WASHINGTON D.C. – Pack out is the day that movers come to your house and pack up all of your things that will either meet you at your next assignment or go to storage. Sean and I have heard epic stories about this day from our friends who have joined the State Department, USAID or Peace Corps and it was finally our turn to see what this was all about.
Our plan was to separate each room of our apartment into the 3 different shipments so that when the mover came on the morning of March 21st they would have an easy time knowing where to put each item. The bedroom became UAB ( Unaccompanied Air Baggage) or things that would be in Germany quickly after we arrive; the dinning room became HHE (House Hold Effects- things that we would take with us but we will not need right away these will come by boat so may take sometime to arrive); and the living room/sun room became storage (all our items that would remain in the States).
I spent the week leading up to the 21st purging, organizing and rearranging our apartment into these shipments. I was in a great mood the first few days but as time went on and our apartment full of memories and the things that made this apartment our home became just a pile of stuff my patience began to wear thin. By Friday, I just wanted the movers in and the whole thing to be done.
Lucky, each night we got to meet up with many of our friends and dine at many of our favorite spots. Which included: Pasta Mia, St. Arnold’s, Kieran and the Raven.
Sean’s parents, Sandy and Jim, arrived on Saturday and by then we had most of the work done and we got to spend time with them. We had our going away party where we saw tons of friends and it was a great way to say goodbye to D.C.
Sandy’s birthday was on Sunday so the two of us snuck out for mani/pedies in the morning and we met up with Jim and Sean for an amazing dinner that night.
The next morning we woke up early and headed over from the hotel we were staying at to our apartment and picked up some coffee and pastries for the movers on our way. Three men arrived at 10:00 sharp, perfectly within the 8:00 to 10:00 window they provided us. They had a large flatbed truck with 5 wooden crates tied to the bed.
The movers were efficient and took great care of all of our things. While they packed we kept an inventory of each box and numbered them for our personal inventory. The moving company keeps their own inventory but it is a bit more generic for example, their inventory would read”bowls” where my inventory was labeled “white wedding bowls.” I found that keeping this separate inventory helped us to know where exactly everything was located.* When the movers finished with a box we would lean over and write a number on the box.
The whole thing took about 8 and half hours. Our apartment was small but the elevator was small and the walk to the street was long which accounted for the lengthly process.
When the day was done we cleaned up the apartment, said goodbye to our first home and turned in our keys. I must admit there were a few tears shed but laughter rung out as we dreamed about our next home.
*Well, not everything. See blog “Our Last Day in D.C.”