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Unexpecteds: Travel Checklists 

I’m a list maker. I love pulling order out of chaos. And I love my dear friend, Google, for providing me with starter lists. My mother is also a list maker and I got to crib off her lists for the Leaving part of this move.

But my Google Fu is failing me. I am failing to find lists, or even blogs, that suit my upcoming situation.

Here’s how it’s going to work. My parents will be purchasing a house, but we haven’t lined  one up yet. (There’s The One, but it may not be available.) So, for at least a few months, we have to rent a furnished place. Additionally, our household goods are being shipped by freight, and that could take at least 6 weeks to cross the ocean, plus customs, plus storage on either end. We pretty much won’t have access to any of it until it goes into the mystery house.

That means I have to pack for:

  • Two++ months, total unknown
  • A change of seasons (it’ll be late winter when we arrive, moving into spring)
  • A furnished rental situation
  •  A wedding, just in case (February!)
  • Christmas in the summer
  • The plane, personal item (backpack)
  • The plane, carry on (good to have in reach, only essential if the cargo is lost)
  • The plane, checked bags (so far, a duffel and two suitcases stand ready)
  • Storage: Household items that will only be released when the new house is secured
  • Long term storage: Stuff that won’t see daylight again until I get my own place, hahahahaha, I’m freelancing, I need a sugardaddy

There are plenty of things that are obvious. I can survive without my desktop PC for a few months because my laptop is well acquitted. My couch is going into storage unless the house is big enough for it. I will have an immediate need for clean underwear. There are also rules, such as no items under pressure–who wants my dry shampoo?!

It’s the other stuff that gets you. Like, it just occurred to me tonight: where do my cosmetics go? I am not a big make up user, but I have a good supply. A lot of it old enough to ditch entirely. If I put it in the ship it could be ruined in the heat, and I might end up buying more while I wait for it. So, it needs to come with me. In the checked luggage. …Yes, pretty much all of it.

Panic Mode: Where am I going  to fit everything!?

Also a consideration: How do you move three people and 10 suitcases through a airport?! And, how will we get it all home in my aunt’s compact car?! I foresee a wagon train… A literal welcome wagon…

(And no, it isn’t cheaper to mail things to ourselves. Also, the government mail in South Africa is terrible and we would have to use something like FedEx.)

Part of me wants to travel light. There are washing machines, damnit. It’ll be chilly and I’ll mix and match layers.

Then I realize things like omgmakeup and the bags I’m set with don’t seem nearly enough.

This is quite literally keeping me up at night. I’m drafting this at 4am. (Soon to be known as 10am!)

Also, I think a dealership is low-balling me because I’m a girl. My car is worth way more than their offer. cracks knuckles But that’s a story for another post.

Image by INPIVIC FamilyMind Mapping

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To-Do List Paralysis

I have a day planner, a physical one, quite a beautiful one, that I have not touched in months. It started well, with lots of good intentions. Then I reached a point where I was just lucky to make it through the day and maintaining the planner fell by the wayside.

For The Move I have a rather extensive list of Things That Must Be Done. No ifs, ands, or buts, these stuff has to happen before I go. It feels like it all needs to be done immediately, which is paralyzing. It would be impossible to do it all at once.

On the other hand, a lot of it cannot even be started until after the sale of my parents’ house is 99% approved. The thing about real estate is that until closing, anything can happen. We’re waiting on the last piece before closing to get approved, then we have to seriously swing into action. Not being able to act is paralyzing.

Knowing that you can’t act and then will suddenly have to do a million things is also paralyzing.

Basically, it’s a lot of anxiety, is what I’m saying.

I’m trying to manage the anxiety and stave off the paralysis by keeping organized. I’ve set up at project on Teamwork.com, a great project management tool. I’m prioritizing. I’m scheduling. I’m trying to remember to look at it every day and do what I’m supposed to do that day.

I haven’t looked today, so I just have a hazy idea of ‘make more doctor’s appointments’. I want to get in final check-ups, collect my medical records, and get doctor’s notes for prescriptions.

(In case you were interested, no, I won’t be going for any special shots. The nation has problems but it’s not a disease hotbed, and I won’t be going on safari (YET). I’m much more likely to be taken down in the first six months by lesser local bugs like flu. The last time I went I was sick in bed for a week, during which I slept. I woke up to a doctor making a house call. They still do that there! And pharmacies deliver!)

Anyway, I need to make an agenda for the week. I will hopefully get about 80% of it done. If I keep managing 80%s I’ll eventually get 99% of my total done! And then cry about whatever I forgot.

Image by Chris Lott

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Scrivener Image Cards

Scrivener does a lot of nifty things. I think most people are aware by now that it has a cork board/index card function. Each text file has an accompanying information card, where you can put things like a description of what the file contains. These cards can then be displayed en mass and drag-and-dropped to reorder them.

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This is, as you might suspect, super useful.

But, those index cards don’t have to be all text. When you pull back and look at all those cards a ton of text isn’t terribly helpful.

So use images instead!

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Now that looks meaningful! This is my little character bible for GISELLE. Each image represents a text file with character details (Name, Age, Height, Ethnicity, Occupation) and biography relevant to the book. For the freeform layout, I dragged characters into positions relative to my main characters, who are in the top-left. I may draw lines on it later to map out relationships.

It should be noted that this freeform layout is part of the Mac version only. Windows will force your cards into a grid, which has its benefits. I bounce between a Mac at work and Windows at home, so I make sure to screenshot layouts like this.

So, how do you add these awesome images? Easypeasy.

How to add images to Scrivener cards

Start with note/text file. Open in Inspector (The “i” button in the top bar, usually on the far-right). At the top of the Inspector is the Index Card.

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In the top-right is a mini index card and two arrows, pointing up and down. Click on this to change your selection from index card to image.

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The ruled lines are replaced by a big black nothingness. (It’s a little ominous.) Just like it says, you can drag and drop an image onto this black space.

Now my image shows in the Inspector, and on the index card on the cork board.

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Note that once you use an image it will always replace text on the cork board.

To change back to text in the Inspector, go back to that button in the top-right, that now looks like an image thumbnail and two arrows, pointing up and down. Click on that to select index card again. This changes the cork board as well, so you’re back to an index card with text.

And that is all it takes!

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