Moving abroad is an exciting adventure. It’s an opportunity to start a brand new life filled with opportunities. However, as with every other type of move, it requires a significant amount of planning. Once you have decluttered to reduce your load, and you’re left with only the items you want to take along when you move overseas, it’s time to start packing.
Our movabroad relocation assistants have gathered some of the best moving tips to help you save time and space.
1. Start Early
Start packing up any art or knick-knacks you’re taking with well ahead of time. These items only serve to make your home more homely, which won’t matter in the last few weeks. This will give you time to throw away, give away or sell everything you do not need. By minimizing your load, you will reduce your moving costs and the amount of unpackacking you have to do when you reach your destination.
2. Label Accurately
Label each box clearly by category and by room. Write on both the sides and the top, so that you can still see what’s in it even after it has been loaded into the truck. Color-coding is great too!
If you’re a control freak, consider using a number system. Number each box, and list the contents on a Google spreadsheet. That way, when you’re looking for the smoothie maker on your first day in the new house, you don’t have to go through 15 boxes to find it in box number 16.
You’ll also know exactly how many boxes you’re shipping.
3. Small Boxes for Heavy Items
You may have a huge book collection and be tempted to put them all in one large box. Expert packers suggest you place heavy items in smaller boxes, as this will make them easier to carry.
4. Original Boxes
Always pack fragile electronics or appliances in their original boxes, which were designed to provide the appropriate cushioning for the long trip.
5. Fragile Items
When packing up your kitchen, wrap your plates in bubble wrap or packing paper and stack them on their sides like records (and not on top of one another like pancakes) before filling in the empty spaces with bubble wrap.
Important note: Many people suggest that you wrap fragile glass wear in tablecloths or clothing, but while that saves space, it will result in copious amounts of laundry when you reach your destination. Weigh up your options!
When packing clothes and linens, save yourself the hassle of a pile of ironing when you arrive at your destination by rolling the items up instead of folding.
7. Vac Pack
Use vacuum compression bags to save precious space. Pack clothing, linens, and soft toys in vacuum bags, seal it and use your vacuum cleaner to remove all the air from the bag. The items will be compressed, saving up to 80% in space.
8. Use Space Wisely
Don’t waste the space inside storage bins, luggage, and linen baskets! Pack your shoes, pillows and hand towels inside them.
9. Keep it Fresh
Keep your clothing and similar items fresh by including fabric conditioner sheets or scented drawer liners in the bag.
10. Ziplock bags
Ziplock bags are one of the best tools to organize your move. Use it to store small items such as:
• screws from disassembled furniture
• electronics cables
• phone and camera chargers
Use a permanent marker to label each bag, or tape the bag to the furniture from which you have taken the screws.
11. Take Pictures
Before unplugging your sound system and other electronics, take a photo of the back so that you can see where to insert the cords when you set it up again in your new home.
12. Make-up & Toiletries
Prevent your pressed eye shadow or powder from cracking by placing a flat cotton wool pad between the lid and the powder.
You may not be able to buy your favorite shampoo or body lotion in your new country and therefore have no choice but to take it along in your suitcase. Save yourself the hassle of having to wash it out of your clothes by making sure it doesn’t leak in the first place. Remove the lid from the bottle and place cling film over the neck before replacing the lid again. Use clear tape to seal the gap between the container and lid for extra peace of mind.
Pack an overnight bag for the first night at the new house.
13. Stop buying things!
It goes without saying. Taking advantage of sales before you move means that you will have extra bulk to ship. Save your money for when you reach your destination. The same goes for buying groceries. Only buy enough for the remainder of your time in the old home until move day.
Did we miss any important tried-and-tested packing tips? Please share them in comments below. Need moving quotes? Your movabroad relocation assistant will put you in place with a few local international moving companies.