Home Forums Welcome Hello! Moving Overseas: European Edition!

Viewing 91 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #158721

      Claycat suggested I start my own thread, and to avoid confusion or distraction from Mrs. Mack’s amazing thread about her move to Japan, which has been a great source of inspiration to many!

      My Story: I met a nice guy from the Netherlands completely randomly on ChatRoulette. This was about 2 months before my already planned trip to London, Paris and South of France. He was funny, well traveled, and cute. We talked every day from the evening we met, chatting about everything under the sun, when about a month before my trip, he asked if he could meet me in Paris. I hesitated a little bit, but agreed.
      After an amazing 5 days in Paris(Versailles, Eiffel Tower, Cafe du Amelie), we decided to travel Benelux together for two weeks, ending up at his apartment outside of Amsterdam. Hiking the caves and forests of the Ardennes, trying all the local foods of Belgium and Luxembourg, going to Disneyland Paris (I am a huge Disney park nerd), kayaking through the canals of Edam, wandering around the amazing Bruges, smelling the tulips of Keukenhof, it was a terribly romantic and whirlwind journey. We very much fell in love, but what about the crazy distance?
      This was in March-April. He visited me in June here in Florida, and after another amazing, crazy busy two weeks (Dry Tortugas, Bonnaroo, Tampa, Key West) and we knew that we had to be together. Now which one of us was going to make a huge life change?
      Because I have always wanted to live abroad, and the rules in the Netherlands are much more open about non married partners, we decided that I should come to him.
      So, here I am, my flight is October 24th, but everything else is very much up in the air.
      So! Unclutterer Forums, I turn to you and your amazing communal knowledge. You helped and supported Mrs. Mack so much, I hope you will do the same for little ol’ me!
      I have already begun the purge, because his apartment is rather tiny. While I don’t live in a large home now, I rather like the homey/cozy, french country decorative style and have a lot of THINGS, and I know I cannot take much. Additionally, the expense of moving it all would be really prohibitive. Luckily, I am not terribly attached to much of it. It is just stuff, and I am not sentimental, but I also am very reluctant to just toss things if I think it might find a good home.
      So far, I have rid myself of nearly ALL of my three bookshelves of books. We are talking over 300 books of all shapes, sizes and subjects. I have a number of good ones up on half.com but the rest went first to the used book store, and then to the library donation pile (they recognize me now!)
      Please follow along, I look forward to sharing the beginning of this exciting journey with you!
      71 DAYS!!!

    • #168972
      Gypsie
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      OHHH! CONGRATS! I lived in Germany for 5 years and loved every minute of it and visited the majority of places you have mentioned. GOOD LUCK!

    • #168973
      Claycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      I’m so glad you started this thread! Another journey to follow! Yay!

      How are you doing on half.com. I didn’t have any luck there, so I moved my books to Amazon. I have sold about 4 there. It is slow! If your books are valuable or in demand they will go quickly. Otherwise you may have to wait awhile.

      If you decide to switch to Amazon, keep this in mind. They give you a specific amount for shipping. $3.99 for standard media mail is what I use. If your book is heavy, it will go over that amount. Be sure to get delivery confirmation, so you will be protected. Usually you can get that and the shipping under the amount. I wouldn’t use expedited shipping unless it was a valuable book. I don’t ship overseas. Standard media mail with delivery confirmation is best. If you have to price a book under around $8, you would be better off donating it. Even at $8, you aren’t going to make much, so you need to figure out what is the lowest amount you will accept. There are many sellers on Amazon who sell books at a dollar or even a penny. They are huge dealers, and they are counting on a few cents profit from the shipping, because the book may be small. It’s better to donate those books, too, or take them to Half-Price Books.

      This is so exciting! I am happy for you to have found a great guy! I have a friend that lives in Paris, and she loves it!

    • #168977
      RJ
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      What a lovely way of meeting your SO (Significant Other)! I am so happy and excited for you.

      Since you are getting rid of things, maybe find a worthy cause to donate to, in order to help make it easier for you to let go of things.

      I donate to my local thrift store that is run by the local hospital and raises money for hospice. This makes it easier for me to let go of things, knowing that it goes for a good cause. What the thrift store won’t take, the local abused womens’ shelter takes, and they love anything especially personal care products, clothing, bedding, towels, books and even toys as some women bring children with them to the shelter.

      You may enjoy these blogs:

      http://atouchofdutch.blogspot.com

      http://anotheramericanexpat.blogspot.com

      http://clogsandtulips.blogspot.com

    • #168978
      luxcat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      If you have a friend (or two) with a little bit of extra space and perhaps they can hold onto a few of your most cherished bits of large furniture or something, you might want to do that. Life is unpredictable and you will know within a year or two if you should tell that friend to go ahead and call the donation truck (Netherlands is perfect! never coming home!) or if you’ll be moving back (with your partner, perhaps) for some reason like work or school. My mother left an item from my great-grandmother with a friend of hers when she moved overseas, as I was living in an uber-small flat and couldn’t take it at the time. As soon as I had space I was able to arrange to get the item and keep it. Her fear was that if the container got lost in shipping (it happens) she didn’t want to lose a few very dear items like this one bit of furniture, and some photos, etc, so they were left in trust with others.

    • #168980

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Wow. What a great story. I’ll be following you. Good luck and may The Force be with you as you purge. Will you visit Harry Potter before you leave?

    • #168985
      SunshineR
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      I’ll be following you…congrats and enjoy!

