We just waved goodbye to our belongings. There is no turning back now!
We have been preparing for this moment for months. We have been shopping, sorting and cleaning out our home. One nice thing about sending a lift, was that the movers come and pack everything for us. In fact, it is the preferred method for insurance purposes. But, that also meant that when the movers come, they want clear answers as to what to pack and what to leave behind. During our months of cleaning, we made specific delineations for each room . For example, in our garage- to the right of the sukkah stayed, but to the left of the sukkah was to be shipped. In our basement, one small pile was to be left and everything else to be packed. It would have been impossible to be in all rooms with all the movers at once, so having everything organized was crucial.
The past two days have been a whirlwind. Around 2:15PM yesterday three movers started the packing process. After a couple of hours, they had packed most of our kitchen and living room. They returned at 8:30AM this morning with an extra two men. The five movers boxed up four bookcases full of books, 8 beds, one crib and all our other belongings. We watched as they carefully loaded each item into the 24 foot long truck, and wondered if everything we had hoped to send would fit. We had been quoted an estimate of about 1200 cubic feet for all our belongings, but we had added and subtracted from that list many times. The truck was able to fit around 1380 cubic feet, so we figured we would have plenty of space.
Honestly, it was a nail biter! Most of the house was packed, but there was only a few feet left for the remaining items. We walked around the house to make sure everything that we wanted to be shipped, was in fact packed up. As more and more items were being placed in the truck, we still had two bed frames, 3 bikes and multiple boxes left. In order to pack it all into the truck, the movers disassembled a bed frame, and squeezed our 3 childrens' bikes in with the final remaining inches- turning the handle bars sideways and taking off a training wheel from one of the bikes. (The movers had to return later to pick up their extra packing materials because there was not a tiny spec of space left.) But, at 7:30PM, while I was busy blowing up air mattresses so the girls had somewhere to sleep, my daughters watched as the truck drove away.
The moving truck was packed to the limits with all of our stuff except a few suitcases and a large pile of miscellaneous items we need to use for the next two months. Our shipment will be stored for about seven weeks and then sent on a container to Israel. We will meet it at the port when we arrive. In the meantime, we will be living out of luggage while we visit family and friends for our remaining time in America.
I am sitting on the steps in my house writing this blog, because we have no furniture left. This might be my last blog post from our American home. It still has not hit me that we will be moving out of this house.
But, to give ourselves closure, we had a goodbye ceremony for our house. As per a recommendation from one of my daughters' teachers, before the rooms were pulled apart and the furniture shipped, we wanted to take a moment to say goodbye to each space in our house. We felt that it was important for our kids. We didn't want them to come home from school one day, and the house look strangely empty without a chance for closure. So, we each took an index card for each room in our house (and one for the yard) and wrote a memory (or many memories) we had in that space.
We walked around the house, and while sitting in each room, we each shared our memories there. After we all enjoyed our trip down memory lane, we said goodbye to that room and moved on. After we had said goodbye to all the rooms and the outdoor spaces, we went out to ice cream to celebrate. We wanted to end the goodbye ceremony with a fun event to make it a celebration, not a sad moment. The kids loved the ceremony and I found it quite cathartic as well! We plan to make a scrapbook with pictures of each room and all our index cards with our fond memories.
Our countdown is already down to 73 days! Our summer adventure has just begun. 73 days of air mattresses and living out of suitcases, goodbye ceremonies and celebrations. There is so much more to do, but for now, I want to celebrate having the lift part of our adventure done. One more thing to check off the list!