They say hindsight is 20/20 – easy to know the right thing to do after it has already happened. And that is so true now that I have moved our belongings from one country to another (and not to mention from one house to another here in GA).
You would think that limiting yourself to half a container will automatically force you to leave junk behind and only bring the really, really, really important things, but alas, that was not the case for us.
Here is my list of the 7 items I think should have stayed behind in South Africa:
1 – Kids Toys & Games
When we moved here, Simon and Sidney were little kids, 9 and 8 years old. I gave them each 5 (!) plastic containers which they could fill with their favorite / most special toys. I did not check the contents of these containers (silly me) and they were wrapped and shipped here with the rest of our carefully chosen items. Will you believe me if I say we finally unpacked incomplete plastic tea sets and toy cars with missing wheels? Or dolls with chopped off hair and missing limbs? Yes, that happened… And of course, by the time we took delivery of our shipment, the kids already had a bunch of new toys to play with (thank you Walmart!) and didn’t even look at these containers twice.
2 – Kitchen Items
I kind of understand if you want to bring your brand new, very unique and very expensive set of dinner plates, bowls, and cups, or your very expensive cutlery set, never used, and still in the original wooden display box… But really, do not pack up your incomplete set of silverware, still in their iffy plastic drawer divider… Or your current set of “good carving knives”. Chances are that they are not that good anymore and you will have more than enough choices for new ones on the other side.
3 – Hunting Clothes / Camouflage Wear
This one was not that obvious to me. We packed Pieter’s hunting boots, the ones permanently stained with animal blood, and his hunting jacket with the very specific brown Karoo (a Semi-desert region of South Africa) camouflage pattern… and even an old Army coat. Till this day, he never wore these items ever again. He has been back to South Africa multiple times to go hunting, but do you think those items travelled back with him? Nope. Anyway, hunting here is different. If you do get to go on a hunt, your Karoo jacket will make you stand out like a sore thumb – the vegetation is just not the same. Who knew…
4 – Anything Electronic
This was more obvious since we have lived in the US before and knew this. No, we didn’t pack up our television, but we still ended up with a handful of electronic items. A portable DVD player and one of those electronic picture frames, to name two. They can only work with the special converter plug thingy which I can’t find anywhere. Sure, I can go on Amazon and get another one, but not really sure if it is worth the effort or money. I’m optimistic about finding a new power cord for my external hard drive though – who knows what I’ll find on there when I power it up again someday!
5 – Everyday Furniture
So… we shipped over some furniture pieces. Our dining room table was made just for us and it’s a one-of-a-kind piece. And that is great, but the three couches we brought over doesn’t go with any of our new furniture and is now just comfy spots for the dog to sleep on. Can’t get myself to let them go (we paid a lot to move them here, you know) but don’t know how to make them work either.
6 – Books & Magazines
I had a large book collection, nothing fancy, but a lot of the good ones. I did trim it down and most went to a friend from work, but a lot were also packed up and moved here. I have reread some of them, but for the most part, they are just another item in my house that I must organize and that I have packed up and moved so many times (including the last unexpected move from the basement up two flights of stairs to my new office).
I also had a magazine subscription while we lived in South Africa. Awesome magazine, with DIY projects and fun ideas for your home, as well as yummy recipes and gardening tips. Loved getting those magazines every month. But I never had time to do any of the DIY projects or try any of the recipes. So… I packed them up and sneaked them into the container (sorry Pieter!). Pretty sure that soon I will start one of those craft projects from the May 2006 issue…
7 – Music CD’s & Movie DVD’s
Another big collection that was packed up and shipped to the US… And another waste of space and weight, sigh. Yes, I still have them all (we moved them here, you know) and no, they are not displayed anywhere, and no one is enjoying them either. Wonder if we even have something in the house that can play a music CD, by the way? And I know for a fact that none of the DVD’s work on our USA DVD player.
Well, that was my list of items I should not have moved to the US. You can also see my list of 4 Items I don’t Regret Moving to the US.
What item do you regret packing and moving overseas?