    • #168990

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      @needtocleanhouse
      You will laugh but I have already been to Harry Potter, and am going again on Thursday! (Told you I was a geek!) I will be visiting the Disney Parks as well to say goodbye to my home away from home πŸ™‚
      @luxcat
      Yeah, I think i am going to leave a small box of things with my brother, cherished items. My large furniture will be going to my little sister for her college apartment, and I am happy to see it go there. Whatever she doesn’t want will go to Goodwill.
      @RJ
      I almost always go to Goodwill, which is a great program, but maybe something more specific to me. That is a good idea and makes me think giving things away will be easier for something I am passionate about.
      @claycat
      It has been hit or miss with half.com. I sold one book for $40 and another for $15, books that were out of print i think. But I am thinking the rest will go to the used book store. Unfortunately I dont have a halfpricebooks and my store doesnt take much so most of it just goes to the library.
      @sunshineR and Gypsie
      Thank you for your support and kind words! πŸ˜€

    • #168991

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Oh, and today I gave a TON of holiday garland and lights to a friend who is moving into a much larger home. I am so glad that went to someone who will use it! I told her that the payment was a photo of her new house all lit up with garland and lights at Yuletime. The only thing I kept was a safari santa (I am a zookeeper, and he has a little giraffe with him), and some golden rope and a velvet centerpiece ornament that go on a fresh wreath.
      I also went through my very unorganized costume box, and really got rid of a ton of things that “I will use for a costume someday” or “that might be a good accessory”. I only kept my gorgeous (and expensive!) corset, a chemise, a maid’s outfit(we will see if my Nederlander likes his maids “french” πŸ˜‰ , petticoat, and a few other minor things. Two whole rubbermaid containers eliminated!

    • #168996

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Congratulations and what a great, great story! I can tell from your Disney comments you must live close to me here in Florida. Having moved 7 times in the past 5 years, I have some experience and if I may, let me offer a shred of advice. Please try to keep your most precious items, if not in storage, with family or friends. You can always decide later to sell or donate but once their gone, their gone. My guess is you will be surprised how much you really don’t need the items you saved and while it sounds like you are getting rid of most of your items, don’t worry. They will be replaced with more meaningful items and memories in the near future. Enjoy the journey!

    • #169000
      Claycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      I love the comment about French maids! Oooo La La! πŸ™‚

    • #169095

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Packed up all my winter clothes today and put them in a box for shipping(I wont need them until I move, Florida doesn’t get cool…well ever). Has anyone had any experience with shipping large-ish boxes internationally to a business? I threw in a sexy red satin dress, a crinoline, my corset, and some sexy heels to fill it up. I hope he opens it at his work! πŸ˜‰
      I am having a very hard time giving away my Halloween decorations! I know I can replace Christmas/Yule stuff there, but they don’t celebrate Halloween in Holland, and it is my favorite holiday! I guess I can leave it with my coworkers to decorate the animal houses, and if I want the stuff they can send it to me later.
      I am anxious to just do something because I am excited to get over there, but I also feel a little like I am just spinning my wheels because I DO have a while to go. :/

    • #169098

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      @Kim
      Thanks for the advice. I had a similar kernel of wisdom from a similarly mobile friend, and so I have started to set aside things that have real sentimentality that I will store with my brother.
      Oh and I am completely moved out of my storage unit that I still shared with my ex! THAT was very freeing, even if I wasn’t paying for it πŸ™‚

    • #169099

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      oops, double post

    • #169331

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      @MovingToLowlands – have a wonderful time at Harry Potter! What’s it like? I am not an amusement park person, although I am proud to be a geek, but I must go to Harry Potter! Have fun!

    • #169911
      Claycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      MovingToLowlands! It’s time for an update! πŸ™‚

    • #169913
      lucy1965
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      What Claycat said!

    • #169920
      djk
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      they may not celebrate Hallowe’en but certainly in the surrounding countries there is Fasching, and therefore lots of costume shops. Pop over to Germany and stock up!

    • #169997
      ninakk
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Congrats on your exciting situation! I married my husband almost a year ago, after having known him a year precisely on our wedding day. He’s finally moved across Europe to live with me and our one-room flat is now crammed to its brim – my fault. He got rid of most of his stuff before we made the drive in his/our car and since he didn’t have a lot to begin with, all his belongings fit into the car. Jealousy… Currently I’m travelling for a couple of weeks and my “life” fits into a travel bag. I don’t feel deprived of anything and so I’ll try to remind myself of this feeling once I’m back home again or the clutter will never leave. Good luck with your project and please stop by to keep us updated!

    • #170009

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      In a bit of a holding pattern for the moment, so not much to update.
      I did get my final apostilled paperwork for my residence permit once I get there, so that is one more thing to check off my list. Took a BUNCH of stuff to my mom’s for a garage sale and sold nearly all of it, the rest will go to good will. Also took a huge suitcase of her hands.
      I tried to send that box of costumes and such but it was going to be $100, so I am rethinking that. I think it might actually be cheaper for me to take everything on the plane?
      @needtocleanhouse Harry Potter is awesome! If you like the books or movies at ALL you will love this place. Islands of Adventure is great on its own, but the Harry Potter land is like walking into the movies. We got a sugar rush on too many butterbeers and then rode the Forbidden Journey like 3 times. It was great!

    • #170010

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      @ninakk thanks for your story! I know it is a little crazy to move across the planet for a guy I have literally spent 4 weeks with, but you only live once!

