In less than two weeks I’ll be leaving this lovely rainy island behind and landing in Stockholm with two suitcases and a rucksack to my name.
I’ve already started the packing process and it’s harder than I thought. You can’t fit everything in, so some serious culling has to take place. You also have to be realistic about what you need (yes I love these shoes but will I need heels in -10 degrees?)
Here are my tips for packing the move to another country:
1. Start to live smaller
I don’t mean move into a Hobbit house, but start to make a mental note of the things you need on a day to day basis, the clothes you cycle through more regularly and the knick knacks you couldn’t live without.
That way, when it comes down to the wire you know that as long as you have three pairs of black jeans, four tops and a jumper you’ll be good for at least a week.
2. Start to charity shop in sections
It’s a pretty long process, sorting your belongings into “definitely”, “maybe” and “no”. What starts off in one pile gets demoted, other stuff gets promoted as you realise a sarong probably isn’t necessary for a country that’s dark for 3+ months of the year.
It’s also a bit much to land six bin bags onto a charity shops doorstep in one go.
So do it in stages, in accordance with the seasons. What do you absolutely need in Spring? Summer? Autumn? Winter? I’m talking sock thickness, shoe types and layers. Once you have your seasonal capsules, you can drop bits off in shifts.
3. Sell your CDs, DVDs and books
And shop around.
I used two apps, WeBuyBooks.co.uk and Ziffit.
They’ll pay you between £0.10 and £2.50* per item, but they won’t accept everything.
(*That’s the max I got, you might be able to get more.)
So my advice:
- Scan everything you can into one
- Scan exactly the same items into the other
- See which gives you the highest payout
- Scan everything you can into one
- See if the other will take the items the first one didn’t
For example, WeBuyBooks wouldn’t take my Twilight trilogy, but Ziffit paid me £3 for it. Score.
Both send you labels for free postage with Hermes and WeBuyBooks even organises the collection.
I ended up making about £70 which isn’t bad for stuff that would be living in storage otherwise.
That’s at least one drink in Sweden… 😅
4. Buy kitchen stuff when you get there but take one sentimental piece
You want your new house to feel like home – but the 20kg limit on EasyJet is absolute. So I’m taking:
- My favourite tea mug
- Tupperware (also handy storage for necklaces etc)
And that’s it.
Because all I will want to do is have a proper cup of English tea and a piece of marmite toast so I don’t break down crying wondering what the hell I’ve done.
5. If you’re not going too far / if you have friends that will be coming over to visit…
You can use them as your home ware/shoe mules.
If there’s anything left over you absolutely have to have just not immediately:
- Put them into bags in order of priority
- Label them so you/they know what’s in them (especially pertinent if you’re asking them to bring them in hand luggage)
- Ask your loved ones to stick them in their cases
- Repay them with your excellent tour guiding skills / a beer
6. Put sentiment aside
If you’re desperate for those photos that have sat at the back of your cupboard for 6 years without seeing the light of day – pay for storage. If that reduces your ardour then consider digitising them.
7. Stop thinking in terms of absolutes
Just because you’re not taking your battered converse trainers doesn’t mean you’ll never wear converse again. There will be shops and you can replace clothes and shoes relatively easily.
Got any tips you think I’ve missed? Let me know!