Monday, March 17, 2014

Pack 'em Up and Move 'em Out (6-March-2014)

Not really moving day for us but for our belongings. 

We were given an allowance of 1,000 pounds for items we want to bring to France via air shipment (MUCH faster than by boat obviously).

We are lucky because the house we are renting in France is completely furnished including dishes, cutlery, beds, towels etc.

So all we really need to bring is clothing and special items for hobbies etc, and one PC.

The real problem was for me to decide what to do about my business. We decided I would ship my storage container (about the size of a narrow but taller dresser). I would bring a few things to make some jewelry while there and if I want more we would ship it or bring it at a later date.

Once that decision was made we didn't have a whole lot to bring. The heavy items included my storage unit, a 65 pound box of scrap-booking paper (my husband really wondered about that one), my husbands' camera equipment (almost as heavy as my paper), and his computer. Then 5 or 6 boxes of clothing.

About a week prior to the move an employee  from the moving company came to give us an estimate of where he thought we were at. It was pretty much  a useless visit. He didn't know anything about what we could or couldn' pack and quite honestly his weight  estimates were off quite a bit.

The most important part of packing was having an inventory of everything we're bringing. This is one of those times where being married to an engineer really comes in handy. We spent about 10 days separating items we thought we might want to bring and boxing them up for inventory as best we could. Note - we couldn't have any boxes taped closed. The packing employees need to see everything we are shipping before they close up the boxes.

So once we decided exactly what we wanted to  bring we went box-by-box and pile-by-pile and made a spreadsheet of the items and their estimated value.

Of course my husband made multiple pages and sorted them by category. For example one page with just camera equipment. Each piece listed with serial numbers where appropriate and estimated values.

This took a lot of time (for him) and I believe it is very important to have it done so well. If there happens to be any problems at all we will have a detailed listing of everything rather than just "Miscellaneous Craft Items".

On Thursday March 6 the moving company came with a GREAT big truck and spent about 90 minutes packing our belongings. They took a lot of care with the computer, monitor and photography equipment. Any clothing on hangers was left on the hanger and was folded over and placed in boxes. 

In just over an hour they were finished packing and they were able to weigh everything right there. We came in at 726 pounds so I told my husband that means I can bring nearly an extra 300 pounds back home with me when we return. LOTS of shopping to do.

All of the boxes were loaded on the truck where they already had an airfreight container. The put the items in the container, closed it up and it shouldn't be opened again until it reaches France.

We had about 20 minutes of paperwork to finish up. The high price items (camera, computer) had  a little bit of extra attention and signatures

We said goodbye to our belongings and were told it should be anywhere from 2-3 weeks for it to arrive at our new home. The only thing that will cause a major delay is if customs feels they need to take a closer look and search/itemize our entire inventory.

That's it! Not too bad thanks to all of the prep work my husband did.

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