      @djk Well I have just decided to force these Nederlanders to celebrate Halloween. I am gonna start a trend. Look for haunted houses in Amsterdam next year! πŸ™‚

    • #170015
      lottielot
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Here in the UK they celebrate Halloween, our neighbours seemed to go a bit crazy last year πŸ™‚ Personally I can’t stand it! You could always make your own decorations… I think it’s great moving across the world, even if the man doesn’t work out at least it’s an adventure, you sound pretty young and like you have no ties, why not? My dh and I went out for 6 weeks before I moved to another country, he followed me after we decided we’d had enough of the long distance thing. We’ve been together for 19 years and married for 16, people thought we were crazy too πŸ™‚

    • #170016
      cng
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Hi there,
      The Dutch may not celebrate Halloween but there is another annual event that ressembles Mardi Gras where lots of people DO dress up. Your costumes could come in handy after all! (I can’t remember the name of the event…it might be as simple as “carnaval” and it is more popular in the southern parts of the country, and in Belgium). Your boyfriend should be able to fill you in!

    • #170035
      Claycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Those celebrations sound wonderful, trillie!

    • #171586
      Claycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Where are you, MovingToLowlands? We need an update!

    • #171591
      Rozzie
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      A couple of thoughts…

      If you have extra items that you would like to take, but the cost of shipping is prohibitive, see if a family member could hold onto a couple of extra boxes for you. Then, in the future, when you make trips back to the U.S. to visit family or whatever, you can come over “luggage light” and go back over “luggage heavy.” Also, check on the cost of extra baggage on the plane. It may well be MUCH cheaper than shipping goods via another method.

      Another thought: While you can replace most household items (or he may already have them) some of your own items may make you feel more “homelike” in your new place. For example, I “love” my measuring cups and spoons and my measuring scoops. I would pack these and take them regardless of the cost of shipping. Plus, I’d imagine that most people use metric to cook there. My family recipes are NOT in metric, so I’d need my measuring tools. Because my American brain is not converted to metric, I suspect I’d also take a measuring tape, a ruler, and my kitchen scale which converts between weight systems. Would I have to have these? Of course not. However, they would make it easier for me to cook or do other tasks without having to do constant conversions.

      In my case, my Vita Mix, Kitchen Aid, and favorite knife set would go, just because they make my kitchen useful for me. I’d obviously need a power converter and adapter. I know appliances are available everywhere, but these are what I love to use.

      If you take any DVD’s with you, remember the whole region mess. DVD players there may not play them…might as well leave them at home unless your laptop will play them.

      I’m a lot more attached to my stuff so this would never work for me! I hope it does for you, though!

    • #171596
      djk
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      oooh Trillie we already made reservations at our favourite vineyard “Buschenschank” for “Martini Ganserl” (St. Martin’s Goose?)

      Europe has fabulous holidays and traditions. I say the best is to mix all the N. American ones you like with all the European ones you like.

      Rozzie, you make a very good point about the measuring cups and spoons. I had to have some sent from Canada. For my recipes I needed measures in imperial, even though Canada uses metric we are still used to the cup/teaspoon volume measures rather than metric/weight recipes.

    • #171606

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Hi Everyone!

      I woke up this morning thinking “Ok I need to update the fine people at Unclutterer” and I lo and behold! My ears must have been burning πŸ™‚

      So: 32 days away. My garage sale went ok, didn’t get much money but got rid of a lot of stuff! At least 30-40 items. It was very nice to walk back in my house and see it all gone.
      I finally decided that the books I was clinging too were just going to be too much, so I donated the rest of them to the library. I think they now have about 300 of my books! The rest have gone to half.com, which has been a nice little source of extra income. A few dollars here and there add up!! I will take every penny πŸ™‚ I kept a few cookbooks, as those dont really work for the Kindle (don’t want electronics to get grease splatter!)
      I have packed pretty much every non essential thing in my giant luggage. I know I am going to have to pay extra for it, but it will be cheaper than shipping it all. It is mostly clothes, shoes, accessories. But that adds up in pounds pretty quick!
      I am going to take my measuring cups and spoons for sure. I am also taking baking powder because it isn’t really found in NL for some reason.
      I have also gifted shiny new webcams to all of my family, so they have no excuse to not talk to me on Skype.
      Does anyone have suggestions for unwanted electronics (older tv, dvd, digital tuner) ? I tried Craigslist, and noone seem to want them. I was kinda hoping for at least a few bucks for them…
      Dutch lessons on Rosetta Stone are going ok, but I still don’t really know how to buy or ask for things. I have a phrase book, but Dutch is oddly pronounced to my American brain, so I am having some trouble. I am banking on total immersion to save the day as far as learning Dutch goes.
      It is not too far now, but I still feel like it is a LOOONG time away. I do occasionally think: “this might be the last time I do this”, when doing things around town. My friends keep taking me out to dinner at all my favorite places, and that has been lots of fattening fun.
      If anyone wants to look up where I will be living: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purmerend
      I will update more often from here on out as I will actually be DOING things.
      Tot Ziens!

    • #171616
      pkilmain
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Pumerend looks lovely, and the climate seems agreeable – at least to me who hates extremes of both hot and cold!

