Moving abroad can be an exciting but stressful time. Sorting out what you want to take with you to your new home overseas can take a lot of time. You’ll want to find the balance between making your new place feel like home straight away and not needlessly transporting items that you can easily replace.
As an expert in international removals, in this guide, we help you sort out what you should take with you when you move abroad, what you might want to store while you’re away and what you should leave behind.
What to pack when you move abroad
Items to take with you on the plane
There are some things that you’ll either need straight away or as important and should remain with you. These could include:
- Some toiletries
- Important documents, such as passports and visas
- Foreign currency
- International health insurance
- Phone and charger/portable battery
- Laptop and charger
- Other gadgets, such as tablet, headphones, portable speakers
- Comforting belongings for your child/children – blanket, toy, activities etc.
Items to put in your shipment
There are some items that you will want to take with you but won’t need right away. These can be included in your shipment.
You should note that it can take a number of weeks for your shipment to arrive, depending on how you are transporting it, so you shouldn’t pack anything here that you’ll think you’ll need when you arrive. That should go in your luggage or carry-on when you travel.
- Kitchen items
- Hobby items, such as sporting equipment
- Extra luggage
- Favourite quality pieces of furniture
- Favourite books, CDs, DVDs, and records
- Christmas/holiday decorations
- Some personal items to make your new place feel like home – rugs, ornaments etc.
What to store when you move abroad
There may be a number of items that you don’t need to take with you when you move abroad, but you still want to keep a hold of, particularly if you will only be moving abroad for a set period of time. Here, container storage is the solution.
With container storage, you can safely store your items long-term while you’re abroad. When you store your belongings with Britannia, we’ll ensure they’re kept protected and secure for the duration they’re with us.
We can bring the container to your home, provide a professional packing service with our packing materials for the items you need to store, and then seal the container and take it back to our storage facility. You’ll have peace of mind that your items will be kept in pristine condition until you’re ready to collect them when you return.
Items you might want to store while you’re abroad can include:
- Expensive art
- Sentimental furniture or ornaments
- Heavy/bulky furniture such as beds and sofas
- Photo albums and keepsakes
- Non-essential paperwork
- The majority of your book/DVD/CD/record collection
- Out-of-season clothing (for example, winter clothing if you are moving to a warm country)
What to give away when you move abroad
There will be a lot of items that will not be worth bringing with you when you move abroad. This will be because you’ll likely be able to buy replacements in your new country that will be cheaper than shipping them.
Sometimes, moving abroad can be a good opportunity to declutter. If you haven’t used something for six months or more, it can be a sign that you don’t really need it. Instead of shipping it abroad to sit unused in your new home, give it away so it can find a new life with someone else.
Below are some items that it might be best to leave behind when you move abroad:
Usually, the electrical appliances you use in your current home won’t be suitable to use abroad. You’ll need to use them with adaptors, which can make things complicated.
Instead, leave behind your kitchen appliances, TVs, and other home electronics. The only exception to this might be your laptop, as you may be able to purchase a local charger for it in your new home.
While you might want to take some travel toiletries with you for the first few days of your move, you can buy the majority of items once you’re settled. You shouldn’t need to take things like toothpaste, shampoo, and soap with you.
If you have items in your home that haven’t been opened, consider donating them to a local food bank so they don’t go to waste.
Shipping vehicles overseas can be costly. In addition to this, there might be additional fees to clear customs and some countries don’t allow you to import vehicles at all.
Overall, it can often be better to buy a car after you have arrived in the new country. If you’re moving to a city, you might find that the public transport is of such a high standard that you don’t need a car at all.
Each country will have different rules for what will be and what won’t be allowed to be imported into the country. You should check the rules of your country before you pack or speak to your international shipper who will be able to advise.
Make sure you don’t pack any restricted items. Doing so could result in long delays at customs, as well as expensive fines.
It’s important that you don’t pack any hazardous and/or flammable material. Again, your international shipper will be able to advise on what sort of things you shouldn’t pack. This will often include things like cleaning products, matches, and aerosols.
Used flat pack furniture
Flat pack furniture isn’t designed to be disassembled and reassembled. Doing so can compromise the integrity of the furniture, and it could end up breaking.
Instead, it can be better to donate your flatpack furniture before you move and buy replacements once you’re in your new home.
Unless the bed linen is particularly meaningful to you, sheets, duvets and pillows can all take up unnecessary space in your shipment. Often, it will be cheaper to replace them with new items when you arrive in your new home.
Whilst you may not be able to donate used bedding, look for the best way in your area to dispose of it sustainably.
Britannia Movers International can help you start your new life abroad. We work with trusted international partnerships across the world, meaning we can offer a high-quality and efficient removal service no matter where you’re moving to.