Taking on the new challenge of accepting an international assignment can be a very exciting and emotional point in one’s life. Perhaps one of the most stressful parts of the process – if not the most stressful – is moving day. Relocating household goods and personal effects internationally is a bit more complicated than moving across town or even across your home country. One will need to consider many things when planning for an international move. For example, “Will I be allowed to pack peanut butter for the children?” or “Will I be able to get my brand of toothpaste once I’m settled in country?” Aside from the important points of daily living, when planning your international household goods move, consider these simple tips to help plan and ease the stress of the transition:
Map Out Your Home at Destination: If you are relocating from the United States, it is important to take note that homes outside of the U.S. will more than likely be smaller than the typical single-family home. Research typical sizes of homes in country and carefully evaluate the furniture that you know will be able to fit comfortably in your new home at destination. You have already found the perfect place – let’s make sure everything will fit!
Overview of Customs: The customs clearance process at your new destination may determine what you can and cannot ship. Each country has its own set of rules, so be sure to carefully review any regulations prior to packing your household goods. FIDI, a global organization of accredited international movers, offers detailed customs information on specific destinations.
Voluntarily Discard and Donate: Literally…go through your things and get organized! Discard items that you can and donate those that others may be able to use if they cannot be moved. Electronics are a good example – odds are you may not be able to use them in your host country due to currency conversions. Many organizations will come pick up your items for free. Our recommendation is to check your local neighborhood and find a reputable organization accepting donations. If you are considering storing some items while on your assignment – what a better way to reduce those costs as well!
Edit and Simplify: Forbes Magazine’s Alexandra Talty, a self-proclaimed minimalist, tells us that if we are worried everything cannot make the trip – we need to pare down. Personal belongings are near and dear to most, but, as fellow minimalist Joshua Fields Millburn says in the same article, “moving is a great opportunity to edit your belongings.” It is also good ensure that you have set aside all items (especially your travel documents).
Be involved in your move process, but most important take care of yourself. A completely stress-free move is never a guarantee, but a little planning and organizing is sure to go a long way.
Get rest, get organized, and get moving!