Okay, we've got a plan, we've submitted our paperwork, and we've started down the path of getting rid of the vast majority of our possessions. Let's get you to that foreign country.
6. Sell your stuff online-- Honestly, we were able to get rid of a most of our stuff by just letting our friends and co-workers know what was available. But if you still have some larger items that are worth significant money, definitely try to sell them online. I put our big pieces on Craigslist on a Saturday morning and had most of it sold by Sunday afternoon. We didn't bother with $10 bookshelves. To me, it's not worth it to wait around for a stranger to invade your home, but we were able to make some money on our furniture that will really come in handy when we land. You can also try listing your stuff in a local buy/sell/trade Facebook group. I'm too impatient to put it on an app.
7. Donate your remaining household items to a local homeless services agency-- I've worked at a homeless shelter for the past two years, so I know how much they love to get household items for people who are moving into their own apartment for the very first time. Any small furniture, towels, drapes, pots and pans, and other random items you can't sell or give away could really make a difference for someone who is struggling to get their life together and build a home. You can even call and see if they can pick up your stuff. You items will stay local, won't be resold, and will benefit someone who truly needs it.
8. Investigate possibilities for your pets-- We've gotten rid of our worldly goods, but what about our animal friends. If you want to take your pets with you, be sure to carefully research fees and quarantine rules. Your pet may need to stay in a quarantine facility for a few weeks. We knew our chicken wouldn't survive the journey, and we wouldn't have anywhere to keep her in a high rise apartment in Glasgow. Luckily, we have a friend who lives in the country. Our little dragon was in chicken paradise.
9. Choose your suitcases wisely-- You've gotten rid of most of your stuff, but now what about all the stuff you have to take with you? We decided to take two suitcases each. Paying the second bag fee was the cheapest option we could come up with. Be sure to check with the airline you're flying with about their baggage policy on international flights. It's usually a little better than U.S. domestic flights. If you have to buy new luggage, choose carefully. Consider the weight. If you only get to take 200 pounds worth of stuff, you want as little of that as possible to be actual suitcase. You might also want to consider buying one hard sided suitcase and carefully packing any breakable items in there. We went to Ross to buy new suitcases. It's definitely cheaper than a department store, and the selection is pretty good.
10. Weigh as you go-- Hopefully you have a bathroom scale so you can weigh your suitcases before you go to the airport. This will help you determine if you need to further eliminate precious books from your cookbook collection or if you need to shift some items from one case to another. Try and be strategic about distributing the weight, and take full advantage of it. We're going to have to buy a lot of stuff when we get there, so go ahead and fill it up as much as you can.
We're halfway there, kids. I'll be back tomorrow with more. Click here to see part 1.