      As to the older electronics, I’ve had that problem, and the only solution I’ve found is giving them away – to neighbors and thrift stores. Otherwise freecycle and heck even on the sidewalk on trash day! It’s sad but there is no value in them. We still have a small 13″ TV that plays video cassettes (though I have a time limit on it, and if we haven’t used it in that time, it goes) and an older 19″ huge computer monitor. I tried freecycling that – no takers – so now I’m waiting for the day the landfill sets aside for taking computer equipment to dump it. It’s under my desk so not in the way, just that I know it’s lurking there. πŸ™‚

    • #171621
      kllycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      @MovingtoLowlands,

      I find myself both touched and thrilled by your story- in 2000 I was living in France as an exchange student- met a cute French guy and, long story short, moved to France to marry him after only about 2 months total of time spent together… ten years and three kids later I’m still fully on the side of throwing caution to the winds! There is something about their accents, isn’t there?

      When I moved, I brought two big suitcases of clothes and two cats with me on the plane, and had shipped CDs (this was 10 years ago), books, a table (still have it and I love it so, photos, odds and ends, by one of those do it yourself shipping places. It cost me about $1000 for 100 cubic feet, but was worth it. A friend of mine spent about the same amount on 15 suitcases for herself and her two boys when she came here to live with her highschool penpal, but she had to deal with the hassle of organizing the luggage.

      My one piece of advice would be to bring less than you think you need. I keep finding replacements for things I miss in the US (Ikea, for example, sells European measuring cups with US measurements on them). You’ll almost certainly be going back to the US for a visit shortly, and small care packages don’t cost that much. Not to mention that the UK isn’t that far away and the Dutch are pretty English- language and custom friendly. Although, I have to admit, I still stock up on baking powder whenever possible- those French people sure don’t know how to bake! (JOKE!)

      Enjoy your adventure!
      Kelly

    • #171624
      djk
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      lol great thread–we can get baking powder and baking soda here in Austria–but in 7 g packages.

      So when I went to buy boxes of baking soda to clean with, and make bath bombs with…well…7 grams doesn’t quite clean a sink nor deoderize a fridge.

      I bring baking soda back from every holiday in Spain, France, and Italy. And I go to Hungary for liquid vanilla.

    • #171644
      Claycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Thanks for the update, MovingToLowlands! You’ve been busy!

      I enjoyed everyone’s comments. Its interesting to know that some items are more difficult to get. I buy huge boxes of baking soda, because I also clean with it, djk.

    • #171657
      minervacious
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      hi movingto

      how exciting to be moving continents for love. you will love amsterdam. it is such an easy city to get around and the centre is fantastic (apart from the red light bits). as a fellow unclutterer married to a dutch man, i have enjoyed visiting netherlands quite often from england. i suppose it is a big change from the vast landscapes of the usa and i hope you enjoy it very much. we would eventually love to move to amsterdam from london , but that is still a way off.

      minerva
      enjoy your journey

    • #171678
      chacha1
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Love this story. I can attest that sometimes you just “know” and it’s worth taking a big risk to grab that happiness. I was wondering if the Nederlander was enjoying some of those adventures for the first time, just because you were there, Moving?

      So often we don’t do things because they are in our own backyard and we think, “oh I can do that later,” but we don’t. πŸ™‚ I’ve been in L.A. 15 years and have not been to the L.A. Zoo yet. Ahem.

      I hope the actual move goes smoothly and would really enjoy updates after the fact to find out how settling in/assimilating goes. Oh and possibly a picture of the red satin dress outfit. πŸ™‚

    • #171758
      lucy1965
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Friends/family/new partners are a wonderful excuse to do all the things that you’d never think to do for yourself — I hope that it goes well for you, Moving, and that I can call on you for advice during my own preparations next year.

    • #171771

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Thank you everyone for your kind words and encouragement, especially those of you that made a similar decision for love. Hearing those stories only makes me more firm in my sureness that while it might sound crazy, it know it is the right decision. Love is too important to just throw away for fear!

      Yesterday was “paperwork day”, where I went through two filing boxes, pulled out all important papers, and filed them neatly into a new slim accordion file. Lots to shred!
      I also cleaned out another closet that I had kind of ignored, found a forgotten jacket, some new things to take to Goodwill, and some dog things I will donate at work.
      @chacha1 He is a bit of an adventurer, and had actually done most of the things we did on my trip already, but loved doing them once, so wanted to share them with me. He is well traveled, but he likes to travel the “exotic” rather than the familiar, so he has not visited much on mainland Europe. So, he is happily prepared to follow my whims and see as much of mainland Europe as we can, as that is Exotic as hell for me. πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to start exploring with him.

      @trillie and djk I am very excited to get involved with all the holidays/celebrations in Europe! I am already excited for Queen’s Day in Amsterdam, St. Maartens, Sinterklaas, and I hope Amsterdam lights up for Christmas!!
      And we have decided to have a Halloween/Nederlander’s Birthday/Meet MovingToLowlands party on Oct. 30th! So I still get to dress up, and decorate this year! yay! I hope my full blown Victorian Vampire costume(with corset, top hat and fangs of course) isn’t over doing it for these Europeans. πŸ™‚

      As for following up, I am starting a blog that will have regular updates about my life with my sweet Nederlander. http://aprilinnederland.blogspot.com/
      I am still playing with it to get the look right, and there is only an intro post for now, but I hope you will visit.

      28 days!

