Before you move abroad to start a new life in another country, you have a big task for yourself – downsizing your belongings. There are probably many things that you own which have been sitting in the back of your closet or your attic for years without being used. If you got rid of this stuff, would you even miss it?
The great thing about downsizing your belongings before a move is that you will reduce the amount of stuff that you must move over. Moving stuff takes money, time and energy – so having less stuff to move will make your process of migrating cheaper and more convenient.
However, downsizing your belongings is not that easy. When it comes to stressful and overwhelming tasks, it can be right up there with applying for your Australian skilled visas and planning your overseas travel. First of all, it’s a big task in itself and it’s sometimes difficult to know when to start. Secondly, there are some psychological barriers to downsizing. You can have a strong sentimental attachment to things and there is also some part of your brain that can imagine a scenario in which you will need something – as soon as you throw it out.
Downsizing your stuff requires a very thorough and disciplined approach and it can be mentally exhausting, so don’t try to do it all in one day. Trying to tackle reducing an entire household of belongings in one day can be way too much to handle. Instead, focus on one room or one closet or storage area at a time so that you can break the task into more manageable chunks.
Here are a few more tips that will help you when you are downsizing your belongings before moving abroad.
- If you haven’t opened it since your last move, do you really need it? If you are like most people, you might have that box that has followed you around every time you move house, but you never actually open it. Make sure that you take a look inside to see if it is really worth keeping. It might be priceless keepsakes, which are good to hold onto, but it also might be things that you really don’t need anymore.
- Ask yourself if you have used the item in the past year, or if it has just been gathering dust. If you haven’t used it in the past year, you are unlikely to use it again the following year.
- Don’t forget to look in your junk drawer, kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets and that stop under the sink. We have a tendency to accumulate unnecessary items in these places, so make sure that you get rid of them.
- If you have some furniture items that you are happy to get rid of, you could give them away to a local shelter or a thrift store. Or, you can pass them along to friends and family.
- You can also place an ad on the online classifieds if you are looking to sell some of your unneeded furniture and other household items.
- When it comes to memorabilia such as souvenirs, medals and certificates, consider carefully if you really need them. Getting rid of them doesn’t mean that you will get rid of the memories of achieving that goal.
- You probably have plenty of t-shirts with logos on them that you got at events or were given to you for free. You don’t really need those and you likely never wear them. Give them away to a clothing drive or to a charity.
- Consider getting rid of all of your CDs and DVDs. You don’t really need them anymore, as all of the music and movies that you need are on the internet, on Netflix or can be stored on a hard drive.
- Think about using a Kindle rather than having a bunch of books. One kindle is the size of a small thin paperback but it can hold hundreds and hundreds of books.
- Sporting equipment is another item that people regularly keep around but never use. If you really need to go skiing you can rent some skis, but you don’t need to keep them around if you haven’t been on the slopes in years.
These are just a few helpful tips for downsizing, such as when you are moving to New Zealand from the UK. It’s a difficult task, but it will make your move so much easier when you do!