Moving abroad can be a stressful time, as you’re relocating your entire life to a foreign country. One of the biggest stresses that can come about is how to pack your belongings. One of the best tips to remember, however, is to pack as light as possible. It can often work out cheaper to buy what you need after you’ve moved, rather than spend on the shipping costs to send your belongings abroad.
Don’t travel with your furniture
Professional guidance on moving overseas suggests that packing up and moving with your existing furniture is likely to be very expensive. The cost of packaging and sending your furniture abroad can be costly, especially if you need to pay customs tax. You’ll be much better off using that money to buy new furniture to suit your new home. Furthermore, you could make a bit of extra cash by selling your old furniture.
Furniture sizes can also change depending on the country you’re moving to, as general room sizes differ between countries. For example, American rooms and furniture sizes tend to be much larger than in Asian countries, so the furniture is bigger to accommodate for this. The size and shape may not fit in your new space either, so it’s best to instead buy your furniture for your new home, rather than waste time and money shipping your existing furniture.
Be picky with the clothes you take with you
Moving is a good time to really be picky about the clothes you have in your wardrobe. It is cheaper to pack lightly when moving in general, and even more so if you’re moving abroad. Getting rid of old clothes is one of the best ways to pack lightly, and it gives you chance to go through your entire wardrobe and get rid of anything you haven’t worn in past year — excluding any fancy outfits for special occasions. Be ruthless when going through your clothes, and only keep what you really, really need.
When you have managed to shrink your wardrobe down to just the bare necessities, be mindful about how you throw the old clothes away. According to the 2017 State of Reuse Report, North Americans throw away around 81 pounds of textiles (clothes, towels, bedding etc) a year, per person. That equates to over 20 billion pounds of textiles going into landfills across America and Canada alone. Instead of adding to this figure, you can donate old clothes to charity. Some people may think that you can’t donate used clothes, but this isn’t true. Clothing banks and charities will accept old and worn clothes, and can use them to help the homeless or those in need.
Alternatively, you can give old clothes to friends and family, rather than throwing them away. If you have any expensive or designer pieces that are still in good condition, you could consider selling them on websites such as eBay or Depop. This can rehome your old clothes while also raising more cash to help you when moving abroad.
Leave electrical appliances that can be easily replaced
Things like toasters and microwaves can be easily replaced if you’re moving abroad. On top of this, the electrical plugs may not work in the new country, leaving them useless without the correct adaptor, and taking up valuable space in your luggage. Instead, make them a priority to buy once you’ve moved, to help you settle in even quicker.
Bigger electrical appliances, such as TVs, may be more expensive to replace, so it’s important to consider the cost of taking these with you, as well as the risks involved. For example, if you’re moving a TV with you, you want to make sure it’s being transported correctly, to minimise the risk of damage.