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Moving Abroad Checklist/My First Emotional Breakdown

Updated: Dec 29, 2019

You guys...I cried, and I don't cry! I bawled! I had a complete emotional, lock yourself in your room, panic-attack breakdown, over couches...

Well kind of.

We started posting things online to sell as soon as we found out about our move to China, and decided to post some of our bigger items (table, couches, cars, etc.) even though we still had some time left, so that we could potentially get the best price for them. Well in about 5 hours our couches were gone and out of our house. I was so excited to see them go, because Drew picked them out and I always thought they were hideous. Well the next day I find myself in tears over the fact that the couches are gone! I had been waiting our entire married life to get rid of them, and now I'm crying??

I sat in my room trying to sort through all the emotions I was feeling and it came down to one thing, this is real, and it's happening. It wasn't about the couches, it was that they symbolized the first big, tangible step towards a new life for us, and all though it's something I want and look forwards to, the unknown factors are still real and overwhelming.

When I was a kid, my Mom taught me that if something was bothering me, especially if it was bothering me more than it should, to go to my room and think about the situation, and all the different things going on in my life. While mentally going through that list, if I came across something that made me more emotional than anything else, that was most likely the root of my problem. So that's what I did. I thought through everything and concluded that I was feeling overwhelmed (duh, of course I'm overwhelmed). There are so many things to do to get ready for a big move like this, but I was so wrapped up in the excitement, that I didn't expect to ever feel emotional about it. The best solution I found, was to just start doing. No matter how overwhelming a task felt, just start it, even if it doesn't get finished that day, even if the house is a disaster, to take a deep breath and keeping working.

I've made a checklist for anyone going through a big move (where you plan on selling everything), of tasks you can start months in advance, to help ease you through the limbo period (when you're anxious but it's too soon to pack) that can prepare you for a smoother transition when the move gets closer.


-Start incorporating canned food, dry beans, or other stockpiled items you have in your pantry into your meal plans.

-Make doctors appointments, and start collecting any medication or prescriptions you may need.

-Make a goal to sell one to two things a week until it gets closer to your departure. You'll find you have a lot of things you don't even use that you can sell and start collecting extra cash (I labeled a jar and put all the money I made from selling items in the jar, and used that money for grocery shopping).

-Clean out your bathroom drawers/closets, discard old lotions, perfumes, cosmetics and of course trash.

-Get passport and visa pictures and paperwork done.

-Have a garage sale and sell all your seasonal decor you won't need before your move.

-Collect and organize important documents.

-Look into switching phone providers.

-Go to the dentist

-Research about where you're moving and start learning a new vocabulary word each week (if applicable).

These are some things that have kept us sane, as well as some things we wish we would've done. I hope this list is helpful for you, and happy travels to those who are embarking on their own adventure!

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