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What to Keep When Moving Internationally

Posted Moving Preparation / April 14, 2022

If you’re planning on moving abroad, you’re probably already thinking about how to pack and ship all of your belongings. Obviously, you don’t want to have the enormous task of packing literally everything, so you should start deciding what to keep when moving. This article will give you a few tips that will help you make this decluttering process easier and less stressful.

Why You Shouldn’t Pack All of Your Stuff

Moving internationally is a long and stressful process. Preparing for packing to move, finding the right international moving company to contact, and shipping your belongings overseas is quite time-consuming and tiring. This is why you should start thinking about how to make the whole process easier.

What you should definitely get done is decluttering and getting rid of some of your belongings you don’t use anymore. Start thinking about what should you keep when moving and what items are not worth moving. Getting rid of unnecessary items will make the packing for relocating overseas a much easier process.

You’ll also be able to save some money since you will pay less for the overseas moving company you contact and the overall cost of overseas shipping will be smaller. If you are interested in helping yourself during international relocation, here are some tips on how to decide what to keep and what to throw away.

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How to Decide What to Get Rid of and What to Keep When Moving?

Having to throw out some of your personal belongings that you have been collecting for years is hard, so try and stay as calm as possible throughout the process to help yourself. It might seem like a huge struggle, but once you decide what to not keep when moving across the country, it’s going to be a huge relief.

Relocating to another country can be a fresh start for you and your family, so why not start clean without bringing unnecessary parts of your past to your new house? Start by sorting out all of your belongings and think about which belongings feel the most necessary to you. Make this decision about yourself. Here are some questions you can ask yourself while sorting your belongings:

  • Have you used this item in the previous year, and how many times? If the answer is negative, the chances you’ll use it in the future are small.
  • Is it easily replaceable? If the item is cheap and easy to buy again, it’s not worth shipping overseas.
  • Will you need this while living abroad? Think about what your next house is going to look like, where it’s located, and will this certain item fit well in a different environment.
  • Do you have multiple versions of the same particular item? If you do, it’s probably not worth relocating across the world.
  • Is it damaged or broken? If it’s something that you cannot fix or is just not worth repairing, toss it and don’t consider transporting it.

If you answer these questions while sorting, you’ll be able to relocate more efficiently and with fewer unnecessary items. Making this decision will help you avoid relocation mistakes of boxing up stuff you won’t be using after moving overseas.

Consider the Size of Your Abroad House and How Long You’re Staying

When thinking about which belongings to keep from your old place, consider the size of your home abroad and what can actually fit in it. If you plan on relocating your furniture and house appliances, be sure they fit in well in your future home. Also, consider how long you plan to stay overseas in that apartment. If you are relocating permanently, you’ll probably have to pack more stuff for moving overseas.

Reasons to move could also play a more significant role when deciding what to keep. And if you are not so certain whether you want to keep something or throw it away, you can always choose storage services. There you can put some furniture you might not need at the moment but want to keep.

What Stuff Should You Keep When Moving Internationally?

When sorting out belongings for packing and figuring out what to pack when relocating abroad, you’ll have to decide what you should definitely pack and carry to your house abroad. These are some of the belongings you are not supposed to part with during the relocation process.

Keep Valuable Things

Obviously, you should keep the most valuable belongings you own, and you should carry them with you. This means all of the expensive stuff you have, belongings that are hard to replace or have some sentimental value to you.

Certain antiques (consider carrying smaller items and not big and bulky furniture), collector’s belongings that are hard or impossible to replace, and expensive jewelry are items you should consider keeping. Remember to inform yourself on how to pack fragile items and figure out how to relocate jewelry so nothing expensive gets lost or damaged.

Important Documents

Documents are one thing you must not forget about when relocating. You should keep your important papers like documents needed to travel, including passports, driver’s licenses, insurance policies, and others. You should also keep all of your bank documents, medical records, certificates, diplomas, and similar stuff you are most probably going to need.

Essential Items

Remember to prepare an essential box that will contain the most necessary stuff you will need for the trip as well as for the first few days at your home abroad. This essentials box should stay by your side at all times. Some of the most important stuff you should consider packing are prescribed medication, clothes for each family member, personal hygiene stuff and toiletries, and kids’ stuff like toys or pet stuff if relocating with pets.