    • #171871

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Today was an outside Uncluttering day!
      First, I finally sold my plastic lawn chairs on craigslist for $20. Woo hoo!
      Then, I braved spiders the size of terriers living in my shed to clean that out. A lot of the stuff in there was left by the former owner, and we never really took the time to get rid of all of his stuff. 10 cans of old paint to the hazardous waste disposal, mysterious jars and bottles as well. I didn’t get rid of everything, and left some things for the next tenants that they might want (not a lot. Spare pieces of molding, paint swatches, weedeater and cord, gas tanks, softener salt). I unfortunately discovered that my water softener has been flushing into the shed for a week, so there was a LOT of wet cardboard, but no real losses(anything wet went into the trash). It was sweaty, muddy work and the spiders were so huge I felt their weight when they ran across my feet, (eww) but at least I can see the floor again!
      Lastly, I took 4 flower pots, 4 window boxes, and 2 trellises to work for donations, and gave two big Rubbermaid containers to my friend for his Magic cards. He was happy to have them and I was happy to see them gone!
      All I have left of outside/yard/gardening stuff are 5 terracotta pots with stand and two urns, that are all claimed. The adirondack chairs go on craigslist tomorrow with the kayak.
      Oh! And the non working weedeater, some hardwood floor liner, roofing nails and plastic container from the shed all got picked up from the curb within an hour of me putting it out!! That was a super bonus!

    • #171899
      Claycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      You are making great progress! πŸ™‚

    • #172286

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Today I spent a lot of time enjoying the beautiful and unseasonably cool Florida weather and sunshine. It was making me rethink my decision to go to him and not him coming to me! πŸ™‚
      Then it was clean out the bra/undies drawer, trashing anything that is unattractive, stretched out, or off size. I had a lot of “work” underwear/bras that worked perfectly under sweaty, ugly zoo uniforms but really are not acceptable for any other wear. Trashed! I also trimmed down my overflowing bra collection, tried every single one on, and only kept the ones that made “the girls” look fabulous.

      I also cut wires and attached a Lixit waterbottle to the dog’s kennel. He is terribly sweet but not very bright. I tried to show him how it worked but I think he thought the water was coming from my fingers. :/ I hope he will figure it out!

      I also finally finished all of my financial/legal stuff with my lawyer and accountant. I have one more meeting on Tuesday to sign things, but then I am finished with paperwork, other than calling cell phone company and car insurance to cancel service.

      One big weight off my shoulders: my furniture can stay in this house until my little sister is ready to take it! This is excellent so I don’t have to worry about Goodwill coming or not coming (like Mrs. Mack). Whew!

      I also finally had a good two hours, uninterrupted to video chat to my sweet Nederlander. That was very nice, although Google Talk kept crashing every time he tried to give me lessons in Dutch words. I guess Google can’t parse grachtengordel and achtentachtig (which is ok because I can’t either!!)

      Thats all for now. More tomorrow! I really need to actually pack things now. Final decisions need to be made and they are going to be tough!

    • #172294
      irishbell
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      One of the best things that comes out of a huge move like this is that while you are doing all this work getting rid of things, you realize it is hard work and you will never want to go thru it again! This is great motivation to never let things accumulate in this manner ever again!

    • #172296
      bandicoot
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      i am so excited for you!
      what a move!
      one day i’d love to spend a year or so living in europe.
      get a whole new perspective.

    • #172312
      chacha1
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Heck, I’d love to spend a *month* or so in Europe. Eating my way through France/Spain/Italy, lol.

    • #172320
      pkilmain
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Living somewhere besides the US for a month or more is our long-term goal now that we’re both retired. A month in Hawaii in January is our “practice” – being in a new place, just each other for company (not that we won’t meet/socialize/etc. with locals, but no long-time, know you well, friends), and as a first long-term stay a place where we know the language, and the culture. Next time, assuming this works out and we don’t kill each other, we’ll venture furthr afield. πŸ™‚

    • #172326

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Ok! So I finally bit the bullet and have put all my “clingies”, the things that I find beautiful or feel like home and I just couldn’t give them up, and have closed the lid, and will take them to my brother’s house. He will store them for me until a) my attachment has waned and I can give them up or b)I decide I cannot live without them and he ships them to me. It is a very heavy box, so I had REALLY better want them.
      I also did an “nth” purge on clothes, meaning that I went through and got rid of things that were “maybe” before and are now “no”. I also went to the mall and spent two gift cards that had lived in my drawer for a long time, and happily got two RL tops for them (long sleeves that I can layer as that is what I am desperately missing in my wardrobe)
      I also stocked up on Bare Essentials makeup, as I know that it is absurdly expensive over there (we are talking $75 for a foundation, and that is way too rich for my blood). I wish my skin wasn’t so picky. Any of you girls over in Europe know of a brand of makeup good for very sensitive/breakout prone skin that isn’t TOO expensive and easily available in Amsterdam?
      Then I relaxed, chatted with the Nederlander for a while, did some Rosetta Stone, and now I am off for early bath and bed. I have to use up all my delicious bath bombs, as Nederlander only has a shower (one of only two complaints I have about his flat, the other is that it doesn’t have a proper oven! How am I going to bake brownies and then eat them after a bath on a rough/hormonal day???)
      I am glad that my thread is getting everyone thinking about exotic trips!

    • #172328
      bandicoot
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      no bath? no oven?
      is it too late to back out?

      just joking… i have lived with no bath tub for twenty years.
      not thrilled about it, but there it is.
      i know there is a bath tub in my future and i bet there is one in yours too.

