As you know, we plan to ship a 40 foot container with our household belongings off to Panama. The plan is to leave all our belongings in two storage units until we return later in the year to facilitate the packing of the actual shipping container. We opted to do it this way in order to take advantage of one of the perks of the particular Residency Visa we plan to apply for, the Pensionado Visa. This perk is a one time only exemption on the import taxes on one container from your country of origin. This import tax would be 21 percent of what Panama values the contents of the container. whew! That would be quite a bit. ( this is the most recent information we have gotten , but if It’s different I’m sure we will soon find out, these things often change) This Residency Visa is one that is offered to retired people and although there isn’t an age requirement, there is a requirement to prove that you receive a lifetime income , of a minimum of $1,250.00 per month. Most retired folks could satisfy this requirement with a pension or Social Security but given the fact that we are too young for social security, we decided to purchase an annuity that will provide us with the required proof of lifetime income. This is what is causing the hold-up on shipping our belongings because the document proving we will have this income couldn’t be provided until we got our money from our house in the bank. Then they want to see three months statements from the annuity. Sooooooo we will come back to be here while the packing company packs the container.
We have rented two storage containers to hold all our belongings. It took us some time to find the right place that would work for us. There wasn’t a place that had a single unit to accommodate our belongings , One big unit would have been ideal but , oh well! So the shipping container is 2900 cubit feet , give or take, and our storage units equal 3700 cubic feet, so we are banking on the professional packers being able to pack that puppy much more efficiently than we packed, cuz we have those units packed to the rim. Of course we have a list of things we can abandon but we will just wait until packing day to just be sure we have to give up those things.
The very last big job we have had to accomplish , which by the way, we finally finished just yesterday,(Sunday), is Getting the last of our things into those storage units. We had a bit of a complication because one of the two units was a bit small to fit what we planned to fit so we decided to exchange it for one that had 5 more feet of space! The new unit was one row over from our existing unit so Scott and Me and a worker spent Saturday,(Scott and the worker were also working on it on Friday ) schlepping everything from one to the other! Yikes! Thank God for Dollies! This gave Scott an opportunity to pack the new unit much more efficiently and Voila! It all fit! Whew! Sunday, yesterday, we had to complete this task. On Friday while I was working for my last day, Scott was getting all the final things out of the house and he didn’t have enough time to get it all over to the storage so he left it all in our next door neighbors ( Janet ) garage. She kindly let us do this and she also let us use her pick up truck to get it all to the storage. We had two loads including my 10 boxes of my personal belongings from the salon. We were very relieved to have finished this last big job.
Now, today we have Lunch with Scott’s mom, Pat and Then I’m meeting Natalie and Elisabeth at the salon to get my hair colored one last time before I set out on Tuesday. But before we start the day we are about to get our final pack done here at the hotel. Tomorrow, (Tuesday) the plan is to meet Mariah at 7:00 am for breakfast then return the economy rental car that we have been driving this week, And pick up the SUV we will drive to LA with our four bags and two cats. Off We go! Soon we will be on the airplane headed to Panama , Big smile! What an Adventure it’s already been!
This week we went back to stay at the house until the close of escrow. Sigh. It’s just not home anymore. I can’t really pinpoint why I feel that way but I do. Although it could have something to do with the fact that I have nothing personal in the house anymore. (Shrug) Also, the reality is, it isn’t our home anymore. I think I may have said at one point in a post awhile back that I couldn’t wait to be ‘homeless’! Wellllllll, you know what they say about being careful what you wish for?? Yep! It’s true, we are on a path of our choosing and heading down that path there are going to be a few bumps and even a tear or two (or three or four). But as Scott says, ‘It’s a means to an end!’ I’ve said it many times and I continue to say, leaving our house is indeed very bittersweet. At the core of it though, It’s exciting and it’s something we will look back at and feel proud of having accomplished as a team. To have designed, and then actually built such a beautiful house all on our own, never even having had any experience doing such a thing before , is something to be proud of, for sure. I don’t know many people who would take on such a project and actually survive it! Or should I say, the relationship survived it! In the 13 years we have been together we have found immeasurable reward in participating together in activities that are new to us both. I swear, every couple should put themselves in situations and commit to activities where they are both learning something new as a team. I suppose most people who choose to have a family together are doing just that! Scott and I didn’t have children together and we have often joked that our house has been our baby. Hence, the attachment we feel for it. Just like a kid that grows up and eventually goes away, it’s time to let go. For goodness sakes! What a total and utter SAP I’m being! Geesh! I’ll be glad to be gone from the house again. Going back hasn’t been a good thing for me. I know Scott is not at all emotional about it like I am. To him it’s a means to an end. I promise I’ll stop these silly emotional posts as soon as we walk out that door. Oh, I also have to walk out the door to my salon as well for all the sappy stuff to be completely over! Again, Geesh! It’s been quite a ride this whole year. When we finally made our final decision on where we would move, the ball really started rolling fast. It’s been a forward motion and a march through list after list of ‘to do’s’. I think we’re both at the point in this process that we are just ready to go. The lists are shrinking and there are just a few more tasks to complete. With each step we make we get closer to our goal and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.
