We had our packout on Monday. We packed out quite early – almost 3 weeks before our departure – because it was basically the only day JR could be there given his current work schedule. There is always so much going on during pack out that we both wanted to be present to handle any issues and to ensure things were being packed properly and sent to the right places (either onward to Tbilisi or to a storage unit).
To prep, we spent the last few months going room by room and getting organized. This included donating or throwing away a lot of extra stuff. I also made a list of the main things we would want to have in our checked luggage, and which items we’d want in our UAB (air freight). I packed clothes and items for the baby for the next 3 weeks and for home leave. She has the least amount of stuff because almost all of her summer clothes are at my mom’s house, so she’ll have much more on our return trip. Then JR and I did the same for ourselves. It’s kind of pain to use valuable suitcase space on work clothes with such a short time remaining at work, so my coworkers will see me repeating outfits during my last few days.
Once our suitcases were packed, I designated the bed in the guest room as our UAB pile and we started placing things in there. I included most of my work clothes, shoes, hangers, a laundry basket, and then a bunch of kitchen items like baking sheets, pots and pans, food processor, rice cooker, some tupperware, ziplock bags, and other miscellaneous things. Other important items were Abby’s high chair, bath tub (I assume at some point she probably outgrows the little Fisher Price Whale Tub, and it may well be while we are home, so who knows how useful it will be once we get to Tbilisi), her play mat and extra books and toys.
UAB, first round
While we were doing all of this, we were also tossing things in the laundry room or bathroom – my designated “safe” zones that would be shut off completely from the movers. We kept our passports, keys, phone chargers and a bunch of miscellaneous stuff in there, and we continued adding things even once the movers arrived. Our social sponsor in Tbilisi has kindly offered to accept a few packages for us before we arrive, so right before we leave we are going to mail a few boxes with sheets, towels, some of our work clothes, and the toys we kept here for Abby.
The laundry room of shame
On the morning of our packout, we loaded up Abby and her pack n’ play and dropped her off at the nanny’s house for the day. When we arrived at home, we did a final sweep through the apartment to make sure all of our important items were in their designated places. This is about the time the nanny texted me to say that we’d failed to pack a single binky. We also forgot her snack cup and sippy cup. #Momoftheyear. Thankfully our nanny is amazing and it didn’t cause too much of an issue for her or Abby.
The movers arrived around 9am. I was expecting 4 guys but 8 showed up. They started working immediately, and like always, I was shocked by their speed.
Although we have a total weight limit of 600lbs for our UAB, the plan is to split our shipment with 300lbs from Pristina and 300lbs from Ohio. So we had our primary UAB pile, and then if we were underweight, I had another pile/section of things to add. Even with all of that, we were only at 220lbs. This led to me running around the apartment scooping up more things to add to UAB. In the future, I’ll have even more things ready to go if we are underweight, because by the time we realized we could add more, most of the kitchen and Abby’s toys had been packed, and those items would have been the most beneficial to add to our UAB.
The movers making a box to fit our big TV. Pro tip: Keep your TV boxes!
And just like that, it was over and all of our things were loaded into the van. With our living room furniture gone, we had to improvise a bit to watch House of Cards.
The next day the warehouse guys dropped off a living room set and a bed for us.
Now we just need to survive the next two weeks sharing a queen-sized bed and two pillows. And see if the movers will come back to pack up the box they forgot. 🙂