8 Planning Steps for an International Move

1. Make a list of all items that need to be moved.
If you are leaving behind an apartment or house that will be re-occupied, you will need to make arrangements for all of your belongings to be moved. Creating a list will allow you to put everything in perspective and gain a better understanding of your move requirements. You may only want to take a few things oversees, but you will still need to find somewhere to store your other belongings.

2. Decide which items you need to take with you.
Once you have a list of all your belongings you can go through and decide what you will move, what you will store, and what you will sell or give away. When moving internationally costs will play a huge roll in what you decide to take. Ask yourself how long you will be gone, many items are better left behind to avoid expensive shipping costs. It's also a good idea to take along some sentimental items like pictures to help you settle into your new home.

3. Contact a shipping company to get rates.
This will help you narrow down what you can and can't take with you. Most likely you won't be able to take everything, and you probably shouldn't anyway unless you really believe you will not return at some point. If you are not sure, don't try to transfer your entire estate right away because you may end up paying to ship things back at some point later on.

4. Research duty, tax, and import fees.
Many countries have additional fees and restrictions when shipping or bringing any items in the country. Find out what restrictions exist if any, and plan ahead if you may have a problem with one of your items.

5. Research insurance costs.
If you are shipping items or have hired a professional moving company you may need to pay extra to get adequate insurance to cover lost or damaged items. There are different types of insurance, so make sure you are properly covered.

6. Estimate weight and total cost.
Once you have researched shipping rates, country duty fees and restrictions, and insurance, you are ready to put together a total estimate for your move. Shipping costs are usually a combination of weight and dimension factors, so if you can fit items in average sized boxes dimensions will cost less.

7. Get supplies and pack.
Now that you have a list and have decided what you are taking with you, you will need to get supplies to pack. You can start by going down your list and seeing what items are breakable, then you can decide how much material you will need. Necessary packing materials can include; bubble wrap, packing paper, Styrofoam peanuts, packing tape, boxes, and permanent markers. These items can be purchased at most packing and shipping stores.

8. Ship your items and catch your flight!
Now that you have properly packed and prepared for your move, you can ship your items and finish preparing for your flight. Make sure you have tracking information on your boxes, and clear directions as to how you will receive them when you arrive in your new country. Also make sure you have international contact information if anything happens. Enjoy the flight!

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