« If my mother asks, I'm just in Rome on an extended visit! | Main | I'm moving, changing, and so is my blog! »

Moving to Rome: I may need some help.


It's the damnedest thing.

The more clutter I clear out of my rambling old apartment before the movers come, the more things I seem to have!!!

At his rate, how am I going to keep my packing for Rome down to only two suitcases? And a carry-on? I may need to smuggle a pack animal onto Air Canada to help me with the luggage!

A few days ago, I booked my airline ticket to Rome for Nov. 30, with a vague return date that can be changed. What's more difficult to change is Air Canada's parsimonious packing policy. One suit case per traveller. Madness.

Of course, for $70 I could bring a second suitcase; but a third piece of luggage would be ruinously expensive. So, I am facing hard limits.


Fine. I can work with limits and deadlines. And with the movers coming in only a few weeks, I've been organizing my things into categories:

a. Items for storage with the moving company
b. Items to store with friends (personal papers, my handmade ceramics)
c. Items for charity
d. Items for the rubbish (I really don't need to save mismatched mittens)
e. Items to take to Italy

It's that last one that's proving a challenge.

I'm a writer, therefore I need electronics. Seriously; no one uses the fountain pen any longer. A laptop, net-book, various power cords and plug adaptors. Headset for Skype. Cellphone and charger; iPod and chargers. External keyboard, mouse and hard drive. Camera and its charger. All to go into the carry-on along with $1,000 worth of prescriptions (asthma and ulcers get expensive.)

Books. I need to bring a few favourite books, plus Italian study guides, dictionaries (English and Italian.) A few CDs and DVDs (at least they're flat.)
A file of favourite recipes, especially for lentil soup (cheap protein); tax receipts so I can claim all those damned prescriptions; notes for both novels, the one that's completed and the work in progress.

Jewelry and cosmetics -- what if I stay a year or more? I can't keep wearing the same earrings! Sox and Spanx tights. Underwear. Jammies.


At least Teddy won't mind being crushed.

And the clothing -- oy vey! Winter boots, summer sandals and everything in between. (And no, I can't buy shoes when I get there. I'm very tall with long long feet. Nothing in Italy fits me -- other than the lifestyle.)

Work clothes, gym clothes, sitting-at-home-studying-Italian/watching-those -engrossing-Italian-TV-game-shows clothes. A raincoat, a wool winter coat.

I have lists, and lists of lists that I should make.

I think I need a Sherpa. Then, a scotch.

Comments (15)

Oh how well I remember the packing and storage phase! I feel your pain, especially the airlines' baggage fees. We just sucked it up and paid it. Word to the wise: Duffel bags. You can cram a *lot* more into them than you might think!


Hi Valerie, the duffel bag is a great suggestion, I can probably fit a lot of clothes into one and still be light enough to avoid the overweight baggage fees.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, by comparison if I were to move, I would need 1,000 of those lamas to haul my stuff away. I think I would go for the Scotch first and then the Sherpa. :)

Looks like you have your lists and priorities very organized and you are doing great on the moving front. Hope the rest of your packing goes smoothly.


Ooh Sandra, perhaps we can be Skype buddies! This is all sounding so positive! REALLY looking forward to this for you!


Thanks, Kathy! Every day, I'm finding something new to throw out, to reduce what I'll have to move and store. It's quite liberating.

Vicky, Skype is fun, isn't it? And thanks for your good wishes!


Ha bisogno di cambiare tutte le ricette elettroniche e cd e dvd anche. Povero teddy.


Ciao Caterina! Io uso sia DVD e CD del mio laptop. Si se rompe, ho dei problemi!!!

E povero Teddy -- e molto maturo.


Do they have scotch in Rome?


Yikes, Jerry!I hadn't thought of that.I was going to give away all of mine but maybe I had better pack one unopened bottle! (Imagine that, taking liquor TO Italy)

Sandra, you do have some dilemma’s but they are good ones with an amazing end result of being in Italia. Unfortuantely your carry-on will be full of electronics and medication.

A few suggestions:

Recipes - put them on your laptop or iPad.

Clothing/Paperwork Items - Space Saver Bags. In a jumbo bag I was able to compress a Queen size comforter, shams, 4-16x16 accent pillows, and a set of flannel sheets into one bag and it came to about 8" in height. You need a vacuum to suck out the air.

Recruit a Pack Mule (I mean friend/traveler) - not sure if it's worth the cost to have someone you know (maybe from ST) who is traveling to Rome in the next several months to carry a 2nd suitcase for you, if they aren't. You'd have the cost of the 2nd baggage fee and cost to ship it to them.

Watching your process as some day I hope to be in your shoes.



Thanks for the suggestions, Linda. A few friends have already threatened to come and visit this winter, so maybe I'll begin to leave items with them which they can bring to me in Rome! I'm sure they won't mind being pack mules!

I also like the space-saver idea. I've shied away from these when traveling, because I didn't think I wanted all my clothes crushed. But I'll have a v. good iron in the apartment so that won't be an issue this time.

Good luck with your planning, I hope I can be a decent role model!


Sandra, when we were there all kinds of wonderful ST folk asked what they could bring and so I always took them up on that. For us, it was usually breakfast cereals for Casey and a few other things.

I might suggest that you bite the bullet and take an extra piece of luggage. The $70 that would cost will probably be less than what it will cost to replace the things you do not bring. And..duffels are great. That is what we used. Also, do you have an iPod? If so, put all your music on that and then you don't need to take CD's.

Great post - thanks for sharing.
Two thoughts - Download the CDs onto one of those electronic devices you're bringing. Skip the DVDs unless you plan to watch on your laptop - they won't work easily in EU.
Sounds like a fantastic trip - enjoy!


Great idea, Jane! I suspect I'll be asking fellow STers for books and maybe contact lens solution (depending on the prices in Rome!)

I'm definitely going to bite the bullet and pay for the second piece of luggage but I'm adamant: that'll be it! I'm paring down my life.

Maybe instead of the CDs I should bring my very small speakers for the iPod.

Hi O+B, thanks for stopping by!

That Teddy photo is hilarious. Is he really going?

I feel your pain. The last time I moved was 13 years ago but I haven't forgotten the great thrash!

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)