Wednesday, June 11, 2014


(Version française demain)

In the last few weeks, I have been often asked: "So, you are ready?"
My answer is always : No, well, that's not too bad...I think so... but not really... (inside: it's fine, no, what.... aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh)

The process started months ago by purging, purging, purging. It was not too bad because we live in a small house and we started to try to own less over the years. Still, with me as a teacher and more over a theatre teacher, a whole shelf in the garage was belonging to me and Adam has a lot, a lot, a lot of tools, bike stuffs and making wine stuffs.

Our process was having grocery paper bag by the back exit. I would fill them of things in the house that we did not need anymore or did not want to keep (I guess that's the same thing). Then, I would bring it to the garage and when there were too many bags, I would sort those out to put any items where it belonged: donate, keep, sell, France, California, we don't know pile.

So we organized the shelves in the garage accordingly. It was allowing me to make a first survey of what to ship overseas and to make the shelves and the ground more accessible.

For weeks, Adam and I went back and forth on what to do. We were never on the same page at the same time. One thing, we agreed quickly was : no furniture. All our furniture is pretty much Ikea and nothing is worth the $10 000 container that would transport our furniture for three months.
So one of us would say: "Let's just not bring anything." and then, "yes, but what about Mael's toys and books, we are not going to bring all of them but that's important to him." "Ok, but let's only do that. yes, but what about this and this." " Is all of this, worth $3000" and so on...
Eventually, we did decide on shipping the content of a lift van.

So you contact two or three companies that you have researched. They send someone for a visual survey and they tell you from what you show them what type of container and how much it will cost. At this point, you had to have made decisions and sorted out things so you can be close to accurate.

So a Lift Van it is. $3000. 4(width) x 7(length) x 7(height). Try it. Visualize the dimensions and then go around your house and garage and fill it.

Our stuff will go to England and then travel down by truck to Grenoble. It will take approximately 3 months. I am guessing we will get our stuff by the end of September (if we ever get an apartment but that's another story)

Now, we are also going to store a few things in California. Thank you John and Kathy.

Last week, people asked me: "So, you are packing?" And I was mmmh, no, not yet. I mean, the company is packing so we are sorting... and then, I start panicking... should we start packing? we are busy getting rid of stuffs so I guess in our case, that's like packing. We are packing away...

But here we are, getting so close, it's almost tangible. I have to pack for the next three or four months including medical records and other paperwork (thank you usb key). And this time, unlike, 10 years ago, I also pack for two very young munchkins...

(Version française demain)

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Nous avons acheté notre maison, notre première maison, en décembre 2009. (Maël avait un an et c’est toute sa vie. Il appelle le parc du quartier “MON parc”.)
Je me souviendrais toujours du jour où on a signé les papiers, le 23 décembre. Je pensais à quel point nous avions été stressés ces derniers mois et maintenant, on signait une montagne de papiers nous rappelant que nous étions en train de nous endetter comme jamais et je me rappellerai toujours du moment où j’ai vu le calendrier estimé des paiements parce que tout à coup, j'ai cru avoir une crise cardiaque. 

Il y a eu des moments pendant lesquels nous n’étions pas sûrs que nous étions capables de nous occuper d’une maison (temps et argent). Maintenant, il est clair que nous avons réussi et que c’était une bonne décision. On adore notre maison mais il n’y a vraiment aucune raison de la garder. La louer serait stressant et ennuyeux à gérer à distance et nous ne désirons pas la garder pour notre retour éventuel. Elle est petite (une des raisons pour lesquelles nous l’aimons à vrai dire) et ça marche avec deux enfants en bas âge mais quand j’imagine deux adolescents sur le canapé dans le salon, j’ai envie de partir vite. Nous ne désirons pas une très grande maison mais une pièce supplémentaire serait utile pour plus tard.

Tout est allé très vite. La maison était officiellement en vente le 5 mai et deux, trois jours plus tard, nous avions plusieurs offres dont une plus élévée que le prix demandé. C’était bizarre de décider de choisir l’offre la plus élévée sans savoir qui allait vivre ici. C’était étrange d’imaginer plusieurs personnes (voisins inclus) visitant la maison pendant notre absence.

