Our return to the United States has been slowly sneaking up on us and I’ve been handling it the same way I handle most stressful events. Somewhat poorly; and with lists. Here’s my “big picture” to-do list for our move.
1. Give Notice at Work: In our case this was straight forward since our various and sundry contracts are up at the end of December. But if you are leaving before your contract is up (or have something more steady), certainly giving appropriate notice is important. Another thing we’re doing is making sure we understand our rights regarding the Dutch pension system; not an issue for me, but possibly something Dan can benefit from.
2. Provide Notice to the Landlord: We had to give between 1-3 months notice and opted to give about 3. We’re hoping he’s willing to purchase some of our furniture; particularly the washer and dryer.
3. Line up a Mover: This took a while since we don’t really know what we’re doing, but we have finally decied to go with a British moving company. They will be packing and moving the things we’re keeping to our new location in the states. On the downside we’re still nailing down the pick up date so we can plan the rest of our travel.
4. Book Plane Tickets: We haven’t done this yet, although we know what flight we wants. We need to nail down all the dates for the movers, etc. before we can decide what day to fly. I expect we’ll be traveling via KLM to ensure a direct flight to Boston for the cats.
5. Prepare the Cats: Speaking of cats, we’ll be arranging a pair of vet visits for them to get a wellness check and rabies shots. These two appointments are actually required by the airline rather than by the United States. On that frontwe need to have the cats checked for health upon arrival. There will be no quarintine unless one of them exhibits symptoms for something that humans can catch.
6. Sell Off Items: We are leaving a lot of things in the Netherlands include about half our furniture. I’ll have a list up soon in case anyone reading this is interested. With luck the new renters will want to keep some of it and then we won’t have t worry about removing it.
7. Donate the Leftovers: If no one else wants the remains of our items, we’ll be donating the leftovers to a secondhand store (Mattie’s probably. I like them). The books we’re leaving behind will probably be donated to Books4Life.
8. Get Medical Records: Getting our medical and dental records is quite straight forward since everything is digital. I do wonder if we’ll need to get some of it translated to make the records usable by our new doctors in the US.
9. Cancel Utilities and Cellphones: Cancelling utilities needs to be done at least a month ahead of time, but may need to be longer. I’ve checked with most of our utilities and they ask for a one month notice. That means I’ll be making some calls very soon.
10. Dealing with Bank Accounts: I spoke to Rabobank and they said they prefer that people close accounts that don’t have regular income. Fortunately they allow accounts to be closed by email (rather than face-to-face), so we’ll be able to pay everything offer and then close our accounts once we’re back in the US.
11. Packing: Before and after the movers pick up our things we’ll need to pack what we want to fly with: lots of winter clothing and probably the xBox 360 (if I know my husband).
12. Saying Good-bye: We’ve met a lot of great people here and I’ve emailed with even more. We’ll miss you.