Essential Packing: 8 Must-Have Items for Your Household Goods Shipment to Guam

Moving to Guam requires careful planning, as this beautiful island destination presents exciting opportunities and unique challenges. One of the most integral tasks in preparing for your move is deciding what household goods to include in your shipment.

To help you get started, we've compiled a list of eight items that will make your transition smoother and your new life more comfortable. This guide offers preparation tips and highlights hard-to-find essentials on the island, ensuring you have everything for a stress-free move to Guam.

Preparing for island life in Guam involves understanding its distinct environment and lifestyle. This tropical island, located 1,600 miles west of Manila and about 3,800 miles west of Honolulu, offers a warm climate with summer-like conditions and high humidity levels year-round.

The island’s lush landscapes and beautiful beaches create a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and those who enjoy a perpetual vacation atmosphere. Many individuals relocate to Guam for positions within the U.S. armed forces, a process known as Permanent Change of Station (PCS). With a significant military presence, life on Guam provides a blend of familiar comforts and new experiences, making it a sought-after destination for military families and civilians.

Search Homes In Guam

When relocating to Guam, bringing the right furniture and home comforts is key. The island has limited furniture stores, so your preferred pieces can help make your new home feel cozy and inviting. Think about your bed, sofa, dining table, and smaller items like rugs, curtains, and decor that add a personal touch. These comforts can significantly ease the transition, making your new surroundings feel instantly welcoming.

Some of the top things to bring include:

  • Nightstands and bedside tables
  • Desks and office chairs
  • Patio or outdoor furniture
  • Lamps and lighting fixtures
  • Area rugs and carpets
  • Wall art and decorative mirrors

Ensure You Pack Your Patio Furniture!

Being prepared with your important documents and family records is crucial for a hassle-free transition when moving to Guam. These documents will be necessary to set up various services and ensure your family’s smooth adjustment. Key documents to pack include birth certificates, passports, and visas for all family members. 

Bring medical and dental records, including vaccination histories, to maintain continuity of care. School transcripts and records are also necessary for enrolling children in local schools. Remember marriage certificates, insurance policies (health, home, auto), and legal documents such as wills and power of attorney. 

Financial documents, including bank statements and tax records, are also important. Organize these documents in a secure, easily accessible folder, and consider keeping digital copies as backups for added security.

Pack your favorite kitchen gadgets and utensils to make sure you can quickly whip up your favorite meals. Guam's stores might lack some of your go-to tools and specialty items, so bring necessities like quality knives, a sturdy cutting board, and your favorite pots and pans. Remember your preferred kitchen gadgets, whether a food processor, blender, or stand mixer.

Specialty spices and unique ingredients can be tricky to find on the island. Stock up on these before your move, and consider setting up a system with friends or family to mail you refills when needed. These kitchen must-haves will make your culinary adventures in Guam enjoyable and familiar.


Pack Your Must Have Kitchen Gadgets

Lightweight, breathable clothing is important for staying comfortable in Guam's tropical climate. Choose materials like cotton and linen that will keep you cool in the year-round warmth. Evenings can be more relaxed, dipping into the low 80s, so include a few warmer items like light jackets or sweaters. 

Rain gear, such as waterproof jackets and umbrellas, is also necessary due to the island's frequent showers. For those planning to travel to nearby countries like Japan or Korea during winter, having a few heavy, warm clothes is crucial to staying comfortable in colder climates. Versatile layering pieces will serve you well on the island and during your travels.

Some potential movers to Guam need to be aware that power outages occur on the island. A generator can be a lifesaver, providing a reliable backup power source during these outages. This can be particularly important for maintaining comfort and safety in your home, keeping essential appliances running, and staying connected. It's crucial to note that generators are only suitable if you buy or rent a single-family home. 

Most condominiums on the island do not allow generators due to space constraints and regulations. If you plan to buy a single-family home, investing in a good-quality generator before you move can save you from inconvenience and unexpected power interruptions. 

Familiarize yourself with the generator's operation and maintenance to make sure it is ready to use when needed. Planning with a generator can lead to a more comfortable and secure living experience in Guam, even during the occasional power outage.


Consider Packing A Generator To Avoid Inconveniences!

For your electronics needs in Guam, consider bringing power strips and surge protectors to safeguard your devices against power fluctuations. These are particularly useful given the occasional power outages on the island. Guam’s voltage is 110, the same as stateside, so your standard U.S. electronics will work without the need for converters. 

Pack any specialty electronics that might be hard to replace or expensive to purchase locally. This could include gaming consoles, high-end audio equipment, or specific computer peripherals tailored to your needs. Bringing these items guarantees access to the technology you rely on for work or leisure.

When relocating to Guam, stocking up on preferred personal care products and toiletries is essential. Your favorite brands might be out of stock on the island, so ensuring you have an ample supply can help maintain your daily routine. 

