Leaving Hong Kong is tough; it’s hard to pack up and leave, sometimes at short notice. This guide should help you with your move from Hong Kong to your new home.
In fact, moving house is one of the most stressful things we do in our lives; add to that a change in the country too, and the challenges can mount up. You need to get lots of things ready before leaving Hong Kong.
There’s a lot to consider, so we’re going to:
- Provide you with the ultimate admin checklist of things to do before leaving Hong Kong
- Which moving companies we prefer in Hong Kong
- Our best tips on selling second-hand cars when leaving Hong Kong
- The best ways of getting rid of furniture & other items when leaving Hong Kong
- The ultimate Hong Kong bucket list
- Provide an overview of all you need to know about donating items in Hong Kong.
The key here is to give yourself plenty of time.
1. Create a list of items you need to do before leaving Hong Kong
You need to consider lots of elements when leaving Hong Kong. To help make things easier, we’ve written an article dedicated to an admin checklist of things to consider when leaving Hong Kong.
Among the items you need to consider are:
- Renting? Be sure to check your tenancy agreement for your notice period and your obligations when you move out so you can get your deposit back.
- Got a helper? Inform immigration and provide a letter with your moving date. By doing this you will help to obtain extra time for your helper to find a new job. Consider giving your helper a recommendation on social media to help her find a new job.
- If you’ve got kids in school, let the schools know you are leaving Hong Kong.
- Follow up with any club or gym memberships you have to cancel subscriptions with.
- Get your bank accounts ready to leave – can you leave them open? How can you access them offshore?
- Check to see if you can cancel any of your insurance products and potentially get a refund on the balance.
- Cancel your utilities, including gas, electricity, water, and wifi.
- Decide what you are going to about your MPF – if you are fairly certain you won’t be coming back to Hong Kong, request a withdrawal.
- Sort out any tax that you might be owing – Hong Kong won’t let you leave without sorting this out.
That’s a lot to take in, right?
Check out our article on a checklist of things to do before leaving Hong Kong for the entire list of admin items you can expect to have complete when moving away from Hong Kong.
Declutter your home before you book a moving company. Take a good look around your home and gather up items that you:
- Have outgrown
- No longer need
- No longer like
Give away or sell everything you don’t need. There is no point in shipping unneeded items around the world!
3. Select a good moving company and set a date
Once you’ve rationalized what you really want to take with you, bring in some muscle to pack. Good packers can get a three-bedroom place ready to move in a matter of hours.
The further ahead you plan, the easier and cheaper your move when leaving Hong Kong will be. Lock in your moving date a couple of months ahead of leaving Hong Kong, and you should get decent discounts.
To understand potential moving costs, you need to think about:
- The quality of the movers you use – cheap companies will be newer and have less of a reputation.
- The volume of your stuff will dictate a lot of the cost. Fitting everything into one lorry load will keep costs down.
- Distance traveled is another factor – it stands to reason that the longer your stuff is moved, the more expensive it gets.
- What you ask the company to do can add costs. Bringing in people to do your packing will cost more, and using the company’s boxes will add to the bill.
We’ve put together a list of movers we recommend, and since they’re local and small, you’ll get great service and prices. Check out our guide to moving home here.
4. Sell your car
You will have gone through the process of buying your car in Hong Kong and probably noticed that it’s a buyer’s market. It was great back then, but now how to get your car sold?
Selling used cars in Hong Kong can be difficult.
To get the best deal on selling your car, the single most important tip is to give yourself a long lead time – we’d suggest four to six months. In this time, you have to find a buyer and get things in order, ready to sell.
Get marketing early, and not just to ex-pats. The websites we’d suggest you look at using are:
Get some help from your local friends to post on the local pages – casting your net wide gives you a great chance of finding a buyer for your car in Hong Kong.
Your car needs to run well and look good to optimize your selling price. Simple things like getting the car valeted and repainting rims to cover up scuffs will serve you well in this crowded market.
Don’t forget the paperwork to sell your car in Hong Kong, either. It would help if you got documents to make your sale smooth and make sure you don’t become liable for someone else’s tickets.
For a full rundown of what you need to do to get your car sold, read through our full guide on selling your car in Hong Kong here.
5. Sell items you no longer need
Your car is probably the most valuable thing you’ve bought in Hong Kong, but when you look at the furniture you’ve acquired, there’ll be some value there, too. Options abound for disposing of your second-hand furniture in Hong Kong. Sending things to landfills should be your absolute last option.
