The Lessons We Have Learned

  1. Start throwing things out the second you consider leaving the country–it is never too soon!

  2. Don’t sell the kids’ beds early on Craigslist so that they have to sleep on camping mats on the floor for a month–they get really mad at you!!

  3. Definitely build a gap between the time you move out of your house/apartment and the time that you leave the country. (Heretofore called the “GAP.”) We had a 9 day GAP, every hour of which it seems we have filled with the business of prepping for the trip. If we had left the day or two after moving out, I don’t know that we would have made it, and, we certainly would have been a complete, stressed-out mess.

  4. Keep your bathroom scale out of storage so that you can weigh your luggage to make sure each piece comes in under the weight limit established by the airlines.

  5. When you pack your crap into boxes to move to storage, use lots of white newsprint packing paper–buy about five more boxes of it than you think you will need!

  6. Own cars with an eye toward who might buy them when you are selling down the road. We learned that in a recession, the only people with cash to buy cars are senior citizens, so make sure your car works for them!

  7. Send your kids to the grandparents, uncles, cousins, aunts, and/or friends during the GAP (under the guise of, “this is your last chance to see the little tykes…”). You are much more productive when you are kid-free. If you can’t ship the wee ones off to a trusted friend or family member, double the length of time that you believe you may need to establish as the GAP!!!

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