Published 18/12/2019 by Carrie Frais

Moving to Spain? What to take, what to store and what to throw out.

Moving abroad can be stressful, so here`s some advice about de-cluttering, selling and giving away items as well as storage solutions to ensure a hassle-free transition

moving abroad

So you have made one of the biggest decisions of your life – to move to Spain. Many congratulations! Maybe you have already found a job and somewhere to stay and perhaps you have learned the language, touched base with local organisations, set up a bank account, sorted out your ID card and other administrative processes. All of this can be done ahead of your move, but much of the stress of moving abroad can often be due to the physical and emotional effort of packing up of your belongings and the decisions involved in what to bring and what to leave.

Here we share some of our suggestions about what to pack up, what to store and what to say goodbye to, as well as also some useful storage solutions to ensure that your move to Spain as hassle free as possible.

Important documents when moving abroad

This is an easy one. It goes without saying that you need to take these with you. Birth and marriage certificates, legal paperwork, insurance documents etc. It is advisable to put them in your hand luggage so you don’t run the risk of losing them!

Clothes and gadgets

We all get attached to certain items of clothing, but do you really need to take your whole wardrobe? Unlikely. If you are moving to the coast of Spain, temperatures are mild year-round, so you can easily reduce your winter wardrobe (but maybe hang on to a few ski items). Sometimes shipping clothes will be more expensive than simply replacing them when you arrive. It is almost simpler to think that you are packing for a long holiday and, by the time you arrive, you will hopefully have forgotten what you left behind!

Most of us probably can’t imagine life without our gadgets and electronics, however. Phones, laptops and tablets for all the family will need to be safely stored and don’t forget to back up everything you need before you go in case of loss or damage.

Sentimental items and home comforts

Items that have sentimental value such as artwork, jewellery, photos or family heirlooms, are difficult to leave behind so these should be brought with you. You can ship some items but make sure you choose a professional international removal company that has been recommended to ensure maximum security and safety. When you first move abroad some people can experience homesickness so having familiar items with you may help. These are items such as favourite bed linen or towels, cookery books, or a treasured vase or ornament. These things can make a big difference when feeling a bit overwhelmed at the initial moving in stage.


If you are moving into furnished accommodation, it’s not really necessary to take too much furniture with you. It is also usually more cost-effective to sell your furniture and buy new items even if you are moving into an unfurnished property. You may also find that the style of your own furniture is not an ideal fit for your new home. But again, for those sentimental larger items such as antique furniture then removal companies can ship them over.

Sports equipment and musical instruments

Bikes are probably the only piece of sports equipment worth bringing over. Bulky items such as running machines are expensive to ship and store. Spain is full of cycling trails so bikes are worth bringing over especially if they are good quality. With regards to musical instruments, most are easily transportable apart from pianos in which case, if you are not selling it, you need to ensure that you use a specialist transporter who can dismantle and also put it together properly again when it arrives in Spain.

Long-term storage

Some of us find it hard to leave behind some items of furniture (such as beds, wardrobes, sofas) when moving abroad and there are many storage solutions available in Spain to keep these items until you need them. Boxmotions is a company that can not only collect and store items for you but they can also return it to you whenever you want, making things as smooth and simple as possible. They currently offer storage in Madrid and Barcelona.

Companies such as Boxmotions in Madrid and Barcelona offer very effective storage solutions for those moving to Spain

Items to leave when moving to Spain

Moving abroad offers the ideal opportunity to de-clutter and minimise the overflow of  ‘stuff’ in your life. It is always best to travel as light as possible , so ideally you want to try to sell things such as fridges, freezers, kitchen appliances, TVs, entertainment systems, beds and furniture that you do not want to keep. There are also numerous charities that accept the likes of books, clothes, shoes, small items of furniture and toys, and many can come to collect items directly from your home.

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