How to Get Rid of Things Before You Move Abroad

Contributed by Matthew James Global Relocation, 04 June, 2018

Moving abroad is one the most exciting but daunting milestones, and perhaps the most difficult aspect of it all is deciding which of your dear possessions you intend to take with you and which you need to get rid of. This can prove especially tricky for the hoarders amongst us who find it almost impossible to depart with our belongings, no matter how many years ago we last used them.

That being said, making the adult decision to uproot your life for pastures new comes with responsibilities. It simply isn't practical to take your entire home with you, so the smartest first step you can take is to rid yourself of the things you know you won't be needing in your new expat life abroad. Read on for several of the best ways to shed your unnecessary baggage.


Storage is useful for holding non-essential items which you know you definitely want to keep, but would like to ship to your new destination at a later date. There are many affordable companies in the UK which specialise in secure self storage for expats, making sure your belongings are kept safe, dry and clean for as long as is necessary.

Donate to charity

Charity shops will happily take most things off your hands, as long as the items are workable and clean, making your job of sorting through your stuff a lot easier. Moreover, the money earnt will go to a helpful cause so you can feel good about yourself in the process, by knowing that you're giving back to those less fortunate.

Car Boot Sale

This may not be the most glamorous option, nor the one which will make you rich, but nevertheless, car boot sales are an easy (and fun!) way to make some quick cash which can help towards your big move. Simply organise the things you no longer need and set up pitch at a weekend boot sale, of which there are a significant amount in the UK – just make sure you only go there to sell and don't come home with any extra baggage!

Sell online

If you don't have time to sell at a car boot sale, then there are still plenty of ways to make money from your unwanted belongings. With many easy-to-use second-hand marketplaces like Gumtree, eBay and Schpock all readily available in desktop and app form, selling online has never been simpler. Such websites are particularly useful for items like furniture, appliances and bicycles, where demand is always there. You may not have the same luck with your second-hand clothes, so alternative methods might be better suited there.

Additionally, if you have items which you'd like to get rid of quickly but don't think are worth much, then websites like Freecycle provide an easy and sustainable way to donate items like furniture for free to people in your community.

Give to friends/family

One great way to shed your belongings is to organise a gathering with your nearest and dearest, allowing them to sift through the things you are getting rid of and take home anything that appeals to them. That way, you know your possessions are staying within your circle and you'll also be giving your loved ones a nice parting gift. So go on, let your little sister have that dress of yours she's always wanted!


Any items you come across when clearing out that are no longer functional, sellable or wanted by your friends/family should be recycled. There are many recycling banks across the country which take a wide variety of materials, ensuring your household waste does not end up in a landfill and therefore supporting respectable environmental practices, for which we are all responsible!

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