Here’s the Only Moving Checklist You’ll Ever Need

Posted Moving Abroad / July 13, 2021
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

You may be wondering what exactly is a moving checklist, and we’re here to tell you that it’s an essential first step towards relocating without stress and tension. Having a list makes everything come together more efficiently and helps keep tabs on the things that have to be done, so nothing goes past you once relocation day comes.

It’s Not Difficult at All to Create a Moving Checklist

Is there a checklist for moving? Of course there is, but it doesn’t have to be long or full of details. That part is up to preference. However, the more things you remember to add to it, the higher are your chances of relocating without feeling overwhelmed. Another good hack would be to add start dates and due dates to each action on the list, so you’ll know how to pace yourself and do things one at a time.

No matter how organized or lazy anyone is, a relocation list is one of the easiest steps in that process. All you need is a piece of paper or a notebook, and a pen. If you’re better with digital note-taking, use your phone or laptop to create a list of things. If you still don’t believe us, we may convince you to do it after guaranteeing that lists reduce relocation stress by a lot.

Actions to Add to the List Weeks Before Relocation Day

As soon as you decide on relocating across the world or even just across the state or country borders, that’s when the planning should begin. If you don’t believe us, you can always consult the Internet and check forums to see how people managed while relocating at the last minute. Why does relocation planning start so soon? There are so many things that require taking care of that typically take weeks to be done. If any part of the process ends up getting delayed, you’ll wish you never tried to leave home. So, what are those things?

Ideally, Canceling Utilities At Least Four Weeks Before the Move Is a Good Start

To start with the question of who to notify when you are moving. Apart from friends and family, some of the first people to contact about relocation are your utility companies. Utilities are gas, electricity, water, cable, Internet, mobile services, and waste management, basically, the things that make your household function every day.

Calling up every utility company where you have a contract six to four weeks before actually relocating will help them cancel everything on time, and you won’t have pending bills and hidden fees waiting. While we’re on the subject of utilities, make sure to check everything is working correctly around your home and doesn’t end up needing repairs (which will cause the dreaded extra costs.) These steps are vital because there are several ways you could get in trouble if you don’t pay or cancel utilities.

Guaranteed prices for International Moving. No hidden fees or surprises! GET A QUOTE

Getting Rid of Stuff You Don’t Need at Your New Home Should Be Next

One of the most overlooked actions when considering how to relocate to another country is getting rid of unnecessary and unwanted items. We’re mostly referring to furniture and small clutter that you didn’t even notice at the old house. Some furniture may be necessary to bring, like if the new house doesn’t have a particular item or the piece itself is too valuable to leave behind. Anything else you could live without can be removed from the household in more ways than one.

Consider having a garage sale for the smaller clutter or even bigger furniture items if you want. The liberty of a sale like this is that you could put up anything for a price. Just make sure not to overprice anything because you’ll be stuck with it to the very end. If some things are too old, damaged, or unusable for getting sold, consider visiting the nearest recycling center. For clothes that are in good condition but simply an extra in your suitcase, try donating them to the shelter of your choice.

Telling Friends and Family About Moving Is a Priority

Whether you’re relocating to another country for love or have just decided that packing for moving abroad is currently the right choice for you, you have to notify the people closest to you first. If the question on your mind is what to do to get ready to move, the answer is – tell your friends and family before you begin packing. If you’re nervous that they may try and talk you out of moving overseas, you can always speak to everyone face to face and explain your reasons. Another way would be to gather everyone and spring it on them, so they don’t have time to attempt convincing you otherwise. This is another point on the list that’s entirely up to you since everyone’s inner circle is different.

If you’re relocating abroad with kids and they’re too young to fully understand the process’s seriousness, tell them immediately about the decision. However, do it in a way that would be interactive and make the destination seem interesting. For example, say you’re relocating to Germany and need to explain that to your kids one day. Find some imagery of the country or the city you’ll be living in, and ask them if they like it. Try your best to provide them with positive affirmations and images about the destination.

You can also check out the video below, which deals with move-related anxiety in children.

The Essential Items to Add to the Moving Out Checklist

Other things to do on your packing list are preparing the things that relocation wouldn’t be possible without. These are also recommended to begin gathering a few weeks before leaving day, while others are necessary to get even months in advance.

Personal and Legal Paperwork Is Something You Shouldn’t Leave Home Without

Our personal documents that are proof of identification are the most important papers in our lives. You, your family, even your pets require documentation that provides basic information about who you are. If you plan to get a job in Europe, for example, there’s nothing more a potential employer would ask for apart from your identification papers. Personal documents are considered to be passports, birth certificates, adoption papers, marriage licenses, and social security numbers (valid mostly for relocation around the US.)

