What to Take, Toss or Sell When Moving to Puerto Rico, U.S Virgin Islands or Guam

Nothing forces us to pay serious attention to your “stuff” like moving does. You’re bound to come across and decide the fate of household items ranging from “why in the world did I keep this” to “I can’t live without this.” And then there are the things that fall in between that are put aside until you figure out if they are worth packing. Everything you own can fall into one of three categories when you’re moving to Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands or Guam: take, toss (maybe donate) or sell.

Sure, some things are easy to categorize. And for those that aren’t so obvious here are a few tips from our moving and packing experts:

  1. Take any items essential to your health and well being. These items must be packed in a way that allows you to easily find and access them when you arrive at your destination.
  2. If you lived in a less balmy location than the Virgin Islands, Guam or Puerto Rico, don’t pack any of your winter or fall clothing. Leaving the coats, boots, gloves and sweaters behind will save a lot of time and room. After all, you won’t need them unless and until you return to the colder climate.
  3. Limit yourself to one (small) photo album of friends and family. Hundreds of pictures can be stored on your phone or a memory stick.
  4. Keep expensive jewelry or heirlooms with you at all times. Larger, sentimental items should be kept in storage until you can send for them.
  5. Important documents (birth certificates, wills, etc.) should be packed separately and kept with you, as other items that would be difficult and time consuming to replace.
  6. Most home decor is non-essential items. Use only one medium-sized container to accommodate small wall hangings or knick-knacks that have sentimental or special meaning.
  7. Be aware that leaving absorbent (fabrics, clothes, papers) materials in boxes for extended periods of time could cause them to mildew when you’re moving to a tropical climate like the Virgin Islands, Guam or Puerto Rico. When you arrive at your destination, unpack these things as soon as possible to avoid damage.
  8. If you haven’t used it or thought about it in six months, do you really need it? Give these items away, toss them or have a garage sale before moving.
  9. If you are having trouble leaving non-essential items behind, think of relocating as a new beginning…a fresh start. Plan on celebrating by purchasing home or personal items when you reach Guam, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.
  10. Leased on a month-to-month basis, storage units are gate- and climate-controlled areas where you can store your “undecided” items until you are ready to toss, donate, sell or ship them to your new home.

Packing for a move to the Virgin Islands, Guam or Puerto Rico can be emotionally draining as you assess what household items really mean the most to you. Because it isn’t feasible or practical to take everything with you, we hope this list of 10 essential tips relieves some of the ambiguity (and stress) that comes with making a big move. And of course, our moving specialists are always here to answer your questions and offer smart advice on moving.