A good friend lived in Washington and needed to find a mover that could handle an international relocation. He therefore did some research on what were the common pitfalls of moving across the seas. He learned a lot! Here are five of the biggest mistakes that he uncovered:
- Hiring a moving company without international experience: Most likely, if you are relocating a residence, your goods will be shipped by ocean rather than by air. Your worldly goods will be loaded into a large metal container, then onto a big ship via a big crane. The containers are stacked, and the innards can get jostled when moved or from ship movements. An experienced international mover will know how to safely pack the containers to minimize damage. They will also give you packing tips for an international move. Listen carefully to them and follow their instructions!
- Pre-move disorganization: Moving a full house overseas requires careful organization. For instance, you may be putting some of your belongings into long-term stateside storage – you must clearly mark and separate this portion from the stuff going overseas. You can use sticky notes or different colored paper, but make sure it’s obvious. Organize valuables that you are going to carry with you rather than pack, such as your passport, expensive jewels and family heirlooms. Put all this material into a special closed-off room inaccessible to the movers. Finally, get rid of items that cannot be stored or shipped, such as aerosol cans.
- Don’t turn off your house phone before departing: Sure, you’ve got a cell phone, but suppose you lose it or forget to charge it. You want to ensure your moving company can reach you with any last -minute questions or information. Also, set up an email account in the clouds, such as Gmail.
- Leave some wiggle room: If your flight is scheduled for 5PM, don’t count on your movers getting done by, say, noon. Much better to fly out on the next day. Also, get a firm understanding of when your goods will be delivered. You may want to stay in a hotel once you get where you’re going, at least until your stuff arrives. Pack heavy coats in your suitcase if moving to a cold climate – don’t wait for the movers to deliver them.
- Understand what you can import: Your new country may have strict laws about what cannot be imported, such as perishables. Also, verify whether you personally have to be there to accept your shipment. If your shipment sits at a port waiting for customs clearance, you will probably be hit with hefty port storage fees.