Moving Along

We are now in the midst of our move to Taiwan.

It’s  been weeks of organizing, sorting, discarding, donating and cleaning.

Simply put, moving is hard.

Packing up a house and moving everything to a new one is stressful and time consuming.  Packing up a house and moving some things to the new one by ship, some things to the new one by air and some things to storage, not to be seen again for five years, is overwhelming, complicated and downright unpleasant.


Bob (10) ‘boxed in’ in the midst of the pack-out

Many people down-play the ordeal of a military move by remarking about how great it is that the military pays the moving company to pack up our household goods for us.  Yes, not having to box everything up ourselves really helps, but the stress is no less palpable.

Deciding what to take and what to store is a major challenge when you won’t see the stored items for five years.  Five years is long time in the life of our children.  Two of our boys will be out of high school by the time we move back to the US, meaning that whatever we don’t take, they are unlikely to see again.  For the younger two boys, anything we don’t take with us is sure to be outdated and irrelevant to them upon our return.

With these issues in mind, we sorted, stacked, donated and discarded for weeks.


One pile of many piles of items for donation

We have strict weight limits, so we don’t take much in the way of furniture or large items.  We take clothing, toys, kids’ books, kitchen essentials, bedding, towels and personal items (like pictures for the walls) to make the new house a home.  We store our good dishes and crystal, most of our artwork, furniture, books and rugs.  Zack (15) asked what happens if we accidentally send something to storage and then realize we want it.  I told him we’d just have to buy a new one.  He didn’t really understand why someone couldn’t just go to get it for us, but we explained that long term storage is not accessible for forgotten items.

During the sorting process, Horatio and I didn’t always see eye to eye on what to take and what to leave.  He looked at a toy or picture or kitchen item and see that it was not a necessity, while I saw something that, whether it was used often or not, the kids would feel more comfortable just seeing it in the new house because it is familiar.

We sorted everything into four separate categories and labeled everything: Pack to Taiwan- Sea Shipment, Pack to Taiwan- Air Shipment, Pack to Taiwan- hand carry, and Pack for Storage.


Harold (6 1/2) holding a sign he took off of something, somewhere.

We worked it out and the pack-out finally is complete after 2 weeks of movers in our house.

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We are out of our house now, living at the home of dear friends while they are on vacation.  We are subsisting on two designated suitcases and two carry-on bags, each.  We fly out in about ten days.  In the meantime, we are making the most of our time by spending it with family and friends.


About Commander in Chief At home

Erin is a military spouse and, sometimes temporarily single mom to 4 boys. She's a writer, editor, teacher, and (Autism) mom.
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