Empty house, full heart

My home is echoing and mostly empty by now. Thirty-four boxes of my life either left on a ship on Thursday or will do so on Tuesday. The “new” car was dropped off Monday morning and left on Wednesday. Friends and neighbors have been stopping by to pick up a few items here and there. Hopefully, more will come tomorrow and others will answer my Craigslist ad (wanna buy an entertainment center? I put it together myself!). It feels like I still have a lot of things to get rid of, considering that I leave this condo one week from today, and fly 4 days after that.

The patch-and-paint guy will come on Thursday morning, and my cleaner will be here between the 6th and the 9th. I’ve signed a stack of papers and the condo gets listed on the evening of the 9th. At this point, I’m being very conservative in the food I buy, only a few days worth at a time and mostly pre-packaged as my flatware, plates, cups and cooking utensils are in a box that is in transit. I had to buy a corkscrew to open my final wine club delivery today!

What is left now? A couple boxes to go to Mom’s (she’s also taking my bedroom set for her guest room), clothing for the four weeks that I expected my boxes to be in transit (though they may arrive about the time I do), my suitcases, the stuff to sell, work stuff that will be shipped by my employer and a box of papers that I still need to sort through. The passport and birth certificate will go on the plane with me, but do I need to keep the paperwork relating to this home I am selling? Tax returns from 2009 – 2012 will go to Mom’s but last year’s and the donation receipts for this year are coming with me.

I look around and see so much empty space, overlaid with wonderful memories of the 4.5 years I spent here. Family parties, celebrations with friends, roommates, home improvements, alone time and more fill my heart and mind. My first go ’round as a homeowner has been a wonderful experience, one that I look forward to repeating. Right now, I’m mostly looking ahead, to the next road and wondering where it take me.

Here’s hoping that Tutu Pele has some exciting adventures in store for me!

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Packing up my life

I’m sitting in my living room, looking at a stack of packed and empty boxes in the dining area and the four bookshelves over by the lanai doors. A relocation company is coming on Monday to pick up my stuff and put it into a shipping container, which will then be loaded onto a ship and floated across the Pacific Ocean. Four to five weeks after the pick-up, the container will be delivered to my door in Kona and unloaded. For up to 1000 pounds of stuff, and door-to-door delivery, I’m paying almost $2000. I’m very afraid that will go up as I’m not entirely sure I don’t have more than 1000 pounds of stuff.

I hit a point on Tuesday night where I stopped being sentimental about things. Yes, I packed up all the jewelry from my grandmother, I’m taking the dolls from my mother and the hat I inherited from a girlfriend. I’m taking my books and the dress that I hope will inspire my wedding dress that I haven’t been able to wear in at least 5 years. But I’m selling my bicycle. I’m donating my fancy dresses (except for one). The fondue pot will stay with Mom for use at family Christmas to make our traditional smokies in BBQ sauce, even if I’m not there. Now I just need to find a way to dispose of the things I don’t want. To that end, I’m offering things up on Facebook to my friends; with whatever doesn’t sell in the next week going on Craigslist. That list of things seems to keep growing, though!

Another challenge is determining what I need to get through the next 4-5 weeks, both here and in Kona. Thankfully the weather here isn’t too much cooler than Kona, so the clothes shouldn’t be an issue, though I could always leave the cooler weather clothes at Mom’s for future holiday visits. What do I need for eating? Bathing? Existing? Whatever I don’t pack needs to fit in the luggage for my flight. Things like an alarm clock, silverware, coffee pot (returned to Mom when I stay with her for a few days before departure), a couple bottles of shampoo and my Clarisonic, Sweet-n-Low, etc. are being carefully considered. What about all the stuff in the hall closet? Have to sell the vacuum cleaner, but the tool box and Swiffer stuff is going into a box. The mini ironing board and iron? Probably sell. So many decisions to make.

Speaking of decisions, I found and purchased a 1997 Toyota RAV4 that I’ll drop off at Port of Oakland on Monday morning. It was a bit surreal to hand over my credit card for that purchase, but I’ve got a decent credit line and I had already transferred money to cover the purchase from my savings. It’s fun to drive (NO pickup whatsoever), and while small, it’s still pretty roomy inside. I’ve been able to put a bunch of empty boxes in that thing, as well as a couple of bins to drop at a girlfriend’s house for her yard sale. I kind of like being able to put something larger than a small suitcase into my “trunk” space.

Okay, time to start packing the kitchen, which means washing a few dishes first. Should I pack my single-serve blender and have my soy milk and banana separately for the next month? *sigh* Probably. We’ll see what happens next.

One month and counting…

I’m moving into the final stretch, pun intended. Now that my big event is out of the way, I can focus back on the move to Kona and I don’t have a lot of time to waste as I fly out one month from today.

Using some references from my friend Julie Ziemels’s upcoming book, “How to Move to Kona Successfully”, I contacted Hawaii Car Transport today. Not only are they a bit cheaper shipping from the Port of Oakland, they also ship to Hilo AND Kona on the Big Island. Cheaper, plus I don’t have to worry about getting a ride to Hilo to pick up the vehicle, PLUS my vehicle will arrive no later than Oct 8? SOLD! Per their website, http://www.hawaiicartransport.com, shipping from the mainland ports of LA, Seattle or Oakland to the Hawaii ports of Honolulu, Hilo, Kahului, Kona or¬†Nawiliwili will run $1075.00 total. According to the nice young man on the phone, shipping takes no more than 14 days. That gives me until Sept 22 to buy a vehicle and get it to the Port of Oakland. Best of all, I get free storage in Kona for 10 days in case the ship arrives before I get there, or I have trouble getting a ride to the port. The CSR I spoke with was able to make me a provisional reservation without me even knowing what vehicle I would be shipping! So far, I’m having a seriously great experience with them and would recommend them. I’ll let you know if there are any problems with the actual transport.

Now I need to hit up my references and get myself a vehicle! Currently I own a 2004 Miata, and that just isn’t practical for day-to-day living in Hawaii. I’d like to be able to go to the beaches and some of them are across lava fields that would rip out the Miata suspension. Also, everyone and their mother will visit me, so I want to be able to accommodate more people than the 2-seater Miata will fit. Oh, and their luggage, but my baby has no junk in her trunk. Buying a second vehicle now allows me to experience the least downtime of being without a vehicle. I’ll just have the 4 days between when the buyer picks up the Miata, and when I go to the airport. As I’ll be staying with my parents, I’ll mostly be staying home to maximize my family time anyway.

Next steps: transferring funds so I have cash to buy the new vehicle, and finding a transport company for the household goods/checking UPS shipping bulk shipping rates.