I have a before the move (BTM) and an after the move (ATM) list. That's how it's working for me right now, two completely separate and yet not exclusive lists of things to worry about. Somehow it helps to focus on only 50% of my worries at a time. Today we will look at the BTM list.
BEFORE THE MOVE
(not in any particular order)
- Sell the house--Sort of a priority. We have had an offer but they still need to sell their house so it's a waiting game. I've always been terrible at waiting. A lot of things depend on this one. Such as the ability to get a house on the other side so we don't have to live with my parents forever. Such as not having to continue paying for this house when we are not living in it--we are on a deadline because of Sam's visa; he has to be in the USA by Christmas for his visa to be valid. We always knew we could have trouble with timing, but since we could control neither the processing times of Sam's visa nor the sale of our house we just have to do our best with what we've got.
- Ship belongings--We went back and forth about this one for a long time and have considered all of the options. In the end we realized we were either going to be checking about 30 suitcases of things we simply can't part with onto a plane with or we could get a shipment. Sam has a lot of sporting equipment that would just be silly to replace--bike, snowboards, surf boards, cricket and rugby gear, golf clubs etc. We were able to find a company with a great reputation where we can ship about 2-3 pallets worth of stuff for less that the cost of Sam's bike and golf clubs. It would cost so much more to take it all onto the plane with us, and we'd need a moving truck to pick us up at the airport which would be ridiculous. This company will come pick up all of our stuff (which will be all of Sam's sports stuff, our kitchen table and Maya's cradle and then about 20 boxes of our personal things like photo albums, pictures, kitchen stuff and odds and ends), take it to their warehouse and pack it all onto a few pallets then measure and charge us for the exact amount of space it takes up. It will be shrink wrapped so everything is nice and secure, then they'll put it into a container with a bunch of other peoples' stuff and send it to Texas, transit time is 16 days. Amazing right?
- Buy boxes and packing stuff--You can find reasonably priced moving kits on ebay that include lots of boxes in whatever sizes you need, tape, bubble wrap and markers. It's the cheapest I have found so far.
- Pack--This can't be done until right before we go. We will probably move in with the in laws for the last couple days after our shipment is picked up since we wont have anything in our kitchen. I think we will pack what we want to take on the plane first so we can make sure we have what we need and can ship anything else that doesn't fit. We will have up to a month without the stuff in our shipment so we will need to spend a little time thinking about what we absolutely need during that month, especially for Maya.
- Book flights--Simple enough, we just hope to get the bulkhead seats which will be easier with a mobile baby.
- Get rid of stuff--We have been doing this little by little for a while now. We are giving away almost all of our furniture to family and friends, the rest we will ebay or donate. We are also going to leave behind our appliances since they wont wont work in the US, so we will sell bigger items like our fridge and washing machine and give away or donate little things like the toaster and mixer. We are also leaving behind lots of clothes, shoes, pictures, books, pillows, linens and basically anything we can live without.
- Get record copies--We will need to get copies of our medical records as well as vaccination records. They have different required vaccinations here than they do in the States and Maya will need to be up to date in the far and distant future when she starts school.
- Cancel utilities/services--This is something else that we do at the last minute. Some of them we will have to keep paying until our house sells like our house insurance but we will need to change our correspondence address.
- Change our address--We need have our mail forwarded and let our bank know we are moving and make sure our statements are forwarded to our new address as well as a few other bills we will have to pay until the sale goes through.
- Change life insurance companies--We both got life insurance policies before Maya was born but we will have to change to a US company when we move because the one we have here will not cover us if we live abroad. No big deal but not something we want to overlook.
- Get medical insurance for Maya--Since we will be between jobs and without insurance for at least a few months we want to make sure that Maya is covered. It is not a situation I am totally comfortable with but at least if she is covered I wont be as worried. There are very few independent options out there to cover just a child, most require that at least one adult be covered as well and that makes it quite expensive. She also may be eligible for CHIP or Medicaid depending on how long it takes us to get jobs or what we earn to start off with. This is one of those issues that keeps me up at night. I will miss the NHS.
- Give notice--I have already handed in my notice to work which feels great and terrifying at the same time. Sam's notice period is a month so he will be handing in his pretty soon. They already know that he is going and even though they are happy for him they'd love for him to stay, which is nice.
- Wire money--We will be keeping our joint bank account open here but we will be wiring the majority of our money to our account in the States. We also have to have a meeting with a bank manager who will handle the wiring of the money we make on our house if we don't sell it before we go. They wont just let us call and wire it so we have to arrange all of this in advance. Hopefully we will sell the house before we go and wont have to deal with this at all.
- Say goodbye--I hate this one the most and I hope to come up with a way of avoiding it, such as sneaking away in the middle of the night.
- Get excited--I spend so much time thinking about all of the stuff I have to do that I forget that we are moving back to Texas! Yehaw! The land of guacamole and queso, big cars and big people, Target and air conditioned shopping malls, my family and friends! But let's not get carried away, there's lots to do before we get there...