Today we began shopping around for packing materials in preparation for packing up our belongings. We found the best pricing through Uline. Of course the best pricing is for buying in bulk, not a problem. We ordered all the necessary packing supplies, bubble wrap, packing tape(54 rolls!), packing paper,about 140 various sized boxes just to get us started. This all came to a whopping $1,100.00! Yikes! All these goodies have been shipped to our home and should arrive tomorrow!(11/6/12).
Here goes the packing! Given the fact that we are beginning to accumulate so many piles all over the house we figure it’s about time to think about finding a storage place where we can start moving things. This part of our adventure is quite tricky. As I’ve mentioned before , our plan is to ship a forty foot container to Panama. So far the container companies we have talked to have informed us that the procedure is for them to drive a semi-truck to ‘one’ location to load it up. They will give us two hours to completely load the container. Any time over that two hours will cost us $100.00 per hour. Nope, the driver only drives the truck, heaven forbid he should break a sweat! This means hiring professional movers to load the container for international shipping. So given the fact that we plan to have the house staged to sell , hopefully by February , we are thinking that it’s not a bad plan to slowly begin packing boxes of things we don’t need right now and just get them out of the way by taking them to a rented storage space. Then when we are ready to pack the container for shipping we will have them go directly to our storage space to load it up. The trick is finding a storage place that can accommodate a semi-truck. Then coordinating the shipment of our container with the proper timing of our residency application we are hoping to avoid import taxes . Although we will get much more clarity about this technicality after we have retained an English speaking Panamanian attorney to guide us through all the bureaucracy of this expatriating process.
It would be so much easier if our plan had been to just dispose ourselves of the majority of our worldly possessions . I’ve spoken to many expats who approached their transition in such a way as to have a completely new beginning. The thought of arriving in our new home with only five or six suitcases sounds both freeing and unsettling . A part of me dreams of the freedom of letting go of all this stuff of ours. Then the realistic part of me realizes that given the fact that if we were to do away with Scott’s tools we would never be able to afford to replace them due to the steep import taxes that would be imposed on them there in Panama. Woodworking is a hobby that Scott is really looking forward to having more free time to enjoy. So since we will need to have a container for tools we may as well bring with us all the household goods that will make us feel at home there. And truth be told, I think there will be something really comforting in having some of my familiar homey things surrounding me in my home . Of course , given the fact that we already own it why buy it all over again? I am in the process of separating what I will bring with us and what I will sell or donate . Our material possessions will have to all fit in a forty foot container and I don’t anticipate having any trouble making that happen.
Tomorrow we have arranged to go look at a storage space in Redwood City . If it looks like a semi truck can easily pull up to the storage unit then we’ll be in business ! If not, then it’s back to the drawing board. If we had space to park a storage Pod on our property that would be ideal because then the container truck could just come to our house . But, no such luck! I’ll keep you posted on the diabolical plan as it evolves. So far we have only jut begun to try to organize this portion of the move, as always it will change and morph into the best plan for us in the end.