Friday, June 4, 2010


They came back at 9 this morning, and by 2:30, they were finished. We watched them drive off with all of our earthly possessions in the back of a truck. I looked at Bart, who looked at his watch and said "we still have time to go get a massage before Xiao Tong goes home."

So that's what we did to celebrate a successful packout.

I haven't responded to any comments on my previous packout posts because, hey, I've been sorta busy. But - Daring Adventure wins the prize for funniest comment. Seriously, are you and your husband spending all of your waking hours gazing upon our pile o stuff? Don't you have a weekly roundup to compile or something? Sheesh. Kolbi, when you're ready to pack out for Chengdu, let me know and I'll send you a list of everything you absolutely must fit into your UAB. Also, a quick suggestion while I have your attention: don't let the movers pack all of your baggies and saran wrap, or you won't be able to pack school lunches at night. Also: if they pack all of your cereal, your kids won't have any breakfast in the morning. Not that we experienced anything like that. Ahem.

And then there's Jill. Jill is 24 hours ahead of me in Chennai, and she posted her final packout numbers yesterday. Well, there's nothing like a little healthy competition, I say, so I'm happy to report that I won!! That's right: Jill had a final total of 6929 pounds packed out of Chennai. I already posted that we had 850 plus pounds of air freight. Today they packed 168 boxes into 7 crates on that truck for a grand total of 5777 pounds of HHE.

(Just think of all the stuff I can buy in Jordan with that extra weight.)

(Of course, Jill's possessions are travelling to Newport Beach, California, so maybe she wins anyway.)

Tomorrow we have a going-away party to attend, along with a kids' birthday party. And I have to find time to take the dog for his exit inspection. So maybe I should sign off for now.

One more week...


Jill said... [Reply]

Ok... so I'll give you credit for coming in 500 pounds less than me with HHE. That's VERY impressive!!!

BUT, I do have to ask how you had more boxes than me with less weight??

So do we have one more little healthy competition between us? It's the ... how many items were broken in transit competition? With our 3 days packing EACH and EVERY item ... I don't know if you'll want to touch that one. :)

In any event, hooray for both of us! Looking forward to following along more Gorman family adventures! Sending good thoughts to you during your final week.

Sara said... [Reply]

It's Friday and that means that the State Department Weekly Roundup is up and you're on it! Check it out here:

If I used your blog and photo and you want one or both of them removed, please let me know!

Linsey said... [Reply]

Would you be willing to share that UAB critical list with me too? I've crashed and burned on what to put in UAB and would love the benefit of your expertise.

Your total is very impressive. Congratulations on a successful pack-out. Here's to everything, including you and loved ones, arriving in Jordan unscathed!

Kami said... [Reply]

are you friends with Sarah at She's an FSO also and she lived in Jordan for two years. If you don't know her, check out her blog (when you have a free minute). If you do know her, well, then, disregard this comment. Enjoy your last week!

Donna said... [Reply]

@Jill - I really hope we both win that contest. I was watching these guys pack, and they were fast, but they were good, so I think we're okay. (Not like the movers at one previous post, where they took longer but also did things like stacking a pile of serving platters together and wrapping the whole thing in one piece of bubble. Can you say "insurance claim"?)

I think they were helped by the fact that we were so organized - all of the knick knacks were piled together, as were all of the pictures, so they got through that in less than an hour.

Donna said... [Reply]

@Linsey - Shoot me your email and we can trade UAB tips. We set aside one pile that consisted of most of the kitchen (minus consumables, which they wouldn't ship), along with the bedding, towels, toilet brushes (new) and trash cans. We also included clothes we'll need the first few weeks that we didn't want to pack, along with a few lightweight toys. Oh, and dog bowls.

Then we made a second pile of stuff we wanted that wasn't quite as important for daily living. This way they could add it if they had room. Scooters, legos, bike helmets, books, our AFN decoder and more clothes.

Then I actually put a post-it note nearby listing my "dream items," so I would remember what else to add if we still had more room. This included underbed boxes of clothes, art supplies, DVDs and some favorite - but large - stuffed animals.

We have a big family, so we're allowed 900 pounds of UAB, and I think we even got our dream items in.

Sadly, they wouldn't pack my tea, salt and pepper, shampoo... stuff like that. You know - the things you need right away! Oh well. They made it into the HHE, so we'll get them eventually.

Oh, and here's a tip I got from someone else. My last movers refused to pack our candles for fear they would melt and destroy the shipment. So someone told me to pack the candles into an empty cooler. I did, and they shipped. Hurray! I just hate throwing things out only to have to re-purchase in a few months.

Donna said... [Reply]

@Kami - Thanks for the tip. I know of her because she left a comment on my blog once. But for some reason I can't always access her blog. I'll have to try again. I'd forgotten about the Jordan connection.

TravelMommy said... [Reply]

Hey, here I am!

Yes, I am SO jealous that you are going to Jordan. And with your extra lbs in HHE, you should totally stock up on art by Eyad Al Masri. He has amazing pieces (we have 10) and he invites you to his house and you eat a meal with his family. It's amazing food too.

I have a new website now: You should keep in touch, I would love to hear what my good friends at the Embassy are doing.

And if you meet a Security Guard named Mahmood Al-Khatib,give him a hug for me. We miss him dearly!

A Daring Adventure said... [Reply]

Donna, you're so funny! You crack me up!

I will admit to a fair amount of pile-o-stuff-staring. It's just... we've never been overseas before and have NO clue how anyone decides which of their belongings goes where, so for us, it was just really interesting to be able to gaze at said pile-o-stuff, figure out what the stuff was, and think about what it was that made the cut.

I will be knocking on your internet door when China-bound-UAB time comes in the Daring Adventure household, I can tell you THAT Right. Now!! So, thanks for the offer!

Hope the going-away-party is (was?) a wonderful affair, and I'm glad that the doggie's health seems to be stable.

Thanks for all the packing and moving pictures! Between you and Jill, it's been an awesome education!

Anonymous said... [Reply]


Linsey said... [Reply]

My email address is linseycrisler at gmail dot com. Thank you for the UAB tips. I kept a list, the last time we unpacked, of things I wished I'd included. But, even with that to help me, this is not where I excel so your input will be more than appreciated. Thanks and good luck with all the final details!

Connie said... [Reply]

Donna.. I think the packers take your ziplocs ON PURPOSE!! I had boxes of the things that I bought for the specific purpose of organizing small items for packing... screws and batteries from toys, girl's costume jewelry, sets of legos, you know... all those little groups of small items that you prefer to keep as groups! Every time I opened a box, used a few bags, I'd get called away (I think they did it on purpose). When I got back, the box would be gone. So, I'd get another box.. repeat, until I ran out of boxes of ziplocs, and gave up. I still have prob 4 boxes of opened, partially used ziplocs in the cabinet that we unpacked from our HHE. I think it's one of those bored mover's jokes, like drawing happy smiley faces on the really heavy boxes to torment the movers who have to unpack at the other end.

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