1,000 Pounds: What Would You Pack?

The movers will be here to pack up and box all of our possessions next week. How it’s already time for them to be here is kinda freaking me out. I’m not worried about the move at all*, I’m just overwhelmingly sad that our time here is over. We’re getting to that “last” stage of living somewhere. The point where you go to your favorite places for the very last time. We visited our favorite wineries over the weekend for the last time and even though we’ll still drink their wine once we’re in America, my soul hurts a little bit knowing we’ll never again get to sit at the wooden table, surrounded by dozens of bottles of wine and drink wine with the winemaker himself while he tells me (in Italian) all about how much he loves his job.

We’ll be staying in our home for exactly five more nights, which means we’re already planning out our last meals here. I hope the bar next door doesn’t get sick of my face, because I plan on going there several more times within the next week. I told my friends at the pizzeria next door that we were leaving very soon and they got sad and told us how much they’d miss us (and our loyal business, I’m sure). I have two Mondays left to stroll through the market (I’m going to linger at the booths just after I finish this post), and we hopefully have one last trip left: Tuscany this weekend.

But back to my original sentence: The movers will be here to pack up and box all of our possessions next week. Like we did when we came out here, our stuff will leave in two shipments. The first is called HHG (household goods), and that’s the majority of our things that’ll be transported to us in Georgia via boat (and will take around two months). The other is called “unaccompanied baggage” and that’s 1,000 pounds of whatever we want to use first, because they ship that by air. (Although, coming out here, our stuff all arrived at the same exact time.)

Picking what goes into your thousand pounds shipment can be a daunting task. It’s like a little tease of what’s to come. You can’t send furniture, but you can send things like pots and pans, sheets and pillows, a bag of clothes and an air mattress. Basically, the essentials.

This time around, packing is a little easier. We know that if we forget to pack something, we can just go to a store (at any time during the day) and buy it (hallelujah!), but we’d still like to be prepared, if possible. I’ve been working on our 1,000 pound list for several weeks, but decided to pose a question on the Facebook page to see if I’m missing anything. Here’s what everyone mentioned:

  • Pack
    some proper clothing for where you are going. Are you currently in a
    hot place and it might be cooler when you arrive? Pack your coats. Or
    will it be warmer? Pack your summer clothes. 
  • Bag of shoes
  • Pots and pans
  • Coffee maker
  • Toaster 
  • Cookie sheet
  • Crockpot
  • Utensils
  • Bedding (sheets, blankets, pillows)
  • Towels 
  • A few kids toys 
  • Pack n play
  • Bumbo seat 
  • Lawn chairs 
  • Folding table
  • Hair
  • Bathroom mats
  • A bike
  • DVDs and books to entertain yourself when you get there
  • Tiny tv
  • Router
  • Games
  • Jogging
  • Beaba cooker

For us, personally, most of our appliances in Italy are 220-volt, so we’re not bringing them with us. We’ll be buying a new coffee maker, toaster, hair dryer, crockpot, etc., when we get there. We’re also taking our stroller and pack ‘n play with us. And since we aren’t going directly to our next base (we’re going to Alabama first for a three-month course my husband has to take), we’re mailing a few things out as well, like clothes in the next size up for my daughter, the bumbo, car seat base, Bella’s couch, etc. Basically, things we’ll need sooner rather than later, but don’t have room for in our luggage.

As for luggage, we’re each (my four-month old, included) allowed to check in two bags (75 pounds or less) and have a carry-on and a “personal” bag (purse). One of my husband’s bags will be nothing but uniforms, since we don’t want that getting lost in the mail, and one of my daughter’s bags will be her pack ‘n play. Her stroller will come with us, but I believe they’ll just check that at the gate—same with her car seat. Her diaper bag will be considered her carry-on item. The only thing I’m not sure about is my breast pump; I don’t know what category that fits in (her personal bag, maybe). 

