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For anybody waiting to move back: Lessons learned

For anybody waiting to move back: Lessons learned

Old Feb 26th 2014, 3:39 am
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Default For anybody waiting to move back: Lessons learned

I am moving back to Britain with my dog Nyla, on Sunday.

With less than a week to go, here are a few things I learned:

Time evaporates rapidly in the last week or two before the flight. I have just given away a lawn mower and strimmer. Trying to sell gardening tools in February in Calgary was a tad optimistic. There were several things I could have sold or given away months earlier which would have freed up time now.

I used the time since 2011, when I decided to head home, to update my skills which should help me get a job back in England. That was valuable, but I did put off sorting out admin because there was always something more interesting to do. A few days ago, I had a mass clear out. I was throwing out paperwork that I could have binned months or years ago if I had got into a weekly or monthly routine.

During the busy last week, lots of people want to go out for lunch or dinner with you, even if they have never done that before. This is sweet, and it's another good reason to get more boring tasks done earlier. That would leave time to meet up and say goodbye without bringing your unwanted 110 volt steam iron to the restaurant hoping somebody might accept it as a memento.

I should have kept enough vacation to take the last week off work. Nyla was ill earlier this year, so I used 2 days vacation looking after her. Reality doesn't always follow the plan. So I am at work 4 days this week. Luckily, my company is quite relaxed, and I can get away with longer lunchbreaks to pop out to banks etc and to scan and email paperwork for the move. Even so, it would have been less stressful if I could have finished with work a week ago allowing me to focus 100% on the move.

Renting a car for a week and a half before the flight was barely enough. I collected a rental car last Thursday, cleaned my car ready to sell it and got the advert into autotrader very early on Saturday morning. Then Autotrader took 48 hours to review it before displaying it, so I missed the weekend buyers. Luckily I got an offer yesterday and sold it this evening. During the last week, it can feel like time is running out, so I accepted an offer for the car that was $1500 less than I wanted. If I had rented a car for 2 weeks and got the advert displayed over a weekend, I might have had a better offer. ( I don't mind. We got a better offer for the house, which is compensation.)

Moving back to the UK may be easier if you are super efficient and organised. But if you're not, you can still go! I went hiking instead of sorting my paperwork, watched movies instead of throwing out my old clothes and read many fascinating things on the internet instead of painting the stone chips on my car. Even so, we have still sold the house, sold the car, booked our flights and shipping and, fingers crossed, we should be landing at Heathrow on Sunday morning.
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Old Feb 26th 2014, 5:10 am
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Default One more

Here's another lesson I learned:

During the last 2 weeks before heading home, the place you are about to leave may appear to be just the kind of place where reasonable people could settle quite happily, getting on with their lives without uprooting themselves, flying away and starting over in another country.

This is either:

1. A perfectly normal reaction to stress, change and uncertainty.
or
2. A clear sign that you are making a huge mistake.

I'm thinking it's (1). We will find out over the spring and summer. I will let you know.
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Old Feb 26th 2014, 5:32 am
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Default Re: For anybody waiting to move back: Lessons learned

Great tips CalgaryPete! Made me smile and I shared your posts with DH.

We've been trying to fill our garbage each week clearing out the house of stuff. Started off great and then after a couple of months we've hit the layer of stuff that made me wonder if it could wait until we're closer to the move and donate or sell it. On Monday I got up early and marched out with armfuls of junk and walked it down to the curb right before the garbage truck arrived so there was no second thoughts.

Good Luck to you and Nyla. Keep us posted.
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Old Feb 26th 2014, 5:38 am
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Default Re: For anybody waiting to move back: Lessons learned

Good luck with your move.
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Old Feb 26th 2014, 4:47 pm
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Default Re: For anybody waiting to move back: Lessons learned

Liza
How did you even begin with clearing your house? We have sooo much stuff (well most of it belongs to the hubby) do I make a list, just start clearing one room at a time? Help! My head spins at the thought of it all :-(
I told my hubby I would do most if not all the selling! I think I've bitten more than I can chew. No date has been set to move yet. I am thinking of having an estate sale and getting the estate sale company in to organize even though we pay them a fee. There is no house sale thank god as it belongs to his parents. The next thing is to break the news to his parents and that is even more frightening than moving..
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Old Feb 26th 2014, 5:07 pm
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Default Re: For anybody waiting to move back: Lessons learned

Excellent post and I can identify with just about all of it.
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Old Feb 26th 2014, 5:07 pm
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Default Re: For anybody waiting to move back: Lessons learned

