Packing up your life to relocate overseas takes on a whole new meaning from packing a suitcase for your holidays. It starts months before you move as you start to de-clutter all your belongings, as every square metre costs and the new home may not be as large as your current one.
Different countries operate on different voltages as well, so many household appliances and electrical devices will not work in the new location. What is the weather like in the new location? A very different wardrobe may be required.
At the same time as de-cluttering it is also a good time to buy new things that may not be available in the new location, or a lot more expensive there. But before you buy anything new check the rules for importing into that country. Liquids and plants are often not allowed, and import tax can be high on some items if purchased within the last six months.
Yes, as you may have gathered, even packing required a lot of research! In the electronic age, baking up all your data is particularly important. Our preferred method is to buy portable hard drives and back up everything twice. One hard drive goes in air freight, the other in hand luggage as for us all our photos and hence our memories are pretty much digital. Computers are easily replaced but the data isn’t. If you subscribe to on-line Cloud Storage, then that too is a great method.
As the moving day gets closer you will need to separate your personal luggage from the main removals, and if going further which will include a sea shipment of 6-8 weeks, often a smaller air freight is organised for initial items. I highly recommend you clear out a space in your house and tape the floor with the space you have for these different divisions. Get out the suitcases you will use as you fly to the new destination. Beyond clothes, we do make sure our computer technology and peripherals like printers and scanners (if they are compatible) arrive as fast as possible, as with any move paperwork is King and these days access to the internet to be able to print out forms and photo ID are a speedy help.
Packing for a Container Shipment
If your relocation means packing up a container and sending all your possessions on a sea journey to another country, then it is most likely you will need the help of a professional removals company. There are many rules and regulations to follow. For removals insurance to be valid it is common that all the packing is done by the removals company. Any boxes you pack yourself may not be covered for breakages. This is so they know that things were in one piece and in working order at the start of the journey.
But also remember that packers are paid to NOT think about your things, they do not really look at what they are packing - it's just an item to go in a box. They will pack everything that isn't screwed down. We have had local telephone directories packed (even though we had said not to) and several friends have had their full rubbish sack packed with everything else - resulting in a very smelly surprise at the other end.
The video below from a New Zealand company describes a lot of the issues very well and in a humorous way that appeals to me. Disclaimer: I have no endorsement for this firm, I just enjoyed their advertising and found the tips to be on point.
This website is designed to aid you make the jump overseas far more enjoyable and informed. Check out my free information downloads.