So that’s our plan for right now. Like I said, I’m feeling pretty confident about the moving part. Sure it’ll be a little stressful the closer it gets to next week, but I feel like we’ve got this.

*I wrote this a few days ago and now I’m officially in freak-out mode. 

If you had to pack a 1,000 pounds of stuff to use first, what would be on your list?


  1. Good luck! packing is the worst. Are you sure they will count the pack n play as a bag? It would be nice if it falls with the stroller/carseat. We just moved from CA to VA, so not quite as big as you, but we knew we wouldnt be in a house for two months, so I had some similar lists trying to figure out what we could live without for a while!

  2. That sounds like such a daunting task! I think you've got most everything listed I would think of – good luck with the packing and move!

  3. Good luck with packing! Packing for a 4 day weekend trip is a daunting process in it self, but packing for months is very very hard to do. On the breast pump, it is considered a medical device so I am told that you can take that in a separate bag and not have to worry about going over on your carry on limit. (I would check with the airline just to make sure though).

  4. Pack laundry things – hangers, basket, hamper, possibly iron/ironing board if you use it a lot.

    Having the trashcan and a few cleaning things (broom!) is nice early on too.

    And I would recommend traveling with enough uniforms that he will have anything needed when he arrives. We have known people that had to find dress uniforms because they shipped theirs. When we did our ETS move my husband packed his boots. The only ones he could find to borrow for his last day were 3 sizes too small!

    And 1000 lbs is quite a bit. We weighed EVERYTHING on our bathroom scales as we were putting it in a pile to pack out. We were moving the end of October and I wanted my Christmas stuff so we could decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving so we included several big boxes of Christmas decorations in our UB 🙂

  5. Good luck, I am already stressing about our first post baby PCS and its many moons away. Crock pot is a must, for unaccompanied baggage, and shoes. I flu with sandals and one pair of tennies (usually I wear them) what airline are you flying? I know most US based airlines count carseat, stroller & pack n play as free baby items and they don't count as baggage. Good luck, and safe travels.

  6. Thankfully, you're moving back somewhere where you can buy ANYTHING if you forgot it… Target & Walmart are at your fingertips! Pack a favorite book, kitchen clothes, pizza cutter, camera, batteries of all sizes, medications (extras), swim suit & towels, trash bags, ziplocks — I always like to have one roll of toilet paper and paper towel to just put in the house right away, but again you can go to Target with such ease. Happy Packing!

  7. We put out clothes, computers, enough kitchen stuff to survive, and a few kids toys in our shipment. It was less than 700 pounds. We still don't have it though and are just sitting in an empty house. Fun times.

  8. Just make sure that YOU put any items you want on your high inventory list. The movers did it all and decided what to put on there. The gopro camera that they stole was $300 and the company is only paying us $100 because we didn't have it on the high inventory list. I didn't even know WE were supposed to put stuff on that! So, even though we had the receipt for the gopro, they aren't paying us what we got it for…ridiculous. I'm just glad my $1400 rug didn't disappear, because they didn't put that on the high inventory list either. Bunch of Rats!

  9. We were also given a 1000 pound limit when we were moving out here. Everything else had to get stored away… it was definitely a tough process! I was a little panicked though when I realized they weighed our items AFTER they were packed with layers and layers of packing paper… so unfortunately, that added a lot of weight and we had to take some last minute items out that we really thought would be within our limit. Maybe consult the company about whether they included packing material toward your 1000 pounds or not.

  10. Good luck with packing! We just packed and shipped our household from Denmark back to US too. Unfortunately we only have the boat shipment… so we are living out of 2 suitcases for about 2 months now… 🙂 Happy moving!

  11. Hi! We’re currently in Hawaii, we are a newly wed/ newbie in PSCing and moving to Italy next year soon. I’m worried about the appliances as mentioned – Coffee Maker, Crockpot, Rice Cooker, Microwave – we just got these gifts from our happily ever after party. What shall I do with these? And still on it’s box, haven’t even use it.

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