Getting Ready to PCS – Purge time!!

Welp, the clock is winding down on our time here in Ukraine. There is something bittersweet about getting ready to leave a place we have called home for nearly two years. This place is the place where we got our two fur babies, I experienced living outside of the U.S. for the first time, and I have seen my hubby live his dreams of working in the foreign service. I made this apartment our home little by little. We have framed photographs of our travels in Ukraine and Latvia, and have gotten some Ukrainian souveniers as keepsakes of our time here.

Along the way, I have lost track of just how much stuff we bought since we came here. We have a limit of 7,200 pounds of stuff we can bring with us from country to country. We started with over 1,000 pounds to spare, thanks to my Marie Kondo efforts in Florida prior to packout in the spring of 2019. Then, as I had some fun money left from my paychecks, I began to buy more and more stuff for the house. We have more storage space here in Ukraine than we did in our Florida apartment, so I didn’t think about the weight of the items when buying them.

I have recently begun to panic that we bought too much stuff along the way, and that we are most likely over our 7,200 pound HHE limit. So, the purging has begun. “Neutral” (i.e., not sentimental) items, items we have duplicates of, or items brought with us from the U.S. that we haven’t used in the past two years have slowly been donated in the last two or three months. We will continue to donate for the next month and a half until we packout. Stuff that is crammed into drawers or cabinets is in the process of being whittled down so stuff fits comfortably. Stuff that has been damaged or “loved on” by our dogs – bye bye!!

I want to have ample weight available to buy keepsakes from our next post. Although it pains me to think of the money on the stuff we donated, we probably have enough items for two households and honestly don’t use the stuff we have donated thus far. The thing that keeps me going is if I keep on purging, we will not get a bill from the shipping company for being over the weight limit. Home leave and shipping two dogs to our next post are expensive enough!!

Winter in Ukraine

Our first winter in Ukraine was unusual to say the least. I think we got maybe an inch of snow, if that. This winter is more like what I imagined a Ukrainian winter to be like. It has been about the same, if not milder, than the Boston winters I experienced for eight years. I have been so happy that for the first time in years, it actually feels like winter outside to me! A bonus, our pups LOVE the snow and also have been so happy all winter!!!

May be an image of dog and snow
May be an image of dog and snow

Lucky for me, my husband takes the pups out every night and most mornings before work so I don’t have to freeze my behind off.

Ukraine in the winter is just as beautiful as it is the other seasons. Sledding is a BIG deal here, and there are endless amounts of hills to sled. If coming to Ukraine during the winter, or moving here as your next post, I HIGHLY recommend bringing a sled.

May be an image of snow, tree and nature
Botanical Gardens
May be an image of one or more people, snow, nature and tree

Before moving to Kyiv, we were advised that the roads would be icy. That is the truth!!! To be honest, it is kind of funny seeing my pups slipping and sliding on the icy parts of the sidewalk or driveway that I am so careful to steer clear from. We were also advised to get yak traks. We bought yak traks, but they were more of a pain to put on and not easy or intuitive to walk with, so after day or two of use, I put mine away.

In an effort to share what has helped me survive the Ukrainian winter, here are some key things I bought that have been completely worth every penny:

Image result for columbia ice maiden ii
Colombia Ice Maiden ii boots

Image result for patagonia women's down with it parka
Patagonia’s Down With it Parka
Image result for north face gloves women
North Face gloves – Buy multiple pairs of these!!