The Ultimate Moving Overseas Checklist: Take the Stress Out of Moving Overseas and More
So, you’ve found your dream home, gone through all the back-and-forth negotiating and paperwork signing, and you’ve finally closed the deal. All you have left to do is drag your stuff to your new home and call it a day, right? Wrong. Use our ultimate moving overseas checklist to help you navigate.
A big move is stressful, and if you take steps to start planning it about 10 weeks ahead of time, it’ll go a lot more smoothly, and you’ll be able to settle into your new home on a good note. It’s also important that you check out money-saving tips when moving abroad.
To help you plan your move out, we’ve created a nifty checklist that covers everything you need to do from the 10-week mark all the way to the 4-week mark. You should also check out this article on Port & THC charges, so you can fully understand what to expect.
Let’s get started and make your move a good one!
10–9 Weeks Out from Moving
At the 10-week mark, your main priorities are going to be the initial planning phase and giving notice to a few key people. Let’s go over it.
Plan the Budget
Even if you plan to move everything in your old pickup, moving still costs money. For vehicular transportation of your belongings, you’ll want to set a gasoline budget that covers every trip you have to take back and forth. Expenses such as moving boxes, tape, and everything else you’ll need should be factored into this budget to prevent any unwanted surprises. It’s also important to know what international moving costs are.
Notify Your Landlord
If you’re currently renting an apartment or other living space until you move into your new house, now is the time to let your landlord know. Even if such extensive notice isn’t required in your lease, it’ll give your landlord time to get their own affairs in order, and it’ll be greatly appreciated.
Also, most landlords have a moving-out checklist that all tenants must comply with in order to retrieve their deposit. Make sure you use this time to fully understand your obligation and then take note of everything you have to do before your move. We’ll talk more about this in a moment.
Set Aside Preparation Time
Moving your entire life, even across the street, is not a one-day affair. You need ample time and a daily commitment to make it go smoothly and stress-free. The best way to make sure you have the time to take on a task each day is to simply buy a calendar and start scheduling times when you can commit to different preparation tasks. The more detailed the schedule, the more likely you are to get everything done. Beyond that, make sure you’re being realistic with your scheduling because overwhelming yourself defeats the purpose of planning ahead.
Things you need to consider while setting aside time are:
Days for packing
Necessary phone calls
Fulfill all move-out checklist tasks for your landlord
Time for actually moving closer to your move day
Now that you have established a budget, you need to start tracking every dollar you spend to ensure you’re sticking to it. You’ll have to do this throughout each week leading up to your move, but the 10-week mark is the best starting point.
You can do this any way you want. If you want to make a spreadsheet with Excel, you can. You can also opt to write all your daily expenses down in a brand-new notebook. Whatever works for you is perfectly fine. Just make sure you’re tracking your expenses all the way up to moving day.
Attempt to Match Your Move In/Out Days
You don’t always get to pick when you move out of your current living situation. Your landlord could have a move-out deadline before he kicks you to the curb, or something else may happen that forces you out of your current living space.
However, it’s best to take advantage of any input you do have. If you can, make your move-out day the same as your move-in day. Do this, while properly following the rest of this checklist, you’ll slide right into your new home without a hitch.
If there is no way to avoid a gap between your moving days, or you simply fall behind on this checklist, it’s very likely that you’ll end up wasting some of your budget on temporary lodging or enduring a few sleepovers with your in-laws until your new living space is ready for you.
8–7 Weeks Out – Moving Overseas Checklist
During weeks 10–9, you were busy planning and getting all the details sorted out as much as possible. In essence, you were creating a plan for your ideal moving situation.
Now, it’s time to start taking a bit more action. First and foremost, you should be tracking your expenses the entire time. So, we won’t list that or any other on-going tasks in this section, but you should keep any on-going tasks in mind and try not to fall behind on any of them.
Let’s dig into week 8.
Insurance Obligations and Communication
This is key to moving smoothly. We all know that insurance companies are difficult to deal with, and the sooner you start the process, the sooner you hash things out with whichever agent you end up dealing with.
The idea is to ensure that your insurance company transfers your insurance to your new home or sets up a new insurance plan that starts on your move-in day while canceling your current plan at the same time. This is to keep you from paying for two policies or living in an uninsured home.
