Blue, Red, and Yellow Oh My!

It is hard to imagine cleaning your house much less sorting your belongings and organizing for a move for your family. A friend of ours suggested to us that with their overseas move they gave away or donated a third, stored a third, and shipped a third of their items. She had gone from room to room with sticky notes labeling what was what. I tried to picture me doing this and then picturing my kids having a hay day with a sea of sticky notes. They already sneak into child locked drawers to get their hands on them, so I just couldn’t grasp the idea and making it work. I first went from room to room to see what was in the house that was passed down to us and give to family members. Then we donated items that we thought could use a better home than our storage unit for three years. Getting rid of or clearing out the clutter can be such an overwhelming and never ending process, but my Dad gave some good advice for this part of the moving process. His words exactly, “Pack light, pack right, and don’t get too uptight.” I tried not to be too tedious and drive myself crazy, but I failed. There were moments of craziness and confusion, but this mama persevered and got it done. I kept thinking back to one of my favorite childhood stories, The Berenstain Bears and The Messy Room. I was mama bear for sure going through broken toys, missing puzzle pieces, mismatched socks, and miscellaneous items galore. Then came the stickers! Blue stickers, red stickers, and yellow oh my! We started labeling big items and then just labeling the shelves as to where it went. The blue dots meant it was going in an airplane and consisted of clothing items, shoes, towels, toiletries, kitchen items, kids favorite toys, games, and books. These were things that we will need as soon as we arrive and can live off of until sea freight arrives. Items labeled with a red dot meant they were going by boat and the yellow dots were items for storage. Most of our keepsakes, family photos, teaching supplies, baby items, woodworking tools, and excess will be stored. Don’t ask me what excess means at the moment. If I start even contemplating it, I will wish I had put those items on sea freight. Pictures that we had hanging up on our walls or sitting on bookshelves we marked for sea freight. Seeing familiar faces with beautiful smiles far from home are a necessity! Before we knew it we had a moving inspection scheduled where we had to explain our system to show what was going where. It still fascinates me how the surveyor could look at a shelf and estimate how many boxes and materials they would need to pack it. As we were going around the house I noticed several stickers missing and literally located on kids clothes or faces. What joy they bring to a move! They did stay and stick better than post it notes though. Moving within the hot and humid month of July, those stickers stuck a little too well to cabinets and furniture. A few days before the move, we wanted to make it even clearer for the movers and that is where my brilliant husband thought about making these signs in a Word document. They were big, bright, and easy to read. I will definitely have to upload an attachment soon because they were very helpful. On the day of the move, the movers were on auto pilot and knew exactly what went where. I never could wrap my brain around how they were going to come in and pack for three different locations in just a few days, but they did and succeeded big time!



  1. Your calmness during y’alls move still amazes me. I remember when Bonnie showed up that week and said, “Wow, you can’t even really tell this family is about to move overseas aside from the little stickers everywhere. But that is how you are supposed to do it or otherwise your life is just too turned upside down for too long.” I never had thought about that, but what a blessing you were to your husband and kids that you kept it all together and yet still at home during those long weeks of transition.

Speak Your Mind