Each move is different, but some things stay the same. Whether you’re going to live in the next town, or you’re moving internationally, an excellent moving day preparation will make the whole process easier. You’ll still have to do some chores, but being well organized will allow you to tackle it like a pro.
“Plan for what it is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.” While Sun Tzu didn’t have the relocation process in mind, you can easily apply the quote to your move. And for shipping overseas, even more so. Each time we move (and Americans move A LOT, almost 12 times during their lifetime,) we can do it in two ways. We can do it chaotically and without a plan or systematically. No matter what your reasons to move are, doing all the preparatory steps right before you move abroad will allow you to have some breathing room, avoid stress, and handle it all like a pro.
What’s Different About Relocating Abroad?
People who relocate across the world have different plans for the future. Some find jobs for Americans in Europe, while others move abroad alone to study. An InterNations survey shows that around 20% of expats plan on staying for more than five years, and up to 34% say their stay is possibly permanent. But while the main thing that’s different from interstate relocations is that you’re in for a culture shock, most other things remain the same. You still have to determine what to pack when relocating abroad and find a reliable overseas shipping company. And above all, you have to figure out one thing – How can I make the moving day easier?
First of All, Prepare by Starting on Time
If you wonder, “How do I start preparing to move out,” the answer is to give yourself enough time to tackle each task. The preparations should start as early as six to eight months ahead of your move-out date, especially when you’re planning to live overseas. Besides obtaining documents needed to travel abroad, there are other tasks you can do early on.
Create a Checklist and Keep Track of Each Step
You’ve probably realized it’s better to keep everything in check before you step into the unknown. Since the start of the Corona pandemic, we’ve learned to keep ourselves safe and to stick to safety precautions, especially when we plan to travel abroad during Covid-19. But, besides placing enough masks and disinfectants into our bag, the best way to make sure nothing is forgotten is to create a relocating checklist. You can use it to make a general timeline of all tasks that need to be handled so that everything is ready when the movers arrive.
From Investing in Movers to the Move-Out Date – You Should Know How Much Money You’ll Need
If you’ve contacted a shipping company, you should know how much money you’ll require for their different services. Perhaps you’ve decided to invest in overseas shipping of vehicles or maybe storage service for the belongings you won’t be taking with you. If you add some unexpected expenses and some money to tip the professional crew for the job well done, you’re all set.
Utilities Should Be On Until You Leave
We are pretty sure you didn’t forget to put the disconnection date for your utilities on the relocating abroad checklist. But before you contact your providers, keep in mind that everything should be connected until you leave. When the professionals arrive, they’ll need at least water and electricity through the whole move-out process.
Your Moving Day Preparation Can Not Go Without Decluttering
There’s a tip that can help you save up, allow you to pack up faster, and relieve some of that relocating stress and tension. It’s simple – declutter thoroughly, and make sure you don’t skip any corner of your home. After you finish up, you should have three different piles:
- The garbage pile. All of us are probably guilty of keeping possessions that are no longer usable. We all have different reasons we keep anything broken – it may have some sentimental value, or we believe we’ll get around fixing it. But the truth is, we seldom do. That’s why this is the perfect moment to get rid of it and lower the price of the move at the same time. You can also contact the relocation company and determine which items are not allowed on a truck and later shipped overseas.
- A pile of stuff for donating. Among the belongings you no longer use, you will probably find some possessions in fairly good condition. These can range from furniture and mattresses to appliances and even clothes you no longer want to wear. These can all be donated to a charity nearby, and you can contact them to figure out what they’re interested in.
- A pile of belongings you can sell. You probably own some things that are in excellent condition but couldn’t donate. These can be decorations or designer shoes – anything you don’t want to drag across the world with you. You can throw a garage sale if you have enough time or sell some of these objects online.
While having fewer items to load on a truck and ship overseas will lower the cost of the move, having less to unpack will provide you with more time for adjusting to a new country.
There’s No Packing Without the Proper Materials
Before you even think about packing your household items, you should obtain all the materials and tools that will secure your belongings for relocating to another country. Get your hands on enough boxes of different sizes. They should be sturdy and durable, and you’ll mostly need medium-sized ones. Some quality heavy-duty tape is recommended to keep the lids thoroughly shut to avoid any mishaps while the boxes are carried. Packing paper, foam peanuts, and bubble wrap are essential for cushioning, and you should generously use them when you pack fragile items. There are also certain tools that can make the packing much easier: the tape dispenser, scissors, and a few markers.
Pack Up Some Things by Yourself
Even if you’ve decided to invest in a packing service, which is a wise choice, especially if you’re relocating abroad, there are some items you can pack by yourself. You can start with seasonal shoes and clothes and your decorations as well. Anything that you know you won’t use until you start unpacking can freely go into boxes.
Pro-Move Hack – Label Each Box
Once you’ve finished with the packaging, put the marker to use and label each box. You can place labels that will point into which room the box will go or number them. You can create an inventory list where you can write down the contents of each package or simply create a photo inventory with your phone. This will make everything a lot easier, both for you and your movers, as they will know where to place the packages once they unload them from the truck. It will also make the unpacking process a piece of cake, so you can focus on tips for learning a new language.
After You’ve Packed, Leave Everything Clean
As much as it’s crucial to find expat communities in your new country, it’s also essential to leave the previous home in a neat condition for the new owners. Your home should be cleaned from top to bottom, with particular attention to the bathroom and the kitchen, because we usually have most grime there. Arm yourself with bleach, disinfectants, degreaser, and other chemicals. Don’t forget that a mop and a bucket, along with the vacuum cleaner, will play a crucial role in sprucing up the place. Whether you’ll take each item with you or leave something in a storage unit, you should also thoroughly clean each object.
Your Car Should Be Ready Before the Shipping Company Picks It Up
If you’ve decided to ship your car overseas, it should be adequately prepared, too. It should be emptied of all the personal belongings (or check with the company you’ve hired if there’s anything you can leave in it) and cleaned. Take photos of any exterior damage, and prepare all the documents to hand over to the company’s team when they come to pick up the car.
It’s Easier if You Find a Sitter
How do you survive a moving day if you’re relocating with kids? If you have a family, you probably know for a fact that taking care of children on the move-out date will be hard. There will be a lot of unknown people going through your home, and you should be available if they need any additional help or information from you. That’s why it’s best to find a babysitter to take care of your kids while the professional crew works.
Similar advice is valid for pets, too. Since the front door of the house will be open that whole day, you should either designate a room where they will be kept or find someone that will keep them until you finish up with movers.
What Should You Do the Night Before You Move?
If you are relocating to another country for love, your mind is probably already set on the move and the moment you’ll meet with your significant other. But there are a few other tasks to be tackled before the professionals enter your home. Remember to contact the company you’ve hired to check if everything will go as planned. Go through the house and see if there’s anything you’ve missed to pack, and decide if you’ll disassemble bulky furniture items or you’ll let the professionals do it. Prepare some snacks and refreshments and some cash for the tips. Free up a parking space and the drive away so the relocating crew can have access to your house to carry your belongings.
Your Home Is Now Ready for Movers
If you’ve followed through with our guide, you can relax because everything is tackled the right way. When you have the whole process under your control, you’ll be under a lot less stress, so you can enjoy the start of your new life. You’ll even have more time to think about how to keep in touch with friends and focus on living in another country. It’s a start of a new adventure, so you should relish it to the fullest.