Military wives, ex-pats, movers, etc - I need your help please!
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 1/28/2013 by FairyPoppins in NSBR Board
 

FairyPoppins
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Posted: 1/28/2013 3:01:51 PM
We're moving to Tokyo for 2 years in August with DH's job. I teach full time so I won't be done until mid-June so I want to start organizing. We will rent out our house while we're gone.

Recently our basement flooded which has forced me to start organizing so we can install new carpet.

I started organizing stuff into piles of keep, garage sale, donate, give to friends, dispose, etc, but it's becoming really overwhelming. I seem to just have bins and trash bags of stuff all over the place. Plus we'll still use some of the stuff before we go.

I've nixed the garage sale idea since I'm in MI and the weather won't be nice until at least April. I'll donate what I don't want to keep.

So, those of you who move regularly, or have moved before what are your top tips? I'm getting really stressed

BTW, we moved from England to MI 10 years ago but it wasn't stressful at all. The moving company simply packed all of our stuff (which was about a third of what we own now) and shipped it. We stayed with my in laws for 2 months living out of our suitcases. No problem at all.

sunny 5
PeaFixture

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Posted: 1/28/2013 3:40:30 PM
don't take too much..and esp furniture. places in tokyo will be small and you can get stuff over there.

take some art work, if you have some, some kitchen stuff, clothes, and try to minimize it.
be sure you are clear on exactly what the company pays for..

we almost moved to tokyo 20 yrs ago..and the prices were unreal. buy a copy of Japan culture shock...

FairyPoppins
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Posted: 1/28/2013 3:54:42 PM
We actually have a pretty sweet deal. DH was in Tokyo looking at apts and he said some of them had more square footage than our 4 bed colonial. Space won't be an issue but I just don't want to cart all of our stuff over there.
We also get a cost of living adjustment since prices are sky high.
I'm stocking up on toiletries now so we don't have to buy them .


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mlana
PeaFixture

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Posted: 1/28/2013 5:05:09 PM
Is your stuff going to be shipped in a container? Do you have the measurements for it yet? When you get them, you might try marking out the size in your driveway or garage. It really helps me when I am packing stuff to have a visual idea of just how much space I have.

Isn't Japan 120 rather than 110? Will your electronics work over there without an adapter? If not, I wouldn't take them. Depending on where you intend to store your stuff, it is probably better to sell, give away, or donate your electronics than to try to store them. We had ants get into one of our storage units, and they made a nest in the tv. With lots of GA red clay. I know if I ever have to use a storage unit again, anything that can't be stored inside a thick plastic container won't be stored. If you do store a tv or other electronic device, you might try putting duct tape over any vents to keep the bugs out.

Marcy




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OklaPhoma

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Posted: 1/28/2013 5:28:43 PM
I seem to just have bins and trash bags of stuff all over the place.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Don't let your sorting piles sit too long. Plan trips to Goodwill or wherever on a regular basis. If you plan to give it to friends, give it. Put trash in the dumpster as soon as you have space. The longer the piles sit and the bigger they get the more overwhelming they are.

Go to uhaul and buy smaller boxes, clean wrapping paper and bubble wrap. Start packing the stuff you plan to keep but not ship. If it is in uniformed sized boxes it makes it easier to stack them out of the way. Consider renting a small storage unit you can go ahead and move boxes into now. Getting the books, extra bedding, knick nacks you won't be taking out of the house gives you a better idea of what is left to deal with.


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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 1/28/2013 5:37:24 PM

Don't let your sorting piles sit too long. Plan trips to Goodwill or wherever on a regular basis. If you plan to give it to friends, give it. Put trash in the dumpster as soon as you have space. The longer the piles sit and the bigger they get the more overwhelming they are.

Go to uhaul and buy smaller boxes, clean wrapping paper and bubble wrap. Start packing the stuff you plan to keep but not ship. If it is in uniformed sized boxes it makes it easier to stack them out of the way. Consider renting a small storage unit you can go ahead and move boxes into now. Getting the books, extra bedding, knick nacks you won't be taking out of the house gives you a better idea of what is left to deal with.


Great advice.

As for the stuff you are going to keep but not take with you - label, label, label. Two years from now, you won't remember.

Good luck!

FairyPoppins
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Posted: 1/28/2013 6:22:19 PM
Thanks for all the advice. DH has been in Japan and China for the past two weeks so I've been getting overwhelmed on my own.
I'll see if I can get measurements for a container or at least the weight we can take.
We are working on getting our cat and dog microchipped and all the paperwork done for them.
I'll fill my trunk tomorrow and take some bags to goodwill.
DH's buddy has just moved house so he may have boxes we can have.
I think we can use our electronic items over there but I'll double check that. Thanks for the heads up


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Compwalla
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:08:26 PM
I agree. Don't let your piles pile up. When we do a pre-move purge we take a full box directly to the car and when the car is full, we drive directly to goodwill. You will feel better about getting some stuff GONE and you can see the progress in spite of the chaos. Last time we moved it was 1/2 across the country and we 26 days from hey, have you thought about Travis to the moving truck pulling up to the house.

