Bits and Pieces

The curtailment thing has actually been in the works for a while, of course. We didn’t just wake up one day and decide to go home early! Facts were acquired, discussions were had, decisions were made. This took some time. So, throughout that process, I have been sporadically attempting to organize myself in advance of Post Foreign Service Life.

(Or, to put it another way, making yet another attempt to exercise control in a life in which I have precious little control over anything.)

So, let’s see, we’ve got stuff in Warsaw with us, stuff in London with one kid, and stuff in a Maryland storage unit. (Also, stuff with another kid in California, but that’s not our stuff anymore!) All that stuff is going to show up at our 1,450 square foot, garage-less house in Virginia — smack in the middle of a massive renovation project. Huh.

It seems like it might be a good idea to know what’s coming. To batten down the hatches in advance of the chaos that will certainly ensue as soon as the lift vans drive up. So, I’ve been putting together a notebook in Evernote with what passes for our inventories. Also photos of our stuff, which I am kind of enjoying seeing again. For one thing, there is absolutely no fussy brass or gold brocade on any of our furniture. That is awesome. I like my stuff. Most of it, anyway.

But even though I did actually take the photos and make the inventory, I am still not entirely sure what we have in storage. There is a sleeper sofa that may or may not have been sold before we left. And a bed that may or may not be there. Do I have the mattress set that went with the bed? I have no idea. Also, a lot of power tools and hardware that I didn’t have time to inventory before the hell that was our DC packout five years ago. A whole workshop full of them—and our new house has no workshop as yet. We may have a table saw. We may have a paint sprayer. I think one of my friends has our ladder, but I’m not sure which one. And didn’t we own a power washer? Where is that?

Of course, it’s not all about stressing over stuff. My notebook has fun stuff in it, too. Screen porch plans. Kitchens I like. Gardening ideas. I know that moving back into our own home will be an awful lot of work, but I’m looking forward to it. Can’t wait to get my hands dirty, actually.

It’s just amazing how no matter how organized you try to be, there are still all these little bits and pieces of your life flying around. Out of control. It’s no wonder I take comfort in my little notebooks.

I am generally considered to be an organized person. I mean, even as a content manager, my job was essentially to organize stuff. Organizing is one of the things I do. Especially organizing information! But I started putting together a resumé today, and quickly concluded that, despite keeping pretty good records (and having very modest ambitions), I would need help.

Because right now, my work history just looks like a bunch of random facts to me. Some current, some in storage, many left behind in other countries. Sigh.

I put that project aside and had some tea and chocolate. Maybe I’ll start another notebook.

moving day


  1. I feel just the same. I am a very organized person, yet I can feel chaos ahead – probably because we can only afford a 1200-foot rental (avoiding commute has a price) and we have stuff (in Antwerp, Maryland AND Hagerstown, Budapest, …) to fill a big house …


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