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Shipping Belongings for The Move to America

08 January, 2014 09:53  Erin Erin

In this series, we have followed Molly in her quest to become an expat in America. At EasyExpat we try to provide you all the latest and greatest in Expat News and Resources, but sometimes a personal journey can best explain the unique challenges and triumphs involved in moving abroad. Meet Molly and follow along on her adventure in the Move to America.

shipping move to america I know that one of the greatest stresses in the build up to becoming an expat is the huge task of sorting through your belongings and shipping what you need to your new home. I by no means had it all wonderfully organised, but I did have a system which I stuck to, and it got me through. I will share what I did, in the hope of helping anybody else who is about to go through the same thing.

Sort Belongings

The first thing I did was to sort through my belongings by selecting an area to focus on (kitchen, wardrobe, bathroom etc) and setting aside time each day to sort what I was going to keep and what I was going to get rid of. I will admit that this took a few times on each area as I had to be really brutal and really think about what I would actually need / want.

Get Rid of Unwanted Stuff

Once I had sorted all my belongings, I then went through what I was not taking with me as I did not want to just throw all of it away. I recycled what I could, gave things to charity shops, gifted items to friends and family, and finally threw away what little was left.

Box Items Making the Move

The next phase to this big task was to box up what I was going to take to America. I carefully wrapped and listed each item in each box and made sure I weighed the finished package. I was not taking any big items and only ended up with three medium sized boxes (I was staying with my Mother at this point and had already gone through the process of clearing out items from my apartment before I moved in with her, so I had very little).

Evaluate Shipping Methods

When I had the dimensions and weight for each package, I began looking at what would be the most cost effective way of getting my items to my new home. There was quite a bit of research involved, but with the internet, it was not as bad as I had expected. I found that using a shipping company (eg. sending in one of those huge metal containers) was not for me, as I was quoted over £600 (this was because you have to rent space in the container and there is a minimum requirement). It would have been a better deal if I was shipping a whole house worth of items, but for my needs it was not appropriate.

I then looked at sending my belongings with me on my flight as execs baggage, but that proved very expensive too. My research then turned to looking at sending it via the postal system / overseas courier, and found that for my needs, it was perfect. I phoned different companies and got a quote for the combined weight and dimensions of my three boxes and decided on ParcelForce as they were the most reasonable in price. They came and collected my packages the next day and delivered them to my husband within three days all for the cheaper cost of £180!

Top Tips for Shipping Belongs to America

shipping move to america When I was researching my options, it became clear that depending what your needs are, you really do have to look at what is best for you. So, to help, here are my top tips:

1. Set aside time each day to sort a focus area / section of your belongings

2. Only keep what you really need / want and recycle or give away what you can to reduce the amount you throw away

3. Research your options that suit your needs (shipping company, postal service, excess baggage)

4. Give yourself plenty of time to organise your belongings - it takes longer than you think

Thank you for reading about my experiences, I hope you find them useful and if you have any questions or want to follow along on my adventure, you can visit my blog The Move to America.


More tips on Understanding International Shipping & Finding a Reputable Mover


Follow all of Molly's posts through the Moving Abroad tab and read Molly's expat interview. You compare chipping estimates at our services site, Expat-Quotes, or find country specific advice in our comprehensive Expat City Guides.



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