It’s kind of like a jigsaw puzzle. One of those 1000 pieces x about another thousand that is either a repeating geometric or red. Not a regular shape either so that you can start from the edges and work in but rather a multi-sided figure complicated with undulations. Just to add to the fun, the puzzle is two stories + an attic + the garage and minus two mice who very considerately placed their heads in traps sometime early this morning. #3 was seen heading across the patio while we were outside sorting.

I still have no idea if everything is going to come together or not, but the first two packers will be here 1 Aug.

But I decided that I am going to be brave and let you see the extent of the job/challenge and some actual progress.  Of course, it when I went looking for pictures that I realized it has been a few days since I downloaded photos from my 5D. iPhone, no problem it is out and about. But “real” photos – would you believe Norway (about 21 May)?


So let me start with the three storage rooms in the basement. When we started about 9 days ago you could not get in the door of any of them. Only a few things left that need to come out for the movers. The rest will stay/be donated.  The heavy lifting was done by the Eldest.

Next – downstairs –

We are taking little furniture from this level – only one full bed, a couple of stackable frames, the Eldests chairs.  And books of course. The plan is to limit the number of rooms the packers visit. The family room is sorted – if you can see it on the shelves it comes along.  The one bedroom still has a bit of sorting, but the shrank is empty the book case organized and the art supplies actually in a container. I can’t say anything about the mess in the hall except that it is better now. College Guy and the Eldest have been really good about doing a bit here and there

Then we climb up the stairs which are now box free and get to the back hall. I spent more than a day back here sorting out books, then adding to the collection as I sorted all the books from the attic as well as rounded up strays.

Speaking of books –

I will end here, only partway through the house with the terrace. I has started putting boxes of donate books out here the beginning of the month. Then we had George’s 66th birthday party so they all got moved. They are back and will stay there till the movers are gone. Just so you know, that is a regular size (seats 8 +) table which has a meter between it and the back wall. Well what was the back wall if it wasn’t completely obstructed by more than 100 boxes.  It is going to take a while to get them all gone….

It is raining – the curtain is gallantly giving the last of its useful life to protect the written word.

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19 Responses to Scattered

  1. Isobel says:


  2. Lynne L says:


  3. Holly says:

    @Lynne L

    Not going anywhere for the present (unless you want to count ships and planes and trains)

    just moving the stuff while Uncle Sam will still pay

  4. Kathy says:

    The packers? Are you moving to Berkeley and selling the house in Heidelberg?

  5. Holly says:


    Just the standard Use or Lose. We’ll have the house for a couple more years at least.

  6. Bev says:

    I have been thinking of all the packing up you are going to have to do ,or it’s already done. It’s cetainly a very big job one does not realise how much stuff one has collected over the years do we.!!!!

    Where in the States are you moving too ?At least I do know once my repairs are complete I will return back home. I too have already decided that some of the furniture is not going back to where it was before will try & sell some of it if I can when I return from trip.

    I too have a room filled with boxes of all shapes & sizes because the packers haven’t dropped me off any boxes. While the lounge is fill of furniture I am not needing @ the moment & what I can move!!!!!

    The boxes once returned back to the rooms they came from will only be opened & gone through as to keep or distroy so I am going to be like you a big clean out.Have already done that with my clothes & some of the things in cupboards as they don’t have to be removed during repairs.

    Take care & I will be in touch once I am back home. Travel safe when you leave for next trip.

  7. Holly says:


    Not moving, just shipping. But my sympathies are with you. At least I can occasionally get help from some family members….

  8. Marise says:

    So, Is this your house in Germany you are clearing out, or one in the States? And where is it that you are eventually moving to? and When? I am fascinated at the AMOUNT of stuff you have;) When I moved 2 years ago, I had 27 years worth of accumulation, but am sure it wasn’t as much as you have!

  9. Holly says:


    Yes, the house in Germany. I don’t think you had as much stuff – you don’t have the insane range of hobbies which is the cause for 80% of the problem. And two offspring is better than four in terms of stuff left behind….

  10. Bill R says:

    We did the same thing last spring. We loaded two pods for storage. Now in August we need to get rid of most all the stuff in the two pods. Ugh.

  11. Kathy H says:

    I see from your blog that you’re doing housecleaning and packing in Heidelberg! Sounds familiar — we are also doing some housecleaning as part of some work on the house. Two ex-academics have a lot of books and papers, as I’m sure you and George do. It’s hard to part with stuff that’s a part of your identity.

    Good luck with the packing and shipment to CA. I remember how the military packers would pack everything, including open liquor bottles and the garbage can with garbage still in it.

  12. Holly says:

    @Bill R

    Oh, I know that feeling. We have a small storage pod now in Berekely with the College Guy’s stuff. Once he moves into the house, that comes out. Once the rest of the stuff gets here – the high value stuff goes into the pod till the house renovations are done.

  13. Vicki says:

    When are you moving back to the USA? Or is the government giving you a deadline to get your stuff moved?

  14. Holly says:


    Not really moving, but you are right on with the deadline. Because I didn’t take a civilian job after hanging up my boots, the K-Town transportation office isn’t going to give me any extensions past the current one. Since our house comes back to us this fall and we have adult offspring headed to the area for more education, it just seemed like a win, win.

  15. Helen says:

    What an enormous job!

  16. Bill R says:


    So it is said that the husband asked the wife to get rid of some stuff in storage and she said oh no, why that stuff is worth 600 dollars. So the husband reached in his pocket and gave her 600 dollars and got rid of it. There by saving several times that in storage fees.

  17. Kathy says:

    OK. So it is just the stuff you are moving, not you. thanks.

  18. Holly says:

    @Bill R
    snicker, snort…

    Unfortunately, I have much more than that. Multiple years worth of storage fees. But it is a tempting thought….

  19. Carmen says:

    What a great job you are doing! There is never enough time and one is never completely ready, or that is my recollection from moving myself and my parents. Also, the stress of making decision after decision is so very exhausting.

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