Expat Packing Checklist – Part One

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Expat Packing Checklist – Part One

Unless you’re throwing off the shackles of your former life and intending to rock up in a new country barefoot and bag-less, odds are that your expat adventure can’t begin until you’ve packed.

Unfortunately, boxes don’t pack themselves, and just grabbing at anything within reaching distance and shoving it in a box can cause real problems when it comes to unpacking. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you through this stressful time and give you some top packing tips!

Is it beautiful? Is it useful? No? Then chuck it!

Before you start packing the things you need to take, you have to decide what you’re going to leave.  With every item you should ask yourself whether you love it and/or use it.

If you don’t love it or use it you don’t need it!

You might be able to sell some things (and get yourself a bit of spending money for the big move) or give them away to friends/family/charity, but other things may just need to be binned.

While it can be upsetting to get rid of things, focus on the fact that you’ll be making your life easier in the long run and freeing up more space for the items of your future.

To store or not to store

If you’re buying an unfurnished property (or about to begin long term rental) you may wish to transport your furniture overseas, but as international movers often charge based on the size of the shipment and the distance being travelled, keeping your cargo lighter could work out for you financially.

Consider whether it would be cheaper to replace certain items once you’ve moved rather than taking them with you, and be certain that everything you’re taking will fit in your new home.

It’s also important to consider the electricity volt in your destination country as your existing appliances may not work there.

If you’re moving into a furnished property find out exactly what furniture is included, you don’t want to ship items like sofas only to find there isn’t space for them.

If there are things you want to leave in your country of origin until you return consider how you’re going to store them. If your friends and family don’t want to clutter up their attics and garages with your things, look into storage units and find a secure and reasonably priced unit to store your goods. Give someone you trust access to the storage unit so they can check on your things a couple of times a year.

When leaving anything of sentimental or monetary value behind be sure to make an inventory list, detailing the item and where you stored it. (There will be more information on inventory lists in part two!)

In part two of our Packing Checklist we’ll be looking at international movers in greater detail and offering more packing and organisation tips.

The Expat Hub
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If you’ve already moved abroad, if you’re in the process of moving abroad or if you’re only thinking about it, the Expat Hub is here for you. For expatriates looking for advice, support and information, we’re the number one online stop.