When we decided to change our lives and move to London for three years, we realized it would mean selling our house, cars and much of what we own. Knowing that would need to happen was one thing. Actually doing it is entirely something else.
This week, the company we hired to sell most of our possessions started the process in earnest. We identified as best we could the few things we want to put in storage (china, china cabinet, various keepsakes) and an even smaller amount of things to ship to London (clothes, a few kitchen items, etc.). Then the crew ascended on us to catalog, photograph, and prepare the rest for sale.
What that means is literally taking everything out of it’s proper place, grouping things, photographing things, getting our possessions ready for an online auction that will last 10 days. And it isn’t just getting rid of things…it is dealing with all the memories all those things have attached to them.
It isn’t easy. It is painful. It is devastating.
We also hadn’t anticipated the impact on our lives this would have. Our normally neat, well kept and tidy home became a chaotic mess. The inside looked like a hurricane came through. And about all we could do was sit and watch, and answer the occasional question of whether this or that should be sold.
These pictures don’t quite capture the level of pandemonium that we’ve lived with the last few days
I have to say the crew who did this were outstanding. Polite. Conscientious, and sensitive… even compassionate. And for all the moving of things, some of them quite fragile, I’m not aware of anything being broken.
At the end of three days of this, the crew head came and told us there were finished. The house is in a little less mess, although we still see many of our things sitting in different places, labeled to be sold.
Tomorrow the online auction will begin. Our kids are coming to take away some furniture and other items they are interested in. So the house is beginning to empty. In a little more than a week, buyers will descend on the house and the auction company will distribute our life’s possessions. Anything left unsold will be donated or trashed. About the same time the moving company will take storage items to store, and pack a few things for shipment. And then, all will be gone.
All in all, we know this is the right thing to do. We are anxious to begin a new life chapter in London. And some day, hopefully some time from now, our kids won’t have a huge estate to deal with.
Still, the week has left us stressed out, and feeling a little like we’ve been hit repeatedly by a large truck. I’m not sure we could have done anything differently. But for anyone considering this kind of a massive life change, be prepared. It isn’t easy.