How to Pack When You’re Moving Overseas

We have officially done the big trek from Minnesota to Kuwait two summers in a row.  Last summer we needed to move all the necessities that Mitch and I needed, and this summer we moved all the necessities that Baby J is going to need.  Since the apartment we moved into was fully furnished, we were able to move with just the luggage we brought with us on the airplane. All of our other belongings were either stored or sold before we left.  We did quite a bit of brainstorming about the best way to get our things to the other side of the world and landed on using the same system two summers in a row, and it worked fantastically!

Last summer we moved to Kuwait with 6 checked bags and 2 carry ons.  We only owned our carry on backpacks (that we love!), and one large suitcase a piece.  That left us thinking, we need to purchase another 4 large suitcases!  That idea seemed crazy, when else would we ever need that many suitcases? And the cost of purchasing them was just too much for us to swallow.  Enter in the perfect solution: Home Depot storage totes!

We were able to purchase these HDX 27-gallon storage totes for $8.99 a piece, and they are the exact maximum measurements that our airline would allow.  Not only was the price right on these totes, but they also have locking lids, hold a ton of stuff, and are super heavy duty!

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Now those of you who know Mitch, know that he is Captain Safety and would definitely not just throw our belongings into a tote without securing them.  One of the benefits of these totes, is that they have holes around the edges, so that you can lock the lid on with a zip tie.

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Mitch did some research to verify that TSA allows passengers to secure their luggage with zip ties.  However, if they have to inspect them, they could and would just cut them off.  So just in case, Mitch taped this note with extra zip ties to the inside lid of each tote, so that the TSA Agent would re-secure our tote, before sending it on its way:

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So far we have crossed the Atlantic twice using this packing method and all of our totes and belongings have made it safe and sound to our desert home, without TSA cutting any of our zip ties off of our luggage.

packing Another benefit of traveling with plastic totes: we can use them here in Kuwait to store Baby J’s clothes that he won’t be able to fit into for quite a while, or other junk that we don’t use often.  The totes stack up nicely and store easily.

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If you are interested in purchasing the same totes that we’ve used, you can find them at any Home Depot store or online here.

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