51 Things You’ll Regret Not Taking Overseas With You When You Emigrate

Moving to a brand new country you’ve never lived in before can be tough.From finding a new job to setting up and furnishing a new home, it’s difficult to know what you won’t be able to live without when you get to the UK, or what you’ll wish you brought over.While everybody is different, sometimes it’s helpful to hear what other people would have done hindsight – before you make the move yourself.

Here’s a list of what to pack in your container or cube – in no particular order – from members of the popular Facebook group with nearly 35,000 adherents, South Africans Immigrating to the UK and Ireland.

  1. Weber (braai)
  2. Potjie pot
  3. Biltong maker
  4. Pyrex dishes
  5. Tupperware
  6. Biltong
  7. Niknaks
  8. Prescription medicines
  9. Over-the-counter medicines
  10. Vitamins and supplements
  11. Your favourite spices
  12. The kids’ 2-wheel scooters
  13. Skottel
  14. Kettle
  15. Toaster
  16. Small kitchen appliances
  17. Photo albums
  18. The good pots and pans
  19. Good crockery
  20. Fabric (for those who like to sew)
  21. Dressmaking material
  22. Sewing machine
  23. Overlocker
  24. Sentimental items
  25. House decor
  26. Table cloths
  27. Seasonal decorations
  28. Craft supplies
  29. SA cookbooks
  30. Mattress
  31. Bed linen
  32. Rusks
  33. Electric frying pan
  34. Piano
  35. Pets
  36. Paintings
  37. Green Tabasco
  38. Citro soda
  39. Some garden tools
  40. Good towels
  41. Grandpa headache powder
  42. ENO
  43. Spur sauces
  44. Bed
  45. Microwave
  46. Salad platters
  47. Casserole dishes
  48. Kenwood food processor
  49. Corenza C
  50. Myprodol
  51. Crosse & Blackwell Tangy Mayonnaise

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Some group members pointed out that most of these things are available for purchase in the UK, however, according to other group members these particular items are more expensive overseas than in South Africa.

Make sure you have zero regrets and take your home essentials with you to the UK.

“If you will be earning pounds straight away you could replace them once you arrive, but you probably won’t get much for them in SA.If you are going to replace them using rands, it will be expensive.So, if you have space in a container then I’d say bring them along.It’s easy to change the plug.The exception is things you will need before your container arrives like your kettle and toaster,” said one member of South Africans Immigrating to the UK and Ireland, Darlene.

Another member, David, advised, “Weigh up the cost of shipping versus buying new.Look at ao.com and currys.co.uk to give you an idea of the replacement cost.Also keep in mind not all items arrive ‘in one piece’.”

One thing South Africans may not realise is that the size of the average UK kitchen is often smaller than South African kitchens, which means you won’t necessarily enjoy the same cupboard space you were used to back in SA.

“I would bring the items you use all the time.There are some items that are nice to have, but not essential.I’ve had to give loads away as I don’t have space for it in the kitchen,” Marlene commented.

Other, less sentimental group members shared how happy they were that they only brought their clothes.

“We sold up everything in SA and have no regrets.We kept photo albums and a very few sentimental items, but the rest was – in truth – just ‘stuff’,” said Rob.

“I have decided to sell, donate, give away everything. I’m only taking clothes, some very special sentimental things that I just can’t part with, putting them in boxes and going to send on the high seas. I am sure the cost of sending a whole lot of stuff could be replaced at a similar price. For me it is a purging, a new fresh start in life,” added Lorraine.

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When it comes to over-the-counter medicines, some countries have lower legal doses of certain chemicals found in, for example, cough syrup, unfortunately making it less effective than some of the medicines available locally.

“South Africans often advise one another to take over their preferred cold and flu medicines, pain killers, as well as any prescription medications they are on while they arrange their family’s access to the National Health Services (NHS) in the UK,” said Move Up’s managing director, Ryan Rennison.

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