Wednesday, 27 June 2012

How to Pack for the Big Move Abroad

If you've been following along, and clearly you must be, you know I'm moving to England soon. I've been thinking (non stop almost) about what I will take with me clothes wise. I don't own a ton of stuff, but moving will mean learning to live very minimally.
Some of my friends are quite the globe trotters, from New Zealand, to Scotland to Calgary, so I thought I'd turn to those in the know and ask how they did it.  The question I asked: "how do you pack to move to a new country?" They had some great advice which I knew would be worth a share.

1. Be Ruthless

First do some research on cost of living and prices for things like clothes, electronics, etc...If those things are comparable to Canada and you'll have a comparable wage, pretty much get rid of most things.
This is a wonderful time to get rid of tacky gifts which you can later claim were lost by the postal service. (Sorry auntie!)
Only keep the larger items that have sentimental value to you, sell the rest. Keep smaller items that have important 'history' such as old pictures, journals and other odds and ends that are sentimental. If you don't need to have them with you and won't use them within 6 months keep them in rental storage/family-friends house back home.

{Erin Out and About} Packing

2. Less is More

You need nothing but the basics. Remember layers are your friend as you can always take it off! Silly things like basic shower/bathroom things purchase once you arrive. Assuming you're going to a country that has all the basics you're used to. Don't pack any cosmetics beyond what you'll need for travel. Buy everything new there. Same with hair dryers etc.
Don't take any house things- furniture, pots and pans etc unless you can drive there. Once there is an ocean in the way it's not worth it. You can sell some of these to cover moving expenses.

Do bring any specific medication, for at least 3 months. Bring any favourite treats from Canada that you can't live without (ie. maple syrup) and computer, various electronics that you use all the time and can purchase an adaptor for.

{Erin Out and About} Packing

3. Choose Carefully

Try on all your clothes and if it's even slightly shabby, doesn't fit, out of style or easily replaced (ie.  socks) get rid of it. This will get you to 1.5 suitcases of clothes. For the journey, pack at least 2 weeks of outfits. Bring some basics for all seasons and your favourite things. “As annoying as it is to have to buy new stuff, most things can be replaced (depending on where you're moving to I guess), and to be honest, most of the things I left behind I've already forgotten I had." Shoes take up a lot of room choose carefully.
Once in the new county you can begin to change your wardrobe overtime and become 'one of them'.
It's quite surprising what you can afford to get rid of and how all that's important to you can fit into a reasonable amount and be stored in 1 place.

{Erin Out and About} Packing

(Photos courtesy of my parents who are packing to move back home from Vietnam)

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