If you’ve ever wanted to know how to sell everything and move to New Zealand you’re not alone. It’s something we’ve dreamed about doing forever. And now that we are doing it, we’ve had a lot of people ask us HOW.
Honestly, moving to New Zealand wasn’t even on our radar when February rolled around. In fact, I firmly told Tom that we would NOT be moving anywhere this year. After moving each year for the past two years, I was ready to just chill for a bit.
Funny how things change.
Like I said, we’ve dreaming about moving to New Zealand for a long time. At least once a year we’d talk about New Zealand with stars in our eyes… never thinking we’d actually move.
But then it happened. Like so many times before, the dream was spoken aloud, but this time we asked ourselves, “Why not?”
Our two young children aren’t in school yet. Both Tom and I can work anywhere that has an internet connection. Throw in the fact that we are the ultimate get-rid-of-clutter fanatics, and the idea of selling everything we own and moving to New Zealand was no longer a daydream. We both sort of stared at each other with a “Duh. We should do that” look on our face. We are going.
For a girl who’s never lived outside of the state of Utah, this is going to be one wild adventure!
How to sell everything and move to New Zealand:
Want to know what the whole process looks like? I know I was so thankful for the handful of blog posts I found on moving to New Zealand as we started the process. I thought I’d add our perspective to the mix.
Here’s what our timeline has looked like so far:
- January 2015: Firmly declared we would NOT be moving any time soon.
- February 2015: The idea of moving to New Zealand was casually presented as a ‘wouldn’t that be nice’ and within a week turned into a firm decision to go. We mailed in our Visitor Visa application.
- March 2015: Our application was accepted. We took inventory of our belongings. Using my
nerdyuseful love of spreadsheets, I put everything we owned into one of four categories: 1. Sell 2. Donate 3. Trash/Recycle 4. Keep. We also started scanning and ‘digitizing’ all of our files and important stuff like tax documents, old photographs, insurance information, etc. We shredded anything we don’t need a hard copy of (we still have hard copies of social security cards, birth certificates, marriage documents, and passports.) We also backed up all those important documents so we have them in at least two secure electronic locations.
Here’s where we’re at now:
- April – May 2015: Sell, donate, and get rid of the non-essential items. (We’ve sold about half our stuff at this point.)
- June 2015: Sell or donate everything else. On our last day in our home we will rent a moving truck that can fit our remaining ‘big items’ and deliver them to those who have bought them. This includes our beds, sofa, table/chairs, and washer and dryer. Our last step is to drop off our car (selling it back to the place we bought it), and spend two days with my parents before heading out. EEK!
- July 1 2015: Say “hello” to New Zealand!
Moving to New Zealand: The most frequently asked questions.
1. Are you going for work?
We are very fortunate to be able to work from home. This is an adventure. We want to experience the beauty and people of New Zealand and are taking advantage of our opportunity to do so.
2. Where are you staying when you get there?
We will be visiting some good friends in Auckland for the first week, and then we have our eyes set on the Bay of Plenty. We will be looking for a furnished place to stay. We’ve been looking at places online for the past few months and there always seems to be several options, so we’re crossing our fingers we don’t end up in a hotel for very long.
3. Why are you selling everything you own? Why not just store your belongings?
Obviously we aren’t literally selling everything we own. We are taking some clothes, a laptop, camera, some awesome tiny back-up hard drives (like this), and one or two small toys for the kids. It all has to fit in our suitcases. Oh, and our car seats. We’re taking those.
We have also boxed up a few items that we’ll be storing at a family’s house: Family photo albums, a couple journals, and high school year books. But that is it.
Everything else must go.
Lots of friends and family have suggested we store our belongings. They think we are crazy for selling everything. But we don’t want to be tethered down by stuff.
So far we have sold our condo (that we were renting out… we moved out of it a couple years ago). Good bye mortgage! We have donated about 50% of our kitchen supplies. Hello less cleaning! We look forward to dropping our car off and being free of that payment, too. We will be completely debt free.
Every time we do another batch of ‘community-online-yard-selling’ (totally a word) or take another car-full of items to be donated, both my husband and I are amazed by how we feel. We feel lighter. We feel excited.
We feel free.
Of course, I realize that this total freedom will be somewhat short lived. After all, we do plan on buying a car in NZ (although we will be paying cash and selling it back when we are done). We will need pots and pans and other things to cook, clean, and enjoy our time there. But as we’ve taken stock of everything we need to sell, we realize how much stuff we don’t really use.
This is coming from a girl who lives a very clutter-free life (I mean, I wrote a book about it!). Nobody would ever walk into our home and think we lead an extravagent life. But still, even for us… there is SO. MUCH. STUFF.
When you are willing to let go of the stuff you don’t really need, the world opens up for you. You can go and be anything you want.Click to tweet
Talk about freedom.
This opportunity to sell everything we own and move to New Zealand has opened our eyes. It has reminded us that you don’t need much to be happy. While there will come a time when we’ll probably buy some items back, we’ve made a promise to buy less in the future.
This adventure to move to New Zealand is more than just an opportunity to explore a beautiful country. It’s an opportunity to claim what matters most to us: Our family. Our time. Our freedom.
That is the real picture of success in my mind. Sure, there are plenty of people who have better salaries, more prestige, fancier clothes, homes, etc. For our family, however, taking back Monday means living a life that brings happiness. And as it turns out, it doesn’t cost as much as the world would like you to believe.