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How to Pack for an Overseas Move

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Moving abroad is hugely exciting, but the thought of packing can be very stressful. Many people often underestimate the size of their move, and the truth is sometimes it is simply not effective to bring everything with you. Knowing how to pack and what to pack can be challenging, which is why we’re here to help. Here are our top tips on how to pack for an overseas move.

1. Downsize

The chances are that over the years, you’ve accumulated a lot. Moving abroad is the perfect excuse to downsize your inventory, whether that’s furniture, clothes, kitchenware, or knick-knacks that you’ve hardly even noticed. The first step is to look at what your essentials are. From there, ask yourself: Have I used this over the past year? If the answer is no, it may be best to sell it or give it to a charity shop. Reselling apps such as eBay and Depop are great platforms to help lighten your load and make a little money. Having fewer items will not only mean fewer items to pack but may also make your move a little cheaper.

2. Research 

Research is so important when moving home, especially when moving further afield to somewhere abroad. When deciding on what to take, an important factor to consider is your new lifestyle and what it will entail. Be sure to research the climate, the cost of living, accessibility, etc. This is also a good chance to read about the requirements for your country, as some items may not be allowed in.

3. Create a Checklist

Having a clear checklist is vital for ensuring you remember everything, and is a visual way to keep track. After writing everything down, you may find that you can take less than you think. Create two columns, one describing the item and the other a small box. Simply tick off the items you have packed or intend to be wrapped by your removal company.

4. Keep it Light

When writing your checklist, it is important to keep it as light as possible, only really sticking to the essential items. A lot of things you will be able to purchase in your new country, and it may be easier to do so. It may be worth purchasing your toiletries out there, for example.

Clothes that have been rolled to fit into a suitcase

5. Packing Your Clothes

Whilst the bigger items will likely be handled by your moving company, smaller items such as clothes will need to be packed into bags or suitcases. Whilst most decide to fold their clothes, it is actually much more effective to roll them. The tighter you can roll your clothes the more space you will have. You may even decide to use packing cubes or airtight bags to keep certain items together in a small compact spac

6. Label Everything

A big mistake people commonly make is forgetting to label boxes and bags. Adding a small label or sticker on your bags will encourage better organisation, helping you clearly see what has already been packed and what’s left to do. This will also make unpacking considerably easier, allowing a faster settling-in process.

Stack of black and red suitcases on a luggage trolly

7. Packing Your Bag

When it comes to actually packing your bags, you should distribute everything evenly to ensure that your goods can be moved effectively. Whether you’re using suitcases or duffle bags, they should roughly weigh the same once packed. We would also suggest keeping heavier items at the bottom, to avoid any damage to more fragile pieces.

8. Pack Your Carry-On Bag

When travelling abroad, it is important to pack a carry-on bag for your journey, whether travelling by air, sea or road. If applicable, your bag should first fit the requirements for carry-on luggage. This is the place to keep any important documents, toiletries or medication. You can also keep your electronics and charging cables here.

Luggage at an airport terminal

What to Pack for an Overseas Move

To help with your packing checklist, here is a list of the items you will need to take with you for your move abroad.


  • Passport
  • Visa and accompanying documentation
  • Health insurance records
  • Accommodation paperwork


  • Mobile phone
  • Tablet
  • Laptop
  • Headphones
  • Camera
  • Speaker
  • Charging cables
  • Country specific adapter


  • Medication
  • Suncream
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Skincare
  • Haircare
  • Makeup
  • Perfume
  • Aftershave


  • Tops
  • T shirts
  • Trousers
  • Sweatshirts
  • Jumpers
  • Formal attire
  • Jackets
  • Coats
  • Workwear
  • Swimwear
  • Gym wear
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Nightwear
  • Shoes

Remember that most of these you can purchase in your new country.

Download and print your Moving Abroad Checklist today.

One thought on “How to Pack for an Overseas Move”

  1. This article is a packing guide extraordinaire for an overseas move. It expertly navigates the intricacies, offering practical tips on organization and prioritization. From essentials to valuable insights, it ensures a stress-free packing experience. A must-read for anyone gearing up for the challenges of moving abroad with efficiency and ease.


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