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  • Writer's pictureHelpful Gleanings

Part 1 - Before You Start

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Out with the Old…

It’s amazing how much stuff you can accumulate over time. Getting rid of stuff in preparation for leaving our home was a time-consuming process, as I’m sure any move is.


Timing - The first piece of advice I would offer is that before you start packing everything down, try to be sure of the timing. If you’re not sure, then wait. The Lord confirmed that it was time to start deputation in April of 2017, but we didn’t leave our home until May 2018, over a year later. The Lord is never in a hurry. At the time I didn’t know we would still be in our home a full year later and so I had a yard sale and sold a lot of things I could have used over the course of time. Not only could I have used those items, but I also could have enjoyed my home a bit longer. With that being said, I would suggest waiting until the Lord makes things a bit clearer before getting rid of things and packing everything down.

Getting rid of things - During the year waiting period, I was able to sort through junk drawers and paperwork and also organize my Bible school notes and keepsakes. I was able to get rid of everything that wasn’t needed and organize the stuff we would be keeping, but weren’t using, so it was ready to be packed down when the time came.

Sorting- I sorted everything into four piles and then separated those piles into piles… It was taxing on my patience, to say the least. Below I explain how I sorted these into different groups.

Pile #1 - Keep

· Sub Pile #1. Goes to Spain

· Sub Pile #2. Immediate Deputation - What we would need to take with us during the summer months, camping gear, swimwear, etc.

· Sub Pile #3. Future Deputation. Winter wear, potty training items, next size up in baby clothes.

· Sub Pile #4. "Just in case" items. This pile included things like baby and maternity clothes in case I needed them during deputation. It also included items I didn’t necessarily need on deputation, but I wouldn’t take them to Spain either.

Pile #2 - Sell

This is pretty straight forward. I put everything I intended to sell at our yard sale in a pile. I made sure to clean it/wipe it down and tag it with a price sticker before putting it in the pile.

Pile #3 - Giveaway

For family and friends.

Pile #4 - Garbage

You’d be surprised how many items and pieces of paper you’ve hung onto that are straight-up garbage.

The items that were supposed to go to Spain with us I tried to pack down in a way so they were ready to be shipped. Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish that, and things were chaotically shoved in the storage unit until a further date. In hindsight, it was unnecessary to start this process. Fast forward to the middle of deputation and we needed to go through the bins again and rethink what we were taking with us. After some reconsideration, things that seemed important when we first left our home, have little meaning and aren’t worth shipping. Another reason to delay this step is that plans change so much on deputation. You may plan to ship things one way (via plane for example) and find you need to pack things to be shipped a different way (perhaps via cargo ship).

However, I will list the supplies we used to pack things down in preparation for shipping.

Supplies for sorting:

  • Vacuum seal bags - these are a must-have! We used them on deputation as well

  • Garbage bags - lots

  • Cardboard boxes

  • Plastic latch boxes - bought at Walmart with the plan to ship items to Spain

  • Tape

  • Sharpie

  • Pen and paper - for keeping an inventory of bags and boxes

Supplies for shipping:

  • Card board boxes (In the end we shipped via cargo container and mostly used these boxes for packing)

  • Plastic totes to hold more sensitive items

  • Packing material (i.e. bubble wrap, news paper, plastic bags, etc.)

  • Black marker

  • Paper to write numbers/inventory on and attach to each box

  • Tape

  • Phone to record inventory of each box



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