Moving Abroad: What do I do with all my shit?
Updated: Aug 30, 2019
Packing and Shipping
To ship or not to ship, that is the question. I had no idea what I was getting into when we started to pack. What do I take? Do I ship our stuff? Do we ship our cars? How do we ship the dogs? (I'll post about this later, after they arrive safe and sound) If we don't ship it, what do we do with it? And the list goes on...
After many discussions and lots of googling, we decided to keep it simple, start over and only take the necessities, i.e., 4 suitcases each.
For us, it was about simplicity. When you ship things overseas, 1. It's incredibly expensive - we got quotes for 20 ft shipping containers (which wouldn't ship much) from $2,500 to $8,000, depending on the company. 2. It takes 8-10 weeks for your items to arrive 3. You need insurance on your items, which is conveniently not included.
Shipping vehicles was an entirely different situation. The laws for importing a vehicle into NZ are apparently very strict and not worth it. So, we decided to sell our cars too. It took a few months and someone rear-ending me, but we got that done.
Packing, packing was hard. We needed to only take 4 suitcases, so what do I do with all my other precious items? Well, there are several answers to this question - we leased a storage unit for what we plan to keep for the future, including the love of Sean's life, Jessie, his 1977 Toyota FJ Cruiser and my beloved Halloween collection. Other than the essentials, it was a massive purge, which felt amazing. Earlier in the year, I'd watched the show Minimalists on Netflix, which helped with the process. I highly recommend it - so good. We took our slightly used clothes to a consignment shop, sold other decent items online and donated the rest. It's amazing how your mindset shifts during a process like this.
How many times do you aimlessly add things to your Target cart? Personally, I would set personal records in that store. Who would have thought I'd be happy with 3 pairs of high heels?
So, in total this is what we packed: snowboard bag, giant duffel, large suitcases (2), mid-size suitcases (2), totes (2), large backpacks (2), small backpacks (2).
So, we checked a total of 8 bags and carried on the two large backpacks and had two personal items.
Grand total with overweight bags was $1400.
Side note: when booking our flights, we checked all the baggage policies to find the most lenient ones and booked with them. Some airlines won't let you check that many bags.