Improve your move: 26 groovy tips that we approve

There are so many things to consider when moving. On this page you can find Sirelo’s top tips for you when moving abroad, including general moving tips and international moving tips. Don’t overcomplicate your move, by following the tips below you can almost guarantee that your move will go smoothly.

General Moving Tips

National removals tips

1. Start early

Don’t leave everything to the last minute, save yourself some stress and leave yourself plenty of time to prepare. Two months is a realistic amount of time. Take at look at Sirelo’s moving checklist for more information about the processes involved in moving abroad.

2. Be organized

Start getting together a folder of important things and paperwork. This can be a physical folder with printed documents or it could even be an online folder on your computer or email account. Important paperwork can consist of documents associated with new jobs, new properties, new schools, removals quotes, what to move and your inventory list (see next).

3. Inventory list

Make a list of your possessions and categorize them. Categorize them into for what you’re taking with you, what you’re leaving behind in storage, what you’re giving away and what you’re throwing out. Make a few columns on the list to say where they’re packed, if they’re en route and then that they are delivered an unpacked on the other way.

4. Create a labeling system for boxes

Label your boxes, not just whats in them but also what room they are going into. A good way of doing this is to write labels on different coloured tape coded to each room. This should ensure that you don’t mix things up and you can settle in to your new home much quicker.

5. Number your boxes

Take a leaf from professional moving companies. Numbering boxes is a great way to keep track of them. This way you know that all of your boxes are delivered and which box you have any problems with.

Moving home

6. Packaging protection

Make sure that you have enough packaging filler or bubble wrap for the move. Running out can put you at risk of damaging your possessions and any extra that the movers have they are likely to charge you an inflated price for.

7. Alternative packaging protection

Alternatively a good way to save money is to wrap certain valuables in blankets and clothes, even screwed up newspaper balls  or rolled up (clean) socks work well for smaller delicate items. Be creative!

8. Buy sturdy boxes

You can find boxes almost anywhere, as a free option supermarket usually gives away boxes they don’t use. Unfortunately these boxes often aren’t appropriate for moving heavy items. You can buy boxes online – you can buy a useful all inclusive moving pack from Amazon.

9. Distribute weight evenly

Don’t pack boxes full of heavy things like books – try and add some lighter things in there with it so each box is manageable. Take a look at U-Haul’s advice on how to correctly pack moving boxes.

10. Size ’em up

It sounds obvious, but make sure that you measure all of the large furniture. It is not only embarrassing but also time consuming and frustrating on moving day when furniture doesn’t fit through a doorway. Make sure that everything can fit beforehand and make arrangements to dismantle things that can’t.

11. Create a layout

Another advantage of measuring your furniture is that you are able to create a layout of your new home and work out if everything fits and where to position everything in advance. This can save a lot of time and stress on moving day.

12. Be careful with drawers!

Drawers are great as they act as their own individual moving boxes. However they make moving them heavier and can fall when being transported. For lighter cabinets use cling film or stretch wrap to cover the drawers and for heavier ones consider taking them out completely.

13. Electrical goods

With electrical appliances it is best to use the original packaging that it came with if possible. Failing this you should make sure it is packed securely and protected as well as possible. Ensure that any sharp corners are protected and won’t damage any other items.

14. Take pictures of wires

Make sure you take pictures of how things are plugged in. Think of how many wires go into a sound system or the back of a TV – having photos for reference can save a lot of unnecessary hassle.

15. Defrost and drain white goods

A couple of days before your move remember to drain your washing machine and defrost your fridge freezer. You don’t want any nasty surprises in your moving van with leaks over clothes or even electrical items!

16. Keep screws together

Screws are small and fiddly and are easily lost. For any furniture that has been dismantled make sure that you keep the necessary screws in little sandwich bags or even just wrap them in tape. Nothing can ruin moving day like a couple of lost screws.

International Moving tips

Moving abroad is different for a number of reasons. Although the previous tips still apply the following advice is specific to moving abroad!

17. Plan your finances

Moves abroad almost always cost more than anticipated so make sure you save up some contingency. Additionally you need to work out how to continue paying into your pension pot in the long term future.

18. Open a bank account in advance if possible

In the same way as preparing your finances you should also be prepared to open up a bank account. Several banks allow you to open an account or preregister for an account so make sure to check out if you can do this as it saves a lot of stress.

19. Check and double check your paperwork

Offices abroad are often not as efficient as they are in the UK. Therefore when it comes to organizing papers make sure everything is correct, as if its not it could set you back months.

20. Shipping vs storage

Think long and hard if you need to take everything abroad. The more you move the more expensive your relocation cost will be. Would keeping it in storage for a period of time be a better or cheaper option? Even selling or donating things can be smart (though time consuming).

21. Think of your health

When it comes to healthcare abroad you need to read up on the system of where you’re moving to. Make sure you take any prescription medication and have enough until you have sorted out healthcare in your new country with a contingency supply. Insurance is important too. You can read about the healthcare systems in several countries on Sirelo including France and the USA.

Moving tips abroad

22. Allow more time than normal to adjust

Obviously there are several things to think about even with a domestic move which take time to get used to. Obviously moving abroad integrates another layer into this. Therefore you shouldn’t assume that it will go smoothly, even if its a place you’ve been to on holiday several times before. Resorts are often much different when the tourists leave. Plan for a culture shock, often it is unavoidable (even if it is in a small capacity).

23. Make an effort

Try your hardest with the locals. Even though you may not speak much of the language integrating yourself into the local society will make your move so much easier. Local people know exactly how to do things there and are invaluable even in the most unexpected moments. There are several apps and websites that you can use to meet people in your new country such as MeetUp.

24. Read up on taxes

Make sure to know about all the information about how to pay taxes before you move to a new country. Many countries have an agreement with the UK that means you can never be taxed twice on your income but its important to know the specifics. You can find information on taxes in several countries on Sirelo including Australia and Spain.

25. Notify people to say your leaving

Initially it is obviously important to notify family, friends and your work that you are leaving.  However there are many more things to consider and people to tell before leaving the UK including: the Social Security office, HM Revenue & Customs, Department of Work & Pensions and your GP.

26. Make a care package of homely products

Are there any things that you think you can’t live (or prefer not to live) without? A certain brand of tea? Piri-piri sauce? Rich tea biscuits? Make sure to pack these in to you travels. Home comforts will make you feel much more at home in your new country making the transition much easier.