Cleaning House

With 3 weeks left before listing our house of 9+ years, we have been busy uncluttering and de-personalizing. Who watches too much HGTV? The house is now perfect and ready for the right family. We got our first storage unit – 6 ft x 6 ft x 8 ft. Sounds like a lot of space for just clutter. But by the time Christmas (including 4 Christmas trees), boxes of photos, boxes of snow globes and a few boxes of just miscellaneous stuff came it, we are just about out of room. So when the house sells, we will be adopting a much bigger unit.

We will also need to sell, sell, sell stuff. Lots of furniture will be going. The huge wall unit that no one will want, desks, beds, sofas, tables, lawn equipment, patio furniture, garden tools, dishes, silverware, and so much more. We’ve decided to keep a few pieces that we like and fill in the rest down there. We noticed that most of the furniture looks the same in Panama as there aren’t very many “American style” furniture stores. One store is like Ashley’s without as much selection. They have a lot of leather which I hate. David wants his tools even though everyone said leave them behind. I don’t like people telling us to leave everything. We are moving, not entering witness protection.

Moving will take place in 4 phases. Are we nuts? Who moves in phases? Phase 1 is March when we will hopefully find our long-term Boquete rental. Since the airlines allow extra bags, it makes sense to bring some awkward, heavy items and store them in Boquete for our arrival. Diving gear, maybe some kitchen appliances, anything that won’t mildew in the humidity of Chiriquí Storage. Phase 2 will be the most difficult. It involves bringing everything we think we will need – including our 2 cats. Henry is afraid of everything and Alexander is a tad overweight for the airline’s 20 lb max. I cant imagine putting them in the belly of a plane so Alex will need to lose 2 lbs by June. It will also mean more luggage and transporting it from airport to home. Phase 3 is in Nov. Royal Caribbean has a relocation cruise from Miami to Colon. It’s as low as $99 per person and you can bring as much stuff as you want. So we are planning for 1 Christmas tree and decorations, golf clubs, appliances and a whole list of things I am sure we will have by then. Phase 4 will be the container after finding a permanent place and knowing that we are staying for good. So boxes and crates are either tagged with a number and its contents or labeled “November” so we keep it separated for the cruise. It sounds really confusing because it is.

We are staying with an acquaintance, Lynne, who we met last summer. Since it’s just a short 10 day visit, her small casita in Volcancito should do fine. It is in the area we would eventually like to live so it will be good to check out the micro-climate there. Ironically, it’s right next door to the property we almost bought last summer so we can watch it for the time we are there.
Prices to buy a home in Boquete are very high. Everyone wants what they paid for their property back in 2007. Don’t we all. So owners rent waiting for the prices to climb. I hope they live that long. But that makes rentals hard to come by. Rent is cheap – if you can find a vacancy.

Our perfect home: 3 bedroom, 2 or 2 1/2 bath, beautiful view, open patio, modern kitchen, large lot, in the cool mountain breezes of Volcancito/Santa Lucia. We’ve looked for over 2 years and haven’t found anything that we like. Usually they want a lot more than it would cost to build exactly what we would want – because they built during the frenzy of 2007. No problemo. My Spanish is getting better too.

We also passed the 90 student contact day mark. 90 more student contact days is still 1 full semester but it means that it’s also just 2 more report cards and we are through – forever. If anyone eventually reads this, I have 1 piece of advice – Do Not Teach. I don’t have to go into details. Ask any teacher from K-12 in any state, in any district and they will tell you all the reasons.

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4 thoughts on “Cleaning House

  1. I’m a little late in catching up on your blog. I’d been reading Kris’ and then she brought in you and Holly – so more to read! We too are Floridians, on Amelia Island, and thinking about Panama as a place to go in a few years. Yes, we live in the paradise that everyone wants to live in, but the cost of living may soon be out of reach for us too. We visited Panama briefly in February and that’s when the idea of moving there began to take hold. I am really glad you mentioned the repositioning cruise, and we’re thinking we may take that to come and spend a little more time in Panama. If you don’t mind my asking, is the one-way air fare from PTY to MIA about $300? I was wondering if it somehow might be cheaper if you buy your ticket in Panama, although I suppose we would not be able to until we arrived, and by then it would be too high-priced. Or perhaps you haven’t checked into it yet. In any case, I anxiously await the pictures of your bedroom decorating. Done yet?

    • Spirit has some incredible fares going on now. I don’t like Spirit, but its less than $100 one way. We are on vacation this week so the bedroom will be done next week. Thanks for reading.

  2. I loved your comment “We are moving, not entering witness protection.” Had to laugh. I’m so sick of people telling me to just dump everything and start over! Like your snow globes and other travel souvenirs, my home and garage are full of stuff with stories, which I hate to part with. To make matters worse, I only have a sister who is not sentimental at all and doesn’t want anything!

    • I don’t regret bringing anything – except our way to big living room furniture that we sold the day after unpacking the container. Bring nothing but your skivvies if that’s what you want to do or bring multiple 40′ containers. It’s your life and you should do what’s good for you

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