Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pack Out Panic

This week was an interesting week. Not so much from an "interesting things happened" point of view, but more of a "well that was interesting." So, my experience with moving is pretty minimal. I moved approximately four times in my life. Home to college, college to an apartment, inter-apartment, and apartment to house. I never really had that much stuff until owning a house, and I've never been moved by professional movers. So having people come to my house and box up all my belongings about as fast as I could point them out was quite surreal.
Our packout was split into three days, due to some archaic contracting rules. The first day they packed and drove away our HHE (that is, our slow-boat-to-India items). The second day they packed and took our UAB (unaccompanied air baggage) as well as packing everything for storage, except the furniture. The third day they were supposed to take the packed goods to storage as well as packing and taking our furniture.
The panic in the title of this post came in two phases. The first phase was the insane amount of worry when we realized we didn't have all of our stuff sorted, not to mention separated, in preparation of the movers arriving. This was despite my spending much of the preceding weekend dedicated to preparing for them to arrive. You wouldn't think this would be a problem, but having never done a move like this where the default wasn't "everything comes," we were very worried that the packers would get confused and pack the wrong items, or we'd be constantly rushing around trying to point them to the correct items. However, we did a great job of last minute preparing, and the packers were very patient with us. 

The second phase of our panic came on Thursday, the third day of our packout, when I received a call informing me that the truck broke down and we'd have to reschedule. This posed a problem, since we'd been planning to spend the next week in a hotel in Arlington (close to FSI, so I could avoid the dreaded commute). Unfortunately, this meant Elizabeth would have to be at the house on the following Tuesday to supervise the final clearing out of our house. 
The sudden change of plans rippled down delaying the painting, photographing, and therefore the listing of our house for sale. Hopefully it will sell quickly and that won't matter, but I guess time will tell. It also meant I'd get the 'joy' of another three commutes between home and DC. C'est la Vie... we're almost out of here!

PS: We had 187 boxes of HHE, this is about 15% of them (pre boxing).


  1. I really enjoyed reading your blog as well as others', however, I have not found anything related to what can be really shipped with you to your post. I mean what DOS allows to ship. Big things like beds, sofa, cars, washing machine, dryer, TV, etc, my wife and I really want to take with us. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you! I'm glad you've been enjoying it. There are some country specific regulations as to what can and can't be shipped, but you can read about the State Departments allowances in Chapter 11 of "It's Your Move," a publication by the Foreign Service Institute's Overseas Briefing Center. You can check out the links below, but basically, all of the things you mentioned can come with you, as long as you're within your weight limit. (There are a lot of car regulations overseas though, for instance, I could not bring my car from the US to India, because they only allow right-hand-drive vehicles to be imported.)

    Link to Chapter 11:
    Link to It's Your Move: