Moving is always a big deal. Our home is a place that we can call our own, where we keep all of our belongings, eat, rest and escape from the cares of life. So, when we know that we are going to be uprooted, even if it’s for good reasons, we want everything to go as smoothly as possible. Relocating is a lot of work and moving internationally is even harder…

There are so many things to consider when you are moving overseas. It’s not like moving to another state or city within your own country where you are easily understood and you already have a basic feel for the culture and community.

One of the first things you will need to decide is how you are going to move your belongings. The inclination, of course, is to visit your local moving company and try to set things up with them. However, unless they specialize in international moving and have much experience with it, you may be setting yourself up for problems. Many local and national moving companies advertise that they do both national and international shipping. The fact is that unless they specialize in international shipping, they probably will not know about all of the documents and legal procedures to move overseas.

When moving worldwide, different rules will apply than when you are making a domestic move. The international moving company will be able to guide you through the whole entire process of moving overseas and they know the right way to do things. Even when choosing worldwide movers, you will want to get at least three quotes.

Although most movers are reputable, there are going to be differences in how much they charge. Pricing is generally based on four factors which include: the distance of the move, the size of the load, the type of things that will be moved and how much manpower is required to make the move. Companies charge by the cubic meter, so getting an accurate quote requires as much detail as possible. Sometimes, movers will come to your home so they can see exactly what needs moved and give you a quote that is accurate. This is not always possible, however, due to time and location restraints.

An experienced moving company should be able to talk with you on the phone and give you a good estimate on how much it will cost, based on what you tell them. The difference here is that you are the one who will have to do the inventory.

Write everything down and be prepared to tell them as much detail as they may need. They need to know exactly what you want moved, with an approximate size. This includes items such as lawn mowers, pianos and any other objects that may be bulky, heavy or unusual. By having an inventory list, you will also be able to claim your items in the unlikely event of damaged or missing items. Also, if you make a list, you will find it most helpful when you unpack because you can see where each numbered box will need to go in your new home. One idea is to use a simple spreadsheet to list your items and then make copies for the moving company and for yourself after the move. One other advantage to having an inventory is that it will help you see exactly what you need to take and what you can leave behind. It’s a great time to sell, throw away or give away items that you know you don’t need to take with you. You will be saving yourself money by taking only those things that you will need to set up housekeeping in your new home.

Another factor that can affect your quote is how much work will be involved. If there are flights of stairs to have things moved either in or out of a home, which requires more manpower. If the road is extremely narrow or the entrances to the home are hard to get to, again, this is going to require more work and thus, you will have to pay more money for the services.

If you plan to have your car shipping overseas as well, you need to inquire about this when you make your initial calls. There are various ways that this can be done, so ask a lot of questions. Also, make certain that you have insurance on your vehicle as it is moved and be positive that the shipping company also is licensed and bonded.

Moving overseas involves many factors. Find a moving company that you trust and feel comfortable talking to. Write everything down and ask plenty of questions. If you feel uncertain about something, then ask; take nothing for granted. No one else cares about your belongings as much as you do, so take the time to find a company with great customer service and communication so you can feel good about the move you are about to make.

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Written by Einat Mazafi
Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.