How to Pack your Life in 2 Suitcases

Taking the Courage to Pack your Life Away

Moving abroad means leaving your friends and family behind, like I explained in my last article I have a Canadian dream, but it also means doing something else that takes a lot of time: packing. If like me you are also moving abroad or in a city far away from home you have to know you will need a lot of courage before leaving to pack your bags. The path to success is long, tedious, and full of pitfalls.

The path to Successfully Pack

Before leaving I had to:

  1. sell my car
  2. sell/give/throw away 75% of all my belongings
  3. put away 20% of what was left in boxes in my mother’s cellar
  4. put the 5% left in the two suitcases that I was taking with me

In more details

I spent the weeks preceding my departure packing everything to move to my mother’s place, unpack everything to sell it, what wasn’t sold I then offered to friends and family, and what nobody wanted I gave away to charity or simply threw away. With what I decided to keep I had to make another decision: what was I going to take with me or leave behind.

What I realized when sorting my belongings was that I was attached to many objects from my everyday life. A t-shirt would remind me of a particular trip, a jewelry box of an old friend who gave it to me, a cap a nice festival I’d been to. They were memories. It made it so much harder because I wanted to take all my memories with me. These objects that sometimes had no real value, actually had a high sentimental value to me. The choice I had to make to take something or not was difficult, but I had to make it.

2 suitcases and 46 kilo of luggage later and I am on my way to new adventures. First stop: Seattle!

Do’s and Don’ts on Packing for Future Expats

If I had to give advice to the people who like me are soon moving abroad it would be to:

  1. It’s never too early to start packing. Whenever you start, you will always pack until the last minute, so you better start early.
  2. It is difficult to throw a big chunk of your life away, but know that it’s only doing it that’s difficult, because you won’t even think about after doing it. And like that you’ll be free to enjoy your new life.
  3. Don’t hesitate to offer the things you’re throwing away to your friends, they will be happy to take them and you to be rid of it.

What about you, do you have any advice on how to pack your life in 2 suitcases?

Read this article in French..

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