What to bring, leave, toss, donate? No clue!

All right, “no clue” is a bit of an exaggeration, but ever since I decided to move overseas I have been trying to figure out what I will absolutely need to bring, what to store here, what to toss out or donate to charity.  I have way too much stuff at this point (including big stuff like furniture and LOTS of classroom materials) to justify selling or giving away all of it.  I’m not a packrat by any means–in fact I work hard at not being a packrat because I know what a pain it is to move tons of unnecessary crap. It’s just that having been out of college and on my own now for over 6 years, I have built up a fair number of books, household items, clothes, knicknacks, and so forth.

Most of it will be going into a storage unit somewhere near my current apartment, but there are some things I don’t know about.  For example, I wear plus size clothes (about a 20) and in other countries it can be very, very hard to find things that fit. The long term solution to this is to lose weight, but I’m not going to be a size 10 by the time I leave in 3 months, sorry.  I don’t want to be stuck with nothing to wear in a given situation; I find it really embarassing to be over- or underdressed and given how hot it gets there it will also be important to dress appropriately for the climate.  Should I pack as many clothes as I can carry? Or figure I’ll be able to find some stuff in my size and only pack stuff I’m sure I’ll need, thus saving precious luggage space for other things?

I don’t know about teaching materials either.  I have a ton of resource books, posters, activities, and so forth that could come in very handy in a 4th grade classroom, but I don’t have the space in my luggage to take all of it.  I just know I’m going to get there and kick myself for not bringing certain things.  I’m guessing the school has stuff I’ll be able to make use of, and they probably have stores in Abu Dhabi or Dubai that sell teaching materials in English (they have stores in Korea that sell that stuff after all) but if it’s stuff I already have it’ll be irritating to buy it all over again.

I also can’t decide whether to bring my old iBook (which is small and cute and still works well) or my HP laptop (big, clunky, but newer and faster) or both.  Leaning towards both.

Anyways, most of my belongings will do just fine in a storage unit for a couple of years.  Question is how big of one I’ll need. I was thinking the smallest size available at the local storage place would be more than adequate, but the more junk I bring home from school every day (HOW did I accumulate this much school stuff in just two years of teaching?!) the more I think I’ll need a size or two up from the small, economical unit I was hoping to get away with.

Oh, and I don’t know anyone around here well enough to impose on them to help me move, so I’ll need to hire someone at least to move the big stuff I’m keeping. I’m strong (my mom is a world record holding weight lifter, I kid you not), but not strong enough to get a whole couch into and out of a truck on my own.  All of this is so freakin’ expensive!

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5 responses to “What to bring, leave, toss, donate? No clue!

  1. This is a lot to think about! I have been pondering a lot of this myself as I get closer and closer to making a decision about going abroad.

    About the clothes, do you know if you will end up losing weight or not? If you do end up getting smaller, you may want to pack “inbetween” clothes as well because they may be hard to find. Then again, many places will ship clothes internationally, and although not the most economical of solutions, it may be easier than packing your entire wardrobe.

    How big of luggage are you bringing with you?

    • I don’t know for sure, but I really hope to lose weight over there and some before I go too. Rather than take in-between clothes I’ll probably get things taken in if/when I lose, and given how many Westerners are over there (and the fact that I just read an article saying 1/3 of Emiratis are “obese”) it could be that the availability of fat girl clothes will be better than I’d hoped 😉

  2. If you find yourself needing something terribly, I could send it to you provided I could get to it.

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