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Why every NRI retiree should do Swedish Death Cleaning!

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

There was a time when NRI retiree would take candy, perfume, clothing, shoes, electronics and more on every visit to India. It was a time when large, humongous suitcases were allowed and weight limits were not a problem. I remember we would get long lists of things to bring from relatives and friends prior to every visit to India. On our arrival, it would be like Santa Claus arriving from the US.

NRI retiree
NRI retiree

Today, all that has changed drastically.

With Amazon, Flipkart and numerous other online retailers supplying the burgeoning Indian population, everything is available in India!

When you decide to retire in India, you may be tempted to take your TV, furniture, etc...to make your new retirement home feel familiar. Be aware that many of these gadgets there is an additional cost of shipping, packing, insurance, custom duty and moving charges. Many times once you take an electronic gadget out of the country, the warranty is null and void. In many instances, it's much more cost effective to sell or give away as much as possible and ship packages which may have some special meaning.


Transporting of your items when you make the big move can be done by air or by ship. As expected, by ship is much cheaper but it's also a lot longer. Consider your budget, timeline and the volume of your belongings to make the best decision for your move. The best time to move is usually in the fall, when it's cooler and the weather is more stable.


Ajay, who moved in 2021 indicated, "Most shippers will ship a minimum of 8 boxes and no less OR the minimum charge will be for 8 boxes of size 24x18x18. The charges varies as per the moving season though may range between $50-70 per box + charges to be paid at the Indian customs around Rs 20k-40k and any other additional based on what customs may put duty on."

In Scandinavian countries, there's a concept called 'Swedish Death Cleaning',it's a process undertaken by individuals in their 50s and 60s, to remove unnecessary items cluttering their homes to lessen the burden for their survivors. You go through the items in your home to determine what could be sold, donated, gifted or thrown away. Remember those old saris, kurtas which you haven't worn for ages, give them away. Begin with the boxes that you've put away in your attic, garage and sort things out so your survivors aren't cursing you while going through all your belongings.


Start the 'Swedish Death Cleaning' right away and you'll be amazed at how much lighter you will feel during your retirement journey in India.


NRI retiree packing
NRI retiree packing

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