Country Guides November 12, 2021

How to Move Efficiently When Moving Overseas

Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

You must admit that moving internationally is a dream come true. But even future expats should know how to move efficiently and get the hang of each task. Truthfully, when you decide to move to another part of the world, you need to be efficient more than ever in staying on track.

Moving across the world is exciting and adventurous, and you feel like preparing your whole life for this moment. You’ve probably looked at maps since you were a little kid, and now your big day is getting closer. Perhaps you’ve even taken lessons in foreign languages, so breaking the language barrier will come as easy as pie for you. But before you hop on the plane and fly away into a new life, you should take some notes about how to efficiently pack to move and handle all the other chores.

Why Knowing How to Move Efficiently Makes Us Less Stressed

We get stressed about a lot of things in life, and it’s no different with relocations. After all, no matter how much international moving services help us in our transition, other things can get us to panic. It could be trivial matters, like forgotten clothes at the dry-cleaners or something more serious, like skipping to disconnect the utilities. To avoid these nerve-wracking situations and allow ourselves to take a deep breath before we move overseas and dive into the unknown, we should turn our organizational skills up a notch.

Moving to Another Country? Free Estimate

How Can I Make Moving Easier? With a Binder, To-Do List, and Determination

Determination is something you already have since you’ve already decided to move to another country for love or a career. Now, how do you move efficiently with a binder? Grab one, and start making a relocating abroad checklist which you will use to write down each and every task you should tackle before the move-out day. Besides your checklist, sort out all the other move-related documents and papers (along with all the receipts and contracts) and place them in a binder. It will be the ultimate relocation hack because your important things will be in one place, and you can revisit and check to-do list at any given time.

weekly planner
You can also use a smart device to plan your move and write down all the details

Some Other Early Preparatory Tips You Can Use

So, you’ve decided to move to one of the friendliest countries in the world. But before you throw your important documents and clothes into one bag and package fragile items into another, there is some stuff to be dealt with first. You will have to consider just how much money you’ll require, who to notify of your move, and other important tasks.

Estimate How Much Money You Should Have In Your Budget for an Overseas Relocation

No matter whether you’re relocating abroad alone or with family, this is probably one of the most expensive ventures you have ever undertaken. That’s why it’s essential that you think thoroughly about just how much you’ll be needing. Calculate all the expenses you will have along the way, from overseas vehicle shipping if you intend to take your car with you to money you’ll require in the first few months while you’re adjusting to a new country.

One of the Wise Tips Is to Notify Everyone Important Before You Leave

Although we tend to postpone calling the utility companies when we move somewhere near, this should be done in the early preparatory stage when we’re about to be living overseas. Contact your utility providers, update them on your move, and agree on the disconnection date. Do the same with all the other providers.

The next step is to notify your bank and all the other financial institutions. The USPS has an online form, and so does the IRS. The state tax agency has instructions on the website that is specific for the state you’re currently in. Cancel all your subscriptions, contact insurance companies, and above all, tell your friends and family. You can check out some advice on the address change in the video below.

Contact an International Moving Company and Reserve Their Truck Right on Schedule

This is the point when you contact movers and agree on the terms. But before you call anyone, be sure your movers are reliable. If you don’t have any companies that your friends and family recommended, search for them online. First of all, check the reviews left by their customers, and then look at their background. If they went through several name changes, it might be a sign of a fraudulent past.

The most certain way to check if a company is legitimate is to see if they have a USDOT number with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Narrow down your picks to no more than six or seven companies, and then contact them to get an estimate. Agree on the type of packing service you’d like to use, and inform yourself how shipping a car overseas works.

movers lifting boxes
Movers will make the whole move feel effortless

When Should You Start Packing to Move? Not Before You Declutter Some Items

One of the biggest causes of relocation stress is not whether you have made the right decision to move away. Nor is keeping in touch with friends once you settle in a completely different part of the world. It’s the dreaded and highly resented packing process. It tends to lower the levels of excitement even in the most adventurous people because it’s hard and back-breaking work.

