Moving Abroad? Some Do’s and Don’ts for Packing


Are you planning an international move? While every move calls for some consideration of what belongings to keep and what to get rid of, the right purging is even more important when moving to another country. To help you decide how much to take with you, here are a few useful do’s and don’ts to take into consideration.

Do Take Comforts of Home

In general, the most important items to pack up when moving overseas are the ones to which you have the greatest attachment. This includes a couple of different categories of attachment. The first is sentimental keepsakes and mementos. Even though you need to be diligent about purging, you shouldn’t get rid of everything that you value or that represents your past life.

The second category is items that make you feel at home. This might include things like family pictures, your favorite fluffy slippers, books you love to reread, or a specialized coffee machine. Moving to a different country, culture, or climate can be jarring. Whether the move is temporary or permanent, having items that make your new place into a home will be very important.

Don’t Take What’s Replaceable

Moving internationally is usually more expensive than a comparable move within the U.S. But the upside is that you likely won’t have to take nearly as many things.

You may leave behind furnishings to which you don’t have a strong sentimental attachment because you can easily replace them in your new home country. You may get a lot more out of selling large goods like furniture, bedding, art, and tools or equipment (and avoiding transportation costs) than you will spend to replace them elsewhere.

Do Research Your New Circumstances

Before deciding what to pack, do thorough research on what your new life will look like. What is the weather like, and what’s the variation between seasons? What type of work clothing will you need? What level of formality is local custom? Which items are more or less expensive to replace locally? Do you need a vehicle?

The more you find out about your new circumstances, the better you can target your packing to the smallest amount of goods that will have the biggest impact on your new life.

Don’t Risk Your Valuables

An international move can be risky for some items. The biggest concern for people is overly fragile or sensitive things, such as breakable art and family heirlooms. Talk with the movers about what to expect in the actual international transportation so you know what’s likely to be at risk of damage. You also may not want to transport a lot of very expensive items or things that cannot be replaced.

Do Consider Domestic Storage

Even following these guidelines, deciding what to pack and what to leave is difficult. It can be overwhelming. One way to reduce stress is to use domestic storage as an alternative. Certainly, if your move is temporary, you probably shouldn’t get rid of everything in your home. Leaving items behind in a storage facility is a cost-effective and safe solution.

However, even a permanent move benefits from using local storage. You don’t need to decide about everything right away. Instead, you can see how things work out and then clean out your stored items later on.

Where to Start

One of the best places to begin the process of packing for an international move is by consulting with an experienced international mover. With their help, you can decide on a workable budget, the best transportation options, and how and what to store domestically.

Dixie Moving & Storage can help. Call today to speak with our knowledgeable moving team and get answers to your questions. No matter what you choose to do with your things, you’re sure to have a more successful and less stressful move.