Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Moving is only as good as the Movers....

Absolute truth...and these movers are amateurs! Cannot believe it. I have been actually doing manual labor, and those of you know me well....know this is not good!! I refuse to do more than my share of that. Unfortunately, is either that or watch them bungled the whole thing or...WORSE....break something!

So I sit here, while they move things, making sure my pieces are well protected for the elevator ride down. At least I know I can move the rest of the small things ourselves. Especially breakables: vases, mirrors lamps, etc. The content of our closets and whatever is still in use in the kitchen. It's going to be an interesting week!

Now I need to go downstairs to make sure the things are put in the right places! Anything else? I wonder.......

My next move HAS to be to our retirement place...wherever that is going to be.

Moving Day is here!

Absolutely exhausted....most boxes moved to new apartment, closets semi-organized, small tasks done. Now comes the big challenge: moving all the furniture and arrange according to my plans. Frankly, I am too tired to think about that. I am working on emergency batteries!

Still, sitting in my old apartment, I am surprised how much I still feel needs to be moved. Of course, last time everything was moved in ONE day! That was overwhelming. Starting in the morning, finished in the late afternoon, had no time to get anything organized...except make the beds and sleep!

Moving is something you are expected to do when you become an expat. Again, it's not clear if I am one...BUT one should be able to handle moving. I have moved many times in my lifetime...I expect I'll be moving a couple of more times yet. So, you would think, this is nothing, right? Well, there is the small consideration of growing older...see that I didn't say: OLD!!! You absolutely get tired more easily.....so one should go slowly, take time, don't overdo it. Stop and put your feet up. Stop and enjoy a snack, a drink, make a phone call.

Lets consider this: when you move within a city, very few companies will offer you packaging services. They expect to arrive at your home and start putting boxes and furniture in their truck. When you move to another country, you can expect the moving company to do the packaging as well. Those are better moves, trust me! You might decide that some of your precious possessions should be packed by you: DO NOT! Those boxes will be marked and if anything breaks....their insurance will not cover it. So many rules...but in the end: you do less work yourself.

Now, once you arrive at your destination...the unpacking is on you, maybe the big pieces of furniture will be unpacked. Boxes will be placed in the rooms they belong to. You unpack, you rearrange. If you are lucky, you have moved to a country in which you can find household help. Don't get me started again in that subject. A good housekeeper is a treasure, believe me!!

Back to my latest move. I will be sleeping at this apartment tonight, in the new one tomorrow. Then it will all start again. Slowly I will sort through the boxes, the suitcases and place everything in its place. It will keep me very entertained for weeks...no point in rushing.

Monday, March 12, 2012

De-Clutter, Simplify...

More and more boxes are piling in my living-room. Newspapers everywhere to use for wrapping, lists of things already packed, all is moving along. Is this is what I expected? Of course, after all I did this two years ago. It is my intention to de-clutter once again. Simplify as much as possible so the move is....easier!!! Well, I am trying. In the last two years, I have been sticking to one plan: not buying anything unless I am replacing something. All in all, this has been successful, resulting in less things to pack this time.

On the other hand, must remember that there are still boxes of books, papers, t-shirts, kitchen stuff and toys...of all things! They lie somewhere in a wire cage in the storage floor of the building. Why am I still moving these things? At one point these boxes have to be dealt with....not now!!! Now, I am moving everything to another cage.....

My packing, once again, includes downsizing. Some of the things that have been unpacked....can be disposed of! Donating and throwing away are very much a part of this exercise. Whatever is given away, and I still find this hard....take a picture and file in my computer!

More important, this time I am thinking of shedding other things. Clutter is not necessarily physical things. It is also unproductive habits like procrastination or attitudes we still have. Lets shed those habits that used to have a purpose, but not anymore. Learn to use time more productively, that is de-cluttering too. After all, shedding is never-ending....a work in progress!!
Much to much to do, but I'm sure it will be rewarding in the end.....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tea Sets and Coffee Mornings

In another lifetime, when moving away from Curaçao was not even contemplated, coffee mornings were very much a part of life. I do not drink coffee, but these delightful affairs included tea as well. The were no specific reasons for having them, but anything could be used a an excuse: a birthday, a return from a trip, a move to a new home, just anything. I totally enjoyed those get togethers.

With that in mind, soon after I moved to the island, I bought my first tea set.....it had a coffee pot as well with 12 cups and saucers, small plates for cakes and sandwiches, serving dishes. Lovely pattern by Villeroy & Bosch with bright flowers and small bees. Then, I got my mother's set of Noritake china with bold patterns and palette shaped saucers to have your edibles along with your cups....great idea! Of course I also collected small silver spoons from everywhere I went.

Lest I forget, there were my bridge mornings, when as many as 12 of my friends would sit down for coffee and sweets before we started playing. Those were the days!! Since moving to Miami, there have been none of this. There is no sign of that kind of gracious living here. Even with its Latin flavor, Miami is not laid-back and relaxed. It's like any other American city: hectic, maddening and without time for polite society.

As I pack away, I wonder, when will I use these beautiful things again? where in my future would I feel like having a coffee morning for my friends......never mind, I will and that is why I am keeping each and every cup, all my saucers and my silver spoons!


I know it's been a while...I keep telling myself a blog doesn't write itself!! Most importantly, one needs to write. So here we are again....writing, shedding, shredding, moving!

What can I say about this? when we moved to Miami, the whole thing was an adventure, a total change after years of island living. When we moved from our last home to this apartment....it was much less of an adventure. It was downright annoying! Two years later, this move is just exhausting and probably a perfect excuse to: feel sorry for oneself, have a soul-searching moment and decide why one keeps dragging all this baggage and get rid of accumulated junk. All those things, one thinks are needed, someone in the family wants, mementos of other times, other lives. At the moment, I am doing all three...of course the second one leads to the last one. A very good thing, indeed!!!

Since we are moving within the building, this is going to be a little less stressful, but packing has to be done.....and I am the elected packer. Have divided the place into area and slowly, I am getting things ready. What really slows me down: looking over things that I unpacked two years ago and never used while here. What is that all about? Need to go back to accumulated junk, someone else's treasures that I am still carrying. Are my children really going to come and pick-up the things I have kept for them? are they going to carry them away, grateful that they are still here? are they really interested in things they wanted packed in Curaçao all those years ago?

What was I thinking? I was downsizing, moving on with my life. Getting rid of things should have been my priority, well, it wasn't! Now I find myself trying to make decisions...again. Don't believe for a minute that it's going to happen all at once. All I am shooting for is some degree of de-cluttering. That will do for starters. Keep in mind Prati's motto: "Downsize your life, Upgrade your living". Couldn't have said it better myself.......on with the job.