When Rob and I decided to move to Ireland, we purposely opted to not send a lot of stuff over. we sold most of our things online before we came over – and came over with two suitcases each plus 3 boxes we shipped over. That might sound like a lot to some people, and quite a little to others. We have had friends who have come over with less than that – and others with way more. Even though we scaled back on what we sent over, I still feel like there were things we didn’t need to send over, and other things we really should have brought with us.
That’s the problem with hindsight, I think we had to come over here and realise what we needed for ourselves, but I do think that this list might help you decide what to keep; what to bring with; and what you could decide, after reading this, to leave behind.
First off, this is the list of things we decided not to bring with us, and we have zero regrets for leaving it all behind:
- Furniture: depending on where you decide to live in Ireland, moving furniture might not be an option for you. We decided to live in the city, closer to work, this means that our place is a bit smaller than what we had back home – we would have battled to fit our stuff in here. Also, the place we rent here in Dublin came furnished. Most rentals in the city come furnished. This is pretty handy for people like us, who didn’t have any furniture to start out with. It has also helped that we havent needed to buy any furniture, which has saved us some cash too.
- Towels/Linen etc: This was purely a space issue, we didn’t have the cash to send over lots of boxes, and to be honest, with IKEA and Penneys both relatively affordable – there wasn’t a need to bring over that kind of stuff, when you have such a big variety here that is affordable too.
- Kitchen appliances etc: I am obsessed with my slow cooker, but the one I had back home was massive and really heavy. Since the boxes you ship over are based on weight, we decided to leave it behind. I felt really guilty because we had a lot of great gifts from our wedding, but made the choice to rather not come over with too much. We decided to first get here and then make the call on what we needed to bring over later. We have since bought a new slow cooker and food processor, none of the other kitchen appliances have really been too necessary for right now. Perhaps that will change the longer we are here. We also left behind plates, glasses, mugs etc – all of which were provided brand new in our rental. We did however pack our coffee machine – no regrets for having it here, Nespresso pods are cheaper here than back home!
- Electrical Appliances: I couldn’t fit my hair dryer into my luggage when it came to flying over, so I chose to leave it behind. The SA plug is different to the ones in Ireland so it would have been a hassle to get international adaptors for all the electrical items – so I have zero regrets for leaving them behind.
- Most of my Summer clothing: I have mentioned this in previous posts, but before I left SA, I sold, donated or got rid of over 8 large black bags of clothing. Mostly clothes I never wore, didn’t fit me, or knew I would never wear. With the weather being a lot cooler here in Ireland, I haven’t missed any of the clothes I left behind. I even got to donate my old running shoes to a worthy cause – so I have zero regrets for not bringing that kind of stuff with me.
So what about the stuff we brought over, but in the end found we didn’t actually need to bring with us? You will find that once you are over here, there will always be some things you bring with you, that you really didn’t need to – take note of this list and then seriously reconsider leaving it behind.
- Way too many clothes: even though I culled my clothes to two suitcases, I still feel like I brought over way too much. A perfect example is that I went from over 70 items of clothing to under 30 when I moved to a capsule wardrobe last year. I could have saved myself a heap of space if I had left it behind in the first place.
- Too many handbags and jewellery that I never wear: I think the biggest thing that holds us back from getting rid of things is the guilt we have for throwing things out. I felt guilty throwing out gifts and presents from friends and family, so instead I lugged it overseas and to be honest – I now realise that if I don’t wear something, and it doesn’t bring me joy – I am better off for letting it go.
- Empty notebooks and too much stationery: I loved Typo when I lived in SA, and I had a pile of notebooks and pens that I brought over because I just couldn’t bear to let them go. And you know what? I let them go in the #minsgame any way. So they couldn’t have been all that important or necessary.
- Winter coats: This is always a strange one for me. We decided to spend an unreasonable amount on winter coats in SA and when we got over here, we found that in these climates – they don’t actually keep us warm! So we had to go out and buy new coats when we got here. Save yourself the space and effort, and buy your coat when you get here.
- Basic tees and ‘layers’: Those kinds of things are always going to be super cheap over here, trust me, you can buy them all at Penneys when you first get here.
- Ratty dog toys: Purely for sentimental reasons, I decided to bring over a lot of Jack’s toys. Some of them were very ratty and worn – and we have since thrown them out. It really wasn’t necessary to bring them with.
Those are all of the things we shouldn’t have brought with us, but like I said – you only know what you know, when you know it. And once we got here, I quickly realised there were a few things we really should have brought with us. This is probably a handy list to keep in mind if you are still planning to make the move. There is still time to pack these in, and trust me, some of them are essential!
- Rob’s bicycle: Yes there is a bike to work scheme here and you can get your company to pay for a bike and that’s all great, but that is not something you sort out as soon as you get over. We actually still haven’t sorted it out and we have been here a year! Rob is an avid cyclist, back home he had two pretty good off-road and road bicycles. And I think we should have just swallowed the price it would have cost to send them over. Even with the cost of shipping his bike, it still would have worked out cheaper than the cost to replace to the same standard of bike over here. The lesson you can take from us is, if it’s your hobby – bring it with you.
- Extra Extra Toiletries: I bought new face wash and moisturizer and some make up staples before I left home and I am glad I did, but I probably should have bought more. When you first get over here and you are working on one salary – those things seems helluva expensive in Euros.
- Poop bags (for the dog): This is a bit random, but my mum and I went into the pet store just before I left and picked up a few packs of poop bags super cheap in SA. It was something like ZAR20 for 300 poop bags. They really didn’t take up a lot of space, so I regret not stocking up on more.
- A Stockpile of Medication: I know I sound like a druggy but I should have loaded up on things like Corenza C, Med-Lemon, Myprodol, Norflex and Allergex. Strong medication is not so readily available here, and I really think it would have been handy to stock up on some of these things as a base for when we first got here.
- Wine: We only packed 2 bottles each into our checked in luggage – we should have tried to pack more. I don’t know how legal this suggestion is because I know the limit is 2 bottles, but trust me when you see the price of cheap wine back home, and what they charge for it here – you might as well risk it and sneak in a few more good bottles!
HAVE YOU MOVED COUNTRIES? WHAT WAS ONE THING YOU REGRET BRINGING WITH YOU?
Live Simply & Travel Slow,
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