IMMIGRATING? WHAT TO PACK, WHAT TO LEAVE BEHIND
Updated: May 29, 2020
If you are lucky enough to fill a 40 ft container when you immigrate - no problem. You can pack it all up and send it over the seas! A note here, since we had a 40ft container, it is actually not very big as you might think. We didn't have a massive home in Cape Town and I like to live minimally - and that container was jam-packed. Many of my expat friends had to make decisions on the spot as to which boxes to leave behind, because their container was full. If you are arriving in your new country with only the bags in your hands - no problem! There are amazing stores here that will kit you out in no time. I will post links below for some ideas on where to shop in Canada.
My tips for packing a container:
Declutter. Months before your movers pack you up. Be ruthless! If you have not used items or worn items in the last 6 months, toss!!!!! It will not only help with the moving process, it also allows you and your family to process that you are actually moving and it is then that it truly starts to sink in and that the adventure is beginning! It can be difficult to do this with small children, where it can have the reverse effect, so guard their little hearts until its the right time to tell them or pack their toys! The best part about decluttering is arriving in your new country and things are organised, and you've brought the items you need and cherish versus 5 tea sets and all the Tupperware you think you might use one day!
You are not permitted to pack your own boxes. Most international movers are not what you expect. They operate on a different level - the process is completely different to a domestic move. You will have a consultant come over and assess your household, who will give you an estimate on container size and costs. You will have many options - one of them being Wardrobe Boxes (bliss). Your chosen movers will pack your goods for you as they do not want to assume liability for items you have packed yourself (they use tons of bubble wrap and paper) and of course illegal items that are prohibited such as alcohol and chemicals (most items in your garden shed or garage).
Clearly label boxes. Instead of labelling boxes by its description, I have found it works well to label by room! Perhaps on some you can write more detail but this helps when your goods arrive at your new home. I put a sticky note on each room door (eg. Georgia's Room or Dining Room) and the movers simply put the boxes into the correct rooms without me having to be traffic controller at the front door while its -15 degrees outside!
Leave appliances behind. Most appliances will not be compatible with the voltage output (South