No one enjoys packing for an overnight stay, never mind packing up your life and moving across the world. I’ll never forget the torturous task of fitting everything into one giant suitcase and weighing it frantically every time I added another item. It took days and little did I know, a strategy was essential. A couple of days ago, I said goodbye to my best friend in NYC and it was emotional to say the least. But before the goodbyes, I helped her pack and repack.. and repack. Even with three full sized suitcases, she had trouble parting with some of the items she hoarded over her year here. It gave me the idea for this article because I found myself mammy-ing her all the way through it. So, if you’re moving abroad or just going on a ridiculously long holiday (I’m game, bring me) you might find this helpful.
How does one get four seasons of clothes overseas?
You could always ship over a couple of boxes but in some cases, it works out more expensive than adding more luggage to your flight. If you’re one of those people (I say people not to be sexist but really I mean girls with too many shoes, make-up and handbags) who like to shop, have trouble parting with items or have a lot of winter coats, shipping boxes might not be the best option. They’ll probably weigh a tonne, cost you hundreds and you’ll still be stuck when you get round to packing your suitcase. If you’re not the materialistic type and generally a light packer, I admire you and you don’t really need to read this. My friends and I are more like, “WHERE DO I FIT MY 12 EYE SHADOW PALETTES, 62 LIPSTICKS AND 104 MAKE-UP BRUSHES?”. You can add luggage to your flight and some airlines allow up to 10 bags per passenger but seriously, that’s just excessive. I could probably manage three checked suitcases and one carry-on. Even at that, I’ll be wheeling through the airport at a snails pace. The price of adding extra checked bags varys per airline too, usually $80-$120 per bag.
Weight and space distribution is key.
You’re going to be overweight the first time around, fact. With multiple suitcases, you can evenly distribute the weight but this is a long process of figuring out what items of clothing are the problem. Before you start throwing your wardrobe into your suitcases in an atempt to make a start and get it over with, you should lay out everything you plan on taking with you so you can later rule out the non-essentials. Separate everything into categories (t-shirts, jeans etc. not OCD at all) and just pack your favourites from each pile. Don’t forget your PJ’s, make up, handbags, shoes, underwear, toiletries and THEN weigh your suitcase. If it’s under the maximum weight great, you can keep going, if it’s over (which it absolutely will be) just throw in the towel, you may as well not go.
KIDDING, start on your next suitcase adding your favourites from each pile and oh wait, you forgot your winter coats and perfumes and hair straightner and laptop, you’re doomed. Here’s a great tip- they never weigh your carry-on so load your hair dryer, laptop and heavy shoes into that bag. Another tip- haven’t got enough space because of your coats and towels? Vacpack. Your clothes will be forever in wrinkles afterwards but they’ll still be there on the other side. They suck all of the air out of the bag so everything is compressed but make sure you pack the vacpack into the suitcase before you get the hoover because when everything is compressed, your clothes become like a large rock and you can’t fit it into your suitcase.
So, when you’ve finally fit everything into your suitcase and you’re 5KG over in each bag, it’s time to part with some of your belongings or items you could buy over there/ get at home. It’s expensive leaving home isn’t it? Who’d have thought! This is the part we hate the most because no matter how hard we think about what we’ll miss the least, you just know a day will come where you’ll have nothing to match your top but that white skater skirt you left behind. The funny thing is, I asked my parents to bring over a dress and a cardigan I thought I would definitely need this summer and I’ve had both for three months now. Have I worn either? No. I should really learn to trust my first instincts. One major benefit of packing up your wardrobe is that it forces you to throw out half of it. I’m sure you hoard old clothes you think you’ll wear again some day but deep down, you know it’s never going to see the light of day again. I have a new rule, I clean out my wardrobe every eight months and if I still haven’t worn something I decided to keep the last time I went through my clothes, I have to toss it. This whole process seems never-ending but with multiple snack breaks (digestives with nutella yaaassss) you’ll get there eventually.
Now all that’s left is lugging your suitcases around the airport for a couple of hours. I hope this has helped in some way, I’m sure everyone just tosses everything into their suitcases in messy lumps regardless but hey, trial and error.
I just hope I take some of my own advice when I make my next move!