How To: Pack For A Move Overseas



Are you moving overseas and have so much to pack that you don’t know where to start?

Yeah, me too!

At the end of June, I said goodbye to my beloved Cardiff, the city that’s become my second home over the last 6 years, packed up and moved back to my homeland of Ireland. But before I moved, I had to pack my stuff up. I have moved locally too many times to count and I’ve always found packing for a local move to be a doddle, especially when there is a car available.

But moving overseas? That was a little more tricky. I had four suitcases. I had to fit SIX years of stuff into four suitcases. Now, I am a procrastinator. And I mean I am a procrastinator. So I really needed a quick and easy way to pack all my stuff.

Before moving, I read blog post after blog post about how to pack efficiently but there didn’t seem to be anything out there that fit my needs. My solution? Well, you’re reading it!

I’ve found that before you pack is just as important as the packing itself so I’m going to split this post into two separate sections; Before Packing and actually Packing.



Before you can actually start packing your belongings, you really need to think through what you are planning to take with you. Take a moment and think to yourself “Do I really need 6 jumpers?” No, you don’t. It’s time to purge your wardrobe. Here is how you can reduce the amount of clothes you take overseas.

  • SEPARATE: Try to bulk all your belongings into piles – yes, you’re humble abode is going to look like a bomb has hit it for a few days but it’s worth it! I separated my piles into:
    – Clothes
    – Electronics
    – Books
    – Miscellaneous
  • DONATE/SELL: Go through all of your piles and decide what you really need and what you don’t.
    – Realistically, 3/4 of your wardrobe will be items you either haven’t worn in well over a year or maybe haven’t even worn at all. If this is the case with any item in your pile, no matter how cute you think it is, get rid of it. You will need to be brutal and yes, it can be hard but it is a process that needs to happen. When I was sorting all of my clothes, three of my favourite shirts had holes in them. I had been wearing them anyway because I loved them. However, moving means change and as hard as it was to let them go, I had to. If I can do it, you certainly can.
    – Follow the same principle of ‘how often have I used/worn this item and do I really need it?’ for all of your piles and you can easily half the amount of things that you own.
    – You can either give some things away to family and friends, donate them to your local charity shop or even list your items for sale on sites such as ebay!



Now that the hard part is over and you know exactly what you are bringing overseas with you, it is time for the actual packing process. However, before you can actually pack, you need to know HOW you are packing and how you are going to get your belongings overseas.

There are so many options to choose from, you just need to find what suits your situation best. I went to multiple removal companies and asked for a quote to ship from the UK to Ireland. The cheapest quote I was given was for £350 which I just cannot afford. I ended up finding a website online called SendMyBag (NOT sponsored). They will ship box and suitcases and other large items for the same cost as checking it as luggage on a flight.

Here are my tips on how to pack efficiently:

  • Pack the things you don’t use often/won’t need right away first.
    – Pack these your seasonal clothes as you will not be needing them unless you are moving between seasons.
    – If you have duplicates of any item eg. a towel, pack those first.
    – This also includes any formal clothes ( it’s always best to leave one formal dress to keep until moving day in case anything comes up.) and any knick-knacks you may want to take with you.
  • Pack all of your clothes into vacuum bags – these things are life savers when packing. You can fit so much more clothes in your bag when they have all been shrunk.
  • If you have heavy items such as books, board games or shoes, spread these out between all bags to minimise weight. Putting all your heavy items in one bag will almost guarantee an overweight case.
  • Stuff your shoes – any small items such as snow globes or shot glasses will fit into your shoes. You could also use your shoes to store your underwear and socks.
  • If there are any items that you cannot put into vacuum bags, roll them. Rolling your clothes takes up much less space and it also decreases the chances of your clothes getting wrinkled in transit.
  • Always put heavier/bulkier items at the bottom of your bag/box as this will balance out the weight of your bag.


So there we have it, my top tips for packing for a move overseas! I hope it helped you even a little bit.

Do you have any other tips and tricks that you swear by when moving? Share them in the comments!