Moving Preparation November 8, 2023

The Best Way to Pack for a Move – Tips From International Moving Experts

Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.

Gearing up for a relocation to a new country means one thing – preparing and wrapping up your belongings. Relocating across borders will require some expert insights on the best way to pack for a move. This will ensure a smooth transition to your new space, as you’ll avoid all the pitfalls and plan the packing process as stress-free as possible. Let’s embark on this journey and ensure your next relocation is a breeze.

The best way to pack for an international relocation is to start early. Begin by decluttering and organizing your belongings, then gather the necessary packaging supplies. Pay extra attention to packing fragile items securely. Package room by room and keep important documents and essentials easily accessible. Seeking advice from international moving experts or professional movers can provide invaluable guidance specific to international relocation, including handling customs regulations, shipping, and documentation.

What Are the Challenges of International Moving?

Moving overseas presents a unique set of challenges that require careful consideration and efficient packing. Unless you are relocating at the last minute, it typically takes about two months to prepare to move to another country. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that relocating abroad accounts for only 4% of all moves.

From navigating complex customs regulations and dealing with restricted items to adjusting to the climate and cultural aspects of your new destination, understanding these challenges is crucial for a successful international relocation.

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Key Considerations Before Packing for an International Move

Before you start wrapping, research the customs regulations of your destination country. Different nations have varying rules and restrictions on what you can and can’t bring with you. For example, if you’re planning to live in Europe as an American, you need to know that some prescriptions and medications are illegal. That’s how Vicks and Sudafed are illegal in Greece. Familiarizing yourself with these guidelines will prevent any unexpected complications during customs clearance.

When it comes to boxing up your clothes, the climate and culture of your new location play a significant role in determining what to bring. Different climates may require specific clothing and gear while respecting local customs and traditions is essential for a smooth transition. Understanding these aspects will help you tailor your packing list to your destination’s unique environment and lifestyle.

worker thinking about moving abroad
Take some time to think about what is worth shipping

Starting the Preparation Process on Time Is the Best Strategy to Pack for a Move

The key to a successful international relocation is to begin the preparations well in advance. After all, adequate time allows for a more organized wrapping process. To kickstart your relocation on the right foot, it’s essential to create a comprehensive packing list of things you want to bring and sort through your belongings, deciding what to take and what to leave behind.

Create a Detailed List of Things You Want to Bring

After you book international moving services, it’s time to create a list of things you want to carry over to the new country. This detailed list of your possessions not only helps you keep track of your belongings but also aids in estimating the size and quantity of packaging materials required. With this inventory list, you’ll have a clear overview of your possessions, making it easier to plan and execute a well-organized relocation.

Declutter and Decide What to Leave Behind

Moving internationally often calls for a minimalist approach. To streamline the process and reduce costs, consider what items are truly essential in your new life abroad. Embracing minimalism can help you let go of unnecessary possessions and ensure a more manageable and cost-effective relocation.

When it comes to non-essential items, downsizing is a must. Luckily, this can be handled through various options. You can choose to donate, sell, or store the items. Donating can be a great way to help others, while selling can provide extra funds. Using a storage unit can also be a solution for sentimental items or things you may need later.

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Donation box filled with clothes
Make three piles: keep, donate, throw away for the best organization

Get a Variety of Packing Supplies

Once you decide what to carry over and what not to pack, you should get the right materials and supplies. Not only will these make your relocation easier, but you’ll be sure your belongings will arrive at the new destination in excellent condition. This being said, here are the packaging materials you should get to ensure your belongings are protected for a long ride:

  • Durable boxes and protective wrapping – Sturdy and appropriately sized boxes are the backbone of a successful relocation. They help protect your items during transit. You should also invest in protective wrapping materials such as bubble wrap, packing paper, and duct tape to cushion and secure your possessions.
  • Specialized containers for fragile items – Utilize specialized containers like dish barrels, wardrobe boxes, and cushioned pouches designed to safeguard delicate possessions. These containers provide added protection and ensure that fragile items, such as glassware or artwork, arrive at your destination unharmed.
  • Innovative packing supplies for extra security – Consider using items like mattress bags, furniture covers, and stretch wraps to protect large and bulky items. Innovative wrapping materials add an extra layer of security, safeguarding your belongings throughout the journey.

Best Way to Pack for a Move – Incorporate a Variety of Different Techniques

When it comes to preparing your stuff for relocation, employing various techniques can make a significant difference in the efficiency and safety of your belongings during transportation. Here are easy but efficient techniques to follow to avoid the common relocation mistakes of not knowing how to wrap your belongings.

The Systematic Approach to Packing Room by Room

One of the most effective ways to tackle the wrapping process is by adopting a systematic approach, packing room by room. This method ensures that each area of your current home is organized and packed efficiently before moving on to the next. With a structured plan, you’ll reduce the risk of overlooking items and create a clear inventory of your possessions, which can be invaluable for unpacking and settling into your new space.

Secure Packing for Fragile and Valuable Items

We all have some valuable, fragile items that mean a lot. In this case, you need to know how to prevent things from breaking and avoid the inevitable relocation stress as much as possible. One of the most effective relocation hacks is to use custom crating solutions. For high-value items, custom crating is a top-notch solution. Custom-made crates provide a secure and snug fit, offering the utmost protection during shipping.

