What Possessions Should You Bring When Moving Abroad?

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There’s a lot to think about when moving to another country. One big thing to consider is exactly what possessions you will bring with you. If you’ve got an entire house full of possessions and you’re moving half-way around the world, you could spend thousands transporting them all to your new home. Getting rid of items or leaving items behind may be necessary in order to make your move affordable. Below are a few considerations that could help you to choose which possessions to bring and which not to bring. 

How long are you moving abroad for?

If you’re only planning a temporary stay of a year or less, it may make sense to keep most of your possessions behind. If you’re moving out of your current home, you’ll need to find somewhere else to temporarily store your possessions. Self-storage could be your best option – you will have to pay storage fees, but these should cost less overall than having to transport your possessions abroad and then back. 

If you’re planning a long-term move, you’re likely to want to bring more possessions along with you. Keeping these possessions in storage could get expensive after a few years. There may also be little point in keeping these possessions if they’re going to be locked up in storage for years. Therefore you should set aside more money to ship these items over.

What can you afford to bring?

You may not be able to afford to bring all your possessions, even if you want to. In this situation, you need to be prepared to part with possessions in order to make your move achievable. 

Larger, heavier and more fragile items will cost more to transport and may be the items that you have to sacrifice. Examples include appliances, bulky furniture, pianos, glassware and personal vehicles (providing you can’t drive them abroad). Some items may also be considered more hazardous to transport and could cost more. 

There may be ways of reducing costs without having to part with too many possessions. It’s worth always comparing quotes of different international moving companies in order to get the best deal. You may also be able to transport items over in stages – this may not necessarily reduce costs, but it could allow you to spread the cost of transporting possessions over a longer period to make it more affordable. 

Which items are cheaper/easier to replace?

There could be items that cost less to replace than to transport. This could include kitchenware and various items of furniture.

Obviously, some items may be of sentimental value and worth keeping. However, you may not have such an attachment to other items. Make a list of the items that you need to replace when you arrive at your new home and make time to purchase these.

What do you actually need to keep?

You should consider which items you physically need to keep. The answer is likely to be ‘not many’ – besides important documents, most items are likely to be of sentimental importance, but not actually essential.

If you have lots of collectibles, crafts, clothes, photos or souvenirs, you should consider just how many of these items you really need to bring. Moving abroad could be a great time to declutter and determine what is really important. You will likely want to bring some sentimental items in order to maintain some familiarity. However, otherwise, moving abroad could be a chance for a fresh start – which means getting rid of the stuff you really don’t need in your life.Make time beforehand to go through your belongings and decide what you really want to keep. You may be able to donate some items or even sell some items to earn some extra money to put towards your move. Other items like photos may be possible to digitize so that you can still keep them and possibly reprint them in the future.

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