Ten Tips for International Moving
International moving can be stressful – you’re leaving the comfort of your home in a country you know and going to someplace with different customs and possibly a different language. How can you make an experience such as this smooth and (almost) painless? Read on for ten quick and helpful tips that will guide you through the process of an international move.
- Get organized early in the process. Start sorting through your belongings to decide what you’ll be taking with you and what won’t be making the journey. If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start, think about items or clothing you haven’t used or worn in over a year. Whatever you haven’t been using or wearing should be donated (if it’s in good condition) or thrown out.
- Set a schedule. Take out your calendar and create a timeline for your move. Work backwards from the date when you’ll be leaving. Your belongings should be shipped just before you leave, so that you don’t spend too much time in an empty home. Make sure that your utilities are still connected until you leave – you don’t want the added stress of living in a place with no water, heat or electricity.
- Research moving companies. This might sound like a daunting task, but it’s as easy as talking to your friends, family and colleagues and asking them for references. These people can also tell you which companies to avoid. If you don’t know anyone who’s gone through the process of an international move, ask the people you do know if they know anyone. Social media can often be a great tool for this.
- Obtain quotes from moving companies. Call three to five moving companies and ask for quotes for their services. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what these quotes include. Remember, you get what you pay for. The cheapest quote isn’t always the best quote, because that company might skimp on important things like quality shipping materials. Pick a quote that sounds reasonable but includes as much as possible. It’s all about balance.
- Decide what will be shipped and what will come with you in your luggage. Once you’ve settled on what you’re going to take with you, you’re going to have to go through a second round of sorting. There are things you’ll need immediately, such as clothes. However, if you’re moving from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere and it will be summer when you arrive, you won’t need your winter clothes. Also bear in mind that shipping can take weeks depending on your destination.
- Keep important and necessary items separate. You’ll need your passport and any other crucial documents, so don’t pack them, and make sure they don’t find their way into a box that will be shipped. Also, if you’re traveling with children, keep their toys or colouring books with you so they’ll have something to do on the plane.
- Be ready for the movers. Make sure that you’ve sorted out what’s going to be shipped and what’s coming with you in your luggage. The more prepared you are, the smoother the move will go.
- Number each box and make a list of its contents. This step will save you time when you unpack. You won’t be stuck asking, “Where are the oven mitts?” Instead, you can pull out your list and say, “The oven mitts are in box three.”
- Stay organized through the process. If you’re not a naturally organized person, this will be difficult. While it might seem like a lot of effort, the payoff will be well worth it when your international move goes off without a hitch.
- Maintain a sense of humour. Although being organized is a very helpful trait to have during the moving process, be aware that things will happen that are beyond your control. You have to learn to laugh at some of these things and move on.
With these tips in mind, you are well on your way to ensuring that your international move will be carried out with a minimum of stress and headaches. And that’s well worth it every time.