Wednesday, 20 February 2019
(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

Downsizing before your Aliyah or relocation

downsizing for aliyah 

The decision has finally been made. A date has been set for you Aliyah or relocation. You are super excited. You are confident that you are doing the right thing for you and your family. But before you actually move, there is so much preparation that needs to be done. You need to shrink and downsize your belongings. You seriously need to start thinking about and planning your Aliyah and everything you are taking with you to Israel. Packing and sorting is a monumental task but it has to be done and being organized and methodical will help you enormously.

Before you even start calling in specialized Aliyah shipping agents and getting at least 3 quotes for your aliyah shipment, we recommend that you start sorting out your belongings. Time to fight your hoarding  impulse and get rid of all that stuff that has not been used in ages.

Make a plan

Walk through your home, and room by room, area by area, jot down action items.  Break each action item down into smaller actions and in this way the project will not seem as huge and insurmountable.

Managing your time wisely

Once you have listed all the action items, allocate your time accordingly and mark it on your calendar or day planner.

Trash, Keep and Donate

Start your downsizing by collecting suitably sized containers/storage boxes/bags.  Work with 3 different containers per task; trash, keep and donate. Stick to the one-year policy.

The one-year policy

If you have not worn it in a year or used it in a year, chances are you won't again. Trash it or donate it! You will probably have to be quite ruthless here. Give things away to family members who may want them.  You'll feel better knowing that these items will still be put to good use.

The Keepers

Once you have sorted your stuff,  put the items you are keeping to one side.  Containerize the items so that they will be ready for professional packing.

What about all my sentimental stuff?

The dress you wore to the prom in the '70's, your great grandma's handkerchief, your daughter's first dress....  If you can sew or can get someone to do this for you, cut a large square of each fabric and sew them together to make a patchwork quilt.  That way you'll keep your loved ones close to your heart.

Keeping old photographs

We all have thousands of old photographs in albums and shoe boxes.  Is it worth shipping them? Scanning photographs take ages. With a bit of creativity, you can cut out the important parts of the photograph and glue them down onto a large, strong piece of paper card that you can get from your local picture framing shop.  When your done, you will have a beautiful collage of all the people you love and that are important to you, then have it framed.  Now it will be much easier emotionally, to get rid of all the rest.  

Size does matter

Remember your home in Israel will more than likely be smaller (see our floor plan) and your lifestyle will be different.  So, bear that in mind when you are packing.

Selling unwanted items online

You can turn your trash into cash. Use second hand websites to sell off whatever you can. Arrange a garage sale.  Remember that you need to allocate time for this, so plan wisely.


There are plenty of other things you'll need to consider before you get on the airplane;  selling your house, bringing your car, bringing your family pet,  getting the paperwork organized.  Do it slowly and methodically and make the most of the time you have left.


Aliyah Guides & Resources

What to bring from home

Duties & immigrant rights

The costs involved in sending your aliyah shipment

Packing & Delivery


Tips for packing the shipping container


Pets, relocation & aliyah 

Bringing your car to Israel