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Moving overseas to Europe can be a wonderful opportunity. Meeting new people, enjoying a new culture: so many people dream of having the chance to do this at least once in their life.

That said, it can also turn into a logistical nightmare. Having to pack and organise everything for a move can be stressful enough when you’re only moving to the other side of a county, let alone the other side of Europe!

In other words, good planning is absolutely essential for a move to Europe. You will need to arrange everything months in advance, not only to save yourself from a world of stress but also to save money. Anything that you leave to the last minute is bound to incur unexpected costs, which can quickly turn your new adventure into an exercise in frustration.

Most of the time, the most cost-effective option for an international move is to hire a local removal company. With the advice, expertise and equipment they have on hand, a professional remover can ensure that your move goes off without a hitch, allowing you to simply sit back and look forward to settling into your new home.

A moving company which specialises in international relocation and removals can offer:

  • Experience in packing quickly and efficiently, whatever you need to take
  • Insurance coverage for your belongings. This can provide essential peace of mind when travelling a long distance
  • Sturdy, spacious and insured vehicles to transport your belongings
  • Speciality packaging that will ensure your goods arrive safe and sound
  • Additional insurance for speciality items, such as vehicles or pets
  • Local expertise to ensure that you do not take anything illegal or impractical into your new home country

If you choose to use a professional remover, be sure to book them in plenty of time. The first reason for this is that it may take several weeks for your belongings to arrive at their destination, so it can often be easier to ship them in advance. The second reason is that remover schedules tend to fill up quickly, particularly during weekends or holidays. If you leave everything until the last minute, you could find yourself without professional help when you need it most.

That being said, even with a professional remover booked, there is still plenty that you can do to make your international move easier!

How to pack for a European move

Before we continue, it is worth mentioning one crucial piece of advice: ALWAYS make sure to check if there are any items which are illegal to take to your destination. Certain countries may have bans on specific items, or you may need to pay custom fees or import charges. Knowing this in advance can give you the chance to get rid of any particularly expensive items, or potentially even avoid jail time.

List your belongings

Start by making a list of everything that you could, potentially, take with you on your trip. Next, sort everything according to:

  • Essentials which you cannot do without
  • Non-essentials which you can sell
  • Non-essentials which aren’t worth selling, but that you still need to get rid of

This may sound obvious, but making a list can save you a great deal of time and effort in the run-up to your move. If there is anything that you will need immediately upon arrival, be sure to pack this into a clearly labelled box or suitcase.

NEVER scrimp on packaging costs

Our biggest packing tip, moving to a country can be expensive, you do NOT want to try and offset the costs by using substandard packaging. Most of the time, this quick saving will result in damaged belongings, which can be heart-wrenching when arriving in a new company, far from family members.

This rule is particularly important for fragile items. In this case, not only will you need to find strong packaging, but you will also need to invest in bubble wrap and packing paper. You may even need to buy sealable containers, depending on what you are taking.

Luckily, there are plenty of places to get free moving boxes. Even so, you should always check their quality before use. Many of the boxes you find may already be flattened, but sturdy packing tape is fairly cheap (especially considering how much you will be saving anyway).

Choose carefully to reduce shipping costs

One of the main advantages of choosing an international removal company is that they will be able to recommend the most appropriate method for transporting your goods overseas. In most international moves, you will have two main options to consider:

  • Air shipments: While this option is more costly, it is also safe and quick. Transporting your valuables and essentials by air will ensure that you have everything you need as soon as you arrive
  • Sea shipments: In all likelihood, most of your belongings will travel this way. While transporting goods by sea is not particularly fast, it is at least secure. Shipping costs are cheaper than air, plus a favourite for the majority of international movers.

Ask: is it a short or long term move?

There are plenty of variables involved in an international move. One of the most important to consider, however, is whether the move is short or long term.

For a short term move, you will usually only need to take the bare essentials. It can often be easier to sell or give away anything that you don’t need, or to store it until you come home, than it is to take absolutely everything with you.

Long term moves tend to be trickier; you may need to pack additional clothes, valuables and even furniture. If this is the case, be sure to consider how large your new home will be. If you will not be able to fit all of your belongings inside, it may be time to start thinking about what you can do without.

Either way, be sure to trim the fat as much as possible. Remember, the less you have to take with you, the easier your trip will be!

Check your electronics

As much as we love our electronics these days, they can be quite awkward to transport internationally. Most home electronics are not universally compatible; that is, they may not work with the plugs or voltages available at your destination, especially if it lies in another country. When this is the case, it can be easier to sell and replace your electronics than transport them.

If there is anything that you cannot do without, you will need to take extra care when packing it. For one, anything with a screen will need to be protected with bubble wrap and anti-static packing peanuts. You will also need to label the boxes as ‘FRAGILE’ and ‘HANDLE WITH CARE’ in order to avoid any careless accidents during shipping.

Alternatively, if you are simply using a professional remover, be sure to let them know in advance if you are taking any fragile electronics with you on your journey.

Clothing

With most moves, one of the biggest dead weights you will have to deal with is clothing. As nice as your clothes might be, they will take up a huge amount of space during your move.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get rid of unwanted garments. Most of the time you will have no trouble finding charities willing to take them off your hands. Certain charities will even be happy to send bags to your home for later pick-up.

That being said, you should not just get rid of your least favourite items. Instead, start by thinking about the climate of your destination. If it is particularly hot, you will have little use for your expensive winter coat!

It will also be worth considering the activities that you will be engaging in once you arrive at your destination. If you are moving for sport, work, recreation or anything else in particular, be sure to pack appropriately.

Toiletries

Anybody who has ever been on a flight will be familiar with the rules regarding liquids and toiletries. Even so, in this case it will be best to check the rules in advance. You do not want to take expensive toiletries along for the ride, only to find you have to bin them at the gate.

In most cases, your toiletries should be kept in resealable plastic bags, ideally inside sealed plastic boxes. Remember, cheap toiletries can always be replaced!

Important documents

It goes without saying, do not pack important documents or passports when moving overseas. Also to be able to relocate to another country and start your new life abroad, you’ll have to organise the necessary documentation for that country. It is likely you will need work permits and visas.

If you would like quotes for moving to Spain, France, Italy, Ireland or Germany our prices start from as little as £79. See European Removal Services to get an instant quote.

Moving? Don't Panic!
Get ready with our top tips.
Home Removal Man and Van Vehicle Delivery Courier Service
Need to move
anything anywhere?
Get Instant Quotes
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