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How to pack your life into two suitcases

Yey! You’ve booked your flight and you’re ready to move to your new city or country… But wait… You’re only allowed to take two suitcases. Now the stress really begins - how do you decide what items to leave and what items to take?

Don’t worry, help is at hand. Lucky for you, I have done this before and can offer some advice. In August 2020 I moved to the Netherlands with my entire life packed into two suitcases.

Saying goodbye to my sister and my many beautiful shoes

You can’t take everything with you

I know the feeling, you have so many nice things and you want to take them all with you. But sadly, your precious peace lily plant will have to camp at your parent’s home for a while. Instead, prioritise the bits you can’t live without (namely a second pair of underwear). I’d recommend going through your wardrobe and single out the garments you haven’t worn in the past year-… those can stay in storage or better yet, donate or sell them. If you’ve still got too many clothes, lay out what you think you’ll need and edit ruthlessly. Get rid of that ‘just in case category’ – if you really need those fuchsia sneakers, you can always buy some when you’re out there.

Efficient packing techniques

Think tetras. The best way to fit everything into one bag is to fill every inch of space. For example, stuff your footwear with socks, then lay your shoes together heel to toe at the bottom of your suitcase. Or you could try:

  • Rolling your clothes: this optimises space and reduces wrinkles.

  • Using packing cubes: very easy to buy over the internet and keeps your things organised!

  • Wrapping each item of clothes around each other – e.g. underwear and t-shirts at the centre, and larger items as the outer layer.

  • The KonMari method: pack by category only take essential items that bring you joy.

In case you need further inspiration:

And if you can’t fit your life into two suitcases…

If you really want to cheat the system and pay extra, you can. There are a number of moving companies and courier services that will ship your essentials for you. Just make sure to avoid scammers by checking online reviews and customer testimonies.

It’s an emotional roller-coaster, saying goodbye to items you’ve collected over the years. But, think on the bright side… arriving with less stuff means you’ll have plenty more space to fill your home with new things! Ikea trip anyone?

This blog post was written by Overseasy intern Lizzy Patterson


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