28 June, 2016

To-Do Lists

I am a planner. This is in my genetic code and I cannot turn it off. I may have mentioned before that, when we travel, Brett and I have developed a fairly mature balance of my need to plan – make the lists, keep things as organized as I can – with his need to fly by the seat of his pants. It works.

We are now planning a very big move overseas. Whoopee! I should be in heaven, right?

You’ve heard of writer’s block? I think I have planner’s block.

Typically I’d start with a list. A list of things to pack, things to sell, questions to ask, costs, something. I don’t even know where to start!

I finally went around the house with post-its and labeled all furniture “sell” or “store”. I started one list: Things I will take to my sister’s. She is newly divorced and will adopt some of our things, maybe permanently, or at least until she finds something better. That’s my only list thus far and it’s killing me.

I printed out monthly calendars for July, August and September thinking this would help me organize – maybe if I set dates for certain tasks or deadlines? 

We each have certain things to do organizationally. Since he’s the one with the initial job offer, and he has the contact, he is in charge of all the paperwork stuff to make it possible for us to get work visas, to make it legal for us to go. He’s also doing the asking of questions about housing, etc. 

I think this morning I had a breakthrough: We now know all that is needed for our work visas, and it is a multi-step process, involving several different organizations and documentation. This will take time. I think, if I give us a deadline of July 31st to have our work visas, I can go from there.

Hopefully this is the push I need. I’ve looked up “living in Beijing”, looked up airfares, and decided our travel route, but not dates.

I’m also taking a few of the “store” items up to my sister who is setting up her new apartment, for her to use while we’re overseas. That may help too. Maybe seeing the gap where the coffee table was, and missing a lamp in the bedroom will be enough momentum to keep me going.

It’s nerve-wracking.
I need a list.
Any suggestions?


  1. I am considering selling my home and moving into something much smaller. I need to really start going through stuff. I just can't get motivated. I can't even imagine what it would be like to move overseas. How much stuff will you take with you?? How long do you think you will stay?? It sounds so scary to me but very adventurous!! I will live the move through you!!

    1. Oh - I can help! 40 bags in 40 days! That's a challenge I found a few years ago on a blog. The idea is to get rid of one "bag" per day - donate, throw, sell, burn - and it could be one grocery bag-full, or a piece of furniture. Whatever. That might help you start.

      We've been advised to bring as little as possible. After all, everything is made in China anyway! My method is - I have X number of pieces of luggage, and we will not exceed that. Since this is a one-year contract for sure (we're hoping 3-5 at least), we will need clothes for all seasons. Otherwise, some home decor items - pictures, my nativity, etc., a couple towels, a handful of books... That's about it.

    2. Oh my goodness. But you are right. You can probably buy everything you need cheaper there than it is sold here!

    3. My concern is clothes. We are both big people. He's 6'3" and I'm 5'10". Even if I whittle myself down to a US size 8, everything will be short!

  2. Being a packrat and making two big moves in my life, I would get rid of it all. Pack clothes, a few items you feel you couldn't live without. Store your sentimental items, yes I have a beat-up end table that serves that function. But get rid of as much as you can. You will be glad you did. For one thing, things wear out.

    1. Oh definitely. No furniture or large items at all. "Thing"wise, I'm only thinking of our new Turkish rugs, and couple of the things we have on the walls.

      I purge with every move, and never regret it.

  3. We have to ship our naked canvas prints.

  4. That sounds like a lot of work, but it's awesome that you're prepared. I'm a planner, too. When someone just throws me into something without any preparation at all, I usually want to strangle them. So then I start planning: Step 1, figure this out. Step 2, strangle idiot friend.

    Good luck as you prepare this huge life change!

    1. I'm amazed how quickly things are falling into place. We made a lot of progress over the weekend, and didn't even have to strangle anyone!


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