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International Moving

A guide for moving to another country

As expected, an international move has many of the same issues as a move within the country. In addition, there are some other issues which need to be addressed, as well as some things which do not have to be dealt with. As always, if you do research and plan ahead, an international move can be a fairly simple process.

One of the most important details is your choice of moving company. Your best choice is a company with international experience. They will be more prepared to help you deal with any paperwork required from the destination country. Also, they are more experienced with packing, loading and unloading that is required for international moves many of which can take several weeks or months.

When packing for an international move keep in mind your new destination as well as the length of time you will be there. You might choose to store many of your items if the move is short term. Also, the climate may warrant leaving part of your wardrobe behind and/or purchasing new clothes when you arrive. Also, many countries have different electrical standards, therefore you may choose to leave some, or many of your electrical appliances and items behind, and purchase new ones when you arrive. In addition, many countries do not have the same storage/closet space that most American homes have. You will want to keep this in mind when packing your belongings for an international move. Finally, an international move is a good opportunity to really clean your house and get rid of any unnecessary items, paperwork, books, etc, which you do not want to pack and ship to an international destination.

When you start to pack your possessions, you need to keep in mind how your possessions will be transported. They may be shipped by air, sea or moving vehicle, and this will depend on your final destination. For some moves, you may even have the option to choose the method of transport. As international moves take longer, and cover more area, your items are more likely to be shifted about. Therefore, you need to take extra care in packing. Some moving companies will offer to pack your items for you, at an additional charge, and this maybe worth it in the end. Also, keep in mind that if you do your own packing, some companies will only offer insurance for the shipping portion of the move and not for the transport from you home to the shipping company or from the receiving destination to your new home. Also, keep I mind that your shipment may very well be inspected by customs officers, and they will be subject to being opened and searched. This is another chance for your items to shift and/or be broken or damaged.

When packing, remember to keep in mind that many times international moves are delayed. Therefore, do not pack anything that you will need immediately up on arrival. Take as many if these items with you. Also, you will not want to pack valuables such as jewelry, as most international movers will not pack, ship or insure these items.

Once you have decided on a moving company, they will, more than likely, want to see the contents of what will be shipped before giving you a quote. As most international quotes are based on weight or volume of the load, it is a good idea to let them do this. In addition to a quote, an international mover will also create an inventory of your items as well as include any additional costs and paperwork. The additional costs might be taxes, port/airport charges, import/export taxes, and any custom charges.

More Moving Tips & Guide

  • International Driving
  • Overseas Move
  • Packing Guide
  • Packing Glossary
  • What Not to Pack
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