Packout, Day 2. Final day. Tomorrow, the movers come. All the boxes and all the big furniture items go bye-bye. Seems like forever, since we won’t see the majority of our items for at least 2, more likely 3, years. But it is done.

Ah, silly me. Remember my previous post, where I guessed our level of preparedness as 8 on a scale of 1 to 10? Oh, no. Not even close.

Turns out, I had no idea how to gauge the weight of all of our belongings. We were allowed 600 lbs of goods to fly air to Washington, DC. Unlike most people who send stuff UAB (Unaccompanied Baggage), we won’t see the rest of our possessions (and then, only some of them) until we move to Brazil. So we’ll be living with and off of the 600 lbs we sent UAB for about seven months. (Our actual ship-out weight, with packing materials, was 598 lbs.)

Then, we were given 18,000 lbs for all the rest of our belongings, divided between what will go to Brazil (max 7,200 lbs, if we move into a place that is furnished, which they say is likely) and what will go into long-term storage. We thought, 18,000 lbs? No problem?

And here we are, two days later, having sold a washer and dryer, given away two couches, a coffee table, a storage closet, a baker’s rack, an office chair, numerous other little items, a file cabinet, a patio table and chairs, four outdoor chairs, six fire extinguishers, and I don’t know what else. Oh, yes, I do know what else. Books! My beloved books! I’d already given 40 bags of books to the library, and not just paperbacks. My wonderful hardcover books. Then, told that we were likely 6,000 lbs overweight, I opted to give even more away.

I think, all told, I’ve given away half of my books, if not more. Oh, the pain. These are what I collect. Nothing else. I love my books. But, as my friend Meg Gardiner says, don’t think of it as giving them away, but as sharing them. Okay, so, people, go read! My books are in the Rancho Penasquitos Library, or on sale in the Friends of the Library center.

We also decided to store my grandmother’s upright grand piano here in San Diego. (Stop laughing! I FORGOT about the piano when I was trying to gauge the weight of our belongings!) Now, I’m certain we’ll be below the 18,000 lb limit. Please, God, make it so.

At this point, I am done with possessions. I never felt like I was connected to most of what we own. I simply had no idea how much we owned! Now, we’re pared down to two easy chairs, a dining set and hutch, an entertainment hutch (which I built), three beds, three dressers (two small ones), and living stuff. Oh, and several small bookcases, which I will need for my remaining books. I am, after all, a writer. I need SOME books!

In truth, I’m happy to be freed from a lot of this. I feel much lighter. And it’s all stuff that we can live without. Somehow, like ships at sea, we’d had these things adhere to us like barnacles in the past 19 years. I’ll be more aware in the future of what I need to scrape off regularly. And now, I’ll buy e-books. It’s too hard to give real books away!

Tomorrow will be a tough day. Not saying goodbye to our belongings, but saying goodbye to our family home. So many wonderful memories of our family growing up there. First steps, school days, love and laughter. It’s going to be rough.