Emptying a House


That’s the word of the day, or week.

We have been sorting and organizing.

Fixing and replacing.

Trashing and donating.

Buying and selling.

Visiting and packing.

Everyday I mark things off my to-do list and yet the list just keeps growing. How does that happen?

A few times I’ve looked at the list at the end of the day and if I haven’t marked many things off, I’ll write in a few things I did accomplish that weren’t on the list, just so that I can see those black lines more prominently displayed.

listPathetic? Maybe.

Do you do that too or is it just me?

In a notebook, I wrote each day that I have left at the top of individual pages. I listed a few things per page, trying to pace myself. Each morning, I write down the specifics of what needs to be accomplished that day. Throughout the day, I add more tasks as they come to mind. At night as I lay down in bed, I grab my notebook and whatever was not accomplished is written on the next day’s page.

Last night, I moved the undone tasks to today’s page. By the time I got out of bed this morning, today’s list was already longer than yesterday’s finished.

(Don’t worry. Publishing this blog post was on my list for today, so I’m not wasting time).

Making lists is the only way for me to make sure that I keep track of everything. I can bring all the different parts of my life together on one piece of paper.

As I was writing a few tasks on each day, I got to next Monday and wrote down a few things. I was trying to think of anything else that could go onto that day and I realized that I had forgotten Hadley’s birthday!!!

And the Mother-of-the-Year award goes to… not me. ?But what really matters is that I did remember and I wrote it down to make sure that I wouldn’t forget again. ? I took the boys to the store, we picked out some presents and we’ll bring them with us when we pack up and leave the house.

I’m so excited to be on our way to American Samoa. There are the obvious reasons; be with Nate again, be on a beautiful tropical island, take the kids on adventures. I also can’t wait because that means all the stress of preparing for the move is over.

I realize those travel days will be stressful in other ways. I’ve never taken three kids across the Pacific Ocean all by myself. We’ve been practicing walking together, with or without holding hands, when we go places. I have been practicing breathing and counting to ten before losing my temper this past week, while Nate has been gone.

Every new adventure we take on comes with its own challenges but I am looking forward to being done with the sorting and deciding what I want to do with everything. I am at the point now where I want to rent a dumpster and just throw everything away. Nothing seems valuable enough to me to be worth the stress of weighing it all out: keep and store, keep and bring, sell, donate or trash.

yard sale bed
This is just a fraction of everything for the yard sale. It looks like I will be sleeping on the couch tonight.

I am trying to not be short sighted though. There really are a few things that Nate, the kids or I really want to store while we are gone.

It feels like we’re mostly bringing just clothes but I keep coming across random objects that would be really useful: cords, first aid contents, paperwork, toiletries, etc. Our bags are quickly filling up.

Luckily the question of selling, donating or throwing away is easier. If its broken, worn out or not useful anymore it goes in the trash. Everything else will be in the yard sale this weekend. Whatever does not sell will be donated.

I have just a few days of this stress left.

The headache is absolutely worth it because it means that we get to spend the next two years of our lives on the island of American Samoa!

When I start feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, I remind myself why I am doing all of this. My dream is coming true! Whatever it takes, whatever discomfort I feel, it is worth it!

One week from today we will be on our way!

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