Moving is never an easy task, especially if one is moving an entire household overseas. The most important part is keeping your cool, which is obviously easier said than done. If you are packing by yourself without the help of a moving company, it is always much more difficult to keep an overview of everything. I have compiled a list of some pointers that have always helped me keep my head screwed on during one of the preparations for a move abroad. I hope it helps!
1. The first thing to do is to make sure you have enough time to pack in a relaxed and not hectic way. If you pack in a hurry, you will bring things you have no need for, like a pair of winter boots if you are moving to the Bahamas, and forget the important things, like the bathing suit.
2. Get rid of clutter! This is the most important thing to do! Yes, the porcelain lamp with the floral lampshade that your grandmother gave you has sentimental value, but do you really need it in Indonesia? Make sure to sort things out meticulously, and be a little ruthless at it if you have to!
3. Get boxes in advance. Placing everything in piles around the house will only worsen the chaos. Set up boxes and fill them, one after the other. And label or number them! Depending on how long your things will be boxed up for you will find it helpful to know into which rooms to place boxes once they arrive in your new home.
4. Make lists. List everything that you own and are bringing, that way you don’t unnecessarily accuse any movers of misplacing or losing that precious porcelain lamp grandma gave you, which you actually didn’t take, but smartly decided to give your neighbor.
5. Keep important papers and documents such as plane tickets, passports, visas, etc. in a safe spot away from the moving chaos. I have heard stories of someone packing their desk into the moving van and sending it off to the freight container, only to realize later that their entire family’s passport and visas were inside the desk drawer!
6. If there are items of particular value to you, yet you know that they are either completely useless or impractical in your new country of residence, give them to a close friend or family member to take care of. Don’t put the piece of furniture in storage, where you may end up worrying about mold and theft, give it to someone who will put it in their apartment and appreciate and enjoy it while you are gone. Not only will it make you feel better about your new piece of furniture or object having a good home, but it will remind the person you have left it behind with of you on a daily basis!
7. And finally (and maybe most importantly) RELAX! I know this may sound silly and may go unheeded in some cases, but once you have accomplished a large amount of packing, sit back and do something you enjoy. If it is meeting friends and having a barbeque or going out for drinks with the girls, going to the beach with the kids or taking a hike with the family, you need to do something that will completely take your mind off the packing business. Because let’s face it, you will be spending plenty of time unpacking as well!
Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons