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Moving abroad is stressful! Especially when you need to pack your whole life in a 23 kg suitcase.

I have spent the last couple of weeks sorting through memories, favourite dresses, unread books and lovely knick knacks in the hope some of it would fit into my suitcase.

And still, I have too much shit! So how do you pack a suitcase when moving abroad? What is the best way to pack a suitcase? And do suitcase organizer bags really help?

How to sort your belongings when moving abroad

moving abroad to dubai
I have never been amazing at throwing away my belongings. I will always find a reason to keep hold of something. No, I am not a hoarder – but I am very sentimental, and almost everything has memories or emotions attached to it.
 
First of all, I made a 4-week plan. This 4-week plan corresponded with the 4 weeks until we would have to move out of our house. In the month and a half between moving out and moving to Dubai, we would stay with my husband’s parents in the New Forest. Later on, we would visit my parents in Belgium.
 
First on the list was sorting through everything in the house. We did this room-by-room. Everything we needed to sell on the boot sale went into bags in one corner of the second bedroom. Everything to our parents in another. We put everything we wanted to take to Dubai in our suitcases
 
As I said before: sorting through everything was harder than I could have imagined. But Josh is the total opposite of me when it comes to his ability to throw away stuff. That was actually a big help. I would recommend asking someone with that same mindset to help you clear your house. It will make things so much easier! I have no idea what I would have done without him!

Why you should not ship your furniture abroad

My best friend moved to Curacao when she was 16. Her father had moved to the Caribbean island to open up a dive school. He decided to ship his furniture from Belgium to Curacao.
 
Big mistake!
 
It was not only expensive, but the furniture did not end up fitting in the house. You do not buy a house to fit around your furniture, you buy furniture to fit into your house.
 
They had to throw away a lot of furniture and buy new pieces anyway. That is a lot of money through the drain.
 
A lot of countries nowadays have Ikea. Even when moving to for instance, Myanmar – where there is NO Ikea, you will be able to shop Ikea online OR there will be local alternatives. There is no use in shipping over your furniture.
 
Instead you can donate your furniture to charities such as Ellenor and British Heart Foundation. They will come and pick up your donations and will then sell it on to raise money for their charity.

Keep warm clothes with Family Members

moving abroad to singapore
you will be visiting family members over Christmas – no? Well, if you are moving abroad to somewhere warm, it is important to keep warm clothes with family members. This way you won’t freeze to death over your little Christmas holiday.
 
Put your clothes in a vacuum bag (more about these later on) and hand them over to your family. Definitely keep long trousers, sweaters, T shirts, Jackets – and If you come from a 40 degree Celsius environment like Dubai, you might even want to put in some thermal underwear.

Using Vacuum Bags when moving Abroad

I love using vacuum bags. You put in your clothes and you suck out the air from the bag with your vacuum. The big pile of clothes shrinks down, making it easier to pack your belongings in your suitcase.
 
My husband’s grandmother told me Poundland sold vacuum bags. Now – here is the thing. I went for the Poundland vacuum bags because – indeed: they were cheap. But they are also very useless.
 
You see: there are two kinds of vacuum bags. First, you have the roll-up vacuum bags. You do not need to use a hoover, you just get out the air by rolling up the bags and the clothes inside them. I was not impressed with the result: but hey… I never used vacuum bags before. How was I to know what to expect from a vacuum bag?
 
But it did not sit right with me: the pile of clothes in the vacuum bag was just as large as when I put it in. It just looked a bit more disheveled because of the rolling. I looked up a video review of the more expensive vacuum bags – the ones where you suck out the air with your vacuum. I do not think I was ever this quick to order anything online!
 
Lo and behold: the pile of clothes in my suitcase went down from almost full (with the Poundland bags) to less than half full (with the real vacuum bags).

Using suitcase organizers when packing your suitcase

If you are not looking to use vacuum bags, you can also use suitcase organisers. Suitcase organisers are little bags in which you put your clothes. The organisers make sure your clothes do not get thrown about in your suitcase. They also make it easier for you to pack and unpack your suitcase without disturbing all and every piece of clothing.
 
I bought my suitcase organisers off Amazon and we have been using them during our travels. We simply roll our clothing and put these little sausages into the organisers. This way we save space. It means we can put a lot in the organisers and have our suitcase packed in no-time.
how to pack your suitcase when moving abroad
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