Top Packing Tips for moving house as a expat

As an expat who has had to ship her life around the world, and worse, between distant boroughs of London – not to mention the years that I worked by day in property management on a private portfolio – over the years I’ve accumulated a strange amount of knowledge when it comes to the practicalities of moving house.

Top Tips for moving House as a expat Adventures of a London Kiwi

Disclaimer: This post was commissioned by Shiply, an online platform that matches those needing something transported (house move/car/pet/furniture) with a transport provider in a similar area including large item courier services – but my (very many) home moving tips and tricks are all mine. The cat poses are pure Biscuit, who was bribed a few extra cat treats.

When moving your home, there are definitely several things that can be managed & mitigated to make the process easier. 

Learn this lesson: you’ll always have more stuff than you can imagine.

It’s a great opportunity to Marie Kondo your life – start with the rooms that you need the least, discard everything that you haven’t used in at least 9 months and order at least an extra half of boxes & packing kit. Even after only living in London for a few months, I somehow managed to double my stuff from a large suitcase and backpack necessitating several trips across London when I moved into my first actual home. I mean, do you really need that Fez from Marrakesh, the pot plant that has fewer leaves than a dining table or the 17 volumes of Lonely Planet guides? Oh, wait, that last lot are definitely keepers.

Top Tips for moving House as a expat Adventures of a London Kiwi

* Yes, that is a cat-sized Mac book – see what I mean about unnecessary items? *

Pack early.

As a grade-A procrastinator when it comes to all things not travel related, I’ve found that organised right from when you first learn about moving will save you wrinkles and grey hairs a-plenty. Reward yourself for getting started early – trust me. 

Start with the rooms you need the least.

Once you’ve Marie Kondo’d your life, apply that the actual rooms you live in. Leave every one of the cat beds out though – no-one needs that kind of emotional anguish in their lives.

Top Tips for moving House as a expat Adventures of a London Kiwi

Leave the absolute essentials out until the end, and pack them into a single box. 

When I say essentials, I mean;

  • Kettle, tea-making stuff, coffee, mugs (because this is England.)
  • Snacks, breakfast stuff.
  • Cat food, cat treats, cat bedding (if you own a cat, else that might be a bit weird.)
  • Plates & utensils for each person in your house.
  • Your flight toiletries bag/s. (Pack away those normal big ‘uns.)
  • All of your chargers. Actually, maybe this should be the first item on the list…
  • Champagne to celebrate your new home with.

Guard this box with your life.

Top Tips for moving House as a expat Adventures of a London Kiwi

< Totally unrelated cat photo >

Write the rooms each box belongs to & items that the boxes contain on the *side* of the box.

Write these on the top, and you’ll not be able to see it when the movers (hired or domestic) stack the boxes. So, write the rooms/items on the side so you can see them when they’re all stacked up. Simple & genius, no?

Give yourself time to settle into your new home.

We all race through our lives (someone remarked recently ‘the days seem to take forever, but the years flash by somehow), so give yourself a generous settling-in period between hopping around countries. Call it the human ‘butter on the paws’ method.  

Top Tips for moving House as a expat Adventures of a London Kiwi

What is the best tip for moving that you’ve ever heard or used?

Shiply.com is an online platform that matches those needing something transported (house move/car/pet/furniture) with a transport provider in a similar area. The transport providers quote on listings where they are already in the area or making a similar route, therefore saving money and the environment. Shiply kindly sponsored this post (sharing my own personal experiences) in order to keep our wanderlust strong and the travel fund topped up for future fun and blog posts.

Shiply.com