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Top 5 tips for a smooth overseas move
If you're planning to re-locate, all that's needed is a bit of careful planning and caution to avoid making a mistake. Here are our top 5 tips to ensure things run smoothly.
Hire a professional moving company.
It sounds like something that goes without saying, but this is the first place some people go wrong. Not hiring a professional international moving company with expertise in international moving can bring you many problems later on. Remember that when moving internationally, your goods will usually be shipped via sea and placed in a large metal container (unless it's very small and can be transported by air). Shifting might occur within this container, at sea or beforehand, and the container itself might be dropped by a crane from a great height. A professional moving company will have insurance to cover any damages, but don't forget to double check your chosen company offers such a policy. A professional company won't expose your items to such impact, where it can be avoided, but items that are packed properly should be able to withstand shock impacts if and when they occur. Don't forget to ask your moving company how familiar they are with packing for international transit and how many international moves they take care of per year. If they don't seem particularly knowledgeable, it might be best to choose another mover.
Before your big move, get organised.
Packing doesn't have to be a nightmare if you're ready for it. But before you even start, have a big clear out and ensure you've cleared everything out that you don't' need, or can't be included in your shipment. Remember that items like aerosol spray cans, paint and propane tanks are considered hazardous materials and these won't be allowed in international shipments, no matter which moving company you choose. Use Post-It notes to clearly identify what you wish to send in which shipment, and what's going into storage if it's not all leaving at the same time. Separate everything that can't be packed up, such as passports and other important travel documents, medicine and any valuable items. Sometimes family heirlooms and jewellery is best kept on your person at all times during the moving process. Things can easily get lost or damaged with so much going on.
Stay in communication.
When you're moving, it's important that the people involved are easily contactable, and that you yourself are allow for easy and constant communication. Keep your mobile phone with you at all times and double check the time of your departure and/or arrival. Email all important phone numbers, times of arrival and departure, and dates to yourself and all other parties involved in the move. Also, if there's anyone else your moving company can contact upon failure to reach you, make sure they know who that person is.
Manage your time properly.
Time can run away with the best of us, but with things being so hectic and busy, time can easily become the enemy during a move. Ask your international moving company for an approximate delivery schedule and make loose plans based on that. Leave a sensible amount of time between your boxes and items leaving, and actually departing yourself. Remember to allow for setbacks, like bad weather, traffic and other mishaps that can happen throughout the moving process. For most overseas points, it will take several weeks before your shipment arrives, so remember to take anything you might need before then out of your packing. From the U.S. to most western European points, it will take at least a month for you to be reunited with your shipment. To inland countries like Russia, it could be over two months. Keep in mind that customs, medical clearance and busy periods could add days or weeks to your shipment's transit time, no matter what your estimated date for arrival is.
Know the rules and regulations.
It's very important to review the rules and regulations for importing goods into your country of destination, before you plan anything else. Different countries mean different rules when it comes to what's allowed in and what's not, which may affect the cost and time of shipping. Different documents must be signed for different things and some countries might require you to be there in person, before your goods are imported. Having your shipment sit at the port, pending customs clearance in your absence could see you stacking up some unwanted costs, so it pays to ask what's expected. Some countries prohibit the import of firearms, and even alcohol. Perishables are usually prohibited altogether. To learn more about the regulations in your chosen country, check with the moving company overseeing the move, and if you have any other questions, check with your local Embassy, who will usually detail this information on their website.
The following is a short list of essential things to consider and do before any overseas move.
Arrange with telephone and utility providers to have everything switched on when you arrive at your new home.
Close down any utility accounts at your old home and arrange for any meter readings on the last day.
Change your address with your Bank, Building Society, Credit Card Company, Insurance Companies.
Arrange doctor and dentist at your new home. Have any medical records transferred.
Mail can be forwarded to your new address, even overseas. Contact the post office for details.
Clear out items that are not to be moved. Donate to charity, hold a garage sale or put stuff on eBay. This could help reduce your moving expenses.
Drain fuel from lawn mowers, motor cycles etc.
Discard paints, chemicals and any flammable liquids that cannot be moved.
Cancel any routine services such as newspapers, window cleaners etc.
Finalize any financial arrangements before moving overseas.