Ship, Share, Store, Sell, or Scrap: What to Do With Your Stuff When Moving Abroad

Family at the airport

Moving abroad can be an exciting time for you and your family, but the preparations and logistics can be a bit stressful. For now, we’ll be discussing ways for you to manage your possessions.


Your first step when dealing with all the items in your possession before moving abroad is to take inventory and categorize them. You should know which items you’d want to bring along, give, store, sell, or throw away.


You can ship and bring along the items that you deem necessary and essential such as clothing, your work-related equipment, necessary documents, photo albums, and other things that may be expensive, unique, or irreplaceable. However, moving your items, especially heavy ones such as your entire computer setup or valuable furniture, can be quite costly. So it’s best to get multiple moving company quotes for you to select the best one. You should remember that moving quotes should include the cost of the number of items, the labor costs, packing costs, and mileage; as such, you should be wary of any hidden or potential cost. Also, be sure to hire a reliable and well-reviewed moving company to avoid any damage or losses to our belongings. To reduce the cost of shipping, try to bring as many items such as clothing that your airplane luggage allowance can allow.


By “share” we mean either donating or gifting. There will be items that may be too valuable for you to get rid of and believe that they’d be put to better use instead of just sleeping in storage. You can give your sofa to friends or family, or even donate them to charitable institutions or even the orphanage. Just make sure that the items you’ll be “sharing” or giving are in good condition, and that you’re not giving trash for someone else to get rid of.


For things that you think you’ll be using when you come back or haven’t had the time to sell or give, you always have the option to store them. You can save money by asking close friends or family to leave certain items behind to store in their homes until you get back or until you can find a seller or someone to donate it to. Alternatively, you can opt to have it stored in a nearby storage unit and provide the keys to a trusted friend or family for them to access it when it’s ready to be disposed of.


Woman selling online

One of the most common ways people deal with their belongings before they move is to sell them. There are no shortages of ways for you to make money out of the belongings you no longer wish to keep or opt to give: you can sell them through a garage sale, post them online for selling, or give them to consignment stores or flea markets to sell them, or have your family and friends look for people who might be interested in them and have them sell it for you.


Lastly, you will eventually encounter items that aren’t sellable, gift-able, or worth keeping such as broken furniture, rotted books, and other non-usable or worthless items in your home. These should be properly disposed of before you leave your home and move to your next one abroad.


Moving to a different country can be rough, but with the proper guidance and planning, it doesn’t have to be. So when you’ve decided to move abroad, or if the opportunity presents itself, it’s best to keep these pointers in mind so you wouldn’t have to worry much about what to do with your belongings when you’re about to move.

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