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The Expats Guide to Moving Stuff

Moving things - Fotolia

You've got the job all lined up, and you've sorted out somewhere to live. Now, when it comes to mapping out the next phase of your complete redirection of your life, comes the nitty-gritty.

Naturally, taking the decision to move abroad, then taking positive steps towards making it happen, and finally seeing those steps bear fruit, are the three stages which will take place over a shorter or longer period of time.

Decisions over what to actually take with you when you move, therefore, can seem a long way down the list of priorities, leaving the final decision process seeming rushed. And of course, this is one sure way in which things can be overlooked.

So here's a list of items which should be packed as a matter of priority, in your air shipment and your surface move respectively:

Your trunk and packing cases for your plane should include the following:

  • Computer and software: In this technological age, this will help ensure you can communicate effectively as soon as you arrive, especially with the authorities which will need to be informed
  • A tool kit: There'll be innumerable small jobs to be undertaken at your new property, so your DIY essentials need to be readily to hand
  • Games and toys to keep the children occupied. They'll need something to keep their minds off the state of limbo which they'll experience for at least a couple of weeks.

Items which should travel by land include:

  • Kitchen equipment
  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Sewing machine
  • Household appliances. With this one, it's vital to check that the electrical systems are compatible between the country you're leaving and the one you'll be moving to.

Suitcases and hand luggage are the places in which to put your essential paperwork and such things as:

  • Prescription medication
  • Contact lenses and cleaning solutions
  • A change of clothing to suit the climate you'll be landing in
  • Light walking or training shoes
  • Shoes and clothing for your children
  • Formal outfits – you may find yourself invited to a number of such occasions early on in your new life, so you should be able to make a good impression

Items which must go into the baggage which you carry onto the plane should include:

  • A change of clothes for each member of your party
  • Expensive electronic items which you don't want to have subjected to the rigours of being in the aircraft's hold
  • Passports and any visas, and
  • A decongestant medicine – this is proven to help children sleep while they are on a long flight.

The most important thing to remember when you're moving to a different country is that you're far from the first people to make the same move. So you should tap into the knowledge of the international shippers who you choose to move your belongings. They'll have a good deal of background knowledge and supporting information which can help ensure that you know exactly what's ahead of you, and how you can avoid the most common pitfalls.

To compare quotes, use Expat-Quotes’s International Movers listings and free quotes.

By Lauren Belfield, a 26 year old graduate with a real love for travelling & a hope for moving abroad sometime soon in the future. Lauren currently works as a freelance writer & international consultant for Parcel2Go UK Couriers