Since we had nearly three weeks between our going-away party and actually leaving, we did our best to pack in more goodbye dinners, family gatherings, and game nights. Basically anything that we did on a regular basis in Peoria and pretty much took for granted, but wouldn’t be able to do once we were in Switzerland.
Unfortunately, what we didn’t leave enough time for was preparing the house for our departure and general packing.
I don’t know how you properly prepare for an international move far in advance. I feel like we spent a good portion of the year sorting through our belongings and getting rid of things we knew we wouldn’t need or have room to bring with us. But that left us with clothes that we needed to wear before we could pack them, toys and books that were used on a regular basis, and general necessities that you can’t just go without because you’re moving in a month (or more, or even less).
I was also faced with the task of trying to remove all music and photos from my old laptop that had barely made it to the end of my stint at UIS… in December 2013. I basically hadn’t touched it since then, but it was filled with music and every digital photo I had taken up until that point. I didn’t think that project would take too long, but I was so wrong. It took hours every day for a couple of weeks at least, and because there was so much to sort through in addition to uploading it to the Google Cloud, I couldn’t really multitask.
The other thing that was really difficult was that unlike any other move we’ve ever done, when we left the house for the airport on Friday morning, we were through at that house. We couldn’t go back to clean it (ourselves). We couldn’t do anymore Goodwill or recycling runs (ourselves). We had lined up a cleaning service to come in after we left, but we walked out the door with way more stuff left in that house than I had ever intended. And that was with a full dumpster in our driveway!
Plus we didn’t get curtains hung in the living/dining rooms (which I had purchased), and the ones I hung in the kitchen and downstairs bathroom were floor-to-ceiling length in windows that didn’t require that length at all. I don’t own a sewing machine, so hemming them was kind of out of the question. I just hacked them off in a totally haphazard manner; it was not at all one of my finer moments.
In the grand scheme of things, I know getting window coverings hung isn’t the end of the world, but I had purposely bought new curtains for the downstairs and roll blinds for the third bedroom so that every room had reasonable window coverings. And I bought them months ago. I was trying so hard to plan ahead, and then I couldn’t even get those things done.
Ultimately, none of it mattered. We ran out of time on Friday morning and there was nothing else that Andy and I could do about it.
Thanks to our awesome cleaning lady, our wonderful siblings(-in-law), the junk-hauling company they hired on our behalf, and our realtor who probably regrets signing a contract with us, the house ended up looking decent in the pictures for our listing.
Which just left us with the task of checking nine (9!) suitcases and taking three planes 4,500 miles around the world. And although I’m having trouble adjusting to my new time zone and probably won’t be asleep for a while still, I’m going to leave that story for another post, on another night.