Make sure to check out the other exciting Move-to's:
Moving to Sweden – The Swedish Language
Moving to Sweden – Finding a Place to Live
Moving to Sweden – The Metric System and You
Moving to Sweden – Getting a Cell Phone
Moving to Sweden – Getting from the Airport to Stockholm City
Moving to Sweden – The Weather
Moving to Sweden – Swedish Citizenship Test
Moving to Sweden – Public Holidays
Moving to Sweden – Finding a Job
Moving to Sweden – Culture Shock: It's the Little Things
Moving to Sweden – Making Friends
Moving to Sweden – The Laundry Room
Moving to Sweden – Marijuana
Moving to Sweden – Most Common Jobs and Salaries
I’ve decided that it might be helpful to write a few posts about moving to Sweden. Seeing as how that is what I did. And what this blog is about. And from the comments and e-mails I receive it also seems to be something that is of interest to people. So I’m going to intersperse a few posts about the different aspects of moving to Sweden.
Of course this will all come from my 23-24 year old perspective. And with the idea that while I’m going to be here for a while it is not permanent. And also from the perspective that I was living with my parents after college and before moving here. Yup. Boomerang generation.
Obviously this will not be a foolproof guide. It probably won’t even be in any sort of logical order either to be honest. So feel free to leave comments, other suggestions, compliments for my glorious public service, you know… the usual. And I would love to hear from other people who have done the same thing. So here it goes:
Moving to Sweden – What to Bring
I filled two suitcases with stuff and shipped the rest. But those two suitcases are important.
Clothes. You are going to need a wide variety of them. It can be ridiculously cold here. It’s only a couple hours flight to the Arctic Circle. It can also be ridiculously warm here. The summers are spectacular and they can get hot. Plus, it’s a bit humid. So it feels even hotter.
Depending on the time of year you come pack your suitcase accordingly. Moving in June means pack the summer clothes and ship the winter clothes. Moving in December means pack the winter clothes, ship the summer clothes. You get the idea.
Furniture. Maybe you have an established life. With established furnishings. In which case you do what you want. As I said. I lived with my parents. I brought a couple of reading lamps. That’s it. I used IKEA and scrounged for the rest of it. Being in student housing allowed for a lot of free furniture from students who were moving out. Also, check blocket.se and eniro.se for good deals on used furniture. And of course, IKEA. That hallmark of Swedish ingenuity. Use it wisely.
Bedding. Bring something. A light set of sheets and a pillow is probably enough to start with. Then either ship the rest of your stuff or… IKEA. This will become a resounding theme.
Dishes. A few plastic dishes, maybe a pot or two. That’s it. Dishes are heavy and not worth it. Yup… IKEA. Cheap dishes that will last a while.
Books. I know… I’m a nerd but hear me out. It will take you a while to make friends. It will take you a while to get a job. It will take you a while to settle in. And books are a glorious way to pass those late, very light, summer nights when you first set foot in Sweden.
Toiletries. I love Old Spice anti-perspirant. It is the best deodorant I have ever used. And I am a sweaty man. They do not sell this product here. So I brought a few extras. Bring a few of those toiletries you really need. It will take a while to find everything you need over here and no one wants to be the stinky guy in a new country. And some things just can’t be found. Like Old Spice anti-perspirant.
Food. Peanut butter is like gold over here. Ridiculously expensive. You can’t even find ramen for 10 cents like in the US. If there is anything you just can’t live without. Shove an extra one in your suitcase. Peanut butter and ramen has come to my rescue more times than I can count. Because sometimes, trying to feed yourself is a chore.
Everything else can be shipped. All those extra clothes, your toys (bikes, tents, ski gear), even more books, all those little things like pictures and knick knacks. They are nice. But ship them. You can go a while without them.
And Welcome to Sweden.