It’s been three months since we moved to another country. If you follow me on Instagram you’re probably updated on where we are now so I thought I’d update my blog as well because one of the things I want to do more this year is to write as often as I can here on my blog.
Never imagined we’d be moving to another country during a global pandemic. Though we already know we’ll be relocating as early as Christmas of 2019 since we were supposed to move by May 2020, the whole ordeal of not knowing when we’ll actually leave eventually made anticipating it
Sometime during the early months of quarantine we met with our mover as they discussed with us what we need to know about the whole process. Thankfully we didn’t have to find a supplier for movers as it was all pre-arranged by husband’s company. We just had to schedule the exact date on when we’ll pack and they’ll make sure we get it by the time we settled in our new home. So during our meeting we asked for a few small boxes as we wanted to pack some of our personal things that we don’t use daily. The tricky thing is we have very little space in our apartment to box a lot of our things, not knowing when we’ll actually move.
Finally after a few months of waiting, we packed the rest of our things September of last year, a week prior to us leaving. At this moment, it finally sank in that we’re leaving. Leaving for the first time in over three decades of living in Manila, nine years living in our apartment. We’re officially relocating. The reason why we had to move to Dubai was because of my husband’s work. His new role led us to relocate for a year or two in another country. It’s actually exciting and it was something our kids were looking forward to.
Thinking about it now as first timers relocating to another country, I know we could’ve done better. So here are some tips & learnings I wanna share just in case you find yourself moving to another place/country.
Meet with your movers prior to packing
I don’t know if it’s mandatory for movers to visit your home prior to the actual day of packing but in case it isn’t, go schedule a meeting so you can ask questions and clarify things. From there they can assess and tell you what needs to be dismantled (such as big items), what can’t be brought to a specific country, your total freight/cargo space, etc. This’ll help you further understand what you need to pack and what you’d want to pack as well.
Make a checklist
Though it’s required to fill out a spreadsheet of what you packed for insurance, it also comes in handy if you already started sorting your things prior to packing (like what we did) so it’ll be easier for you to get going. You can either categorize your things based on the rooms (where the items are in like bedroom, bathroom 1, living room, dinning room, kitchen, bedroom 2, etc.) or based on description (clothing, toiletries, accessories, electronics, kitchenware, linens, shoes, bags, tableware, etc.) This way you can decided whether you’ll bring something or not. This is crucial especially if you’ll be away for just a few years and have plans on coming back and leaving a few things behind. Like in our case, we didn’t bring our furniture (beds, couch, dining table, book shelf, etc.) because we initially planned on having our apartment rented.
Declutter along the way
Sorting your things prior to packing is a must. If there’s one thing that I enjoyed the most during this time was being able to get rid of things that no longer serve us. Deciding on what to bring, what to keep and what to let go only took me seconds. If we don’t remember having that specific item it only means its time to give it away. Happy to report I shared a lot of my clothes, shoes and accessories to my family & friends.
Don’t forget the silica gels
Remind your movers to put lots of silica gels inside your boxes. Though I know this is a standard protocol, a little reminder won’t hurt especially if you’re packing your leather goods (bags & shoes) extra silica gels to avoid molds & mildews can help save you hundreds of dollars (because you don’t want your leathers to be ruined!). Also same for your clothes, if you have a lot of clothes (or home linens), you need to put silica gels on these boxes as well since these packages are usually traveling for weeks at sea.
List down things you use daily/regularly and check if its available in the country you’ll live in
One of the things I wish I was able to thoroughly do is buy things I use regularly so I can bring it here with me. Though I don’t have any specifics but I wished I made time to comb through online stores (hello Lazada & Shopee), stores exclusive in Manila because I realized some of my fave Asian products are not easily available here in the Middle East. Hahahuhu.
Plan but give room to adjust
The whole idea of packing your things and waiting for it for a few weeks to a month to arrive to another country can be overwhelming or nerve-wrecking especially for those who are moving for the first time (like us ??). I know that most things we have hold value and meaning (emotional, financial, spiritual) so choosing which ones to bring, putting them in boxes, and praying they won’t get lost in transit is an ordeal that comes with relocating. It all boils down to planning. Plan about it. If you’re busy with work, create a timeline on when you’ll start declutter, organizing, choosing what to pack and what to leave. Take it one room at a time until you’ve created a system that you’re comfortable doing but also prepare yourself for the unexpected. With the pandemic still upon us, things may not go as smooth as you planned nor will it be according to your preferred timeline. Breathe and figure out your next move (see what I did there) in order to make the rest of your relocating journey bearable (if possible enjoyable as well).
I hope you find some of things I wrote down useful. The only thing I regret not bringing is our winter clothes because this mama is lamigin (gets cold easily) so I need my heat tech so I can enjoy winter here in Dubai more! Hahahaha. Otherwise, all is well from this side of the world.
More blog posts about our life here in Dubai coming up in the next few days!