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Your Pre-Move Checklist for International Relocation

International moving offers exciting new opportunities. However, it is not without challenges. There’s so much to do in order to prepare for the next stage of your life in a new country. The excitement can fade as stress takes over.

There are steps you can take to minimize the stress. Below is a checklist to help you stay organized and relieve some of the pressure before your big move.

Set a schedule. There will be a lot to do, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all of your tasks. Having a timeframe in which you need to accomplish everything will help you stay focused.

Decide whether you’ll be renting or selling your current home. Your decision will be based on how long you will be living abroad. If you’re currently renting, notify your landlord that you won’t be renewing the lease.

Sort your belongings. You will need to decide what you are taking with you and what you are giving away, selling or throwing out. There is only so much you can bring abroad. Also, as you comb through piles of old clothes, books and other things you find in closets and on shelves, you’ll realize you don’t want to take everything with you.

Determine what you will be shipping abroad. Even after sorting through your belongings, you still might want to whittle down the number of things you’re taking with you. You may decide that you won’t be shipping the antique coffee table your grandmother left you and that you’d rather put it into storage or sell it.

Find a shipping company. If you have friends and family who have undertaken similar moves, ask them for recommendations. Another way to find references is to join an online forum of people who have moved internationally (especially to your destination). They can offer you advice on which company to choose. Once you’ve selected the company, set the date you wish to move.

Select storage options, if applicable. If you’re moving abroad for a short period of time, you might want to store the belongings you won’t be shipping. Again, ask family and friends for recommendations about storage facilities.

Get packing. Packing can be the least pleasant part of the moving process. While there probably isn’t anything you can do to fall in love with it, you can do some things to take the sting out of packing. For starters, put on your favourite upbeat music. Listening to something you enjoy will make the activity a little more bearable. Next, take a marker and write numbers on your boxes. Then, write down everything that you’ve put in each box. Although it might sound time consuming, it will make unpacking (also an unpleasant process) easier and more organized.

Don’t pack everything. Remember that you won’t be seeing the stuff you’re packing for a while. Do not pack any important documents such as passports and visas in any of the boxes you plan to ship.

Set the date for switching off your utilities. Contact whichever service providers supply your water, electricity, gas and Internet. The date the utilities are cut off should be the day you move. You don’t want to spend your last few days in a home without power, gas or water.
Make time to spend with family and friends. Why is this item on a checklist about preparing for an international move? Spending time with your loved ones can reduce the stress and other negative feelings associated with such a big lifestyle change. Also, you most likely won’t see them in person for quite a while.

Staying organized and optimistic will help you overcome the challenges of an international move and be excited for this new opportunity. Good luck!