Only Keep the Clothes You Wear

If you have a few wardrobes full of clothes that you have been collecting for the past few decades, you will probably have to throw some out when relocating internationally. Think about how much you are planning to pay for international moving by sea so you know how much stuff you should pack, especially if you are relocating on a low budget.

When it comes to clothes, keep only the stuff you wear, no matter how hard it is for you to get rid of some of your pieces. Anything that doesn’t fit you, or you have worn out or is just damaged, doesn’t belong in the relocation boxes for transporting. You will have to declutter your wardrobe sooner or later, and this is an excellent occasion for it. You’ll also have to inform yourself on how to pack certain wardrobe pieces like, for example, packing shoes.

Consider donating or selling stuff you do not wear. If you want to contribute, there are websites like GoodWill where you can find locations to carry things for donation and help people in need. If you have something you are more willing to sell, you can earn a few bucks.

If you need help or inspiration for decluttering your wardrobe and deciding what to keep and what to toss, this video could be quite helpful.

Sorting Out Things You’re Planning to Keep – You May Not Be Able to Relocate Them

Once you decide what to keep and what to sell when moving, look at the things you have ready for the move. There could be a chance that some of the stuff you’ve packed is not allowed for transportation by an overseas shipping company, and you won’t be able to take them. Before you start preparing for relocation day, be sure that everything you have packed is allowed for transportation.

What Should I Purge Before Moving?

First, you should know you mustn’t have any hazardous and flammable materials packed. Be sure you know what stuff movers do not move so you avoid any additional relocation stress when you find out late that you have belongings that can not be transported. Contact the company you are hiring to ask them about it.

Inform yourself on the rules of the country you are hiring. Each foreign country has its own rules and restrictions that you have to follow, especially when you are relocating there. You should know something about living abroad in certain countries, and what their rules are so you avoid any culture shocks once you get there.

For example, if you are relocating to New Zealand, you will need to own a special permit for transporting any jewelry or stuff made of ivory. Crayons and watercolor paints have to be made according to the country’s regulations in order to be imported. If you are relocating to Dubai, then you must know that all objects that have Israeli origin or any kind of Israel’s emblem are strictly prohibited and must not be imported.

If you are planning on overseas vehicle shipping, you should know that different countries have different regulations. Visit the country’s official website or contact the local embassy to find out which type of shipping and insurance you should be opting for. Be sure your documents haven’t expired. It mainly depends on the car’s age, dimensions, or modifications, so be sure you know all that.

Which Old Things Are Worth Keeping?

Things that are old and hold some sentimental value are always the hardest to get rid of. However, sooner or later, you’ll have to get rid of some of them because the last thing you want is to hoard unnecessary stuff just because of nostalgia. Here’s what you should consider when deciding which older stuff to keep.

Is this item connected to some of the best memories I had in my life? You probably have tons of old photo albums with many different photos, but if you can’t carry all of them, think about which ones are related to some of the most important events in your life. You should definitely keep family heirlooms but if you have too many, consider keeping the ones that are from the closest family members.

Definitely keep unique vintage objects and valuable possessions that are one-of-a-kind and are impossible to replace. You should be very careful with choosing which stuff to keep since if you throw them away, there is no returning back. But, at the end of the day, they are just material items, and the only memories that should be important are the ones you keep in your heart.

Remember – Keep the Belongings You Know Will Be of Great Value in Your New Home

In case you pack too much stuff, you’ll definitely be stressed about the question, ”What do I do with all my stuff when I move?“. The belongings you decide to keep and bring to your home abroad should be items that are useful, provide you with emotional comfort, are financially worthy, and just make you happy overall. Anything that is easily replaceable doesn’t belong in your packages.

Once you start your life abroad and you begin adjusting to the new country, you probably won’t have the time to miss any of the stuff from your old home. You’ll spend time outside, exploring and getting to know the city, and discovering shops where you’ll definitely want to buy various belongings for yourself.

Lucy Lucas

Born and raised in Miami Lucy is a content writer with a love of moving and packing. She is an expert at making sure everything fits into her suitcase.

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