Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Checking things off the list

Today I have been working on a few admin items to prepare for our move:

  • Schedule last doctor and hair appointments
  • Cancel my auto refill on my bus card
  • Cancel my auto refill on my highway toll pass card
  • List a few items on Craigslist
  • Working on a list of items we will need to purchase before moving
Items we still need to do:
  • Cancel gym memberships 
  • Cancel cell phone- or figure out how to keep our phone number (maybe a prepay phone, so that we have a phone when we come home
  • Figure out how to pay loans abroad
  • Order contacts and glasses
  • Determine how to get prescriptions abroad
  • Sell Car
  • Apply for Visas'
  • Set up bank account in London
  • Change permanent address to our parents' house for administrative purposes (US banking, loans, mail ect.)
  • Obtain copies of all medical records to bring to London
  • Give certified copies of important information to our parents: SS Cards, Passports, Visas, marriage certificates, birth certificates
  • Power of Attorney- for both sets of parents and spouse. Make copies for all parties.
  • Make a checklist of all packing boxes and what goes in each of them

Ok... and there are a lot more things I need to do besides the ones listed above. But at least Brett is the type A in our relationship and he thrives at administrative stuff. 

For example, literally the day after we returned from our honeymoon, I had a 30 page folder filled with information on changing my name. He even included "sign here" tabs. Then all I had to do was go to the SS office and get a new drivers license. I thought that was a pretty good trade off: Brett preparing the documents and me losing my last name. 

I'm going to move this post over into a tab so that I can keep track of what I can cross off my list and what I need to add to it. Hopefully this post can help future expats preparing to move. 

On a more fun note- Brett and I, and a couple of our best friends, went to the USA vs. Panama football (soccer) game at Soldier Field on Sunday. It was a pretty chilly day for the middle of July, (~65 F) but I just kept telling myself that the weather in Chicago this summer is preparing me for the weather in London. This was my first experience at a professional soccer game and it definitely got us more excited about our move. We were thinking about being Manchester United fans- how does that sound? 

 The picture with Brett and I is kind of fun.... Both of our office buildings are included in the picture. The short red building over my left shoulder is my building (CNA building) and the tallest white rectangular building on the right side of the picture is Brett's building (Aon Center). One of my favorite things about the location of our offices is that Brett and I will often sit in the parks downtown and eat lunch together. We are hoping to work close to each other in London as well, maybe even the same building if I get a position with his firm.

That's all for now!

<3 Mary


  1. You guys are moving to my dream place! Good luck for your moving. I'm a Manchester United supporter even I think Ronaldo is best player (Oops?)

    PS: Girl, you're no-reply blogger. Switch to replyin by email and you can catch great conversations!

    1. That's wonderful! I've never been to London but I have heard so much about it! And thanks for the tip- I'll look into how to change that!

      Thanks for the follow back!

  2. Just stoppin' by to say thanks so much for the follow on bloglovin'; I'm happy to be following you back! Hope you are having a wonderful Tuesday!

    1. Thanks so much for the follow, Elena! Your daughter is so cute and I'm excited to be a new follow of yours!

  3. There's loads of stuff to do , goodluck ! Though moving is always a head ache , I wish wish wish everything goes super fine for you two ! I can't watch to catch a professional football match myself someday!
    Yay , great to see you at Grab a friend :) Welcome to the party!
    Noor @ Noor's Place

    1. Thanks, we will need all the luck we can get! Also I noticed that we have something in common, I read on your blog that you are an accountant, and so am I!

      Thanks for the follow-back!

  4. You have so much to do! But I bet you don't mind because it reminds you of the awesome adventure to come. You're so brave to move to London--wow. It will be really amazing and such a fun chapter in your marriage. :)

  5. Mary- You can keep your phone numbers by porting them into Google Voice if you have gmail accounts. That's what my husband and I did before we moved to Vienna, Austria back in January.
    Please feel free ask me anything about the move (like what to stock up on or things to get rid of,etc).

    And here's my blog with all our adventures so far as expats:


  6. This list is really helpful. I also will be moving by myself to London soon (March) for a secondment opportunity with my company. Although I am super excited, I feel slightly overwhelmed by the amount of things that I need to do to prepare and hoping I don't forget little things. I will definitely continue reading this blog, and maybe start one of my own to document my experiences :).

    1. Hi JParker, That's awesome news that you are moving to London!! Good luck dealing with all the administrative things, it is crazy hard to get everything done in a short amount of time. A few tips: Only take what you can check on your flight over (2 or 3 checked bags and a carry on). Don't try shipping a suitcase full of stuff as it will get really expensive quickly. We used a relocation service called Cartus to find our apartment and it was amazing. She showed us 20 properties in 2 days and did all the negotiations for us. They are independent of the letting agencies and do not make commission therefore do not favor any particular listings. Ask your company if that is an option they will provide for you. Also most apartments are furnished, when we viewed ours, it was missing most items but the Cartus agent wrote the missing items in our lease and then we did not have to front purchasing those items. Be sure your bank account is squared away before you get here as it will make renting an apartment much easier. Feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any specific questions! Cheers!