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The decision was made. We were moving to America…
My only condition was that our 6yo finished Primary One and that we moved over the summer holidays so that he’d be starting his new school at the beginning of a year, not mid-term.
I should also have factored in that I would be trying to pack up the house and get us organised for the move with a newborn… Rookie mistake there. I mean, seriously, how could we have thought that was a good idea?
And of course we had to fit in a trip to London to get our visas approved. Just what we needed… It wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, and the interview wasn’t as scary as expected. My husbands inability to remember dates worried me a little as he looked to me for reassurance before answering any questions. But, they must be used to that as our visas were approved there and then!
I had planned on being so organised, months before the move. We knew we were going six months before we left. No excuses for panic six weeks before we left! We were lucky in that we rented our house to friends, so I didn’t have to completely gut the place, but still – I made myself a promise that no box would go into the attic unsorted. There would be no clutter. Everything would be organised and labelled. Dump runs would be done. Charity bags would be delivered.
Well, it didn’t quite happen like that of course…
I hadn’t expected to be quite so ill and feeble while pregnant with number three (I annoyed myself with my complete uselessness!)…
I hadn’t expected to be quite so busy at work, bidding for projects I would never actually work on…
I hadn’t expected my husband to spend quite so much time in the States…
Little girl arrived in March and chaos ensued, as by that point I had achieved basically nothing!
To be fair to myself, two thirds of the attic is now boxed, organised and labelled. The local charity shop asked us not to come back, we were creating a health and safety hazard in their store room. The dump was visited many times.
Unfortunately that only dealt with about half of the ‘stuff’. How had we acquired so much stuff?! And why did we actually need, or use, so little of it?
The experience was in a lot of ways cathartic, and I decluttered my life hugely, I just wish I had managed to finish the process as it still hangs over me – it will need to be done at some point!
So, I left rather a lot of clutter in the attic, there were too many unsorted boxes (and bags and clothes and general rubbish) shoved in at the last minute. My husband had to go back a month after we moved to finish clearing before our tenants moved in… I have lost track of where rather a lot of things are, all I know is they aren’t here in the US!
But nothing can compare to the day the movers arrived to pack the stuff we were shipping! That is a day that will go down in history as the worst day of my life! And will have to wait for another post – six months later and I still can’t bring myself to relive it :)
[Update 11 September 2014: I’m linking this post up with the lovely Chantelle from Seychelles Mama, for her Expat Family linky. I linked our ‘how it all began’ post last time, so I thought it would be interesting to continue the story with the follow up post from January 2013… All those unsorted boxes from the attic are now in our garage in the US, having been shipped over the summer. Going back in June this year to empty our house in Edinburgh after it was sold, and walking into the chaotic attic was an experience in itself; for me and the poor movers who had to lug it all back down the stairs to the container! Now begins the process of going through all those random boxes that we ran out of time to sort before we left the UK two years ago (all 200 of them…), and I fully expect a lot of cries of why on earth did we pack this?!]