Loading your stuff into a moving truck is a process, but not one that should overwhelm you completely. Even if you need to cram stuff into boxes last minute you’ll be able to sort things out on the other side. It’s nothing some extra padding can’t take care of, right?

But when you are relocating to another country, it’s another ballgame entirely! Every little thing you pack needs to be accounted for and carefully tended. Hopefully, you’ve hired a team of professional international movers who will make the experience a smooth one from start to finish.
The journey is a long one and, due to the logistics involved, is usually an expensive one. So before you just assume that you’ll send all of your furniture off on an adventure, take a look at our packing tips for an international move. It might make more sense to make a different choice.

Is this a short-term or permanent move?

If your overseas adventures are only going to be short-term, it might make sense to secure a
storage unit and tuck the vast majority of your belongings away. Even though it will be an ongoing cost, it’s likely to be far more cost-efficient than shipping your entire life to-and-fro.

If this is a more permanent move, it’s better to deal with your belongings before you leave. Otherwise, you might find yourself still paying for that storage unit years later, with no clue what you actually have in it!

Clothing: Only pack your favorites.

It may not seem like clothing would be a big deal, but most of us have way more clothing than we think. Go through your attire and only pack the things you love and actually wear on a regular basis. Now is the time to donate or consign anything that has been hanging out in your closet, unworn, for a little too long. Besides, moving to another country sounds like a great reason to spruce up your wardrobe! Make sure whatever you choose to bring is appropriate for the climate in your new home. There’s no point in shipping a bunch of sweaters and jackets if you’re moving to the Equator.

Furniture: Sell or donate most of it.

Unless you have a family heirloom, antique, or custom-made piece that you really love, moving overseas is a great time to purchase some new furniture. Moving large items like couches, beds, and dining sets may cost even more than replacing the furniture on the other end of the journey. You also run the risk that they don’t actually fit well in your new home! You might as well allocate time to do some furniture shopping as you settle in and purchase items that you’re going to love.

Electronics: Make sure they will work.

If your international move is taking you somewhere with a different electric grid than your current one, you may find that your electronics don’t work. Adapters are fine for short-term usage, but they aren’t really meant to be permanent solutions! Be selective about the electronics that you bring. It may be that your wall-mount television would do better to find a new home before you leave. Small items, like an electric razor or your toothbrush, can do alright plugged in with your adapter for a while.

Toiletries and cleaning supplies: Leave most of them behind.

Shipping a bunch of liquids like large bottles of shampoo, cleaning products, and other toiletries is just a recipe for leakage and a waste of space. Prior to moving overseas, try to use up as many of your products as you can and then downsize to smaller, travel-size bottles that you can pack in your personal travel bag. You can always purchase new cleaning products and, these days, even have them shipped to your new house.

Kitchen: Be thorough with your cleaning and purging.

In the weeks prior to your move, go through your dishware and glasses and remove anything that is cracked or otherwise damaged. Then take a look at your appliances: will the expense of shipping them be more than the cost to replace them? Standing mixers, blenders, and other premium appliances could be worth it if the electronic conversion will work. But toasters and toaster ovens? Let them find a new home. You can always pick up a new one in your new country.

Pack a travel bag with the essentials.

Pack all of your important paperwork, toiletries, and clothes to last you at least a week. Take this bag with you separately on your travels. Depending on the length of the trip and what method you use to ship your belongings, you might need to survive in your new home without all of your stuff for a little while. Make sure you aren’t running out of the essentials or left without something important like medication or financial documents!

Ready to start your new life abroad? Let us help you with your international moving logistics!