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What Not to Pack When Moving Abroad

Planning what to take with you when you are moving abroad can be difficult for one simple reason. You are, most often, realistically going to give up on the belongings you decide not to take with you. Either because you are fond of them or due to monetary concerns, that’s never a simple decision to make. And yet, there are always limitations to what you can bring with you to your new home. It can be the concerns over the size, moving expenses, the fact that moving certain items abroad is forbidden, or simply because it is not practical to do it. We have prepared a list of what not to pack when moving abroad to help you with the process and warn you about what you will have to give up during such a move.


The first on our list of what not to pack when moving abroad is furniture. Now, you might be fond of certain furniture pieces in your possession. But as a whole, items that belong to this category are far too large to comfortably transport when trying to organize international moves. It means that two things are keeping you from taking them with you. First, you do not have much space for belongings during such a move. And, second, though it is possible if you insist, it will likely cost you much more, to the point that it would honestly be easier and cheaper to buy new furniture once you have moved.


There are two reasons why food is on the list of things you shouldn’t pack when moving abroad. First, while relatively fast, the process of transportation still offers enough time for food to spoil under certain weather conditions. It means that you are risking your health. Secondly, food is often on the list of forbidden items for transportation and aviation companies. Which means you could get into serious trouble at an airport or a border crossing. It is, therefore, much better to avoid packing any amount of food at all. Or, at the very least, limit yourself to a few snacks if you are planning to eat in transit.


If you want to have an easy time of it during an international move, you will opt not to bring your appliances along. And there are several reasons why that is so. First, just like the furniture, most appliances are too bulky and take up too much space to safely or easily bring along. Then, it would be best if you also considered that you might be taxed for taking appliances into certain countries. This would mean having to spend even more money on your move. And you may not have accounted for such expenses when crafting your budget, which could then ruin your other plans. Finally, appliances can be surprisingly susceptible to damage. And moving abroad is not exactly a process during which luggage is always treated with complete gentleness. Your appliances could arrive broken.

Potted plants

There is simply no realistic way of getting your plants abroad safely. Not without spending a lot of money on the process. And, considering you would be moving such a long distance, you likely want to focus your resources on something a bit more crucial. An added complication is that many countries strictly regulate what types of plants and animals can be imported. This is often due to the fear of smugglers, poachers, and the like. In countries such as Australia, there is also the fear of invasive species making their way into protected ecosystems. These concerns contribute to making plants a definite part of the what not to pack when moving abroad list.

Hoarded belongings

We have mentioned this concern several times already: there is not a lot of space in your luggage when moving abroad. Unless you are taking a private plane, most companies will put a rather severe limit on the amount of luggage available per passenger. Of course, there are some things that you will always insist on taking along and need professionals to transport. For example, art lovers will find many reasons to hire professional fine art movers. And you should obviously not leave behind important family heirlooms. However, do you really need to take along with you a massive collection of comics, books, DVDs, or similar? Indeed, some of those potentially have sentimental value. And book lovers will likely rather pay exorbitant transportation fees than give up their collections. But you need to weigh carefully how many of your hoarded possessions you want to take with you.

Final advice

Now that you are more familiar with what not to pack when moving abroad, you should be ready to prepare for your relocation! Of course, if you are genuinely fond of something, there are always ways to move it to your new home, even if it is an unwieldy chest of drawers or similar. Unless they happen to be banned in your future home, of course!