The main things that you can do to get rid of your furniture in Hong Kong are:
- Sell it to second-hand shops or other people in the city.
- Donate it to charity for them to sell or provide to people in need
- Give it away to your friends who can make good use of it.
Every shop and charity works slightly differently when it comes to things like valuations and collections but basically, all shops and charities are looking for items that are in good working order.
Here’s the full article on getting rid of furniture so you can get planning your departure from the city and slimming down on your shipping costs.
6. Tick-off times on your Hong Kong bucket list
As your time in Hong Kong draws to a close, you might want to find a way to say goodbye to this great city.
What have you always wanted to do and never got round to in the city? Where have you made some of your best memories?
After living in and loving Hong Kong for years, we’ve got a pretty good grasp of what the must-do things are. You’ll hopefully get a few months’ notice before you need to leave, so grab your diary, call your friends, and get planning your last weeks in the craziness that is Hong Kong.
We’ve dived into the things you need to get done in great detail in our article about your Hong Kong bucket list, and here are some of the highlights:
- Hit the beach for one last chill session or afternoon paddling and playing with the kids.
- Get back to nature and go for a hike up Victoria Peak or Dragon’s Back and get some final skyline panorama shots.
- Hit up the shopping with a trip down to Sham Shui Po – grab some fun gifts whilst you’re down there.
- One for your ‘Gram, head down to Rainbow Estate and get an iconic photo in front of the quirky, multicolored buildings.
- Savor the flavor with food and drinks – check out the best dim sum, have drinks and Sevva, or hit the heights at Ozone Bar on the 108th floor of the Ritz Carlton.
7. Donate unwanted items
Check out our guide on donating items in Hong Kong to make sure as many of your unwanted items are reused. In our dedicated article on donating items in Hong Kong, we dive into specific items and give you our top recommendations for rehoming each of these items.
Our guide specifically talks about the best places to donate items such as :
- Maternity clothes
- Baby clothes
- Kitchen appliances
These charities are doing phenomenal work with providing those in need in the community with items they actually require.
Even though donating items in Hong Kong might take a little time and effort, it’s all worth it. Hong Kong already has a huge waste problem, with 70% of all waste ending up in landfills, and besides, your unwanted items could turn into someone else’s treasure.
8. Last-minute shopping
Been living in Hong Kong for a while but never found the time to buy knickknacks that are authentically Hong Kong? If you know you’re leaving, now is the time to buy some items from Hong Kong that will help you to remind you of your time here in this beautiful city.
We have an article completely dedicated to finding the best authentically Hong Kong items. This article covers a broad range of items from high-end artwork to inexpensive but super cute dim sum coasters.
9. Random list of to-do items before leaving Hong Kong
Think hard, what else might you need to do before leaving Hong Kong?
Consider the following:
- Have you borrowed items from friends that need returning?
- Have you bought any packages that remain unfinished (e.g., nail, hair, massage, personal training) – can you transfer these over to your friends?
- Any dry-cleaning that needs picking up?
- Do any of your friends have any of your items?
10. Take the time to say goodbye before leaving Hong Kong
Depending on how much time you have before you leave, you may not be able to see all your friends individually before you go.
But do try to organize a few events so that you can see bunches of people together. Think about the groups of friends you’d like to say goodbye to – work colleagues, gym buddies, BFFs, friends from your apartment building?
FAQs about leaving Hong Kong
How can I donate unwanted items in Hong Kong?
When it comes to donating items in Hong Kong, you will need to be organized. Once you know the best charity to target for your unwanted items, you’ll need to contact the charity and provide a detailed description of your item/s. Once a charity has agreed to accept your item, you’ll need to agree to a date for the item’s transportation. You’ll generally need to pay for the charity to come and collect your items. Self-delivery may be an option; otherwise, you may need to arrange for a transportation company to move the items. Be aware that you may have to wait a few weeks for your item to be scheduled.
What types of items do charities generally accept?
It’s common for charities only to accept donations of items in good, working order. Generally, there is a preference for items that are smaller in size. For example, don’t expect much demand for an oversized four-seat sofa, but for items such as a small coffee table, or a small bookshelf, there should be great demand.
Leaving Hong Kong and moving to a new country is stressful. But we hope this guide will help to make leaving Hong Kong a little bit easier. We’re hoping that you can now enjoy your last days, weeks, or months before leaving Hong Kong armed with this information.
If we’ve missed a topic or if you have any questions about leaving Hong Kong, please let us know in the comments below. Alternatively, if you have a great tip regarding leaving Hong Kong, please share it with everyone below.