Mom and daughter prove that independence and bucking societal norms make for a happy, loving life!

Organized Chaos Is Still Chaos! Packing For Our Move to Europe

As exciting as it may sound to just “go for it” and make the move overseas, it is honestly very nerve-wracking as well. I have to be cleared out my apartment next week, and to be honest, I am freaking out just a bit. I am trying to keep my composure as much as possible, but I would be lying if I said it isn’t stressful.

Although we have been packing almost daily, I still know that there is so much we have to accomplish. My daughter and I are doing the packing all by our lonesome for our move overseas. Yep, you heard that correctly.

Give Away: If you are moving overseas, you will need to decide what you want to give away, keep, sell, or store. We have given away at least five bags of clothes and additional items to Goodwill, and we are continuing to go through items that we want to give away. Where did all of this stuff come from? Holy cow!

I have sold a few things, but have opted to give most of it away either to Goodwill or to those who have shown interest. I gave my wine rack to my oldest son, 21, who recently moved in with roommates. I am giving my washer and dryer set and my couch and love seat to my ex-husband since he was in the market for something different anyway.

Storage: I have a storage unit reserved for the items I am keeping. This includes my king sized bed and mattress, TV,  and other items of furniture that would be more difficult to replace. Most of the items I am keeping are DVD’s, photos, frames, paintings, collectibles, and mementos. Again, things that I consider irreplaceable. We all have those items that are important to us, and my photos of the children, theater and opera photos, etc. are mine. I have contacted my insurance company to switch my current renter policy to a storage unit policy. (This was a much better deal with more coverage than the storage company was offering.)

Plastic Containers vs. Cardboard Boxes: I am using both plastic containers and cardboard boxes. For items such as photo prints without frames, I replaced the cardboard box with a plastic container. We also opted to put my daughter’s Monster High dolls into a plastic container, and will cover the doll house with a plastic cover in the storage unit. We chose to keep these items because this is something she collects. She doesn’t really “play” with them, and has kept them in very good condition throughout the years. The plastic containers are pricier, but more durable. However, Uhaul’s cardboard boxes have a ten-year use pending no water damage, etc.

Saving Space: The Magic Bags have been a lifesaver so far, and you can purchase these at Wal-Mart or Target. Not only do they save space, but they are supposed to help keep dust and insects out of items you are storing. Since I am using a storage unit, I figured this would be an ideal option. I plan to use these for packing our luggage as well.

Finishing Up: This week and next week we are going to be finishing everything up. I often have the best intentions to have everything finished by a certain point, but find that when I have a strict timeline to accomplish the packing, I get it done. I have moved several different times, and it has usually consisted of me jumping through hoops to accomplish the impossible the last two weeks. Yes, I am at that point!

I can say that I am “slightly” more ahead of the game this time though. Since I am still working my current job during the day, I have been taking a few hours each evening to accomplish a bit more. If I get even two boxes packed a night, I am ahead of the game!

My best advice for packing would be to just do it. I know that sounds ridiculously simple, but even after reading about “how to organize my move,” and several other organizational articles, I have found that I have to do it my way. I do recommend labeling each box with the contents immediately after taping it up. This serves two purposes: You won’t store breakables underneath heavier items by accident, and you will also have easier access when you are ready to open the boxes again.

No matter how stressed you are regarding a move, just know that things will get done. Just take it one day at a time, and remember to take of yourself in the process.