En avril, nous avions fait des changements pour rendre la maison plus neutre et plus désirable. Changer l’emplacement de certains meubles, des nouveaux rideaux (8 $ sur Amazon), enlever toutes les photos et tous les dessins des enfants. Cela nous a obligé à trier, stocker, donner beaucoup de choses en avance. On avait déjà commencé le processus durant les mois précédents mais il y a toujours plus. D’une certaine manière, ceci nous a aidé à réaliser que nous vendions notre propriété et que par conséquent, la maison ne nous appartenait déjà plus.  

C’est très bien que tout se soit passé facilement et rapidement parce que garder la maison présentable et propre avec deux enfants, c’est du boulot! Tous les jouets et jeux que nous avons stocker dans le garage et donner n’ont pas manqué aux enfants et cela est une bonne transition pour eux. Et c’est plus rapide à ranger. C'est fou, mais c’est bien d’avoir cette expérience aussi pour nous pousser à réfléchir à tout ce que l’on possède (prochain article à ce sujet).

L’inspection et l’estimation ont eu lieu. Quelques travaux de rien du tout à faire. La date officielle de signatures est fixée au 16 juin.

Portland nous traite bien ce printemps niveau météo. C’est parfois un peu triste de penser qu’on ne sera pas là cet été pour profiter de notre jardin mais en même temps, nous avons la chance de pouvoir en profiter un maximum en ce moment.

À partir du 16 juin, la maison ne sera plus notre maison. On aura la maison encore une semaine pour trier et gérer le déménagement mais nous resterons ailleurs. À partir du 22 juin, nous serons en route pour la Californie.

Quitter notre maison, c’est un peu comme finir un bon livre. Ça donne envie de ralentir la lecture parce que l’on sait qu’on touche à la fin mais, en réalité, on est si heureux de l’avoir lu. 

PROCHAIN ARTICLE : L’envoi d’effets personnels de l’autre côté du monde. 

We bought our house, our first house, in December 2009. (Maël was 1 year old and it’s all his life. He calls the neighborhood park “MY park”.) I will always remember signing the paperwork on December 23rd, thinking how much stressed we had been in the past few months and now we were signing a mountain of paperwork just so we could have debts, a lot, an amount that made me choke when I saw the payments schedule. 

There were moments, where we wondered if we could keep it up (time and finances), but it was such a good decision. We love it.  There was no reason for us to keep it. Renting it would be a pain and stressful from so far away and we won’t come back to it. It is small and we knew when we bought it that we will outgrow it at some point. Imagining two growing boys in this house, and I want to run away. I don’t want a much bigger house but as a family, but an additional room seems fair. 

Things are going fast. The house was on the market on the 5th, and two-three days later we had five offers and one was much more than what we were asking. It was weird to decide to just go with the best financial offer not thinking about who would be in the house. It was weird to imagine people walking in and out for several days, even neighbors visiting our house while we were not here. 

In the month of April, we made some changes to make the house more neutral, less personal, more marketable. We changed furniture, bought new curtains ($8 on amazon), removed all personal kids art or pictures. That made us work really hard at moving a lot of things out of the house (we had already started the process in the past several months) but also made us realize that we are selling our property and that in some ways, it already does not belong to us anymore. 

Also, it is nice that it is going fast because keeping a house clean ready to be visited with two young children requires some work. Kids actually don’t play with much, and we don’t have much to put away. It’s crazy. It’s nice. It makes us reflect on our possession. (Next Blog entry)

Inspection and appraisal have happened. A few things need to be done but nothing major and closing is scheduled for the 16th of June.

Portland has been treating us very well weather wise lately and hanging out in our nice yard makes me feel sad that we won’t be here this Summer but also happy that we get to enjoy it. 

By June 16th, the house will not be our house (we will have the house for a week while we deal with things though we will be staying somewhere else for a week).
By June 22nd,we will be on our way to California.

Leaving our house is like finishing a good book. It makes you want to slow down because you are almost at the end and you don’t want it to be finished but, really, you are so happy to have read it. 

NEXT BLOG ENTRY: SHIPPING OVERSEAS and the immediate minimizing effect