Consider bringing:

  • Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash
  • Skincare products like moisturizers and sunscreen
  • Toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash
  • Hair styling products and tools
  • Deodorant and antiperspirant
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Prescription medications and over-the-counter remedies

Consider recreational and hobby items that can enrich your time on the island. Pack gear for hiking, snorkeling, and diving to explore Guam's stunning natural landscapes and marine biodiversity. Bring skis and a snowboard for winter travel to nearby Japan or Korea to enjoy thrilling snow sports. Include indoor hobby items, such as books, board games, art supplies, or musical instruments, for entertainment during downtime. 

Before packing, and if you are able, try to secure a home (renting or buying) with sufficient storage space to accommodate your recreational equipment.  However, the only way to secure a home before packing is to reserve it 8 weeks out, which means paying rent without living in it, as the government won’t cover this expense for military personnel. Buying a home sight unseen is also not recommended. 

Keep in mind that the more items you bring, the fewer home options you may have due to the size and storage limitations of the homes available. Preparing with these items, you'll be ready to immerse yourself in the outdoor wonders and recreational pursuits that Guam and its neighboring regions offer.


Consider Bringing Recreational & Hobby Items When Packing For Guam!


  • Host a yard sale or donate to charity to lighten the load and reduce clutter.
  • Note that homes in Guam are generally smaller, with about 95% of them made of concrete.
  • Larger or bulkier furniture may not fit well in new space, potentially limiting housing options.

Organize Records:

  • Organize important documents before the move for ease.
  • Gather birth certificates, medical records, and insurance papers.
  • Ensure documents are secure throughout the moving process.

Plan Shipments: 

  • When picking items for unaccompanied baggage, household goods shipment, and permanent storage, consider the 8-week shipping time to Guam.
  • Some prefer shipping goods well in advance for timely arrival.
  • Consider borrowing items from friends or family if you need help finding local resources upon arrival.
  • Military personnel may access loaner furniture until HHG arrives; availability varies during PCS season.
  • HHG can be stored in Guam for up to 30 days at no cost, but it must be verified with the military command or sponsor. 
  • Keep in mind rental car limitations during peak seasons or military exercises.

Research Guam:

  • Research local culture, customs, and climate to prepare for life in Guam.
  • Familiarize yourself with the island's geography and topography.
  • Explore available services such as healthcare, education, and transportation.
  • Understand local laws, regulations, and customs to ease your transition.
  • Connect with military communities or local groups for additional insights and support.
  • Join relevant Guam Facebook Groups where you can ask questions and gain more insight about Guam living.
  • Connect with a local realtor who can answer your questions and give you proper guidance.

Utilities and Services:

  • Obtain a lease or title under your name to set up utilities and services in Guam.
  • Learn how to manage power outages and conserve water effectively on the island.
  • Research local utility providers and their contact information to initiate services.

Preparing For Shipping Household Goods To Guam!

What to Leave Behind

Large Furniture:

  • Due to smaller homes on Guam, consider leaving behind large furniture pieces that may overcrowd living spaces.
  • Opt for more compact or multi-functional furniture options to maximize space utilization in your new home.

Family Heirlooms:

  • Consider leaving delicate family heirlooms behind or storing them in a climate-controlled environment to prevent damage from the tropical climate.
  • Safeguard sentimental items by entrusting them to family members or storing them securely until your return.

High-End Cars:

  • Buying a used car as a second vehicle on the island is practical due to the lack of highways and frequent stop-and-go traffic, making fast cars impractical.
  • Guam's most common higher-end cars are Lexus, BMW, and Range Rover.
  • No parts and services are available for high-end cars or Teslas on the island. 
  • If you bring these, expect them to be parked most of the time.

Oversized Appliances:

  • Since most rentals include essential appliances like washers and dryers, consider leaving behind oversized appliances that may not fit in smaller homes.
  • Be mindful of size and power restrictions in Guam homes, as they may limit the installation of large appliances.
  • 95% have ACs due to the hot and humid weather.

Excessive Winter Clothing:

  • Given Guam's tropical climate, pack only a few warmer clothing items for occasional use or travel to nearby colder destinations.
  • Leave behind excessive winter gear that will likely not be needed for day-to-day activities in Guam.

Bulky Outdoor Furniture:

  • Choose weather-resistant outdoor furniture that can withstand Guam's tropical climate if necessary.
  • Consider purchasing local outdoor furniture instead of bringing bulky items from your current location to minimize transportation costs and potential damage.
  • Guam has a large Home Depot with ample outdoor furniture options.
  • People buy furniture from 2-3 local furniture stores and those with base access can buy from a smaller furniture store inside the bigger bases.


Researching and becoming educated about the necessary items to bring to Guam will make your transition easy and efficient. Carefully select the items for your household goods shipment and leave behind those that may not be practical so you will be well-prepared for coastal living.

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