Packing to go on a trip is stressful, at least for me. I make lists and usually pack a few days before just in case I have forgotten anything. So imagine packing your entire life up to move back to your home country! The packing is not only stressful, but it is tedious.
Every item that is in your house has to have a decision made about it. Every pen, every piece of paper, every book and magazine has to be touched and a decision made. Do I keep it, toss it, donate it or sell it? Obviously, storing anything is not an option.
Then you realize whatever you decide to keep has to fit into your suitcases since I am not using a shipping company to send my stuff back. This means you really have to get brutal with the keep, toss or donate decision. I am only taking my favorite clothes, shoes, books and the few souvenirs I have collected. I am hoping to go in four or five checked suitcases.
Why so little? Well, I technically don’t have a place to live in the US. All my things will go into storage at my parent’s house along with all the stuff that is in storage there already. I am very lucky they have enough space to keep my stuff, and I don’t have to pay for storage while I am on my long trip.
I know some people would have a hard time purging so much of their stuff because we all become so attached to the things we own. However, I did this when I moved to Qatar, and except for some furniture and one pair of shoes, I don’t remember a single thing I got rid of. Honestly, individual items of clothes and knickknacks, I have no idea what I owned now. So, I don’t miss those things at all.
After this move, I will write a whole post on how I have done this. Have you ever given away or sold most of your things when moving? Do you find packing tedious?
When I moved to Bahrain I did the same as you—took only the bare essentials that I needed. And like you I haven’t missed the things I left behind. Good luck with the move, and the rest of the packing 🙂
Yes, it’s hard but you don’t remember the stuff later. Thank you!
I know it is tedious, but feels so good when you get everything pared down! Good luck on this new adventure. Hope we get to see you when you are in Dallas!
Oh yes it will be great in the end! Thank you. Yes, I will come to the office. I will be in Dallas for a month before I head out again.
Yes, tedious ending with a bit of a frenzy as things get thrown in or out randomly when time, energy and patience are spent. Good luck with the move!
It will be great when it’s done. Thank you!
Consider it part of closure and the ending one chapter of your life book. This quote helped me when I moved from Joburg to Doha.
“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”
― John Green, Paper Towns
I’m not really sad about the stuff. More annoyed at myself for keeping crap for so long. Lol!
For most of us, packing bags is an ass pain. Really not the packing process, but to find something later in the packed bags. It is a good idea to number each bag and to have a full list of packed items in Excel file.
Since I will be unpacking everything, finding stuff will not be an issue.
Hi Tiffany! I was thinking about you today knowing about the “current news”. Good thing you are back home. Yes, it is definitely tedious and heartbreaking to say goodbye to some friends and even to material things just like what you said. Up to now, I miss our fave sofa back home (storage) in NZ. It serves me well and though it is not right to be attached we are only human and sentimental values matter. 🙂
I am still in Qatar. It is a bit weird here but it will all work out. We all get sentimental about this stuff. It’s normal.
Oh to have a trip to pack for….
Well it isn’t as fun as it seems!
I struggle to pack for a weekend away…can’t imagine packing my whole life up!
Haha! You could do it if you needed to.
I had to when I moved back to Canada from Dublin when I finished my Masters- it was a tough process for me! I’m getting better about not being sentimental about things, but still, not the easiest process to go through for me. I also underestimated how long it would take! However, now I have started going through my things on regular basis to make sure it doesn’t build up 🙂 (That’s my project for July) I can’t wait for the post!!
I am taking most of the things that mean something to me. I just don’t like making decisions about stupid little things. I also wish I hadn’t stocked up on a ton of stuff in December. Yes, it is a good to do this periodically. Wish I had done it sooner.
Hi Tiffany! I recently packed for a trip and I put it off as long as I could! It is tedious and comes with an extra backpack of stress about the decisions to be made. I remember reading a line in a favorite book where one character worries about what to pack for an international trip and his mentor says, “Mexico isn’t the moon, you know.” I try to remember this every time I’m packing. All things are just things, and unless its medication or I’m going hiking into the desert (or the moon), there’s always a way to get a “thing” I need. I TRY and remember this–I don’t always succeed! Looking forward to the long post!
I keep trying myself the same thing. I can always buy what I need where I am. I am sure there will be lots of posts on packing in the future including the long one on what I packed for the upcoming trip.
I’ve had to purge with a move and also had things “lost” while I stored them with family… and yeah, most of the lost items truly aren’t missed. I do wish I’d kept closer tabs on the photo albums, but that’s what you get for believing people when they answer a question the same way three times, right? (Still bitter.) Ultimately, it’s just stuff and almost anything can be replaced… the rest, as it turns out, you can live without.
Oh no! I am so sorry the photographs have been lost. I would be heartbroken if that happened. Fortunately, my parents are storing my things and it shouldn’t be an issue. They have been storing my things from my initial move abroad.
[…] bug that hit me a few days after landing is finally over, which meant that I needed to tackle the six suitcases I brought home. The big issue with this is that I really don’t have a place of my own to put […]
I was in the same situation, though my trip was just a 3 days trip. I had to try a lot ways to pack all things I want in a package but I finally left some unnecessary stuffs.
I leave stuff on almost every trip. Helps me keep my stuff to a minimum.
Oh I get mess everytime I have to pack stuffs for moving or travelling. My way is classifiyng them before packing that helps me find them easily after packing.
Packing for traveling takes practice