I save everything. Heh, you never know when you might need those half million twist ties that are used to close bread bags, or all those spaghetti sauce jars--they come in handy for storing more crap. I definitely inherited this trait from my grandfather who used to save burnt-out light bulbs! Yes, folks it is true. I think he thought some day someone would find a way to recharge them or something. When I had to move my Mom from her ancestral home, I threw away tons of burnt out light bulbs, not to mention those empty cardboard toilet paper and paper towels rolls. I think Granddad was considering crafting in his old age. He never did make anything with those though.

That move was such a terror, you'd think I would have learned something. But in 3 years in my rental home I have still managed to stuff this place with crap. Especially the kitchen, pantry and basement. I have this idea that this crap might be worth something to somebody and I could make a killing with a garage sale. Yeah right! Tried that once too. I nearly ended up paying the buyers to take my junk! Oh God.

I haven't yet gotten into the meat and bones of the work yet, because there are a few prerequisites before I tackle the household wares. First I had my house cleaned. I have a wonderful cleaning lady, which if I could afford, would be here daily, trust me. As it is, it was a few months since I brought her. There was so much going on in my life, I was very busy with outside activities, and my cleaning consisted of a lick and a promise. So I brought Martha to give this place a good going over. Now I can work in cleanliness, if not peace. Second step is to have the rugs cleaned, which will be done on Thursday. I have pets. Need I say more? Accidents happen. So the rugs need to be cleaned and then I can start filling the floors with boxes.

Here's the general rule: You need three boxes and a HUGE garbage bag in each room. Into the boxes go: what you want to keep, what you want to sell, and what you want to give away. Into the garbage bag is everything else. Sounds simple right. Not! Because sometimes it's hard to decide what to sell or give away--let alone make the decision to actually part with something. A general rule of thumb...make sure your sell and give-away piles are higher than your keep pile. Otherwise you really aren't going anywhere.

I did make plans though--for the first time--an estate seller to come in here and sell all my stuff once it's all arranged. They take about 1/3 commission on your sales, but they also set everything up and do most of the work, the worst of which is haggle with customers. The stress of not having a "garage sale" type of situation is worth paying the commission, believe me. Cuz I've been there and done that and I think I came out the loser.

So in these days before I get to the heart of the packing and selling, I am busy arranging for passports, tickets, international health certificates for my pets ( yes my babies are going with me), and a million other things and all that in itself is a full time job. Am I stressed? You bet! It's hard to drag myself out of bed most mornings. And sometimes I just sit and veg in front of the TV. But what keeps me going? At the end of it all, lies this...Egypt. The closest place to heaven I have found on this earth!

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