The to-do list: four weeks left

Thu 02 September 2010

A friend asked what my to-do list looks like right now. Here's what I'm doing at T-minus-four-weeks.

Pack up.

This week's priority is packing.

Thanks to my excellent landlords, I'm coming back here when I return. They will rent the place out fully furnished, if possible, while I'm gone. I'm packing up everything that isn't furniture.

Now that we've rounded the corner of September, I can box up most of my things. I flip between thinking I don't have so much stuff and that I have far too much. For the sake of my sanity, I need to pack. The stack of boxes and bare bookshelves are visible progress.

As I packed the filing cabinet, I scanned anything I'll need for taxes. I did some housekeeping too,
and gave a copy of my healthcare proxy to the proxyholders. Files and other private documents will be stored at my parents' house.

The box obstacle course is a steady, benign irritant. In four weeks I'll be completely out of my element. The mess is building up my tolerance for disruption.

Clear out.

When I moved last year, I got rid of loads of stuff. Great decision. I've missed perhaps two items.

After settling in here I identified a new batch of candidates. The big items were taken last week, and smaller ones this week. Some were giveaway candidates when I moved, but I wasn't ready to let go of them. Others are perfectly nice things that aren't worth packing, schlepping, and unpacking in a year. The biggest telltale is that they're exactly where I dropped them when I moved in.

Several things are being loaned long-term . A friend is looking for a tv, and considering buying a Roku. Quelle coincidence! I have just such a thing! Another friend will test drive the Kitchen Aid ice cream maker. Certain books would help friends with their projects, and they've been mailed. I prefer my stuff gets used, so it's a win-win situation.

Use up.

Any unopened food is destined for the local food bank. I'm planning meals around what's left in the pantry and freezer. There will be a lot of sangria around here soon. Now that the heat has broken, it's time to bake.

See friends and family.

There's still have plenty of time to visit friends and family, but I'm trying to see them sooner rather than later. I've met a lot of folks for lunch and dinner lately.

My family threw me a lovely Thanksgiving-Christmas-Birthday party. Turkey, mashed potatoes, pie, the works. I'll be homesick during the holidays, and it'll help to think back on ThanksMasDay.

Make some decisions.

Where to stay: I actually picked a place to stay in Siem Reap a month ago. I started with overviews of Siem Reap on Travel Fish and Tales of Asia. Then I worked through a list of suggestions the hospital sent I settled on one in the Old Market area for the first month. This week I asked the volunteer coordinator to help make a reservation.

Unregistering the car: good idea or big hassle? I'm again indebted to the generosity of family and friends: I had three offers for parking spaces. I'd be fine with the car being driven, but needed to look at it more carefully.

I talked with my insurance agent. It costs $1000/year in insurance and taxes. Suddenly the decision becomes easy: the car will take a sabbatical year too. The insurance agent will even take care of plate return, so no standing in line at the registry.

( I checked the expiration dates for my license and registration a month ago. Massachusetts has stopped sending notifications, and I could imagine the hassle of trying to renew from abroad.)

Category: Getting There

Tags: prep /