    • #172346
      pkilmain
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      LOL, the bathtub was the first thing that went into the main floor of our house as soon as it was framed in! of course it has to go onto the studs, then get the wall attached, but my husband insulated it and ran hot water from the basement sink via hose for me so I could have a bath after 5 years of living in a construction trailer! He’s a keeper for sure. And when we were looking for houses to rent in Hawaii I rejected only that expected me to cook on a hot plate and microwave. πŸ™‚

    • #172347
      djk
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      LOL no tub here (and I am a bathing freak) and no oven nor proper stovetop either (we have a non-functioning built-in 2-burner hotplate which cannot be replaced as it is no longer up to code) so on the precious little counterspace we have we have another two-burner hotplate plugged in. Then I bought a tabletop convection oven (not a toaster oven)for about 100 Euro, so you might be able to find something like that. Fits a 12-muffin tin exactly, with about a quarter-inch around each side. These are not uncommon here, judging by their availability, so I am sure Amsterdam has them available to buy as well. They sell mini-turkeys here near Christmas and American Thanksgiving (unfortunately not in time for Canadian Thanksgiving!) They are slightly smaller than a big chicken and one fits perfectly in the oven as long as the legs are securely tied down so they don’t touch the top elements!

      I also hope there is a bathtub in my future!

    • #172515
      lucy1965
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      djk, could you replace the built-in hotplate with a two-burner induction plate?

    • #172627

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      10 days now!!!!

      Just sent a 2nd box today, with basically my entire wardrobe minus some underthings, and some clothes I will wear the next 10 days. I packed up all various bathroom things, and accessories (purses, shoes etc) and have them ready to go into a suitcase, whichever one has less weight to it.
      I removed all of my dvd cases and have them in a DVD case/envelope, bought extra tape for my label machine, got a very slim and light weight file folder and rearranged all my files. Now everything is about weight, as anything more than 50 lbs in either suitcase will cost me a lot! I am trying to avoid sending another box over which has cost me quite a bit more than I would like.
      I am feeling slightly stressed the last few days, which isn’t like me. I haven’t really felt much stress about the whole move, and now here it all comes! I guess it is just that 10 days sounds like not enough time, considering I am working 5 of those days, and my dance card is rather booked on the days I am off. Bad planning on my part πŸ™‚ So I will just ride it out, and remember that I will soon be with my schatje and all will be well.
      Now to tackle my mountain of laundry, who has surely grown sentience by now.

    • #172631
      Claycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Wow! I’m excited for you! πŸ™‚

      I know it’s hard not to feel stressed, but you seem to be on top of things! There is always a last minute rush, always, no matter how prepared you think you are. However, that will pass, and then you will begin a new life!

    • #172654
      susique
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      although i haven’t posted, have watched with anticipation your progress. this is what i went through many years ago after meeting a vietnam vet from an army post near my hometown. we dated for several months and he issued an invitation to be with him when he homed. moved halfway across the country with my tiny daughter and although i purged most of our stuff still had too much. after 40 years all left from move is a meat cleaver-i make hubby pounded chicken fried chicken and a sewing machine that my new (now for 40years) hubby put into an old cabinet he found and refurbished to look like a new antique. many, many happy returns for you

    • #172655
      djk
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Lucy I honestly never thought of an induction plate. Although I am not sure it will work according to code either as the whole apartment house does not have grounded electricity and the existing built-in simply plugged into a normal socket under the sink. I get wonderful shocks when running the dishwasher.
      But our loo is not down the hall, nor our shower in our kitchen, as some of our friends here live with…

    • #172656
      chacha1
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Gee, djk, sounds like a tenants uprising is in order. That power supply is not safe!

      Moving2LL: just breathe! Enjoy those last few baths (for a while). And remember every big adventure looks scary till you’re well into it. Congratulations on all your excellent prep work and best wishes for a happy new-home-coming.

    • #172672
      SunshineR
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      M2L: I wish you all the happiness in the world!

      djk: be careful with that power supply!

    • #172681
      lucy1965
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      @djk I’m loathe to suggest an uprising, but is there something in your tenancy agreement about the premises being offered in good/safe working order, and your options for redress if they aren’t? Random shocks from a 220/240 system are not easily shrugged off. We like you far too much to want to see you putting yourself at risk just to do the dishes!

    • #172685
      Claycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Djk, in simple terms, sue their pants off if they don’t come up to code! They are risking your lives!

    • #172689
      djk
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      LOL thanks;)

      here the landlord doesn’t have responsibility for anything except perhaps checking that the Hausmeister washes the hall&stairs occasionally (ours sluices hot soapy water from the top floor and it roars down the tight, concrete, spiral stairs like soapy death, sucks to be you if you are ancient grandma walking up at the time), the tenant holds all the responsibility, and never sees that money again. No reimbursement. So when the furnace/fridge/washer/hotplate dies–or roof leaks–tenant pays for it all, from what I have learned. New buildings have different restrictions of course. But old ones…well…stories I have heard are pretty crazy here. Like the kitchen cupboards that dropped off the wall completely and randomly, and the landlord(who put them in) refused to fix them or put them up again or replace them. There appears to be no legal recourse, no ombudsman. Certainly no tenants’ protection!

      In cities that date back to the Roman Empire (a generous percentage of our city water here still is carried by a Roman aquaduct) there are many, many grandfathered clauses.

      and the damage deposit is 3-4 months’ rent. Some places ask for 5-6. Insult to injury.

      but I have hijacked this thread enough–

      back to OP: living in Europe is wonderful–truly–but there is some wacky S&&T here. Probably less in the Netherlands! They are pretty brisk and efficient and have a tendency to have excellent English. I have to rely on my DH to deal with stuff in German, and he is likely to shrug and say that “well, this isn’t North America”

      ain’t in Kansas anymore I guess.

