Packing your life forever to move cross-country is a big thing.
It can be exciting, stressful, difficult, liberating and even sad all at once, if not a little daunting no matter how organized you are.
This is what my friend Danielle is doing next week, the same friend that pushed me into this blog. And I’m going to miss her dearly; especially her spirited love of life.
I’m going to get to the “organizing part“ in a little while, so stick with me.
When Danielle moved here 10 years ago, she was single, had few belongings besides clothes, one photo album, her enthusiasm and her car.
Now she’s married to a lovely man and they recently added little L. to their family. So moving “back home“ is somewhat … MORE.
More stuff, more emotions, more people involved and definitely more pieces moving.
She is flying with baby L. in about a week, while her husband and his father will drive their belongings across the land. That should take another week. Pretty much as soon as they are reunited, they are going on a family vacation in Germany, where hubby is from, before settling down.
And when I say settling down, I really mean start the process of building back a life. Most of their possessions will be stored at her brother’s place, while they live in her parents’ basement. They will be both looking for jobs, before they begin building their dream house on the lot they bought last year.
Don’t worry about them though, they are moving towards family and friends and will get the love, support and help they need.
Last weekend, Danielle and I took an intense look at what she would put in her suitcase. We needed to account for the fact that she was going to be on her own with baby L. for about a week or so and didn’t want to have to repack too much for Germany; although the weather might be slightly different there, so she also needed to take that into consideration.
1. Pack what you can’t live without first
I asked Danielle to put aside the clothes she thought she could not part without for the next 2 months. That included workout clothes, PJs, outerwear, footwear, scarves, etc.
2. Add clothes specific for the trip
Next she made a pile of clothes she likes to wear while on vacation, which are a bit more summery and not quite as comfy as the “home“ clothes she will wear around her parents’ dairy farm.
Whatever you organize or declutter, once you think you have it right, take 10 and have a second look. With the extra fluff gone, you might be able to tweak a bit.
- This is what is left.
4. Pack everything else
To make sure she has all she needs, I made her pack all that was left in her closet that she could live without for the next little while. That means that for the next week, while they finish preparing for their big move, Danielle is going to live with just what she is bringing on the plane with her.
This will give here the opportunity to test out our selection. If she finds that she is missing something, she can unpack it. On the other hand, if she finds that something is not getting used, she can pack it now.
As for baby L., well he gets to bring pretty much whatever fits him, diapers, bottles, stroller and car seat and few toys. The rest will be brought in by truck and, if need be, missing items can always be bought once she gets home.
Dear Danielle, I’m so glad you were here to push me and so happy to be able to help you pack and unpack twice :). I wish you all the best and I know we’ll stay connected. Thank God for technology!
Now it’s your turn, how would you have done it?
Do you have any last minute tips for Danielle?
Know someone who is moving soon? Help them out by sharing this story.
- Danielle and Baby L.