Moving Internationally – Five Tips to Consider
Moving internationally has the potential to be quite a daunting prospect. Whether you’re moving for business or pleasure, a glance around your current home will reveal just how many items you’ve come to own. You’ll find yourself beginning to puzzle over the importance of every dish, bedsheet, and stick of furniture in your home. How do you know the difference between an essential item and an item you want purely for sentimental reasons? There are a few things you can think about to help make your international move a bit easier.
Consider the Particulars of Moving Internationally
What country are you moving to? Where are you staying? How long will you be there? Initially, these may seem like obvious questions, but the answers make all the difference in the world when it comes to moving internationally.
For instance, if you’re moving to Europe from America, then many appliances you currently own will not operate at the correct voltage. It doesn’t make sense to bring them with you. You’re better off buying them when you get there. Taking your furniture with you, especially heavy, bulky, or antique items, isn’t really necessary for a temporary move. If you’re only going to be away for a year or so, it may make more sense to store them. However, packing these items for the trip makes more sense if you’re moving permanently because you want your new space to feel like home.
You need to consider your new accommodations as well. You won’t be able to fit everything from your large two-story home into a smaller townhome or cottage. If the place that you’re moving to is too small for all your belongings, you will need to downsize. Once you’ve considered these particulars, moving to the next step is a little easier.
Evaluate and Declutter
One of the most important factors to keep in mind when moving internationally is that the more you decide to take with you, the more expensive your move will be. When we stay in one place for an extended period of time, it’s only natural that we accrue possessions that we may not necessarily need. Move around your house and evaluate your belongings. Consider how practical it would be to have them moved a very great distance. Also, consider how easy and possibly cost-effective it would be to replace that item in your new country.
For example, your great-great-grandfather’s handmade china cabinet may carry very great sentimental value to you, and that makes it irreplaceable. You may want to take it with you, especially if you have a use for it and have space in your new home. On the other hand, maybe the dining room table you’ve had for over a decade is awkward, clunky, and has water stains all over it. Easy enough just to purchase a new one in your new country.
As you evaluate your belongings, you can begin to declutter your house. You can sell, give away, or throw out anything you’re not taking with you. This is helpful for a number of reasons, one of which being that you’ll be able to visually see what you have left. Hopefully, it will be less than what you started with!
Make a Packing List
Either during or after your decluttering phase, make a physical packing list. Go from room to room in your house and write down every item you’re taking with you. Do one room at a time, and be thorough. Save the list so that you can check everything in when you get to your home in the new country. That way, you’ll have a tangible inventory of all your possessions. Should something get lost in the move, you’ll know right away.
Making a packing list will help the moving company as well. They will know what to pack and what not to pack based on whether or not an item is on the list. Most companies are very organized and experienced with this, often making their own inventory, but it doesn’t hurt for you to have an additional one for your records.
Keep Important Items Accessible
When moving internationally, make sure you keep your important documents available for easy access. This includes necessary things you may need in your travels, like your passport, visas, or other similar documentation. Most people like to file important documents away for safe keeping, but while you’re actively traveling it’s crucial to have these things ready to present if the need arises. You want to be able to show any inquiring authority that you are who you say you are and that you are in the country legally. If you have other important legal documents that you’d rather not risk losing in the move, such as your birth certificate, marriage license, or other certificates, pack them in your suitcase.
If you have any valuables, like jewelry or small family heirlooms, make sure you pack them with you when you travel. Likewise, any medications you may need should be kept either on your person or in an accessible carry-on or suitcase.
If your movers come to pack your things before you leave the country, you don’t want to risk being without these important items. Keep them entirely separate from the rest of your inventory to avoid any confusion.
Pack Items that Will Help Get You Settled
Upon arriving at your home in your new country, it will take some time for you to find reliable sources for the things you need. A few days, possibly even weeks may pass before you locate a place to buy your daily essentials. So, you will want to pack some items that will help get you settled in your new home, such as toiletries, bed sheets, towels, etc.
You’ll also need to account for the time it will take to find a doctor you like and trust. If you’re on medication, make sure you have enough of a supply to last you a few weeks.
It’s unlikely you’ll be able to unpack everything in one fell swoop. Make sure your boxes are clearly and accurately labeled, so you know which boxes contain your essentials – the things you’ll need straight away, like dishes, silverware, curtains, pillows, blankets, and so on. Making your home instantly liveable is important, and you don’t want to waste your time thumbing through pictures and decorations when you have nothing to eat your food with.
Following these tips can help make moving internationally a bit easier to deal with. If you still have questions, Meelheim’s Transfer and Storage, Inc., can help. As an authorized agent for National Van Lines, International Division, Meelheim’s is well-equipped to handle your international move. As with all of our moves, we can guide you through what you will need for your specific move. Check out our moving checklist to help you be prepared and stay organized. Contact us today to arrange an estimate with one of our knowledgeable representatives.