Maximize Space and Maintain Organization

Space is often at a premium during the relocation, especially for an international one. One effective method is using vacuum bags for compressing clothing and bedding, which reduces their bulk significantly. Additionally, consider disassembling furniture (if you have to ship some pieces) to make it more compact and nesting items together to minimize wasted space.

These space-saving hacks not only make the most of your wrapping materials but also ensure that your belongings fit into your moving containers, saving you both time and money during your international relocation. Efficient use of space can reduce the cost of shipping, ultimately saving time and money.

Labeling Strategies for Efficiency and Ease

Labeling is a simple yet powerful technique to maintain organization during your relocation. To ensure that boxes are clearly marked, use a systematic approach. Clearly label each box with a brief description of its contents and indicate the room it belongs to.

Color-coding or numbering your boxes can also simplify the process, making it easier to match boxes to their designated spaces in your new home. These labeling strategies enhance organization, streamline the unpacking process, and help you locate essential items quickly, ensuring a hassle-free transition to your new international residence.

Prepare Your Essentials Separately

When preparing for an international relocation, it’s crucial to assemble your essentials carefully. Often, it’s the little things that get overlooked, so don’t forget items like travel adapters, toiletries, and a first-aid kit. Your moving essentials should include clothing, important personal items, and a well-stocked essentials kit for the first night in your new home.

Moreover, don’t neglect essential travel documents, such as passports, visas, and any necessary permits. Keep these important documents in a secure and easily accessible location to ensure a smooth journey abroad. By packing thoughtfully, you’ll have everything you need for a successful international relocation.

Packing Electronics and Appliances Should Be Done Methodically

Some of the most common things people relocate are electronics and office equipment. When moving abroad, preparing electronics and appliances is a task that demands a methodical and cautious approach to ensure these valuable possessions reach your new destination in perfect working condition.

For electronics, start with battery and data considerations. Remove or secure batteries and back up essential data to prevent loss. When wrapping and boxing electronics, use quality cushioning materials, such as bubble wrap, and pack them snugly in boxes, ensuring they’re well-protected against potential shocks during transport.

Take Care of Larger Appliances

When it comes to large appliances, it’s crucial to follow manufacturer guidance closely. These guidelines specify the best practices for preparation and transportation. Seeking professional moving expertise is often advisable. Experienced movers can efficiently handle the disassembly and secure packaging of large appliances, reducing the risk of damage during the relocation.

Furthermore, before relocating, ensure large appliances are disconnected from water, gas, and electricity sources. This not only ensures safety during transport but also minimizes potential leaks or accidents, making your international relocation smoother and safer.

If you have to ship large devices, make sure they are appropriately secured

Hire an International Moving Company to Handle the Packing Process

When it comes to the complex and demanding task of wrapping things up for an international relocation, enlisting the services of a reputable international moving company can be a game-changer. These seasoned professionals specialize in the intricacies of international relocations, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table.

With experienced international movers and their packing services, you can offload the stress and logistics of the packing process. It will allow you to focus on the excitement and anticipation of your upcoming adventure. Their expertise and guidance can make a significant difference in the success of your international relocation.

Get in Touch With Our Experienced International Movers and Pack Without a Fuss

If the prospect of preparing for an international relocation feels overwhelming, it’s best to hire movers with experience with international moves. Not only will the entire process be a breeze and stress-free, but you won’t have to worry about whether your belongings are handled with care and expertise.

Let Shepherd International Movers take the burden off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on the excitement and anticipation of your upcoming international adventure. With our experienced international movers, you can pack without a fuss and look forward to a smooth and successful relocation. Contact us today and see why we are the best choice for you.


How Do I Determine What to Pack for an International Move?

To determine what to pack for an international relocation, assess your needs, destination climate, and available space. Declutter non-essentials and prioritize sentimental or valuable items.

How Should I Pack Fragile Items to Prevent Damage During an International Move?

To prevent damage to fragile items, wrap them individually in bubble wrap or paper, cushion them with wrapping materials, and label boxes as “fragile.”

What Are the Most Important Customs Regulations to Consider When Packing?

When preparing your belongings for an international relocation, research and comply with customs regulations, especially concerning restricted or prohibited items. Check your destination country’s specific requirements.

What Should I Include in My Essentials Kit for the First Night in a New Country?

Include essential items like toiletries, clothes, important documents, medication, and a few basic kitchen supplies in your first-night essentials kit.

How Early Should I Start Packing for an International Move?

Start the wrapping process at least eight to twelve weeks in advance to allow sufficient time for decluttering, organizing, and packing.

Can I Pack Food for My International Move?

It’s generally not recommended to bring food for an international relocation due to customs regulations and the risk of spoilage. It’s best to donate or consume perishable items.

What Steps Should I Take To Ensure My Electronics Are Safe During an International Move?

To ensure your electronics are safe during an international move, remove batteries, back up data, and pack them in their original packaging or suitable cushioned containers. Consider professional packing services for valuable electronics.

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