After a couple busy weeks of getting everything in order to move overseas (think government passports, sorting orders, a few briefings, microchipping Kaia, medical clearance, etc.), John left for training in Dallas and then St. Louis on April 6th. We tried to motivate ourselves to pack as much as possible before he left, but there’s only so much you can do until right before the movers arrive. It’s also pretty un-homey to live among boxes and sad, bare walls for weeks. Kaia seemed to know exactly what was going on and made a point of climbing into empty boxes to ensure she couldn’t be forgotten.
We were miserably unprepared to leave Los Angeles. I think we might’ve started packing the night before our movers arrived. While our apartment was quite small and we didn’t have much stuff, that’s not a strategy I’d recommend to anyone! This time around, we were in a much better place with a few key “lessons learned” to keep in mind:
1. Your idea of “packed” and the movers’ definition might be quite different.
When we unpacked in Columbus, we discovered that my wedding dress had been crumpled beneath John’s skis and our outdoor equipment. Our kitchen drawers had haphazardly been emptied into boxes. Our nice knives were “packed” totally unwrapped- just tossed into a box with all of our flatware and several (consequently ruined) books.
2. The more organized you are before a move, the better.
This is certainly an ongoing process, one I’m sure is just about perfected by the seasoned military family. We’ll get there in time…
3. Never underestimate the power of fresh snickerdoodles.
They may have considerable influence over your movers’ motivation to do their job well. Also helpful are tunes. Lots of tunes.
4. Accept help.
…maybe especially if you happen to be pregnant and otherwise alone.
I was incredibly humbled by my friends in Columbus who gave so much of their time and energy to help me prep the house for our final inspection. It takes a special someone to be willing to scrub your bathroom or detail your buggy window tracks. Looking back now, I can’t imagine having done it without them!