The Expat Chat: Lifestyle Travels and International Living

The Expat Chat is a weekday podcast where we interview inspiring expats who have thrown off the constraints of western congestion to enjoy their dream lifestyle in other parts of the world...often for a fraction of their cost of living back home. If you want the travels of Rick Stearn with the freedom of Tim Ferriss this podcast is for you.Subscribe today.
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The Expat Chat: Lifestyle Travels and International Living




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May 6, 2018

Heading: How to Downsize for the Big Trip Ahead

One of the biggest and most emotional stages of preparing for an expat life is downsizing and leaving your current home. It’s a process fraught with emotion and the job of determining what passes the test of fitting in your suitcase or backpack for the travels ahead is daunting for most people.

Today we speak to personal organizer Donna Donaldson about the process of preparing for your big move abroad. Donna has years of experience on helping people to downsize and declutter their homes and gives us a few great pointers on how to go about it without it turning into arguments, the tricks she uses to determine what stays and why you should think twice about putting things into storage

For more great advice from Donna check out her free decluttering report at or for personal assistance her website

What I learned from Donna’s interview:

  1. Remind yourself what you are doing it for. If you focus on the big picture (the trip) each time you are looking at an item and deciding if it stays or not it will make it easier.
  2. Don’t buy anything new. Resist the urge to keep adding stuff during the purge process. Tell friends and family you are traveling and you don’t need more clutter for birthdays or Christmas, and definitely don’t take the junk they are clearing out!
  3. Get a good system for paperwork. Only deal with it once and stop all junk mail. Scan important documents you need such as tax records as even in storage they are vulnerable to damage.
  4. Purge in waves. It is less intimidating and as you get better at it you will find it easier to keep eliminating more and more at every step.
  5. If you do have new stuff coming in make sure you remove one item at the same time – better still be tough and insist that several items must leave for every new arrival.
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