We aren’t sure when the close of escrow will be, it looks like sometime between May 11-24. Now It’s time to begin sorting through the rest of the small amount of belongings we have not yet put into storage. We will be able to bring four suitcases on the flight with us. One bag will likely be for cat stuff, litter box,food and water bowls etc. So Scott will have 1/2 a bag (shorts and a few t-shirts!) and I need to attempt to make do with whatever I can manage to fit into 2 1/2 bags! This is where Scott gets to role his eyes! Of course, it’s possible I could manage to squeeze Scott and The Cat’s stuff into one bag then I could have three whole bags! HMMMM! That may be a good plan. We are gettin’ down to the nitty-gritty now and if I thought I had paired down my belongings before, I ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Until our container arrives and we are able to get to some of the things from there, we will be just making due with the bare necessities. I honestly , in all seriousness, am looking forward to a much more simple existence in our next phase of life. As long as I have my iPad and some good hair products, oh! And my sweet man! LIfe is good! Wellllll, a couple bottles of wine too! ha! ha!ha! I better stop now , before that more “simple” existence I just claimed to be looking forward to begins to look awful similar to life as I know it now! ( But seriously, a girl’s gotta have her hair products, right?) Cheers!
The house is nearly empty
I remember when Scott and Mariah and me were living in our 500 square foot cottage in the back of our property while we built our house. How could I forget, right? The three of us and two indoor cats stuffed into 500 square feet for 2 years, yikes! By the time the house was at the very least , air tight and water tight, I was itchin’ to get back in there ASAP! I didn’t care that most of the house was only plywood subfloor , and there were no cabinets ( boy, was that a mistake to let him get side tracked before our project was completed! ) I just wanted to move in soooooo badly. Now, fast forward about 8 or 9 years later and I just can’t wait to get moved OUT! My this is a very familiar feeling , indeed.
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I mean “literally”, we are movin’ along with all the necessary steps needed to take to get this boat sailing ! Today, (Sunday, 2/10/13) was a very productive day. We decided to divide and conquer! After we managed to drag down a truck load of more donation things from the attic and loaded the truck ( load number 5, one or two more to go! ), I took off to our local Goodwill while Scott took off for his workshop in the backyard to Finish off the last coat of poly on the carcasses for the entertainment center. I then returned to the house and continued packing up clothes and odds and ends like artwork, and other various things that are still laying around the pool table area. We really need to clear out the area around the pool table so Scott can disassemble it and we can get it packed up in our storage unit. The stagers have decided that we will transform that area into a formal living room for the sale of the house. Im also getting ready to call my friend Charleen who owns a carpet cleaning business and get her to send her guys over to take away our four area rugs to clean them and pack them for shipping. But first the pool table needs to go in order to get to the rug below the table. So, as I was saying, after I got through packing more boxes, we loaded the truck again and made yet another trip to our storage unit to drop off all the boxes I got packed up today. whew!
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This is our storage space,
(Ok, let’s try this again, I inadvertently published this last night before it was completed! I know… A rookie mistake! )
Sort through the attic , check! Sort through the basement, check! Sort through all the stashed stuff in all the closets, check! Now there are piles! Piles in two bedrooms, piles on the pool table,and piles on the dining room table! Yikes! Turns out, sorting is painful, OUCH! In the course of a lifetime we accumulate, and accumulate until every nook and cranny is bursting with stuff!
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Well, here we go….. Packing! I’ve got all the necessary material needed for packing up boxes. Bubble wrap, packing tape, packing paper and boxes galore! I’m ready! Rolling up my sleeves…. And here It goes! Now, I’ve been living in this house for eighteen years! Lucky for me I’ve had a couple of opportunities not too long ago to ,’edit’ my material possessions . First when we had to move out of the house for our remodel . We moved into the studio cottage in our backyard and rented a storage container that we kept on the property for all our household possessions . Before moving out of the house we got rid of quite a bit. Then two years later we moved back into the house and I realized much of what was in the storage container we really didn’t need. If we lived without it for two years do we really need it? I think not! So again we cleaned out unnecessary possessions before moving back in . More recently when Pat moved into our house I had yet another glorious opportunity to purge .( Can you tell I love getting rid of things?) I had to clear out two bedrooms so I got rid of even more things that I really didn’t need. Yet here I am again, purge time! And I’m stunned by how much stuff I still have! So, here we go again with yet another opportunity to clear out excess material possessions! What to keep, donate and attempt to sell in a massive yard sale? There are many things I can pack up right now like some of my many dishes, wine glasses, serving platters, a few decorative things , mirrors , things we will be bringing with us but we don’t need right now.
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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).
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