The 3 Ps to Moving Abroad

Suitcases, packing cubes and vacuum bags used for packing

Pineapple suitcase, packing cubes, vacuum bags, white suitcase

1. Purge.

It is exactly as it sounds. Get rid of stuff. I know it is hard but that dress you haven’t worn in 3 years, toss it. Those sexy shoes that have needed to be resoled for 6 months, toss ‘em. You will find more shoes and clothes to love wherever you end up. I suggest just taking the things you need. Since I was moving to a cooler climate, I got rid of most of my summer clothes, I kept my “teacher clothes” and fancy dresses and all of my tights. These are clothes I know I will wear and are appropriate for the climate.

Getting rid of my shoes was not very hard. I know I will walk a lot and I need shoes that would complement that, I also needed shoes that would keep my feet warm and dry on rainy days and some shoes to wear on fancy nights out. I also have limited suitcase space. After categorizing based on this criteria, I was left with neutral flats, sneakers/trainers, boots and booties and just a couple pair of high heels.

Everything else was pretty easy, little trinkets and such that held no significant value or purpose were donated, books that I did not love or read regularly were taken to Half Price Books and any teacher stuff that was non-essential was given to my other teacher friends.

Though the whole process was pretty easy once I got started it was time consuming and at times, very overwhelming.

2. Plan.

What needs to come with you right now. This will most likely be clothes, shoes, toiletries and a few other can't live without items, such as books or technology. Planning is very important, you need to anticipate your future needs, what will the weather be like, are there any events coming up that you will require fancy dress, are there any planned trips with different climate etc. You basically have to have precognition.

The best way to plan is to know how many suitcases you are taking with you and sorting out your needs accordingly. Since I would be moving in September, I packed Fall clothing, items I could layer and pair with all my booties! In my suitcases I squeezed in a few household items, that I was worried wouldn't make through shipping and a few books. Just remember, if you didn’t anticipate something or if something unforeseeable happened, you can always get what you need at a shop, unless you’re deep in the woods somewhere. For example, my winter stuff will arrive with my mother in late October, but it is already a bit colder than I can stand so I bought a trench coat. It is lined and warm and I do not already have one, it is a perfect addition to my wardrobe without doubling up.

I was able to leave somethings behind for me to pick up later. This was mostly teacher stuff, books, decorations and organizational things. I wouldn’t need them right away as I won’t be working right away and my father was willing to house them for me. When I return in Summer 2018 I will collect them just in time to start my new teaching role here, whatever that may be.

3. Pack.

I packed and repacked my suitcases several times before I was happy with them. I will tell you that those vacuum bags are the best invention ever. I only had two that you could use a vacuum with and the rest were the roll up kind. These help minimize the amount of space your clothes and bedding take up. I was able to pack all my clothes and still had room for shoes and other items. YAY! However, you need to be aware of how much each bag weighs. Most airlines have a weight limit 50 lbs and sucking the air out of your clothes does not make them lighter.

When packing do so wisely. Ensure that any breakables are packed carefully and securely, you don’t want broken glass in your clothes. Same with liquids. The best way to keep them from leaking is to put plastic wrap under the cap, it works trust me, also it helps to let some air out of the bottles. In my carryon I made sure to pack clothes to get me through a couple days and my toiletries, you never know when your luggage might get lost or delayed.

*Links to products are also the location for where the pictures were taken. I purchased both suitcases at TJ Maxx. I found the image of the pineapple suitcase but was unable to find one of the other suitcase I purchased so I found one similar. The packing cubes are not the exact ones I used but I did purchase them from Amazon.



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