Are there any visa requirements for the destination country? Again, this is something to look into months before attempting to relocate to another state. Relocating to Connecticut isn’t the same as relocating to Sweden. There’s a lot more paperwork to be done and many more steps to take in the process if you want to be accepted as a working citizen and potential resident in a foreign country.

The additional legal paperwork required for every relocation is health records for family members and people with chronic conditions requiring regular monitoring and a driver’s license. Driving regulations are different in Europe than those in the USA, but carrying your license with you will never go unused wherever you are.

Packing Materials and Items You Shouldn’t Skip

If you want to know how to pack fragile items sitting in the kitchen nervously, then look no further. The only stuff necessary to secure both breakable and sturdy things is packaging materials that even professional movers use. The nice thing about these supplies is that you could easily get them for free or find them at the house.

For example, cardboard boxes and other types of storage are things you probably have at home. If you don’t, getting cardboard boxes for free isn’t impossible. You can head out to the nearest supermarket or restaurant and ask them to provide you with extra storage boxes to pack. They most likely don’t even know what to do with them, so you’ll be doing them a favor of some sort.

Another important thing is acquiring materials for padding and wrapping the stuff you want to pack. While expert movers typically use packing paper, moving blankets, and bubble wrap, if you don’t intend to spend any money on packaging supplies, these can be replaced with your t-shirts, kitchen rags, pillowcases, blankets, and towels. In addition to saving money with this method, you’ll also feel like you’ve hacked the pack, and anything that helps boost confidence during a stressful period is a great thing.

Additional packaging supplies to find (or buy) are:

  • Duct tape and a tape dispenser (use the dispenser for easier handling of the tape,)
  • Scissors (or a boxcutter, for removing excess materials,)
  • Markers and labels (for finally labeling containers so you could know what’s in them,)
  • Newspapers (for padding the bottoms and tops of storage containers.)

To Travel Stress-Free, You’ll Need Your Travel Itinerary and Documents

Even the friendliest countries in the world will ask you for your documents for international travel and be very strict if you don’t have them. So while securing a visa and a passport sounds like enough, you’ll have to bring your travel documents, too. These are your plane tickets, travel schedule, and travel insurance. Some countries even require particular documents for traveling during the covid-19 health crisis, which you’ll have to check before being sure about leaving.

Why do most countries ask for your travel documents? If you’re not staying indefinitely, your passport should be valid for at least three to six months after your return date (the required period depends on the country). If you are traveling for permanent residence, they have to be sure you’ve secured the necessary legal paperwork that allows you to work and reside in their country.

Pack An Essentials Box for a Smoother First Week of Relocation

Suppose you’ve looked into the possibilities of relocating to Hawaii and the potential costs of living in Canada but haven’t checked what some of the things you’ll need during the first week of settling into your new home are. In that case, you should stop what you’re doing and start packing an essentials box. This box will contain everything necessary to survive the first day to one week of your brand-new life as a resident of a foreign country.

The basics that fall into the criteria for an essentials box are your most comfortable clothes and shoes, food supply for your family and pets, cleaning products for the kitchen and bathroom, and linens for a restful first night’s sleep. One storage box is more than enough, but if you’re relocating with more than two people, you might need at least two boxes.

Research and Hire Professional Movers for Moving Abroad

Another part to add to your checklist for moving is to contact a great overseas moving company to assist you in relocating without stress by providing top-quality relocation service. We understand you may be wary of booking an international moving company because of numerous scams out there. Still, there are respectful ones that value and appreciate when you contact them and ask about every service.

Not only would moving internationally be easier with the help of expert movers, but the packing service they’d provide would save you lots of money, no matter how it may seem. If you’re wondering, “What should I do 2 weeks before moving,” with the help of professional movers, there may not be much you can do. Your stuff will be shipped by air, which is faster, or shipped by sea, which is cheaper.

In case there are items you don’t want to be shipping overseas, don’t worry about having to throw them away. Instead, just put them in storage facilities with the overseas shipping company you chose, and pick them up from said storage whenever you want. Shipping a car overseas is also possible with most international moving companies that offer an overseas car-shipping service.

After You’re Done Relocating, Begin to Settle in and Enjoy Life

Now that you’re done with the entire relocation process and settling into your new home slowly, all that’s left to do is prepare to handle the initial culture shock. This kind of stress is real, and it hits anyone whether they’re relocating to an unfamiliar country such as Dubai, a place they’ve visited only as a tourist, such as Bangkok, or relocating nearby where things might stay almost the same, like going to Vancouver in Canada. No matter where you find yourself in the world, remain patient and make sure to stay in contact with the people you love before meeting anyone new. You’ve decided to live abroad, and we’re sure you’re going to love it, no matter what.

Get a Quote

    Download Moving Abroad Checklist
    Get a Free Estimate 855-443-4200