The Checklist

It sometimes seems as if the number of things to do before moving abroad is constantly changing. My checklist seems to shrink and then grow on a daily basis. Somethings are small – like picking up a months supply of my favorite beauty products. Others are big – like selling our car and getting our visas. But they are all important! I have managed to organize everything we need to do into different categories:


  • In China – Luckily we are being provided housing so we don’t have to worry about finding a place to live once we get to Shanghai.
  • Here – Our lease ended in April and we moved to an apartment where we can live month to month.

Our Stuff:

  • Furniture – We have decided to get rid of most of our stuff. We don’t really have a lot and will keep our nice furniture, but the rest can go. We are planning to give away any furniture that our families may want and then selling the rest at a tag sale.
  • Clothes – We plan on bringing most of our clothes and anything we don’t bring can go to the tag sale or goodwill.
  • Everything else – We will keep our wedding gifts and a few nice things we have, but the rest will either be taken with us or sold at the tag sale.
  • Storage – Getting rid of most things means we hopefully won’t have too much to store. My parents have offered us space in an attic so store what we have left over so luckily we won’t have to pay for storage. Our goal of course is to have as little to store as possible.
  • Car – We are going to sell our car.


  • Flights – Our flights are booked and we are ready to go!
  • Visas – We have our visa documents and forms and a date set up to go to the visa processing office. Hopefully that will go smoothly!
  • Address Change – Right before we go we will have to update our address. We get most of our bills electronically and are making sure any that we don’t we will set up.
  • Language – I bought a language program and am slowly getting through it. My goal is to have a very rudimentary understanding of some basic phrases that can help us get around those first few days.
  • Phones – Luckily we are both out of contract with our phones. Before we leave we are going to have them unlocked so we can use them with a Chinese company.


  • Vaccinations – We are currently in the process of getting our vaccinations. We decided not only to get vaccinations for China, but also for the different places that we want to travel.
  • Doctor’s Appointments – We have scheduled all of our regular check-ups so that we don’t have to worry about finding doctors immediately.


  • Credit Card – The husband and I got credit cards that don’t charge international fees.
  • Bank Accounts – We are reviewing and consolidating our bank accounts.
  • Accountant – What is probably the most important thing is that I am looking around for an accountant who specializes in expats. I want to make sure we have our tax situation figured out before we move to help make filing next year a smooth process.

Saying Goodbye:

  • We are planning a going away party so that we can see everyone before we leave! Just waiting on confirming the space and then I can go from there!

I am sure there are other things that I am forgetting or will come up – but this is our big list of what needs to be done before we leave! And this list doesn’t include packing!

One thought on “The Checklist

  1. Sounds like everything is pretty solved.

    Once you get there, if you have mobile internet set-up there, you can get Google Translate as an app. That’s how I talk to my parents when I get stuck. I just type in what I want, click translate and flash the translation to my parents. It’s not perfect but it gets the point across.

    Or you can buy one of those handheld electronic translators. They’re really good. A bit on the pricier side but good for people new to English or Chinese..

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