    • #172728
      morfydd
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      djk-

      I’m in an older apartment (in Hamburg) myself, and I’ve not had any trouble with repairs. I’m used to owning my home and figured repairs were my responsibility, but when I finally called about some things they scolded me for not letting them know earlier.

      It is true that appliances and fixtures are your own responsibility, including kitchen cabinets, which are usually installed by the tenant and taken with them when they leave. If you’re not handy yourself, I definitely recommend finding a good handyman for those sort of things.

      However, there must be a Mieterverein (renters association) that you can talk to – unsafe electrical systems are no way acceptable. I haven’t worked with a Mieterverein yet, but I am told they are hard-core in fighting for tenant’s rights. And in Germany tenants have a *lot* of rights.

    • #172732

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Less than a week now!

      One little tip I have done that has reduced my feeling of being overwhelmed: I am leaving a house that will continue to be occupied by my roommate for a while, but he is moving soon too. We never really had a clear delination between what was mine and his, we kinda shared, always asking first. Thus, my things have migrated all over the house. It hasn’t been easy to feel “accomplished” or near done my roommate’s stuff is still everywhere, ie: I don’t get the accomplishment of an empty room. So, as I am cleaning out, say, the office, I pack what I know I want to take, I put the “maybes” in the maybe box, and the rest go into the trash or donation boxes. I sweep the room, make sure I have everything, and then put a removable sticker with a bright red ‘X’ on the door, so I know that room is empty of my stuff, and I can now ignore it. Whatever I have forgotten must not be important enough, and I can always have my roommate send it if it is vital (unlikely)
      I have also made a staging area, my walk in closet, where I have moved through the house multiple times, and anytime I find something I want, I take it to that room. So between the red x stickers, and this staging technique, I can ignore whole rooms. I use them for living of course, but it is almost like having an empty room, I don’t have to spare any neurons thinking about my wayward items. It has also helped me visualize what I can and cant take, because I know that candle holder isn’t gonna fit next to that stack of cd’s so it has to go.

      The two suitcases that have been packed and repacked and repacked over the last month are very very full. I think the big one is about done, but I am still trying to fit some things in. The little one has a bit more room, but still pretty darn full. I think some of my remaining clothes will have to go, just because I can’t fit them, and I can always go shopping later. I have a feeling that once I get over there, I will be laughing at myself, “Why the heck did I lug this all the way here?”
      My Nederlander is beside himself with excitement, but also doing some uncluttering himself so he can be ready for my stuff!

    • #172733

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      and djk- Your renting problems sound awful! But I love how the unclutterers have jumped to your aid and are trying to find a way to help! πŸ™‚

    • #172752

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Oh, so excited for you too! Now that you’ve visited Harry Potter (twice(!)) you can leave without that regret . . . Thanks for keeping us abreast of your exciting journey! Best wishes to you!

    • #172753
      morfydd
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      MtL-

      Yeah, I bet there will be a bunch of “why did I bring *that*?” I hauled a huge suitcase full of clothes from my house last Christmas, and I think I’ve decluttered 90% of it already. But it will be nice at first to have at least something familiar around.

    • #172811
      djk
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      thanks for the support all, and the link, Katha! My German isn’t up to snuff but DH is German so the language is no problem. However, he is always talking about how very different Austria is from Germany! In this case I don’t know though.

      we wouldn’t have known about the ungrounded electricity until we had an electrician in and he told us. But the current (bad pun)situation, according to him, is common and not a big deal. My eyes were wide…

    • #172820
      Claycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Don’t forget to check MTL’s blog! She is leaving in just 4 days!!!!

      http://aprilinnederland.blogspot.com/

    • #172944
      Claycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Wow! I believe this is MTL’s last day in the states! MTL, have a great and safe trip! My hope for you is that everything goes smoothly. I will be thinking of you.

    • #172953
      djk
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      ditto! safe travels to you!

    • #172958

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Hi all!
      Well tomorrow is the day I say good bye. Thursday was my last day at my awesome job, and I will truly miss everyone there, so it was a melancholy day. But the last two have been full of last minute errands, last packing, nervously weighing my bags, cleaning the house and trying to make sure I don’t forget something!

      I know tomorrow is going to be super busy, and I have my coffee ready. I am off to spend the last night in town with my family, and I will be posting on my blog tomorrow while waiting for my plane!!!!!!!
      I can’t believe it is here. I hope all of the planning will make things go smoothly. I cant wait to be with my liefje!
      Thank you for all of the well wishes too!! I will think of you guys tomorrow πŸ™‚

    • #172977
      maco
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Woo congrats!

      My recent start on purging has also been spurred by the idea of moving to Europe and the impossibleness of trying to take all this junk.

    • #172982
      bandicoot
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      a safe and happy journey to you, MTL!!
      i’ve been reading along since your first post and impressed with your efficiency.
      i know you’ll be busy when you get there, but do drop us a line to let us know how you are settling in, hey?

    • #172993
      RJ
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Have a great trip MTL! I look forward to reading your blog.

    • #173449

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      hi everyone! This is super belated, but obviously I made it!! Life has been wonderful for the last week, and I am settling in happily. The halloween party was an awesome time with full dj and fog machine (and smears of fake blood on the floor. You just have to give these duchies the supplies and they jump right in with halloween spirit!
      As for fitting all of my stuff in, it has been pretty easy. My sweet Nederlander had made a nice amount of room for me in his closets, and I did the forum proud by decluttering a lot of bed linens and towels and opened up even more. I bought a few baskets and organizational items, and that made everything nice and neat. Now I have to introduce my sweetie to proper decluttering, as he has a lot of “hidden” clutter. πŸ™‚
      I am super excited about the ease of finding asian spices and foods! Lots of thai, indonesian and indian spices and sauces are right there at the market across the street! I also had an oliebollen, which was steaming hot and covered in sugar. Yum yum yum. I am going to have to resist going to the baker every day, or I will be as round as an oliebollen quickly.
      But it has been awesome and fun, walking around the adorable city center of Purmerend, and or just hanging out with my Nederlander.
      If you guys want to continue to follow me, please go to my blog at aprilinnederland.blogspot.com. Thank you guys for all the awesome support!