Notify Regular Service Providers
If you happen to have someone who mows your lawn or cleans your current home, now is the time to let them know their work for you will be coming to an end. After all, you’d want to know if your income was going to be affected, right?
Notify Your Employer
If you’re moving far away and plan to start a new job, the earlier you tell your boss, the better it’ll be. This gives them ample time to find a replacement instead of leaving them wondering where you disappeared to in a few weeks.
You’ll still need to inform your employer even if you’re close enough to stay with your company, however. You’ll need time off when you get closer to your move, and your employer needs to update the address they have on file for you.
Notify the USPS
Unless you visit the USPS to change your known address or set up mail forwarding to your new address, you’re going to miss out on a lot of critical mail like bills and important notices.
Book Moving Equipment/Services
Whether you’re handling your move with a couple of friends and a U-Haul or hiring a professional service to tow everything across the country, now is the time to start reserving the equipment you’ll need and booking those services.
6–4 Weeks Out
Now that you’ve got all the brain work out of the way, it’s time to start a more hands-on approach. Four to six weeks out from moving day, you’ll want to start decluttering. It’s not quite time to pack, but this step will help with that.
Go through your entire home and start pitching everything you can’t use or sell, such as paint, all those useless scrap odds-and-ends you never used, and anything else you can find. Don’t try to bring useless junk to your new home. It’ll slow you down on moving day and make it much more difficult.
Once you’ve rid yourself of genuine junk, start sorting your useful belongings into things you really want to keep and things you don’t really need. Take all the stuff you don’t need, sell the valuable bits, and donate fewer items.
3–1 Weeks Out
Now, you probably have all the junk and items you don’t need any longer out of your way, and it’s time to start packing. There are only a few real steps to this, but it’s one of the most labor-intensive parts of a move.
Grab a notebook, a pre-made spreadsheet, or anything else you want to use, and start jotting down exactly what you have to move. When you’re done, head to the store and buy enough boxes to pack everything you need.
Pack and Label
This is the fun part. Now, you get to take all the things you’ve accumulated over the years and organize them into boxes. Make sure you have a label printer on hand and try to keep similar items together so you can label everything properly.
Set Aside and Inventory the Boxes
You still have a short stint to go before moving day, so store your packed boxes in a place that’s out of the way for now. As you do this, take inventory of every box, and what it contains so you’ll know if you lose anything during the move.
1-Week Out and the Big Day
Congratulations, you’re one week away from moving to your new home! This week will, more or less, be dedicated to getting your affairs in order and performing a few tasks for the last time in your current residence.
Prep the Kids
Think your kids are going to be well-behaved and out of the way during the big move? Think again. Use this time to tell the kids about what you’ll be doing and purchase a few distractions to present them with on a moving day.
Confirm DIY Help
Last-minute cancellations from the people lined up to help you can really throw a wrench in your plans; contact everybody to make sure they’ll be available on the big day and find alternatives if someone cancels.
Photograph and Prep Your Car
If a transport service moves your vehicle, take photos of its condition now if your car gets damaged. It would help if you also used up as much of your fuel as you can while following your contract. You don’t want the car to be damaged with a full tank of gas wasted.
Prep the House
It’s time to start saying goodbye. Use the last few days to mow your lawn, tidy up the bushes, and handle the gutters. Take care of anything that makes your home look a little better before you leave.
Set Up Utilities for Both Homes
Towards the end of the week, call the utility provider for your current home to have your utilities canceled. Then call your new home’s provider to have the utilities turned on.
Prepare Maintenance Tools
Want to take your old weed eater to your new house? Drain it entirely beforehand. This goes for lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and any other gas-fueled tools you have. They can be a fire hazard during transport.
Now, you’re pretty much ready to go. If you’re using a service, all of this will be handled for you. For DIY movers, ensure that all your helpers come, empty anything remaining in your fridge or pantry. Pack the few items you couldn’t pack throughout the packing phase, and start following through with your moving plan.
Most importantly, enjoy your new home! We hope our moving overseas checklist helped you navigate through the process.
If you need any help with moving services or tips, contact International Van Lines for a free price quote. We’re always happy to help!