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An expat’s relocation checklist

Moving day is getting closer! Before you leave, there are so many things to be taken care of. You’re worried about forgetting something? Well, don’t worry! For your serenity and peace of mind, Directmoving® has put together a detailed checklist. This checklist will help you plan everything you need to take care of whilst preparing your departure.

Moving day minus 90:

– Begin consular procedures. Request the appropriate information for obtaining your visa, residency and work permits, if these are not being arranged by your employer.

– Check what documents are necessary for exporting your goods from your present country and importing them into the destination country. Your status may enable you to benefit from certain advantages, such as the obtaining of an exemption. This will avoid you having to pay duties and taxes upon importing your used personal effects.

– Consider renewing your passport and those of all accompanying family members. These should be valid, at least, until your next return to your country.

– Establish international driving licences. Depending on the country of destination, you might have to obtain a local driving licence by going to a local driving school and eventually passing a practical/theoretical driving test. In all cases, keep your actual driving licence with you. It may be requested by the local authorities for you to avoid having to take the test.

– Start informing yourself about your country of destination. Get hold of books, CD-ROMs, videos etc.

– Check the electrical supply at your destination. Ask your local electrician if your electrical appliances will function with the use of adapters and/or transformers. If necessary, prepare a list of all electrical articles that you are unable to use abroad. You could sell them.

– Add all items of furniture, plants and pet animals that you are unable to take with you, and consider how to dispose of them or where to re-home them in the case of pets.

– Select the appropriate mode of transportation (sea, air, road) and consider the storage solution.

– You can obtain from your family doctor a “World Map of Endemic Zones”. This will tell you what vaccines and treatments are necessary for your country of destination. If any are required, these should be administered several months prior to your departure.

Moving day minus 60:

– Contact at least two moving companies and arrange for an appointment for a pre-move survey. Following the surveys, choose your mover and determine the date for packing operations. Depending upon your budget and preference, it may make sense to travel light and rent furnished accommodation at the destination. In this case, persuade family to take your most precious possessions into their care until your return.

– Make airline or rail reservations. Be sure to keep your tickets after arrival. These could eventually be requested at your destination for Customs clearance purposes.

– Make eventual plans for temporary accommodation for the post-packing period. The same should be done at destination, whilst you are waiting for the final delivery of your goods.

– Enquire at your moving company about the possibility of reclaiming VAT on the new goods shipped. This will depend on your country of origin and destination. In most cases, you will need to have invoices established for all newly purchased goods being shipped abroad.

– Inform the various organisations of your forthcoming change of address. Transfer your subscriptions or cancel your contracts.

Moving day minus 30:

– Have your house linen, curtains and carpets cleaned.

– Sort out your goods and disregard those you will not be using any more.

– Ask your GP, dentist, ophthalmologist and other specialists to renew all your prescriptions so that you can continue any treatments abroad. Do not forget to ask for your medical files.

– Inform your local authorities (condominium association, etc.) of your forthcoming departure.

– Contact all charities or associations to whom you’ve decided to donate those items that you will be leaving behind. Set up an appointment so that these can be picked up from your home.

Moving day minus 7:

– Clean your bicycles, garden tools and furniture.

– Now is the time to sell or donate all unwanted effects. Do not forget to return things that you borrowed from family or friends.

– Give your new contact details to your circle of family and friends. You can get a free email address at the Directmoving® site.

– Reconfirm your moving dates to your moving company. Make sure they have both your addresses, at origin and destination. Any intermediate contact numbers should also be supplied.

– Add adapters and/or transformers to your shipment. These are necessary for the operation of your electrical appliances at destination. You should also be able to purchase them before the delivery of your effects in your new residence.

– Begin your “Valued Inventory List” of all household goods and personal effects being moved. Fill the inventory in as precisely as possible. Do not hesitate to add extra sheets of paper should the need arise.

Moving day minus 2:

– Use destination stickers to sort out your goods by destination or method of transportation, if more than one destination or method is involved.

– Start dismantling your furniture, removing curtains, pictures and light fixtures, unless the moving company is contracted to provide this service.

– Clean and let dry all kitchen appliances to avoid the possibility of mildew during shipping.

– Disconnect all electrical appliances and cover naked wires where necessary.

– If at all possible, reserve a parking spot for the removal van or container, as close as possible to your residence. Loading operations will become much easier.

– Put aside a few soft drinks for the packing crew – they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Moving day!

– Put away all important documents and articles of value (passports, airline tickets, cash, travel addresses, destination country contact details, portable computers, phones, keys etc.) that you wish to carry personally. This will avoid having them packed accidentally.

– Upon the arrival of the packing crew, you should go round your home with the crew foreman and point out all that needs to be packed. If you have any special requests (e.g. packing of your beds last) now is the right time to mention them.

There… you are now ready to move with total peace of mind.

Information supplied by®, the worldwide relocation portal. [Link removed as the site no longer seems to be available.]

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