45 Days to Mexico-Moving Out
45 days until Mexico.
June’s last day of second grade was today, and Rory’s last day of kindergarten was last Friday. The last day of school is always a transition, a step up to the next level, but this year is especially poignant as we don’t know when their next year of school might be, if ever.
With school finished we can focus more on the house and the move, and there is a lot to do, especially since our house closes in 2 weeks. We’ll move into Grandma’s basement for the rest of June, then head down to Arkansas to visit my family and end in Missouri visiting friends. We fly out July 16 with one checked bag, one carry on and 3 backpacks-I get the cat as my personal bag.
Here’s a look at my to-do list right now to get us ready to move out of the house:
Finish clearing out belongings. Every room still has furniture, although some of it has been spoken for, and the small things seem to have multiplied; art supplies, clothes, book, decorations, so many bits and pieces that all have to be purged. The last garage sale is this weekend and whatever is left will be sent to Goodwill or something like it. I need to call around and see which of them is willing to bring a truck to take it away.
Pack away all the photos. I have to take them out of the frames and put them safely in plastic bins to store in Grandma’s basement. We’ll take a few in their frames, but due to space limits and not wanting to let them be damaged by the salty air and rigors of travel most will stay safely behind.
Put things to be stored into Grandma’s basement. It’s been revealing how little we actually want to keep, the kids included, and there is not much that needs to be stored. Some books, toys the girls aren’t sure about that don’t fit in the bags, large pieces of art that I’m attached to, photos (of course) and a few sentimental items.
Oddly enough the set of dishes that I collected on our first trip to Mexico will have to be stored instead of coming back with us. It’s old enough that the paint probably has lead in it, making it unsafe to use the beautiful dishes, and I just don’t know how we’d haul it safely right now. We originally wrapped each piece in clothes and brought it home in our backpacks, making them very heavy!
Change address and minimize mail. This has been a work in progress. We’re forwarding our mail to Grandma’s house, at least for a while, and I want to stop as much as possible so we don’t overwhelm her mailbox. Most of the important things can be handled online, and most of our accounts have been made paperless.
Pack and re-pack. The kids are excited to pack their new bags, and 8-yr-old Juniper had an excellent point that if we go ahead and pack what we’re taking we know that everything else has to be gotten rid of, meaning less sorting andanalyzing. We’ll be living out of these bags for the month before we leave, so each bag has to be packed carefully. The big ones will likely sit and we’ll live out of the smaller ones until we get to Mexico.
Today I think I’ll clean out the water bladders of our Camelbaks to prepare them for daily use. I find they are the best way to be sure we drink enough water in the heat, plus if the kids want to bring home odd rock and sticks or take along a toy they have their own pack to put it in.
Practice camping with our new tent. I ordered a light 4-person Weanas tent to use while we camp around in the U.S. and in Mexico, spending a little more to get a good quality that will keep us dry (I hate waking up in a puddle.) Fitting in the air mattress is crucial as Jason and I are too old and achy to sleep on hard ground, so we’ll set it up in the yard and test it out.
Finalize the list of payoffs and items to buy with the profit from the house. For those of you who wonder how we can afford to travel, some of our bills will be gone but not all. I’m more concerned with choosing what needs to be bought and shipped as we’ll only have two weeks to get it here. Shipping is possibly in Mexico but seems to be less reliable and more expensive. Jason will need an unlocked phone and all his office equipment including a laptop. I’m finally going to replace my waterproof Lumix camera with a new one, and we are getting snorkel vests for everyone, better safe than drowned. A few things need fixed like the cracked windshield of the car, and some things won’t be bought until we arrive in Mexico.
There will be fun expenditures on the list; Adventureland Park here in Iowa, Silver Dollar City in Missouri, roller skates for the girls since they don’t seem to sell them in Mexico. However if we don’t spend carefully we will run out of money, and that’s not a good way to start a new adventure.
After we are done with this house I think the majority of the hard work will be done. Plans will be solid, we’ll be light and mobile, and the kids won’t have school. They’re taking a final round of swim lessons because they asked to and because you can never have too many swim lessons. We’re going to take some local field trips and spend a weekend in Wisconsin for a wedding, and at the end of June all girls’ friends have been invited to a going away party in the park complete with piñatas, with another one in the works for us grownups.
You might ask why we don’t just go as soon as we’re done with the house, why linger for a month imposing and camping. The point of staying is so we will have time to say goodbyes, an important item on my list to help my children (and the rest of us) transition. It’s something that often seems to get lost and overlooked in the scramble of moving, but after the house we’ll be mostly done with that, so the last month here will be our time to make the rounds and hold everyone we love here firmly in our hearts so a part of them goes with us. That’s the most important thing on the list.
Disclaimer: all brands named in this article are my own preference and I have not received any compensation for using them or mentioning them.