International moves can be quite scary and intimidating to people because there’s a lot to plan. One of the major decisions that people need to take is what to take with themselves and what to leave behind.
If you’re moving for a limited period of time – then it’s easy – you just take what you’ll need for the year and find a place to rent that is fully furnished.
Here are some tips about downsizing before your cross-country move based on experience:
- Don’t take your furniture. You don’t need to spend a ton of money on bringing your nightstands or your wardrobe to another country. Either find a property that is fully furnished or buy the furniture you need when you get there, it might be cheaper than moving them from one country to another.
- Don’t bring all of your clothes. Sell or donate them. Chances are you’re not wearing more than half of them. Even if you take them with you, you’re not magically going to start wearing them when you’re in another country. You’re just going to pack more boxes and pay more to move them, and then leave them in the closet and not wear them. The same goes for shoes.
- Hobbies – carefully examine the things you have related to your hobbies. Is it books, skis, fishing equipment, arts and crafts, baking, etc. Get your most favourite things, the rest can go to your parents’ or friends’ house. Of if you’re moving for a limited time, you can leave most of your things in storage. We’ve seen people taking more than one or two big boxes with books… It’s pointless. Just take 5 of your most favourite ones. Either way, chances are that if you’ve read a book once, you won’t read it again.
- Kitchen utensils and appliances. Again, most of them make no sense to be moved cross-country. Take your toaster, and kettle for example, but don’t bring your waffle maker, your pancake maker, and other similar ones. Take a couple of pans, cups, and plates, if you need to take any at all.
- Take your electronics – laptops, chargers, phones, power extension cables.
- Take all the important documents.
- Don’t take – cleaning products, shower products, food.
- Things you can leave behind (gift, sell or donate) – art, lamps, mirrors, and all kinds of decorative pieces (souvenirs, artificial flowers). Don’t take rugs, curtain, potted plants, all your kid’s toys, take the ones they play with the most.
50 things to throw out when moving
Aside from all of the things one would throw away or give away, like clothes and shoes that no longer fit you or you like, here are some other things people should get rid of before moving. Professional movers from a London-based company, advise you on also getting rid of the following items:
- Gifts from Secret Santa Claus that you’ve collected over the years which are just random stuff you have no use for should go as well. Other presents you’ve gotten over the years that you don’t like but keep somewhere hidden. Don’t fill your new home with things you don’t like.
- Games you no longer play. When was the last time you played some of your games? If you hadn’t played in a year more, chances are you won’t play any time soon. Better give them to someone who will enjoy them. Also, get rid of the books you’ve read and will not re-read.
- Give potted plants to friends and family instead of taking them with you. You may get them back if you wish when you have settled in your new address, but you can also just get new ones.
- Singles of pairs – when you can’t find the other half of a pair – throw out the one half you do have. What good is one earing, one sock, or one slipper? There’s no point in hoarding such items. In the trash, they go!
- Decorations that you’re not fond of or are broken. Paintings, clocks, throw pillows, mirrors, lamps, etc.
- Chargers – you probably have way too many old chargers than you actually use. Leave the ones you use, and one or two more, just to have spare if anything happens, and sell the rest.
- Kitchen utensils and appliances you hardly ever use. Things you use once or less in a year. Things that just take up space in your kitchen cabinets shouldn’t come to your new home. This is your chance to start afresh.
- Also, single plates or cups that do not belong in a set can go. You can gift them, throw them away, sell them. Whatever you feel like. Just don’t spend your time and money bringing them to your new home.
- Have kids? Take a look at their puzzles and colouring books – get rid of the filled colouring books, and puzzles that are complete and won’t be touched again. The puzzles can be sold, gifted or donated.
- You can even ask them if they want to give up some of their toys. They can help you select what toys to give away.
- Don’t let nostalgia stop you. Old school uniforms, old participation trophies, medals from second grade, and other mementoes are just taking up your space. You remember all of these things anyways, snap photos of them to preserve the memories in a digital copy and leave these old things behind.
Bonus tip: Pack your suitcase smart! If you’ll be travelling to your new home address by plane, then you should be prepared for delays or other emergency situations in general. You need to pack your suitcase with the essentials. At least one spare of clothing, something warmer to wear, some extra socks and underwear, toiletries, medicine, a towel, your kid’s favourite toy, etc. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Bonus tip 2: Host a “Going away party” with your friends and family a few days before your moving day. This way you can use the food and drinks in the house and everyone who comes can pick some of the stuff you want to give away. It’s a win-win. Plus, a party in your old house!
All house moves are difficult, stressful, and time-consuming. Even more so if you are moving to another country. As a bonus to all of the moving-related tasks, you also have to learn about the country you’re moving to, the people, the culture, the language, if they speak another one, etc.