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When should I start packing for an international move?

Published by Chris Townsend

When should I start packing for an international move?

Start packing at least two to three months in advance for an international move. This timeline provides sufficient time to sort, organize, and pack belongings methodically, gather necessary packing supplies, and navigate the move with minimal stress.

Preparing for an international move is a complex and time-sensitive task. Pack two to three months before your move date to ensure a smooth transition. This early start is vital for organizing your belongings, acquiring suitable packing materials, and managing the logistics of an international relocation without unnecessary pressure.

Determining What to Pack for Your New Destination

Creating a list of international moving items is intriguing. Consider your destination's climate, culture, and supplies. Knowing these topics well lets you tailor your packing list to your new home's needs. Consider local cuisine, access to staple food ingredients from home, and practical and culturally appropriate clothing in your new environment.

It is best to pack sentimental or essential household items. However, consider how easy or difficult it is to transport these items internationally. Electrical standards vary in your new country, so devices that work at home may not work there. It will be cheaper and more efficient to leave such items behind and replace them at your new location.

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Assessing What to Leave Behind When Moving Abroad

Deciding to let go can be one of the most complex parts of moving abroad. Losing sentimental items makes the process emotional. Remember that shipping many items abroad is expensive. In addition, most countries have strict regulations on what you can bring, complicating your decision.

Sort through your belongings and choose the essentials. This includes sentimental, valuable, and daily-use items. Think about the weather and lifestyle in your new place. Shipping heavy items like furniture and appliances is often not worth it. Electronics may not even work in your new country's electrical system. In addition to saving money, this exercise helps you start over, let go of the old, and start a new chapter.

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The Importance of Early Sorting and Decluttering

Decluttering and sorting are crucial before an international move. Both help reduce belongings, eliminate unnecessary items, and determine new destination essentials. This can reduce moving costs, save space in the new home, and allow people to evaluate their belongings to ensure they only bring what they need.

Beginning this process early has many benefits. First, it allows for slower, more thorough sorting. It reduces the risk of losing valuables or packing unnecessary items. Second, starting early gives people time to sell or donate unwanted items. Selling such items could add to the moving budget or buy new essentials. Early sorting and decluttering help decide what to pack and what to leave.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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