We Survived Pack Out 2014

Pack out

n. the grueling 3-day event whereby 15 strange men (or 5, as I later found out) descend upon your home and turn everything upside down.

n. the start of a slow, painful process of uprooting your existence in a foreign place you’ve called home.

v. the act of packing your household effects in a way that is utterly strange and confusing to your kids.

Pack out is exhausting on many levels.  You spend weeks getting ready for it, organizing, making piles, giving things away.  Then the day comes in a flurry of activity.  You dash from room to room, floor to floor, crying child in arms, trying to document what goes into each box.  It’s madness making sure the items designated for air and boat shipment don’t get mixed.  And woe be to the man who tries to pack the airplane luggage in a box.  It’s exhausting and we barely lifted a finger.

2014-06-17 09.34.01

It doesn’t take long before you wonder if it’s really necessary to own this much stuff.

2014-06-17 10.16.09

Around day 2, the house starts to look a little bare.

2014-06-18 12.27.01

But there’s still a lot of work to be done…

2014-06-18 11.27.50

…and boxes to weigh…

2014-06-19 09.11.57

…tableaus to wrap.

2014-06-17 09.58.38

Oh no they didn’t almost pack my 2 remaining rolls of toilet paper.  Good save.

2014-06-18 12.05.05

William weighs in at over 11 kilos and nearly gets packed in the crate as well.

2014-06-18 10.28.34

Perhaps it’s not surprising that at day 3, the kids are a little out of sorts.

2014-06-17 09.59.01

Check it out–I bought this giant 2-pack of lotion from Sam’s club a little over 4 years ago before we left for Tanzania. It’s only a few squirts away from finished.

2014-06-18 12.28.29

And speaking of finished here’s half the damage.

2014-06-17 17.10.48

And here is the other half.

2014-06-19 10.04.48

One last inventory as it leaves the house.

2014-06-19 09.08.42

136 parcels in total.  That’s a lot of stuff.  Goodbye stuff.  See you in several months.

And now, it’s quiet.  You look around and the house is bare.  It begins to sink in for the first time that you are actually leaving.  And with the vacuum of material good departing the house, emotions begin to invade it, because now, it’s clear.  All you have left is saying your goodbyes.  I’ve said this before.  It’s the worst.

2014-06-18 12.33.08

The pack out kid arrives, proving that in fact, you really do not need all that stuff anyway.  It contains sheets, towels and a few kitchen items to hold us over until we leave. It also serves as (I’m sure) a very safe, make-shift baby gate.

Even the toys are largely unnecessary.  The kids have managed to stay entertained with a few topless pieces of tupperware and the hose out back.  But the people.  The people are not so replaceable.

2014-06-17 11.19.03 (1)

We couldn’t have made it these 2 years without this wonder woman…

…nor the long list of folks who have helped make this place home.

Did I mention?  It’s the worst.  Now let’s see if we can make the most of our last week here.