When we originally moved to Barcelona, we left most of our belongings behind (I don't know that Josh would agree as we still had 110 boxes). After all, it was just for 2 years. We still did a huge purge of our stuff before we left figuring we didn't want to come back to a lot of the junk we had accumulated over the years. We left all of our furniture behind with the exception of my office chair and the kids toy storage unit. Beyond that everything stayed.
The original plan had been for everything to stay in the house. We moved all the personal items to the basement and the furniture stayed where it was. We had a sudo-friend living in the house and it was just him so leaving it all behind was fine. Again, it was for 2 years.
But just past 1 year, we had to formally evict our friend from the house. And we had new tenants that would move in that didn't need all our furniture. So off to storage it all went, in a POD (which is quite cool since they deliver the storage unit to your house and then pick it up when you are done). I was lucky to have a great group of friends who helped me load it up and get it ready for storage. It made for a stressful "vacation" home having to move everything but it needed to get done one way or another.
Now a few years later, just when we thought we were coming back home, we found that instead we are moving to Amsterdam. And so I told Josh... "I want my stuff". Now there is nothing wrong with Ikea. It's actually quite a great place. But I've got nice solid wood bedroom sets and furniture that I want that's sitting in storage doing nothing. Photo albums, including all our wedding pictures. Dishes and serving ware that are there too. Winter clothes that we didn't need in Barcelona (which admittedly after 4 years in storage are no longer really in fashion and I got rid of those too). Lamps. My desk. Oh I miss my nice desk. And much more.
While Josh wasn't thrilled at the idea of bringing this stuff over, he was accommodating. I think it had something to do with me being willing to move to yet another country for his career. But it had to be within reason since it's likely we will have to pay to ship it back eventually. Plus, our house in the Netherlands is smaller than the house we had in Attleboro and the homes are built for smaller furniture unlike our bulky US stuff. And there is no storage in this house - no garage, no attic, no basement. So again, within reason.
And so the POD was delivered to my parents house for me to start the purging process again. Just to recap, we still have a shipment of goods going from Barcelona to Amsterdam as well. So let the purging process begin. There was a (sad) method to my madness - going on the left, staying on the right, to be determined in the middle. I emptied the POD of everything except for furniture since the movers would be just packing that up and putting it into the container anyways so why move it twice.
I did a little bit every day and my mom helped me to sort thru a bunch of bins as well, making the time go by so much faster and feeling like I actually got some things done. Eventually I felt like I was done - there was nothing left in the middle. But then I talked to Josh and re-evaluated my "done" and went thru the keep pile yet again. Several carloads have gone to charity and more than I expected of the boxes are staying. In the end, it came down to about 30 boxes and then furniture that was heading to Amsterdam. Not so bad I say!!!
Divide and conquer
Josh's fishy pants that are sadly NOT going to be making it to Amsterdam (but I've kindly not tossed them either)
Of my 3 bins of photo albums, I've reduced it down to this... I'll admit I'm proud of that accomplishment!
Since I wasn't expecting to have to have a lot staying, I decided I no longer needed the 16' POD. I called them to see if I could do a smaller one since I had a lot less stuff. To reduce down to a 12' was going to cost me DOUBLE what I was currently paying. So I decided the time had come to do a standard non-moving storage unit.
I found a few places and my dad and I packed up the truck with boxes after reserving one in Easton, near their house. We got there and the guy was actually really great and said that he didn't recommend their place if we had furniture because they get too much condensation but that he would call the guy in Raynham and see if he had any climate control units available. Long story short, the guy did and it's costing me just as much as the original POD for smaller space but I never felt good about the lack of climate control with our things, such as photo albums, so in the end it will hopefully work out better. My dad and I made 3 trips to the storage unit that day (thanks Dad!) to get the boxes that were easy (sort of) to move out of the garage.
In the meantime we were still waiting on the movers to come on Aug 5. They were supposed to come July 31 but I got bumped. Rather annoying since I just wanted to get it all done and over with. But now it's done and they came yesterday to pick up those things. With everything basically prepacked and ready to go, they were done by noon and all that was left was some furniture (including a very heavy sleep number bed) and a few small items to go into storage. My dad and I spent the afternoon hanging out in the garage on the furniture working and reading... totally trashy but it was fun bonding time too.
Unlike our move to Barcelona, this time the container arrived at the house (last time it was a moving truck that then reloaded to a container) so the next time we see it will be in Amsterdam.
POD is now empty and has been removed from the driveway - my dad was incredibly happy to get his garage bay back again :)
Tonight I was lucky to have my dad, aunt, uncle and my cousin's boyfriend help me to move the rest of the stuff into storage. For once I forgot to take pictures. But somehow we managed to get 3 couches, an ottoman, 3 mattresses and a few boxes and cushions all into 2 trucks - I'm not quite sure how we did it, but we did. And now everything is safely ensconced in my climate controlled storage unit, somehow with space to spare. So we're down to a 10x10 unit plus what's in our attic and a few pieces of furniture in our house in Attleboro. I feel like we have a little bit of stuff everywhere which is kind of weird but in reality, it's the way it's been for the last 4 years too.
So now I feel incredibly relieved (and tired) to know that the US portion of the move is done. Next up is the Amsterdam side. Josh signs on our house on the 14th and the movers with our Barcelona things come on the 15th. Kids and I arrive on the 17th and they start school on the 18th. We don't expect the things from the US to get there until mid to end of September so it will be air mattresses for a little while. But it's all a part of the experience, right???
We're almost there... 9 months of waiting and we're counting down the weeks now.