Ask the Professionals: How to Pack for your International Move

Your International Move

Packing for any kind of move can be a stressful and messy matter, but when you throw international travel into the mix, everything becomes twice as difficult. With the international move, everything has to be planned, secured and checked before it makes the trip.

 

It may take a few extra weeks, and you may have to pay more in shipping and transport costs, but you can have a successful change.

Throw Away, Pack, or Store?

Moving forces you to go over all your belongings to determine what you’d like to take to your new destination and what is of no use. International moving adds a layer of difficulty by forcing you to decide if there are items you want to keep, but don’t necessarily want to take.

 

When taking an inventory of your household effects, label everything according to your needs – items you intend to take with you (Pack and Ship), the items you can do without (Throw Away or Sell), and last but not least the ones you need to put in storage or leave behind (Store).

 

If you’re having a hard time deciding what items go in which category, ask yourself these questions:

  • How heavy is it?
  • How well will this item travel?
  • Will the change in temperature/humidity affect it?
  • Will the electronic devices work in the new location?
  • If you store it, will the technology/usefulness be outdated when you get back?
  • Can it be easily purchased at the new destination?
  • Does it have a sentimental value?
  • Are there any restrictions regarding its transport and customs clearance at destination?

 

Unless you’re moving somewhere that new items are unusually expensive or hard to come by, your motto should be less is more. Moreover, if you’re not planning on making your international move permanent, you’ll have to remember that everything you take will eventually have to/ might come back with you.

Ship or Take With You?

Once you’ve reduced down your effects, you’ll need to determine what will be shipped with your moving company, and what will need to come in your luggage for immediate use. Because you may not have immediate access to your shipped items, it’s a good idea to keep the essentials close at hand.

 

Items to take in your luggage:

  • Enough clothes for a few weeks (pack according to the climate and weather at destination)
  • Comfortable shoes for exploring your new area
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Books, toys, and activities to keep the family entertained
  • Power cords/ Chargers
  • Bedding for immediate use
  • Towels
  • Any kitchen items you will need right away
  • Pet toys and crates
  • Laptop computer
  • Jewelry

 

Items to be shipped:

  • Furniture and other large items
  • Paintings and artwork
  • Curtains, rugs, and other décor items
  • Bedding for long-term use
  • Large appliances/electronics
  • Books
  • Pots and pans
  • Clothes
  • Any other effects you would like to receive at the new destination.

 

With the right planning, packing for an international move doesn’t have to be a hassle. Although some extra tough needs to be be put in the process it is a great way of discovering which items are the most important to you and which you can do without.