Moving Across the World
The time has come. Our deputation is ending, and we are preparing to move to Japan. Throughout deputation, I knew our plan was to take very little, and set up house over there. For this reason, I always assumed moving would be a breeze. Now that it has come upon us, I realize how wrong I was. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you take when you move across the world, it’s a big deal, and there is a lot to do. Our date is set for August 5. Since it’s May, I do not have everything packed, but I thought I would share my packing lists, and then when we arrive, I can share with you how our move went, and things I would have done differently.
 The Kids With Their Passports
Paperwork: This includes so much, and maybe some day I’ll break it down more. Passports, Visas, Medical records, copies of important documents, etc. This doesn’t sound like much, but I was shocked by how much you need to look into. You may need to have all your documents translated, and depending on your country, you may need to have your documents apostilled.
Organize our stuff: This is just the beginning of May. I began in April, and I haven’t gotten too far, but I have set a goal for myself for each month. By the end of May, I want to have a yard sale. This means that I will have gone through everything in our house, decided what to keep in storage, what to take to Japan, and what to sell. By the end of June, the goal is to have everything completely separated- the things to stay should be boxed up and stored, and everything else ready to pack. By the end of July, I want to have everything in bags, labeled, weighed and ready to go. This seems so perfect in my mind, but we’ll see how it all works out. My main goal is to not be running around like a chicken with my head cut off our last week in the states.
Another step in our organization has been to decide what to buy in Japan. We decided early to set up house in Japan, and not to take all of our stuff. The reason for this is that it is more expensive to ship a container and pay the import taxes for our belongings than it would be to buy new things in Japan.  (Every country is different in this area- it’s important to find out what things will be like in your country)
We talked with several missionaries already in the country to determine which things we needed to bring. Our packing list includes mostly clothes, and sentimental items, plus some medicines and deodorant and other things that are harder to find there.
How to pack: We have decided to use both plastic containers/bins, and parachute bags. My sister-in-law just moved across seas and let me know that for them, the plastic containers were harder to fill with the 50 pounds, so we will use these for our big and heavy things (for example the crockpot).
Another author, Teri Snode, wrote this great article with so many awesome details on moving overseas. I have read it over and over, and will continue to reference it during our move. Check it out! Helpful Tips on Moving Overseas
I will continue to document our move and share with you some more tips later!
In Christ,
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  • 4 thoughts on “Moving Across the World

    1. My husband and I are also missionaries in Japan! We’ve been here nearly 5 years, so if I can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me! Jesus bless you.

      Elizabeth O’Brien

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