Life After Korea: Frantically Packing

Hey Everyone!
Tis‘ the season for contracts ending and decisions to be made.

Should I stay or Should I go?

Leaving Korea can be a difficult decision. 

For some, the time has come to move back to their home and leave Korea in their memories.

Wait.
Are you telling me I have to get everything I’ve accumulated over the past year/years out of here before the new teacher gets here?

((Cue panic))

Take it from someone who has moved home TWICE yes you read that correctly TWICE it is a pain in the BUTT.

The best way to move everything without having an anxiety attack/ meltdown/ crying episode is

Prioritize
Yes, you read that correctly. I wrote a list of everything I needed to accomplish before I was kicked out of my tiny apartment.

First:
You need to separate what you are going to keep
What selling/donating
Things that you are a maybe for taking home

Play for Keeps


After you’ve sectioned this all out set out your suitcases and start packing things you are definitely taking home.

See how much room you have left or any room at all.

*Note: I had 2 giant suitcases and 1 small one. My husband had 1 big one and 1 medium-sized suitcase.  He stuffed his full of ramen.

Something that was super helpful for me for each of my moving adventures was shipping boxes. 

Did you know that if you get a #4 size box from KPS you can ship it for 40,000KRW (40 bucks USD)?

 It will take 3 solid months to get to you but it’s totally worth it for people like me who are pack rats and love stationary & skin care things.

I sent 4 boxes when I moved full of skincare, gifts, and souvenirs from my travels. And of course clothes.

Shipping your stuff can be a big pain but the shipping boxes helped me A LOT. Just remember don’t check the box for airmail or else it’ll cost you way more than 40 bucks!

Selling/Donating

Leaving can be kinda expensive. So I ended up selling a ton of my stuff.
Your best bet to sell things is through the expat facebook groups.

Expat Women in Korea
Expat Women in Korea Buy/Sell
HBC/Itaewon Information Board
Craigs List Seoul

If you have a Korean friend that is willing to help you, you could post your things on a Korean forum as well. When I had a couch and a giant oven my husband put our stuff on there and we got a good amount of money for our stuff!

Make sure to take clear pictures of your items and mark the price on each picture. So that way it doesn’t cause any confusion and people don’t try to stiff you on pricing.

**Be cautious when using these selling forums because you will get the occasional creep or overly friendly person trying to holla at you. Just use good judgment. **

If you find yourself unlucky selling your items try asking around to your coworkers and maybe their friends to see if they need anything. Usually, if you give your items to your coworkers they might want it for free or discounted. Just be do what you feel it right.

Throw it away!
**Bye Felicia**

You’d think throwing away trash is a fairly simple task.
Not in Korea.
If you’ve lived there long enough you are familiar with the color coated bags. One for food trash, one for trash to be burned and the other for miscellaneous stuff.

Be aware that if you are throwing big items like couches, bookshelves, or anything that cant fit in your trash bag it’ll need a TAG.

Many of my friends that have moved out of their hagwon apartments have put their things on the curb only to get penalized for throwing it away without a permit. I also had a friend who got the penalty taken out of their paycheck. Ouch.

If you are unsure where to buy the tag or how much you should be paying for said tag, take a picture of the item and ask where to buy the tag to your local CU, GS25, or 711 clerk.
I bought mine at the community center near my home. If you have trouble communicating in Korean you could ask your boss or Korean teacher for a little help on the matter. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

For clothing, there is usually a donation box in every neighborhood so you can put shoes and clothing in the box if you are feeling generous or just antsy because you couldn’t sell it online.

When you move out make sure it’s clean-ish and chunk up the deuce to your landlord! 

**Also remember February is the time for everyone who is leaving in March to cash out their pension. I recommend doing this sooner rather than later. I also suggest finding the nearest office to your house/hagwon to make this process go smoothly. I went to the one at Samsung station near Gangnam. They were very kind and I was in and out in 20 minutes.

That’s it for this week y’all!!

Happy packing !!

xoxo
Julie Ko

p.s. you know very well that everything in that “maybe” needs to get thrown away. Just trying to help you out 😉