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A Guide to Moving Furniture Abroad

By August 4, 2022September 20th, 2022No Comments
Moving Furniture Abroad

You are moving to your dream country. You got a new job, you got married, or you are going to study abroad. One hurdle is moving all your stuff overseas, especially heavy items such as furniture. This guide will teach you everything you should know about moving furniture abroad.


How much does it cost to ship furniture overseas?

The cost of moving furniture abroad depends on the size and weight of the items, as well as the distance they need to travel. However, you can use the below chart to help with budgeting: 













South America












Australia/New Zealand





To get an accurate estimate of how much it will cost to ship your furniture overseas, you can use a shipping calculator or speak with an international moving company about costs.  The size of your move, destination country, and service will be the most significant cost factors. 


When moving furniture abroad, you have two main options: sea freight or air freight. Sea freight is cheaper but takes longer (around 4-8 weeks). Air freight is more expensive but faster (approximately 2-3 weeks).


It would help if you also thought of custom duties and import taxes. These vary from country to country, so you must check with the relevant authorities in your destination country.


Certain destinations require that you pay VAT on the furniture when it arrives in the country. This is usually around 20%. Import duty is a tax on goods coming into the country. The amount of import duty depends on the type of furniture, where it was made, and its destination. 


Still, there are some ways to save money on shipping furniture. For example, you can pack them by yourself. 

The pros and cons of self-packing furniture


Much like with clothes, you can choose to self-pack your furniture pieces to save money. However, self-packing has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages to consider before deciding. 


Pros of self-packing

  • You will save money on packing and shipping costs
  • You can pack at your own pace and take as much time as you need
  • You can choose which items to take with you and which to leave behind

Cons of self-packing

  • It is time-consuming and laborious
  • You will need to find a way to transport the furniture to the port or airport
  • You are responsible for making sure the furniture is packed correctly and securely


If you decide to self-pack, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you will need to disassemble the furniture, separating beds, tables, chairs, etc. You will also need to find a way to transport the furniture to the port or airport. This might mean renting a van or hiring a professional mover to help with this process.


When packing the furniture, you must use sturdy boxes and packaging materials. You should also label each box clearly to know which items are inside. Ensure the boxes are securely taped shut, and there is no chance of them coming open during transport.


You will also need insurance for the furniture against damage or loss. This is important in case something goes wrong during shipping. 


From these pros and cons, the downsides outweigh the benefits, so it is generally not worth self-packing your furniture when moving overseas.

International moving costs based on services

Source: International Van Lines

Is it worth shipping furniture overseas?


If you are moving permanently, you might want to consider shipping some of your favorite pieces of furniture. But if you choose to ship your furniture overseas, remember you will need to pay customs and import taxes, so it is essential to factor this into the cost.


However, furniture pieces like a bed, big living room sofa, mirrors, and such, are better off staying here. You can sell these items and get brand new furniture abroad. Only bring what holds sentimental value. 

Other items worth shipping overseas include family heirlooms, antiques, and vintage pieces you’re not likely to find abroad. 


How to pack for an international move


When packing for an international move, it is essential to remember that your furniture will need to withstand a long journey. You can use bubble wrap to protect the furniture from damage. Also, use strong cardboard boxes and packaging materials. You should also label each box clearly to know which items are inside. Finally, ensure the boxes are securely taped shut, and there is no chance of them coming open during transport.


What to leave behind when moving abroad


You must make tough decisions about what to take with you and what to leave behind. Start by decluttering your home and removing anything you don’t need or use. Next, list the furniture you want to take with you. Then, research the cost of shipping each item and compare it to the cost of buying new in your destination country to decide which things are worth taking with you and which are not. 


Preparing for moving furniture abroad with professional movers


If you are planning on using professional movers to help you ship your furniture overseas, there are a few things you need to do to prepare. First, you will need to get an accurate estimate of the cost of shipping your furniture. This will help you budget for the move and make sure you can afford it.


Next, you will need to choose a reputable moving company. Again, ask for recommendations from friends or family who have moved abroad. You can also read online reviews to understand which companies are the best.


Make sure you have all the paperwork before the movers arrive. Have a list of all the items you are shipping and their value. An inventory will help the movers complete the paperwork and calculate insurance for your belongings against damage or loss.



Moving furniture abroad can be expensive and stressful. But, following the tips in this guide can make the process easier. Remember to declutter your home, choose a reputable moving company, and get all the necessary paperwork in order before the movers arrive. And, don’t forget, you can always buy new furniture when you arrive in your destination country. So, don’t be afraid to leave some things behind. International Van Lines can help you securely and professionally pack your furniture for an international move to help you get a step closer to relocating. 

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