(I hate Internet Explorer, which kindly deleted my entire post when I tried to enable pop-ups temporarily so I could run a spell-check. Next time I'm bringing up Firefox...)
We are finally here. It seemed like we'd never get out. Even though we supposedly had lots of extra time to get everything cleaned up, packed away, stored, and donated, we were working until the very end. I sold my car the day we left! That is, I half sold it, and dear Izzy finished the job. I hope the agency we left our stuff out on the curb for actually came by and picked it up. I assume our tenants would have said something (although at this writing they still haven't moved in).
It's amazing how tasks seem to fill the time allotted.
Some advice should you ever decide to move a long distance but retain your house (apart from "don't!") - it is a huge task. Unless you are a minimalist and extremely organized, it is exhausting, both mentally and physically. Enlist all the help you can get, accept all the help that is offered. Plan to get rid of loads of things you thought you would keep. Don't have any grand ideas of cooking the food in your fridge, freezer, and pantry. Try and secure cleaners well in advance. Plan to spend more money than you budgeted. Order a large garbage pickup on the latest date possible. And get babysitters for the kids, for their sanity as well as yours.
The mental exhaustion comes from making literally hundreds of tiny decisions: do I keep this thing, give it to a certain person, store it in the attic for when we return (maybe 10 years hence), donate it, recycle it, or throw it in the garbage? This goes for nearly every single object you put into a box (if you're not hiring packers). Because, after all, what's the point of putting it into a box if you never want to see it again? This is your opportunity to get rid of the clutter. Towards the end I nearly called a charity agency to just come and clear the rest of the house out, if only to save my mind and my back. This all made it easier to leave. So far so good. The real test comes a couple of months hence, when the novelty wears off and I start missing people, places, and decent Mexican food.