Make Your Move Easier-Get Rid Of Your Stuff

When Planning Your Move Abroad-Get Rid of Stuff

There are several things you must do before you move abroad to avoid problems later on. If you do things in the correct order, it shouldn’t become overwhelming. If you have researched at all what it will cost to ship your precious stuff, more often than not you will decide that it will be a lot cheaper to sell it all here and buy it all new in whatever country you are going to.

Expats who shipped everything in their households to far away countries, pay a high price. Expats who have done so, will emphatically say if they had to do it all over again, they would have sold everything and bought new in their new expat home. Even if you are not paying duty on incoming cargo, a 20′ container coming from say the United States to Panama can cost 10,000 dollars. Now rationalize that. Don’t you think you could replace everything you shipped for well under $10,000 in your new home. I think so!


So before all else, get a new mind set. Jump at the chance to dump the household stuff you have had for years. Look forward to shopping to buy new things in a new country. Look forward to the experience.

That being said, by all means ship your family albums, keepsakes, favorite CD’s. But leave behind your potato peeler, shop vac, and recliner.

So Number 1-Get rid of stuff. You will not believe how liberating it can be. Do you realize that you probably choose the size home you have now ,depending how much stuff you had to fill it up with. Stuff takes maintenance, space and requires you to protect it, clean it and worry about it. Liberate your life.

There are great video sources on how to get rid of your stuff which gives you advice and pep talks on how to declutter and get rid of things. You can also find many great books about how to sell and get rid of stuff at Amazon. Nowadays there are easy sources to find online as well.

So, you have no excuse as to why you can’t seem to get your head around giving up things you have had for years and never used or used rarely.

What I Did To Get Rid of My Stuff

I decided to start getting rid of my stuff about a year before I thought I was going to move. I figured that way I had time to get the most money for my “stuff.” That worked well for me. I took my time selling items I thought had more value.

I put larger, more sought after items on my local Craigslist. All of those items sold fast. Books and lp records I sold on Amazon. Finding a larger audience for these items allowed me to sell them for more money than I would have gotten locally. I also sold some smaller antique things on Ebay.

We also had a friend who was furnishing her first apartment. We gave her lots of kitchen stuff.

Garage Sale

Picture courtesy of Colors at Flicker

Our subdivision every year has a “subdivision garage sale.” So last year we put up for sale, anything that was common and generally things we had not used in a long time that were just taking up space in closets and the garage. By common I mean, things we thought that specialty places, like local consignment places wouldn’t want to carry. So for instance, housewares, yard tools, misc small things. I also made a rule for myself:

“Once Anything Has Left the Interior of the House It Can’t Go Back In”

That mean’t that after the garage sale and we had a lot of stuff that did not sell, I made myself put in all on the front porch and called a charity to come and pick it up. Not one thing went back inside the house.

At first, it was hard to part with memories and stuff. But after it was gone, if  became a freeing sensation to see my closets bare of stuff. I learned that things are just things and you don’t need to keep them to preserve memories.

Since my first garage sale in June of 2011, not once have I wished I hadn’t gotten rid of something.

For more info and detail on how to sell your stuff, go to: How To Organize Your Stuff


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