Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

Our Stuff in Boxes

Comparing two plastic totes

Comparing two plastic totes

The day my husband told me we will be moving to Germany, he told me to start packing. While we didn’t pack quite that early, we did start later that month. My husband bought a few 20 gallon totes from Walmart, and we packed up some of the stuff from our bedroom that we wouldn’t need right away. We didn’t know when the military movers would come in relation to when we would leave, and we didn’t want to do everything at the last minute. We packed sporadically and picked up more totes as we went, ending up with about a dozen. Even though we have the totes packed and still have boxes still packed from my move to Georgia, we still have more to go.

We are authorized to ship 8000 lbs., and the Army covers the shipment of one car. Although we didn’t think the car would be included in weight of the shipping allotment, I tried to estimate how much stuff we had in total. I found out my car weighs around 3000 lbs. For household goods, I had read somewhere that one should estimate 1000 lbs. per room excluding bathrooms and then add the weight of heavy furniture and appliances.

We rent a bedroom, have a storage unit, and share some common living space. I figured 2000 lbs. would be a safe estimate. I found a moving calculator that helped me to estimate the furniture weight which was around 3000 lbs. In total, we would be at about 5000 lbs., or 8000 lbs. if the car was included. Since both the car and miscellaneous possessions were over-estimates I figured we should be under our allotment in either case, and far under if the car was not included.

At one point, while in the process of completing our pre-orders preparations, we stopped in to the transportation office to see what we could find out about our shipping arrangements. The woman told us, as we had already gotten used to hearing, we would have to have the orders before she could give us specifics. Since she knew we would be going to Germany, she did get out a packet with general information and told us a few things about what we could expect.

She explained we could elect to have unaccompanied baggage, which is for things we might need as soon as possible. Clothes, cooking utensils, a book-case, and a 26” in television are typical items. She highlighted the area on the form where we could see what we might elect to take. All furniture and other possessions (aside from our car) will be shipped in household goods, which could be delayed in their arrival. She highlighted an example of the household goods inventory sheet. She told us both household goods and unaccompanied baggage count toward the total shipping allotment.

On October 6th, my husband had to fill out some information to get a shipping date. We got a call the next day to let us know the dates our household goods would be picked up from our home and storage unit, which will be at the end of the month. My husband asked what we need to do in preparation for the movers to come and was told, “Nothing.” We can pack things up (as we had already begun). but if we don’t, they will do it for us. We had already packed the most important and breakable things and had only kept out the things we use daily or which would not fit easily into the containers we had. So, we were able to relax knowing if we didn’t get the rest done before the end of the month, we didn’t have to.

Packing is one of my least favorite parts of moving, so it was a relief not to have to worry about more than we had done. What is your least favorite part of moving?

Related Posts:

15 Thoughts on “Our Stuff in Boxes

  1. Oh, I hate moving! And I’ve never even packed and shipped a whole house! Lucky for you, you can always count on IKEA in Germany if not everything fits in your boxes 🙂

    • Me too. Well, the process anyhow. Being in a new place has been fun most of the time. I had a condo in Florida before I got married and moving from that was sort of like moving a house (and why we have a storage unit here lol) but we’re just in an apartment now. We will be in a house in Germany though, which is exciting. That is true. A lot of my stuff is from IKEA lol.

  2. I am excited in moving, since we will just move in same country but different place in the same city. There is not much stress. My favorite is to also packing things. it’s just great when packing and just picking things which will be needed. So much fun. 😀 I also love to put on my list is to decorate and design in advance for kitchen and living room. 😀

    • I’m glad your move isn’t very stressful. It’s cool you have fun with the packing since that’s the biggest part. My last move I kind of wished I had a magical way to pack everything. The Army sending someone to do it for us is about as close to that as you get lol. Enjoy your decorating 🙂

  3. I’m kind of glad we don’t have an IKEA here in West Texas (yet). I’d spend way too much money there 🙂 Hope your move goes well and you like living in my home country 🙂

    • I didn’t go often in FL but when I did I could see how that could happen. I didn’t realize before I went that they had so many things that aren’t furniture and are affordable. I got a toilet bowl scrubber, power strips, plastic food containers, and a few other things for much less than I would have spent elsewhere. Thank you. I’m sure I will 😀

  4. Oh dear!!! Please pack your stuff yourself! As a former military brat and having witnessed a few moves from the States to overseas, i know how frantic my mom was whenever she opened those boxes! Sometimes, when the movers had packed, everything was just tossed together in such a mess, it took weeks to sort out (and my mother was especially annoyed). So one good piece of advice: Do as much as you can by yourself!
    I didn’t know the limit was 8000 lbs, but not sure if this includes the car or not. Well, good luck with everything!

    • I have a lot of my stuff still boxed from when I moved from FL and we got a fair bit of stuff packed already because my husband was worried about them haphazardly throwing stuff together as well. We probably would have had it all done if we’d had more notice (we’re moving 3 mos from when we found out) and less hassles along the way. I wonder if they have changed things though because the lady who came had asked me about breakables and told me if the packers didn’t think they were done well enough they’d repack them. So I’m hoping this company is more careful than the typical ones I’ve heard of. But I guess we’ll see. I will probably pack up my own kitchen and bathroom stuff, so there really won’t be much left for them to do (or break). It’s 8k is for us because of his rank at the time he got orders and having a dependent. When we come back we’ll be allowed another 1k lbs lol. The highest is for O-6+ which get 18k lbs (I can’t imagine having that much stuff lol). The car is separate because we get 5k for household goods and 3k for unaccompanied baggage, but I will be surprised if we top 5k total.Thank you 😀

      • The car is separate?? That’s fantastic!
        Where in Fl did you live?

        • As far as we know because a lady came to do a pre-move walk through and said that whatever we were authorized 5k lbs goes with them and the rest with unaccompanied baggage. I guess I could have expected that since part of why they don’t let people have stuff in the car is so people don’t skirt the weight requirement which wouldn’t be necessary if that was part of the weight. But since no one had told us I figured better safe than sorry to try to be at or under 8k even with the car. I used to live in Orlando.

      • Ah, sounds like a sound solution! Either way you should be fine and that’s the most important part!

        I used to go to UWF around the Panhandle are (beach was fine, people not..) and had a few friends coming all the way over from Orlando! but left after a semester already, just wasn’t for me…

  5. I hate packing — moving always makes me feel so burdened by the amount of stuff I have. Sometimes I wish I could just become a true minimalist and get rid of it all!

    • Me too. It would be so much easier. I actually moved to FL with only what would fit in my car. I lived for about a year with only a bed, a tv, and a coffee table that I bought there and put together. My parents came later and brought some of the stuff I had left and I bought some things as I went along. I enjoy having stuff to use, but moving it sucks, and I felt a lot more portable with the minimal things I had with me because it really only was the essentials.

  6. Pingback: Those dreams again « Made of places

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: