Given the acceptance of this concept in principle, the obvious first step was to prepare a Master Plan for actual execution. And the obvious first step in that plan was to prepare an inventory of all of our belongings. From this we could decide the actual disposition of each item. Further, having decided such disposition we would mark each item accordingly, not only because there would be dependencies but also to avoid having to repeat the hassle of making the decision in the first place! Moreover, the result of this activity would give us our first feel for how realistic we were being in our expectations of space and timing for the project.
This exercise proved to be a monumental task to start with, but nevertheless essential. As well as all furniture and objects scoured room-by-room, we explored cupboards, shelves and hidey-holes that had not seen the light of day perhaps for years. But, after much toil, we ended up with a closely typed list of some 16 pages. Possible disposition of each item included: Stuff to take (to SILC); Stuff to transport to our son (in San Diego); Stuff to our daughter (outside Toronto); Stuff to try and sell; Stuff to go to a local Thrift Store; and Stuff to Trash. In addition we flagged items of furniture that needed "work" if it was to be useful at SILC.
The work packages
Needless to say, this list gave rise to a long list of individual tasks - all part of one "work package", our first. It also made clear that we would need local help so we identified other work packages more or less in chronological sequence.
Therefore, our second work package would be labeled "Pre SILC Financial Commitment" and included: Investigate and arrange (I&A) transfer of furniture and belongings from home to SILC; I&A for furniture to Toronto; I&A final clearance of everything left over including stuff to trash; I&A connections such as ensuring that high speed Internet would be available at SILC, a cheap-rate telephone service for overseas calls to my wife's sister in the UK; and I&A our future financial portfolio with our investment advisor.
Our third work package related to our new accommodation. As soon as SILC advised us that accommodation was coming free, we would visit to see if what they had in mind would work for us, make the necessary deposit, and measure up the combined suites with considerable accuracy. We would then plot this information to a scale of 1/2 inch to the foot and, with cardboard cutouts of all of our furniture, we would be able to determine what would fit, and how best to arrange. It would also enable us to finalize what to take.
Our fourth work package (WP) dealt with selling the house and moving out. Key to discussions with our financial advisor was having a reasonably close figure for the value of our house. As we mentioned earlier, house prices in Vancouver are quite volatile, so an important member of our team would be our real estate (R/E) agent. Unfortunately, the R/E agent we had used in the past and had kept in contact with for years suddenly passed away a few months earlier. So, that meant: I&A an alternative R/E agent. But R/E agents being what they are, our newfound "friend" was unwilling to put a figure on the house. Instead, he wanted to put it on the market immediately. That didn't suit us so we put this activity on hold.
In due course this WP involved: Contracting with the R/E agent; checking the terms with our lawyer; Preparing our home for an "Open House"; Closing a sale (hopefully); Final packing and actually vacating the property.
The fifth and last work package consisted of everything else that had to be
done. This included significant things like: Preparing a list of everyone to be
notified of change of address and phone numbers, including neighbors, friends;
Updating insurance coverage: for the house should it become empty, car insurance
and tenants insurance at the new location; Canceling all services at the house
when appropriate, including power, telephone, TV and Internet, and news papers
and journals; and Redesigning our investment portfolio to incorporate funds realized
from the house sale and generating a cash flow to pay for the SILC accommodation.
In PART 2 of this paper we will present details of the
actual execution of this project.
8. That is to say, "if we are not taking this, there is no point in taking that."
9. As an example, our main bedroom contained two single beds built together as one unit. This would have to be separated into two since my wife and I would occupy separate rooms, one in each of the two suites joined together.
10. This in itself was an interesting "lesson learned".
11. Including arranging the contents to show the place to its best advantage in spite of a number of half-packed moving boxes.