Unless you're moving to Alaska where you might appreciate an extra layer or two, if you're relocating overseas the chances are you're probably not going to need as much as you think.
Most of us only wear 25% of our wardrobes, so you should be able to save space by planning what you need in advance and only packing the essentials. Here are some handy hints for you.
Get a shipping quote
It is vital to use a professional international removal firm for a move abroad, as, not only do you need to trust them to get your belongings to your new overseas home safely, they will also be able to inform you about restrictions on shipping items.
By receiving multiple quotes for your removals, you will be able to get an idea of how much it will cost to ship your belongings, and whether you will need to reduce the volume of items you are taking with you.
It is strongly recommended that your international removal company packs your items for the container for you. They will have the expertise to pack your items appropriately to withstand the journey and you items will be insured by the removals firm.
To help you find the best price for your international removals, you can use our International Moving Cost Calculator to get estimates for an overseas removal service.
Put the belongings you do not wish to take with you in storage, sell them, or give them to charity. If you're making a long-term move, weigh up the cost of shopping verses buying new clothes and possessions at the other end. It might be cheaper to start afresh.
If you're really not sure what you're going to need, leave some possessions with a trusted friend or relative who can post items to you in the future.
If you're struggling to decide what to pack to go with you, it's worth contacting your airline, if you are flying to your new destination, to check on their baggage allowance before deciding what to bring.
Some airlines allow more suitcases than you'd expect and it might be cheaper to pay for a second suitcase than the cost of excess on your first bag. Do your research and work out what's best for you and once you know your baggage allowance, pack your essential items accordingly.
If you are driving to your new home abroad, check that your baggage fits with you in your car.
For helpful tips on what you should be packing to take with you on your moving day, take a look at our international packing checklist.
Research the climate at your destination. Just because you're moving abroad doesn't mean the sun will always be shining. It is recommended that anything you haven’t worn in the last 12 months across each of the seasons shouldn’t be taken with you.
It's also worth noting that many hot countries have powerful air conditioning and you might find yourself chilled to the bone when you least expect it, so pack a warm jumper just in case.
If you're moving to a new country for the short term, chances are you're not going to need every single stick of furniture and can make do with the bare necessities.
If it's a permanent move, it might be more cost effective to refurnish your home at the other end. If you really can't live without a family heirloom, consider the cost of putting it in storage during your travels. If you change your mind, you can always ship it at a later date.
Don't forget to back up all your paperwork. You never know what's going to happen, so scan all of your important documents and keep them stored in a safe place online for emergencies. Also don't forget to back up all of your electronic equipment and make use of the cloud or similar sharing devices so you don't lose your family photos.
page last updated June 2015