Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Packing It In

When you move to a foreign country, many times you have a room in your house, or your sister's house (thanks Goo), that looks like this:

Bedding and Bathroom Linens

Lotsa toiletries

Books, books and more books

Some shoes and clothes

Kitchen stuff

Things for work

My sister's wonderfully accommodating and lets me take over her guest room/office to house all of my overseas necessities. Usually these items all get packed into several large and small suitcases and duffel bags toward departure day.  My mom usually volunteers to help with this process. This year it's a bit different.

ASB provides new teachers with a shipping allotment. They will pay up to $2500 USD.  The allotment can only be used for shipping.  If I don't use it, I lose it. So, I'm a smart girl and I'm using it.

I also thought about the baggage fees currently in effect in both the U.S. and overseas.  They are completely ridiculous by the way.  $25 for somebody to load my bag?  Really?  If I schlep it, it costs me nothing except a backache.

As I mentioned previously, current teachers had highly suggested to bring your own mattress. I bought mine a couple of weeks ago at Back to Bed on Randall Road from Chris. For locals I'd recommend him.

My mattress and box spring that I won't sleep on for 2 months.
I also stocked up on all of the goodies I would usually bring along and set aside some clothes and a few other things that I can wait a while to use. Like I've said before, everyone has their creature comforts and you can tell what mine are.  Yesterday I  picked up a few more items.

Two weeks ago, two different shipping companies came out, surveyed my load and gave me estimates.  The estimates were only about $300 apart.  I actually chose the more expensive company due to their extremely wonderful communication which included great emails when I lived in Brazil, when the estimator came out shared information and finally with the company in India. They earned an A+ with making things easy.  They also have a good relationship with the school, knew exactly who they'd need to speak with which earns extra points as well.  With this move, it's all about making it easy so a few extra hundred dollars for that is just fine by me.

When you ship internationally, one of the things you have to do is make an inventory of your items in case something should happen.  I am taking out insurance on my shipment (better safe then sorry) but with this time frame felt crunched to complete this.  My parents have asked repeatedly how they could help so I asked them, while I was away in NYC if they could complete the inventory.  They are always thorough but in this instance I was completely amazed.  They spent four hours making a detailed, itemized inventory which listed product names such as "Bath and Body Works Lemon Kitchen Handwash."  It's hand soap.  I appreciate that I will know exactly what's coming and what could be missing.  I can picture my dad sitting at the laptop behind the desk in the room while my mom lists items that he has no idea what they are (most the toiletries).  Thanks Mom and Dad for taking four hours one day last week to do this.  I really do owe you each a BIG margarita for your help.  This inventory had to be completed before the shippers come to move me out.

When do they come?  Today!   ASB Four Winds is sending their local Chicago partner to come and pack me up.  They will come this afternoon.  Then this mess will be gone and the Goo can have some of her house back.  I'll also have a HUGE thing checked off my list and can go and celebrate by having margaritas with my family to say thanks for your help.


  1. yeah!!! we are awaiting our shipment on the other end ... keep writing!!!

  2. Isn't is such a fun day when those shipments arrive. All of the treasures you had come back into your life. It's like X-mas but each item already has a memory. Definitely will keep writing. :)