The Move

I talked briefly about our move on my other blog on Monday, but for the future-FS folks who may not have read it, I thought I'd go into a little more detail here, since even though we've all moved, not everyone has experienced a State Department move. And it is different.

First of all, in all our moves (including several military moves), I've never had so many darn movers. We had four the first day, six the second. And we didn't have THAT much stuff! Our house had two bedrooms, an office, and a partially finished basement. I can't imagine what this is like for families of four or more. Yikes! And I've also never had stuff going in so many different directions. Between HHE, UAB, our luggage, and storage, there were a lot of moving parts. It was impossible to keep an eye on every mover at all times, so I can only hope the right things end up in the right place. I should mention that the movers packed everything really well, and they were relatively efficient (aside from the guy who took about two hours to wrap our snow tires in packing paper; that was ridic).

This is what happens when you buy enough beer and wine for two years.

As I noted before, State doesn't move on weekends, so you'll want to take that into account when you plan your move. Since we are leaving on a Monday, we could either move over a week before our actual leave date (like we did), or do it just a few days prior to leaving. It seemed a little silly to stay in a hotel for ten days, but since State pays for it, and this would have been way too chaotic three days before leaving, I'm glad we chose to do it this way. Jack is actually much happier in the hotel than he was in our house, which probably looked completely unfamiliar the last few days.

Soooo happy to be in the hotel!

The only thing I regret was not planning out the UAB better (unaccompanied baggage). I had no idea what 600 pounds looks like, and I also didn't expect them to pack it first. So in all the madness I somehow ended up forgetting to pack the diapers and wipes. And Jack's toys. Whoops. Something to keep in mind for the future, perhaps? We're lucky we're going to a post where most things should be available (albeit expensively), but if you were going somewhere more remote and forgot those kinds of necessities, it might be a long month or so until your HHE arrived!

All in all, it was a pretty low-key move, mostly because I couldn't really DO anything. I've never felt so useless during a move. I actually sat on the stairs and played with my phone for a good chunk of time. On the second day I took Jack to the hotel for his nap while John stayed behind to supervise. The State Department definitely took care of things. The only casualty? One of my Limoge boxes, which I broke myself. Don't worry, the reading pigs are safe. But the French vegetable stand is going to need some gluing come Russia.

Any questions? Feel free to ask! We depart for Yekaterinburg in three days. Next Friday's post should be...interesting.


  1. I'm going to take you up on that and ask a question! I'm an FSO hopeful (OA scheduled for October) and curious about how moves work. I'd be moving across the county to DC for A100, then moving again to post. So, would I just take what fits in my car, ship 200 lbs to Oakwood, and ship the rest to storage? And then before moving to post would I get access to my stuff to sort out what I actually need? I realize that scenarios is a bit different than yours, but anything you might happen to know would be great to hear.

  2. Hi FSO Hopeful! We already lived in DC so my experience was obviously very different. Apparently you will be able to access storage, but you won't be able to go into individual boxes, so that's something to keep in mind when you pack. Anyone else want to weigh in here who's done the move to Oakwood? My husband also said to check out the FS Yahoo group (he was addicted to that thing during the application process). If you do a search, someone will no doubt have already answered your question :) Sorry I couldn't be more helpful!

  3. Free hotel? I hope you picked something five stars :P

  4. Thanks! I am on the Yahoo groups and they've been very helpful with the prep phase. Good luck with your move!


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