Good luck with your move! Japan is going to be such an adventure.


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3kidmama
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:22:26 PM
Number your boxes and keep a notebook listing each box by number with exactly what it contains.

It will all seem pretty obvious to you right now, but even the stuff you pack the last couple of days before you go will be easily forgotten in the transition. You'll be surprised at how your brain will "dump" stuff as you enter another culture, say all those goodbyes etc.

That way, once you arrive, if you wish to make a birthday cake but aren't quite totally unpacked, you can pull out that notebook (I always referred to it as "my brain" and quickly see that box 32 contains your hand held mixer and that box 84 had the measuring cups dropped in it at the last moment.

Find an online expat friend who lives in Japan if at all possible and ask them what things they wish they would have known or brought with them. Again, you may really be surprised.

Basket1lady
AncestralPea

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Posted: 1/28/2013 8:49:01 PM
We have a box that we call the "last box". It's actually a Rubbermaid tote, but you get the idea. That's the last on the truck/shipping container and the first off.

I keep the phone in there, the coffee pot, paper plates, some plastic ware, etc. But I also put the extension cords in there, the shims that we use to keep book shelves level, both a Phillips and a flat screw driver, a hammer, pliers, etc. All the tools that we used to dismantle the house.

Purging us good, but you will never get it all done because lives change in two years. But you get rid of a ton of stuff in two years, because it stops looking like "your stuff" and just like junk.

I only brought one set of dishes when we moved to Seoul. One set of pots and pans. Not much of the bakeware that I mostly used during the holidays. Kitchen space was really, really limited in our apartment.

You will end up buying some things you left in storage back in the states, asking yourself why you brought some stuff, and thankful you brought the things that will make your apartment your home.


Michelle
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FairyPoppins
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Posted: 1/28/2013 9:56:52 PM
Thank you for all your advice! I've started to purge, organize and make lists this evening. I feel better already.


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BuckeyeSandy
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Posted: 1/28/2013 10:46:32 PM
Tips from when things went the wrong way for us...

Anything you disassemble... or needs to be disassembled to move.
1. Do it yourselves AHEAD of time. Take pictures as you go to help jog your memory to reassemble later.

2. Use a "freezer" type zip loc bag to put the the hardware into and LABEL that bag.

3. Keep all those bags WITH YOU, not on the moving van/shipping container. Keep them with you (or send on ahead in a box you ship to yourself, or to someone you know living there already).

When we went to Japan, several pieces of furniture were disassembled and the hardware was lost. It was impossible to find replacement hardware so those items were "recycled".

Moving twice in the USA, we took our bags of hardware with us... have not yet lost anything.


Insurance Coverage on your belongings, or it is better to be sure, than find out your lost items are nearly worthless with the carrier's insurance.
Update your insurance policies. Check about coverage for items in long term storage, and for coverage while in transit. Get riders for high value items. Not all companies with cover your household items in transit or in storage. READ thoroughly all the paperwork about what is and is not covered and how to file a claim and what documentation is needed. Note: Going to Japan, lots of problems, Stuff being sent back from Japan-impeccable!

Usual Move Cautions:
Irreplaceable photos, make copies NOW. Backup all your hard drives.

Also take photos of items, in your house now, and of the items in the boxes you pack. Doing digital photos, create a file with the inventories and the pictures, and of the labeled boxes. Save to a couple cd or dvd and store one (or more) with family in the states, and at least one to take with you.

Have separate ones for items in storage and items you are taking with you.

YOu are doing the de-clutter and striping down now and that is good.

Do you have freecycle in your area? Around here, every so often a family (usually military) will post in free cycle to come and have at items, then there is usually a listing of the major items or groupings of items (HD TV 53"; bookcase 6' tall, 2' wide and 2' deep; infant and baby clothing size 3 and 6 months; or kitchen utensils). Our rules are no postings for garage or yard sales, but you can post about "come and take" stuff.



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FairyPoppins
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Posted: 1/29/2013 6:18:11 AM
Awesome advice. I didn't think about half of that.
Thanks


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KatyLouWho
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Posted: 1/29/2013 6:47:18 AM
I would also visibly mark a couple boxes so that you know they are the ones you need to unpack first. Shower curtain for the bathroom, towels, bed linens and pillows, frying pan and a couple settings for plates and glasses.

That way you can get your beds set up right away and at least be able to cook something reasonable so that you won't be scrounging for those things at first. There's something nice about being able to do basic housekeeping as you get settled in.



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