But there’s one specific thing among all the tips that will help you a lot – decluttering your home. And you shouldn’t consider it a spring cleanup; because you will move abroad, you should purge your home without having second thoughts, just like Marie Kondo would do. It will help you in several ways; you’ll have a lot less to box up and fewer items to pay a storage service for. Even your move will cost significantly less because there will be fewer goods in the back of a relocation truck.

Divide Your Unwanted Possessions

You should begin with the purge at least one month ahead to give yourself enough time for other things. Once you start decluttering, divide all the possessions you consider unneeded into three groups:

  • A pile for throwing away into the garbage. This part of decluttering is probably the simplest to get over with. Take each broken, damaged, and overall unusable item (this includes that favorite sweater that has holes in it) and throw them into a garbage bag. If you’ve chosen one of the best cities to live in Europe, you won’t need to drag any dead weight with you, so leave it behind.
  • Make a pile of stuff you can donate. There’s probably a ton of items that are still usable, but you’re not even considering taking them with you to another country. Old but working appliances, shoes, clothes, books, and other household goods will mean a world to someone in need. Contact Goodwill, Salvation Army, or any other local charity and agree on the pickup date.
  • The third pile is perhaps the trickiest one. It should consist of all the items that aren’t for throwing away, not eligible for donating, but which you still won’t take with you. Because let’s be honest – those designer shoes have never fit your style, after all. These items could make you some money to add to your relocation budget. Organize a yard sale, or simply sell them online, and you’re good to go!

You can always give a thing or two to your friends as a farewell gift and a cherished memory. All the other belongings you’re not sure what to do with can be secured in self-storage units.

aid boxes
Set aside goods for donation while you declutter

One of the Best Tips Is to Go Ahead and Stock up on Boxes

Before you decide what to pack when relocating abroad, you should obtain all the packing materials and supplies you will need to box up all your belongings. Buy some quality sturdy boxes, tape (to keep the lids of the boxes in check,) different cushioning materials such as bubble wrap, foam peanuts, and packaging paper. Get some plastic wrap, a heavy-duty tape dispenser, scissors, and a marker. You can obtain furniture blankets as well, although it’s best to leave the furniture to the professionals (you can do it with the rest of your belongings, too.)

Woman standing surrounded by boxes
Get enough quality supplies to box everything in a jiffy but leave the furniture to professionals

What Order Should I Pack My House to Move?

Once you get to boxing your stuff, you will come to think that it was easier to choose one of the best countries to live in than to pack up your household. That’s where movers come in to take this task off your back and place your stuff into boxes. If you still want to take care of some of your possessions by yourself but you’re not sure where to start, it’s best to tackle a less-used room first. Once you empty them completely, you can use this space to stack all the packages, so they won’t clutter your home.

What Is the Most Efficient Way to Pack for a Move? Packing by Room as the Best Strategy

The most efficient way to pack for moving as the move-out date approaches is to enter one room after another and not leave until everything is placed in boxes and properly secured. Although a bit of good advice for a local or long-distance move is to keep the content of the dressers inside the drawers, with an international move, it’s out of the question. Once you tackle the belongings you want to box by yourself, let the movers take care of all the furniture and breakables. They will disassemble all the bulky furniture pieces, so they can easily fit into the back of a truck.

Labeling the Boxes by Room Only Takes a Moment or Two

Are you wondering how to secure more time for yourself to overcome the culture shock and search for some expat communities in the new country? Believe it or not, by labeling the packages. While you close the lids of each box, label them by the room to which they belong. Or you could take it up one level and number them while writing down the contents on a list. Another one of those awesome tips is to number them and take a quick photo of the contents with your phone. It will make unpacking a swift task, and if you’re moving with dogs, you will have enough free time to take them out for walks and exploration of the new neighborhood.

writing on a box
Don't skip the labeling part for an easier unpacking

The Big Day Is Coming Soon, and You’re More Than Ready For a New Beginning

No move is simple, and it’s emphasized the most when we leave our home and set sail for a different and completely new part of the world. But people who organize everything on time are free of stress and can freely focus on how to live abroad. In the midst of all the fuss that is a relocation, don’t forget to take care of yourself. It means you should get enough sleep, eat regularly, and keep to your daily routines until the day comes to move to what you consider one of the best places to live abroad.

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