Europeans are known around the world for castles, art, music, great food, and historical sites. While these items, along with family, a job, or education may be the reason you’ve decided to skip to the other side of the pond, they don’t provide any insight on what you should bring with you when moving to Europe. Thankfully, this article will save you a lot of time, space, and headaches.
Before any major move, it’s good practice to reduce what you own. Donate, sell, and store items that aren’t practical to bring with you. This will reduce the cost of your move simply because there’s less to transport. Once you’ve done this, go through everything again. Most of us are guilty of underestimating how much we own. On the same note, you’ll want to ensure that you don’t get rid of easy to move items and end up purchasing again after your move.
Expat Pro Tip – Living spaces in Europe are often smaller than in North America. This includes elevators, doorways, and staircases for moving your furniture into your home. Think twice before packing your oversized armchair. It may not fit.
These are the items you use in your everyday life like clothes, medication, computers, and converter plugs. You’ll want these items to arrive at the same time you do. Bring portable battery packs and chargers to allow for using your cellphone more often. You will likely use Apps like Google Maps and be in regular contact with family post move and won’t want to end up with a dead battery. Many phone providers offer universal ports for purchase so you can take and charge your phone in virtually any country. Check the climate around the time of your move and pack accordingly for what goes with you on your flight and what arrives via shipment/air freight. Also, if you’re moving anywhere that they never see snow, sell or store your skis, snow parka, or any other items that you know you won’t be using. If you’re an avid reader consider buying an E-reader because books are heavy to move and take up a lot of space.
Expat Pro Tip – Before you purchase a large converter for your appliances, for several hundred dollars, consider the practicality of it as you’ll need to move it around your new home, particularly in the kitchen. It may be easier just to purchase a few new appliances that will work with the plug outlets in your new home country after your move, depending on your needs.
Documents & Legal Items
Paperwork is an important facet of your move. Marriage licenses, visa, employment letters, insurance policies, wills, passports, prescriptions, credit cards, letters of entry, housing documentation, tax documents, and more should come with you (on your person) during your move. It also never hurts to make copies of these items before you move and have someone you trust keep the spare set in a filing cabinet, lockbox or safe should something get lost in the shuffle.
Expat Pro Tip – Those bringing computers with them should take the time when they arrive to change the settings on their systems to reflect their new time zone, including the standard European date format (day, month, year) and adjust all margins in your programs for A4 paper instead of letter. Since paper is a different size, don’t bother bringing your printer with you.
Some framed family items or an old stuffed animal might be the personal item that helps make your new location feel like home. Many ex-pats find that the holidays are the hardest time of year and it helps them feel less homesick if they ‘splurge’ on packing some Christmas or seasonal decorations to remind them of past traditions. Sentimental items could also include a small amount of dry food items that you won’t be able to get in Europe but will miss.
Expat Pro Tip – Arrange for close friends or family to visit you a few months in. Not only can they bring you a few additional personal or sentimental items on their travels, but they can also help you explore your new home through the eyes of a tourist.
Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert
We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. To learn more about Orbit, contact us at 416-661-4228.