Moving abroad for any reason can be one of the biggest and most daunting changes you’ll make, bringing with it a drastic lifestyle change, the opportunity to learn about and indulge in a new culture, as well as the chance to meet new people from all parts of the world. You may feel excited and eager to start your new life as quickly as possible.
It’s also completely understandable that you may have feelings of sadness, worry, and a lack of knowing just where to start when it comes to the tedious task of packing up your belongings ready for your move. With these 6 handy packing tips, we’ll aim to lift some of that burden (keeping our knees bent and backs straight, of course), and make the process as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
Get the right boxes, materials, and tools for the job
Before you begin to pack, make sure you have strong, good quality boxes and materials ready- it can make everything that comes after a LOT easier. Have heavy duty packaging tape and bubble wrap ready in advance. Go round each room of your house and make a note of what you’re intending to pack- you can then use this to gauge how many boxes, and of what size, you’ll need. Use the strongest boxes possible, such as corrugated board boxes, especially for fragile items such as electronics (more on this later). Weak or flimsy materials can be torn and leave your possessions vulnerable to damage.
At Matthew James Removals, we can provide all the best quality materials and tools you need to pack yourself or have one of our experts complete full or part packing services for you.
Keep the essentials close, and your documents closer
It can be tempting to rush through the whole process of packing when moving abroad, stuffing everything into boxes in whatever order you find, putting it out of your mind and considering the job done. But preparation is key, and it’s an unfortunate fact that shipping delays due to unforeseen circumstances can occur. Consider packing a holdall bag or rucksack of essential items to take with you on your person during your move. This can include snacks, drinks, medication, tools, paper or plastic cutlery, and a first aid kit, so that you’ve got some basics to get by with for a few days if your shipping ends up arriving later than expected.
It’s crucial to keep important or irreplaceable documents such as passports, visas, work permits, medical records, and birth certificates with you in your hand luggage to avoid them being lost on the journey over and putting a hold on your moving plans.
Cut down your costs- do you really need to bring that?
The possessions you’ll take with you when moving abroad will depend on how long you’re planning to live there, the size of the accommodation you’re moving to, and what the cost of shipping some items will be versus the cost of having them put into storage. It can also be difficult to disconnect the emotional attachment you may feel to some items, making the idea of leaving them behind a stressful one. Downsizing before you pack can save you hundreds in shipment fees. When considering an item to pack, ask yourself do you really need it when you reach your destination? If not, consider selling it, donating the item to charity, putting it into storage, or just outright getting rid of it. And remember, the cost of replacing furniture when you reach your new home may work out cheaper than the shipping fees or putting it into storage!
Pack properly to unpack easily
When you start to pack your belongings for moving abroad, bear in mind that what goes in, must come out! Strategic packing can make the unloading process a lot easier and faster when you get to your destination, as well as ensuring your items are well protected and secure. Start by reinforcing all your boxes at the seams with tape and putting a layer of packaging material on the bottom of the inside to act as extra cushioning. Put your heaviest items in the smallest boxes, and at the bottom with lighter objects on top. Label these HEAVY or FRAGILE so that shipping handlers are aware of what’s inside. Individually wrap fragile items in bubble wrap before packing them together, filling empty space with towels or cloths. Try to pack items from the same room together and label these boxes with the name of that room.
Take extra care when packing your electronic appliances
It’s likely that some of your most expensive items to transport abroad will be electronics such as TV’s, computers, laptops, or sound systems- so it goes without saying that you’ll need to take extra care when packing these to avoid damage while in transit. If you’ve kept any of your appliances’ original packaging, use it as much as possible (if not, then strong, snugly fitting boxes will do), packing flat screens in a standing upright position and covered with a sheet or cloth to prevent scratches. Use bubble wrap and moving pads to secure your items, and fill any empty spaces with clothing, sheets, or towels to minimise movement in transit. Back up any important files on your computer or laptop so they can be recovered if your electronics are lost or damaged.
You should also make extra checks like whether the electrical output voltage in your new country is enough to power your appliances, what kind of power adapters they may need to fit plug sockets, and whether their warranties cover accidental damage or theft abroad.
Talk to the professionals
If you feel like you have too much to do when moving abroad, and not enough time to do it, seeking professional help and advice from a removals firm can be invaluable. At Matthew James Removals, we have three generations of experience of global relocation to 25,000 destinations across 195 countries. Our friendly and knowledgeable experts can assist you at any stage of your move, whether it be providing the best quality essential materials you need to pack, providing full or part packaging services, storing your goods at our fully secured warehouse depot, advice about international removals costs and storage, or help unpacking once you reach your destination. We’ll always take care, from door to door, to take the stress and hassle out of your move broad. Contact us now for a fast, free, no-obligation quote!