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  • 1 Post By HK_Katherine
  • 1 Post By LifeInHK
  • 1 Post By closedcasket

general advice on move, packing

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2014

    general advice on move, packing

    Hello everyone! This is my first post here...

    I need some general advice for my upcoming repatriation back to HK after having spent most of my adult life in the US. I am terrible at logistics and planning to begin with, so I welcome any advice and reminder in that area, and also particular info on the move itself.

    My general situation:
    I'm planning to move some time in August. However, I will be taking two more trips there before the big move. One is coming up on monday. Then I'll come back here to the US again and leave for HK in late June. I will then return to the US one last time before the actual move in August.

    I need to find the cheapest way to do all this, as I don't have a company to fund my move or anything - and I certainly don't make much money.

    Regarding shipping my belongings to HK, any suggestions? I am trying to sell as much as possible and ship as little as possible.

    This one is where I'd like to get help with the most. Do you guys have any smart tips on how i should pack for the next two trips to hk in anticipation of my move? I have ZERO idea on this one. Again, this is the question that I am the most clueless about and would be needing advice in the most.

    Timeline suggestions:
    If you have any timeline suggestions, that'd be great. Like by when should I have what done, etc... The handicapped organizational side of my brain will be very grateful if someone could offer up such ideas.

    Really, I'd appreciate any kind of tips that anyone could offer. I have read some posts on here but haven't quite found advice that I could use - and hopefully I'll get some responses here as my schedule is pretty crazy the next few days and I won't have much time to peruse the forums before my trip on monday.

    Thank you for reading, everyone!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Sell everything, donate your winter clothes - you won't need them in HK.

    What you can't fit into 2-3 suitcases over two trips, you won't need or use.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Hong Kong

    Since you are coming here on Monday, best make use of that suitcase. Bring as much as your luggage allowance on this trip (I assume you have some relatives or workplace you can leave a suitcase in?). Best to bring stuff that's useful but not commonly used, or duplicates, so you still have some back in USA. Or stuff that you really can't bear to part with but which is not "everyday use" for this trip. Do the same with the next few trips. Anything that cannot fit you can store back in the USA (do you have free storage, family etc? if not you have to pay for storage and it gets expensive after a while!).

    You need to start either moving or getting rid of stuff NOW and just keep working away at it over the next few months. Unless you live like a monk, this takes time.

    I'm not a "chucker out" of stuff. Before coming here I sold a lot online (it's AMAZING what people will buy!) but that took a long time. I sold 6,000 different items over about 9 months online... and still had a 40 foot container of stuff to bring and left a storage room of stuff behind!! So - what kind of person are you? If, like me, you are a "squirrel" who cannot let go, you are in for a bad time in HK and it'll be very expensive. On the other hand, if you are like my husband who can fit pretty much his entire life into 3 suitcases you will be fine... (yep, that 40 foot container was pretty much all mine!).

    Other stuff to get organised - open a bank account here on your first visit. Do you need to renew or update your ID card? Do that too. Get as much admin started as possible because it all takes time and is better to get out of the way before you arrive for good when you will actually need this stuff.

    Also, get anything set up in the USA before you come if you need it - sling boxes for TV; iTunes account for USA (can't get it here); address for shopping and forwarding stuff; USA credit cards etc. All of these are easier to do before you arrive but once in HK are quite useful.

    Last edited by HK_Katherine; 10-05-2014 at 09:08 AM.
    LifeInHK likes this.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Shek Tong Tsui (HK Island)

    Start typing into excel sheet....

    A May (Monday)
    A1 Find out the SIZE of your living space and WRITE it down
    How many squarefoot of space/ do you have cupboard space? Aparment size?
    This decides how much you can bring over

    A2 Get Octopus Card.
    A3 Get Mobile Phone number. (so thatHK based delivery guys can contact you)

    A4 Open bank account (you need an address), cheque book, credit card. You may need the HK Based credit to pay for stuff.

    If you haven't found a place to live yet... then ask friend/ relative for their help and allow you to use their ADDRESS as shipping "destination" and be really nice to offer "laisee" to their spouse for their inconvenience caused.

    A5 DHL & EMS speedpost (HK Post Office) & US Postoffice
    Go to HK Post office and buy these boxes, bring them back with you to US. There are 4 types of dimensions (address & tel is on website)

    Ask how much they charge.

    EMS had a "slow" service version that takes two weeks to get here, but they are much cheaper, so you can decide speed versus price.

    If you use Post Office "standardized" parcel/box packaging, it is much easier to ship.
    DHL also has boxes for sale.

    Note: these boxes are a GOOD measuring tool

    B June (before your trip to HK)
    Use the boxes that you bought in HK... to start putting clothes, shoes, books to see how much you can "fit" in to ONE box
    Then you will have very ACCURATE idea of how much ****Packing because you can see it in front of your eyes.

    B1 Time to make hard decisions... to dispose? to ship? to give-away?
    B2 COUNT of how many more packaging boxes that you need to buy/bring back to the US

    C August
    Next post
    Last edited by LifeInHK; 10-05-2014 at 03:56 PM.
    iliketurtles likes this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2014

    Hi everyone, thank you sooo much for the great, and not to mention detailed, advice!

    I am now in HK and will have more to say in response to all your replies. But right now, It is imperative that I post another question on another topic area first!
    Again, thank you all. I really appreciate it so much!

    Sent from my iPhone using GeoClicks

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    I agree that you ought to pack light.

    When people move, they often make the mistake of bringing way too much stuff with them. Your apartment in HK is going to be tiny, so you won't have space for things that you barely use. You'll feel lighter and happier if you take a minimalist approach to what you bring with you.

    To figure out what to pack, I'd start by asking what you'd bring with you on a two-week vacation. Then, add the following to your list:
    - small sentimental items that you don't want to part with (e.g., art that makes your home feel like 'home'),
    - small high-value goods that are easy to pack but that you wouldn't necessarily bring with you on vacation,
    - ID documents and other important paperwork.

    If you have a relative in HK, you can shuttle these things here in your baggage during your next few flights here and store it with them. Keep the highest-value and most fragile items in your carry-on luggage. If you have more than will fit in your free baggage allowance and you really can't bear to part with it, I agree with LifeInHK that shipping stuff via mail is a good idea (it's probably cheaper than paying for additional baggage allowance on the plane).

    As for everything else, sell or donate it in the US. Bring only things that are in some way irreplaceable or that you know you'll use on a daily basis and are small enough to fit in a suitcase.

    I would not bother bringing foods from home, since there are several very good US import stores here in HK. Also, remember that electricity in HK is 220v, so things like hairdryers and kitchen appliances are unlikely to work here and will need to be sold/donated in the US.

    Also, a point about bank accounts:

    To open a bank account in HK, you'll need an ID document and proof of address. But (at least at HSBC), you can provide your US address when you go in to open the account. The only issue is that they'll mail your security device to that address. So, you should open your HK bank account now, on this first trip to HK. Once you receive the security device back in the US, you can use it to update your address online when you later find a place in HK (no additional address proof required).

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Bring quality, proper deodorant. The stuff they sell here is garbage. If you have good deodorant, everything else will take care of itself.

    katiekrackers likes this.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2014

    Hello everyone!
    I incorporated whatever advice that disorganized last-minute me actually got around to do.

    Now my move date is aug 19. I have to take 2 3-day trips between now and then, and will try to throw out most stuff and only bring essentials.

    If anyone has any particular feedback or tips, regarding timeline planning etc., I'd welcome it!

    Thank you!

    Sent from my iPhone using GeoClicks