Packing for this move has required getting rid of a lot of items. There are things we realized we do not use or need, and have been sorting what we have left into a couple of categories. The first category is what we will take with us when we fly to Italy - the items we will need immediately, like spring and summer clothing, personal items, some books, etc. Then there are items we might want to have sent to us later, like winter coats and sweaters. Third, there are the household things we will put in storage to use when we come back in a year - furniture and kitchen items.
What we take with us in April is somewhat limited by space, but if needed we can pay the extra luggage fees. Valerie's parents are also taking a big duffel bag for us when they return to their boat (which is currently docked in Italy) next week.
We are making an inventory of the items we are storing and the boxes are numbered so that it will be easy to locate a specific item we might need. (This is for the sanity of my sister who will be doing the searching and shipping.) We are putting clothing in clear boxes to make it even easier to locate items - these are packing tips Valerie got from a missionary friend.
The nook in our living room which once held a baby-grand piano is starting to fill-up with an assortment of boxes, some full and some waiting for more stuff. As we get closer to leaving New Mexico later this month I am sure these boxes will multiply. A lot.
We are having movers come to professionally box our kitchen items, pictures and wrap the furniture for storage. We will also have them load our rental truck to get maximum use of our space (and to save my back for the long drive to Chicago and Ohio).
We have been checking with several moving companies for quotes on the packing and we have to make it clear to them we are not packing what most people would have in an 1800sf house. For one thing we are not the pack-rats that I see in many homes, and we are also getting rid of a lot of items. We will have some things already packed and the rest is what we want the movers to focus on. Some will just quote over the phone based on your house size, while we are getting a few quotes based on an actual inspection.