    • #173456
      irishbell
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      It is wonderful to hear how well things have turned out for you, and it sounds like you have been busy as a bee! Good for you!

    • #173472
      SunshineR
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      MTL: (April) I am so happy to hear your news!

      trillie: are you OK? where are you?

    • #173523
      djk
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      mmmmm oliebollen! love it!

      we Mennonites only make it at New Year’s, and we call it porzelky (about eleventybillion different spellings, none agreed upon)

    • #173539
      Claycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      MTL, great to hear things are going well!

    • #174003

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Hello. How are you doing? Will you be seeing Harry Potter this Friday and will it be in English with subtitles or dubbed?

      PS Atlas looks like a fine dog. What kind is he?

    • #174010
      chacha1
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      MTL (April), I just checked your blog and I just love your whole story. After seeing how cute you and G both are, it’s no wonder things ended up this way. Glad Atlas had a safe trip as well.

    • #174034

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Helloooo My Unclutterees!

      Things are going great here in Purmerend. Today there was a big street market in the city center, lots of fun things to check out. I didn’t buy anything, but I certainly THOUGHT about it. πŸ™‚
      Best part : I saw an older guy actually wearing wooden clogs/Klompen while shopping! How awesome is that!
      Thanks for those of you that are following my blog. It is nice to know someone is out there reading. I hope you all are well πŸ™‚

      @Needtoclean: I am very lucky in that I get to see it tomorrow! It comes out sooner here for some reason, and I am soo going to jump on that. Yes, it will be in english with subtitles, thank goodness. I cant wait!

      @chacha, Claycat thanks!! πŸ™‚
      @djk: I have had now THREE oliebollen(one with raisins) and they were all sinfully delicious. Thank goodness they are only around for the season!

    • #174046
      Claycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      I have really been enjoying your blog! I love articles, photos, and videos from people living in other countries. I will not be able to visit all of these places, but the virtual visits are wonderful! Thank you, April!

    • #174055

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Oh I am so jealous! I have to wait til Friday to see it . . . I can’t wait either!

      Glad you are enjoying your new city and life there. I enjoy your blog too!

    • #174069
      Claycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Good to see you back, trillie! πŸ™‚

    • #174101
      SunshineR
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Trillie, I missed your posts. Glad to hear you are back.

    • #174103
      bandicoot
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      olliebollen! want!

    • #174137
      SunshineR
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      are olliebollen like apple/raisin fritters (doughnuts)?

    • #174144
      pkilmain
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Sunshine – I found this one a recipe site: “Ollie-bollen, or (Oliebollen) is a dutch pastry similar to a doughnut. It typically is a deep fried pastry filled with raisins and dusted with powdered sugar. Some modern variations serve them topped with berry filling, but this is a traditional recipe. Oliebollen are a traditional treat on New Year’s”

    • #174152
      djk
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      http://mennonitegirlscancook.blogspot.com/2009/12/portzelky-new-year-fritters.html

      yummy!!!!!!!!!!!

      we only eat them at New Year’s

    • #174166
      SunshineR
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Thanks, pkilmain. We have apple/raisin fritters (large doughnuts) at our local bakery. I just can’t believe that I never heard of Olliebollen before, because I live in Pennsylvania. Lots of Amish/Mennonites in various parts of the state.

    • #175974

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      MovingToLowlands: Happy First New Year in the old country/new land!!! I’ll have to check your blog to see how you are doing. How are you? I went to see Harry Potter and then reread the book to refresh my memory; and now I’ll have to go see it again. I really enjoyed this one! Best wishes to you in your new life over there! NTCH

    • #176421

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Happy New Year needtocleanhouse and all my other unclutterer friends!
      It has been a great start to the new year here. It is awfully cold, but this Floridian girl is determined to not let it affect her. I even wore a skirt without tights today!
      I am still looking for a job, but I found one that would be PERFECT and actually great for my career (rather than the step back I had been expecting) so I am praying with all my heart to the Spaghetti Monster that I will at least get an interview.
      I haven’t been a very good blogger the last few weeks, but I took some photos today and will get back to blogging more often with my OWN photos and media.
      Thanks for reading!
      NTCH: The harry potter movie was great! I really enjoyed it and I picked up the series again too! I am even starting from book 1, which I normally skip. (Not that I need an excuse to read these books for the nth time!) I also made sure to wear my Ravenclaw scarf to the movie! πŸ™‚ I am such a nerd.

    • #176424
      Claycat
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Good luck with the job!

    • #176479

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Oooooohhh! A Ravenclaw scarf. Where’d you get that? Stop giving me ideas – now I’ll have to find something to take with me or wear when I go see it again. But it’s Griffindore for moi! Why Ravenclaw?

      Sending hope for that job!

      Your proud to be a most excellent nerd friend, NTCH

    • #176516
      SunshineR
      Member

      Moving Overseas: European Edition!

      Good luck with the interview!

Viewing 91 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.