Aliens in the Apple

Packing up, cleaning out, giving away, selling…

Franci 24 May 2012 Apartment living Friends NYC Updates

That’s what I’m doing a lot of at the moment. And I’m seriously worried about this 4 suitcase limit. I’m just praying that our rental car can fit more than that because just our family’s clothing takes up 3 suitcases! That’s summer and winter clothing for 4 people after I’ve given away and pared down all I can. We’re very willing to pay for an extra few suitcases for going on the plane, but the challenge is fitting things into the rental car for the two months before we get to the plane!

On Saturday we hope to have a Stoop Sale (that’s what it’s called here in Brooklyn because people don’t have yards or garages). I’m so thankful that Lillian and Jeremy are going to be here this weekend to help out with that and with bits and pieces that need to be done.

Ben’s last day at work is on Tuesday. Despite interviewing a bunch of people, they still haven’t found a replacement for his position, and I think that has him leaving with a bit of a bad feeling. But that’s unfortunately the state of things.

We sold our bed on Monday, so since then we’ve been sleeping on the floor in our room. The kids think this is great because now they can rough and tumble all the more on our bed without the risk of falling off! Someone’s coming to look at the couch tonight, so hopefully we can sell that too!

I have so many things I want to share here on the blog about things we’ve done recently and people we’ve caught up with, but I’m lacking in time! I’ll see if I can do a bit of a summary post before we leave.

We’ve been having some really precious times with friends over the last few weeks, with memories I’ll treasure for years to come. We’ve got some more get-togethers planned that I’m really looking forward to, and at church this Sunday (our last Sunday at MeRF, <sigh>) they’re putting on a farewell lunch for us. I feel so humbled by people’s generosity and kindness to us not only recently but in the last 2 years. They have made our two years here so much more special, and have blessed us with friendships we will cherish for the rest of our lives.

Comments (4)

Hanneke C 24 May 2012 at 8:44pm

Will be thinking of you :). I’m at the beginning of the journey, I’m trying to fit our life in one suitcase each for three years. I can sympathise! We too might have to pay for a few extra suitcases as I’ve looked at different options to get things over but paying for suitcases seem to be the cheapest easiest way to go.

Franci 24 May 2012 at 8:59pm

Hanneke, I got some advice before coming here that I thought at the time was too way outrageous/expensive. The person said “Don’t worry about trying to buy second hand furniture over there and certainly don’t bring any household things. You can get it all for cheap at IKEA.” I didn’t believe her, and how I wish I did. I brought silly things like cutlery (heavy!). Pretty much everything here is cheaper than in NZ. There isn’t much of a second hand market here (in NYC), and things from IKEA are cheap and good quality, especially their household goods. The furniture can be flimsy, but if you choose well, you should be alright. You should also look on Craigslist for furniture if you need to get some. There you’ll get cheap second hand stuff (a bit like TradeMe, but without the bidding).

Clothing also is very cheap, especially if you shop sales at places like Target, Walmart and Old Navy. I got Esther’s summer clothes for this season online at Target’s clearance section. Think $1.50 for a brand new pair of shorts or a shirt. Awesome.

Yes, suitcases are definitely the cheapest way to go. Shipping things are SO expensive — we looked into that too.

All the best with the move! I have LOVED my time in the States. You’ll find most of the stereotypes of Americans are just that — stereotypes. I could go on, but I’ll stop now. :-)

Hanneke C 27 May 2012 at 7:33pm

Thanks heaps for your thoughts! (silly me should have ticked the notify box :( hence the late response). I LOVE your blog and have been following it for a wee while now, I hope a few ‘road trip’ stories will make it on your blog! I’m only bringing clothes and a few favourite books for the girls and that’s about it. I’m taking your advice (and plenty of others have said the same :) ) and will only take the minimum.

I was re-reading some of your flight experiences and slightly (only very slightly) worried about flying internally in the States, I suppose it’s just one of these things you need to do! I’ve also done as you did and wrapped the girls ‘presents’ in wrapping paper for on the plane!

I do think it will help that I’ve immigrated myself (ie new language, culture etc) before and my parents made it a very positive experience and I would like to do the same for them. (at least this time the language will be similar!!).

Hopefully in the future, might see you in person one day!

PS I have very fond memories of my parents shopping at IKEA in Holland (or Belgium) and also looking forward to an Aldi shopping experience, again my mum’s favourite shop!

Miriam 29 May 2012 at 4:18am

I too know the feeling of having to pack. not quite to the extent of what you’re having to do. Funny you should say that you’re having a stoop sale as we hope to have a garage sale (or yard/driveway sale since we don’t use the garage) this weekend. I must say you having to pack makes me glad because it means we get to see you again soon. However it does mean we have to move and make way for you to return home. But small price to pay really to have such an awesome friend back in Chch (I would say neighbourhood but not sure where we will be living yet). Have a great road trip. Look forward to hearing all the stories. And have a great trip back.
Much love, Miriam.

P.S. Hanneke, look forward to seeing you soon but will be sad to see you, Albert and the girls go. Hopefully we can come see you in America. 12 1/2 year wedding anniversary sounds like a nice time for a trip to America but then we better start saving hard.