Great post, thanks for sharing. I'm about 2 1/2 months from my move but have already started sorting things out. Sometimes I tell myself its too early to get rid of things but then I realize with a big move like this I can't leave it until the last minute. I take it room by room and closet by closet (only 2 more closets left). I created a calendar for my last two months here that has everything on it from the vet visit and paperwork to taking my lease car back an canceling utilities. It helped me to start the calendar because before i just kept running things through in my head and keeping myself awake at night. This way it's all organized and each time I remember something I just add it to the calendar. Fortunately I will be finishing work 3 weeks before I fly which makes it easier.
Good luck with the move!
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Old Feb 26th 2014, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: For anybody waiting to move back: Lessons learned

Originally Posted by lgabriel73 View Post
Great post, thanks for sharing. I'm about 2 1/2 months from my move but have already started sorting things out. Sometimes I tell myself its too early to get rid of things but then I realize with a big move like this I can't leave it until the last minute. I take it room by room and closet by closet (only 2 more closets left). I created a calendar for my last two months here that has everything on it from the vet visit and paperwork to taking my lease car back an canceling utilities. It helped me to start the calendar because before i just kept running things through in my head and keeping myself awake at night. This way it's all organized and each time I remember something I just add it to the calendar. Fortunately I will be finishing work 3 weeks before I fly which makes it easier.
Good luck with the move!
+1 - I find putting stuff on paper stops it from cluttering up my head too. Then I usually lose the piece of paper.
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Old Feb 26th 2014, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: For anybody waiting to move back: Lessons learned

We are leaving on 30th June. When we came to Canada in 2006, I had 3 months to do everything, and I had to do it all, because my husband was working in London. There was no ex-pat forum then either, so I had no advice.

This time I've started six months in advance. I've also got a calendar with reminders. And I'm trying to do something every day - pack another box, do another bit of paperwork, throw something away, whatever. However small the task, it is something I won't have to do in a rush in the last month.
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Old Feb 26th 2014, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: For anybody waiting to move back: Lessons learned

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
+1 - I find putting stuff on paper stops it from cluttering up my head too. Then I usually lose the piece of paper.
I stick it on the fridge.
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Old Feb 26th 2014, 6:02 pm
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Default Re: For anybody waiting to move back: Lessons learned

What a useful thread. We are moving back at the beginning of June. Date not set in stone yet, but it is the most likely. Haven't even started to think about packing yet, but I need to get started on it.
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Old Feb 26th 2014, 8:33 pm
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Default Re: For anybody waiting to move back: Lessons learned

Originally Posted by uk_sweetie View Post
Liza
How did you even begin with clearing your house? We have sooo much stuff (well most of it belongs to the hubby) do I make a list, just start clearing one room at a time? Help! My head spins at the thought of it all :-(
One room at a time for me. I can look at a single room and I feel like making a start. If I make a big list for the whole house, I then have a big list to worry about, and I need to sit down and have a cup of tea instead of getting stuck in.
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 8:25 pm
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Default Re: For anybody waiting to move back: Lessons learned

Originally Posted by uk_sweetie View Post
Liza
How did you even begin with clearing your house? We have sooo much stuff (well most of it belongs to the hubby) do I make a list, just start clearing one room at a time? Help! My head spins at the thought of it all :-(
My secret tool was the Lift app. https://lift.do/ (free) I was using it for other things and noticed the Daily Cluttering Plan. https://lift.do/plans/261/daily-decluttering It helped with the small and big things. Some 'days' took me 2 or 3 days to complete and of all things I got stuck longest on Day 21: Declutter Accessories (Socks/Jewelry/Watches/Etc.)

I try to do something every day because we haven't even made a good start on the prepping house for sale yet.

Good Luck!
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Old Feb 28th 2014, 7:52 am
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Default Re: One more

Originally Posted by CalgaryPete View Post
Here's another lesson I learned:

During the last 2 weeks before heading home, the place you are about to leave may appear to be just the kind of place where reasonable people could settle quite happily, getting on with their lives without uprooting themselves, flying away and starting over in another country.

This is either:

1. A perfectly normal reaction to stress, change and uncertainty.
or
2. A clear sign that you are making a huge mistake.

I'm thinking it's (1). We will find out over the spring and summer. I will let you know.
Oh its 1. most of the time lol, even the things we really did not warm to in our adopted home (Aus) did not seem so bad in the weeks leading up to our departure.
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Old Feb 28th 2014, 12:39 pm
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Default Re: For anybody waiting to move back: Lessons learned

Shipping day has arrived!

I am using a spare bedroom as our "flight room" where we have one suitcase, two holdalls, a pile of clothes, laptop, chargers and so on. Everything in this room will go on the plane.

We have a couple of small bathrooms which are "not shipping" rooms, where we have put the vacuum cleaner and the few remaining things which are not coming to England.

The remaining rooms are "shipping rooms". There are some cupboards with food which now have labels marked "no ship" stuck to the handles with sellotape. The toaster also has a no ship label stuck to it. I managed to toast my breakfast crumpet without setting fire to the label and burning the house down. This is a positive start to the day.
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