Four Top Tips for Moving Overseas


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Moving overseas is a fun and exciting process, but it comes hand in hand with loads of research and admin.

It’s not uncommon to start feeling overwhelmed, so planning every last detail can do wonders for the stress levels.

We’ve come up with some lesser thought of tips that can easily be glossed over, to make your moving journey just a little bit easier.

Here are our four top tips that everyone should consider before moving overseas.

  • Keep, store or sell?

Moving is surely the world’s best excuse for a spring clean. Marie Kondo your life and be ruthless with what you keep and what you cull.

When considering large items such as furniture and appliances, do some research on whether it will be cheaper to transport them across the border or to sell them and buy new ones once you’re on the other side. 

Selling unnecessary belongings can help you generate more money to fund your upcoming move. Look at where you would like to sell the items, whether you prefer Facebook marketplace, Gumtree, a local second-hand store, or even donate the things still in good, working order to charity. 

Take note that moving and transporting larger items such as fridges and beds can be a mission, so it might be worth having the buyer collect them at your house, so you don’t have to worry about that.

Mobile storage is a super handy solution where removalists come and collect your goods at your door and put them onto the storage unit placed on their truck straight away, and transport the unit back to their warehouse where it is stored over the short or long term until you’re ready to retrieve it.

This is a great option for those heirlooms that you don’t want to schlep across countries but aren’t ready to part with quite yet. Or maybe you have a grand piano that you’d love to send over in the future but want to wait until you have more funds in the coming months to do so.

If you’re not driving your own car over the border, you’ll need to decide whether your car needs to be shipped or stored. Research whether the area you’re moving to has adequate public transport, as you might find that having a car isn’t even necessary in many areas.

Remember to get an international drivers’ license if you’ll need one.

  • Hire professional packers to make your life easier

Moving to an entirely new country is a huge job. You really don’t need to coordinate the whole process by yourself.

When it comes to packing your belongings, it can be very worth it to hire the help of professionals. 

Professional packers know exactly how to wrap fragile items up in butcher paper and bubble wrap to protect them properly. And, they are experienced in navigating how to position the weirdest of objects into the smallest amount of boxes.

Spending money on professional packers can save you money in the long run because you’ll have fewer boxes to transport or store, and there’s less chance of your belongings getting broken because they’re experts in wrapping for protection.

What’s more, when it comes to unpacking, the process will be smoother thanks to the logical way the boxes were packed in the first place.

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  • Research and plan ahead for administrative things

If you’re moving using a travel agent, they will likely be able to give you advice on the following. If not, consider posting on community Facebook pages of the area you’ll be moving to, asking for the answers to any questions you might have.

Ask for recommendations for things like a:

  • bank,
  • medical aid,
  • insurance,
  • phone provider,
  • local doctor,
  • school,
  • hairdresser, beautician etc.,
  • church or place of worship,
  • gym,
  • social gatherings such as golf clubs or book clubs, or research Parkruns in the area.

Once you’ve moved, you’ll have so much to unpack and do and learn, so it can be valuable to sort out these administrative tasks before the move so that they’re done, and you don’t have to worry about them again.

Also, remember to close the accounts with your current providers before you move so that you don’t end up paying for a service you’re not receiving.

  • Get to know the place you’re going

This should be a given, but you’d be surprised how often this small key factor gets forgotten in between the craziness of managing everything else.

For starters, are there other languages in the country you’re moving to that you should know how to communicate in for basic conversation? Learning common phrases can be invaluable, such as:

  • Hello. 
  • Where is the bathroom?
  • