If I’ve learned anything from three long-distance moves, it’s that we underestimate how much stuff we own. And if you’re relocating abroad, it’s not practical (or financially possible) to bring all your worldly possessions. Figuring out what to leave and what to pack is a daunting process without a moving abroad packing checklist.
So you want to move to London: congratulations! Moving to London from the US was one of the best decisions of my life. But it didn’t come without its challenges, especially with Brexit looming in the near future. That’s why I’ve compiled a detailed moving to London checklist to help other expats navigate the process.
In 2018, my husband and I relocated to London from the US with little more than our clothes, some small electronics, and a few personal items. Before the move, we were living in a fully furnished, 1,900 square foot house. Selling everything and starting over sounds romantic at first, but when you’re standing in the kitchen wondering how to sell a can opener, reality sets in quickly.
Britain is a nation of dog lovers. Even in a metropolis like London, it’s not uncommon to see Labradors frolicking in the park or Yorkshire terriers trying to keep up during a morning jog. And yet, renting in London with a dog is difficult.
Our quest to find a flat in London was nothing like an episode of House Hunters International. Unfortunately, it was a lot more involved than spending an afternoon looking at attractive properties and choosing our favorite of the three. London’s rental market is competitive and pricey, and as expats with no UK credit history, my husband and I were at a disadvantage.
Photo albums. Board games. A wedding dress. It’s remarkable how much stuff we accumulate over time. But if you learn how to declutter before moving abroad, you can purge the excess and make a few bucks in the process.
The very first Google search I did after my husband was contacted about relocating was “bring dog from US to UK”. We both knew that having to leave our beloved dog, Albus, behind was a deal-breaker. Luckily, moving abroad with pets is not as impossible as some might think. But it does call for plenty of planning ahead, a knowledgeable vet, and some serious reflection.
London is home to more than 3 million foreign-born residents, making it one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Between its rich history, diverse cuisine, and easy access to the Continent, moving to London from the US brought plenty of excitement to my life.
The process of selling my home before moving abroad was, without a doubt, the most challenging and stressful experience of my life. And I used to be a kindergarten teacher!