packing for overseas move

Packing for overseas move can present a big challenge to most people, even those with good organising skills. There is lot more to consider compared to a local or interstate move, and gathering the right information beforehand is important. We have presented the five useful questions you should ask yourself if you’re moving overseas, so you’ll be better prepared for the tasks ahead.

1. Am I Better Off Packing Myself?

Packing your home contents for moving – there isn’t much to it you might say. Wrapping things, putting them into boxes, how difficult can that can be? While the packing may not be a difficult task, it might be very time consuming and requires careful planning and preparation. You will need the required packing material and proper boxes if you are going to do the packing yourself. Extra care should be taken when packing fragile items for overseas shipping, as this involves not only additional packing material but also packing skills.

The most important question you should ask yourself is – should I be doing this myself? If you hate packing or are not sure that you can do it properly, you will be better off leaving it to the professionals.

2. How much time do I have?

If there is one thing that we never have enough of, it would be time. Even if you have booked your overseas move well in advance, you still need to allow plenty of time for packing. Provided that you can and are going to pack yourself, you should commence planning and preparation immediately after booking your move. Making an inventory list of the entire household – room by room – is a good first step. This should give you an indication of the time required, packing material needed and the order in which items should be packed. Some things that you will not use before you move can be packed immediately, while some can only be packed on your moving day.

3. Do I Really Need This?

Moving house is the best opportunity for a thorough spring-cleaning, so they say. When packing for overseas move, considering what to pack becomes far more important than is the case with a local move. Every single item should be evaluated and scrutinised with the following question in mind – “Do I really need this?”
Every household has “stuff” tucked away somewhere out of sight, pending our “I’ll decide what to do with it later” decision. The situation is suddenly changed the day you book your move and deciding on what should be packed and moved becomes a priority.

4. Is This Mine?

When you start unpacking at your new home on the other side of the globe, you may discover that some of the items in the box are NOT yours! If you left your packing to the last minute this can happen as there were probably millions of things going through your head at the time. Amidst all the pressure and anxiety caused by moving, it is not too difficult to understand how that library book or auntie’s cake dish has slipped in a box among your own stuff.

Returning items to their rightful owners thousands of miles away can be a costly exercise. Rather than facing this option, pay close attention to each and every item you pack and keep asking yourself – “Is this mine?”

5. Will This Work?

Before packing any electrical appliances for moving overseas, you should ask yourself the obvious question, “will this work over there?”. Depending on which country you are moving to the voltage system might be different from what you are currently using and your electrical appliances may not work without an adapter.

For some electrical appliances this would be more hassle than it’s worth, so you’ll be better off leaving your toaster and kettle behind. Always check with your removalist if they will work or not, they should know.

Please Note: Packing your own shipment for overseas move can be disadvantage and cause delays at the other end. Customs authorities around the world can be suspicious of “packed by owner” shipments (for a variety of reasons) and often select them for examination. You should consult your removalist about this and they will be able to advise you on what is the best thing to do based on destination country you are moving to.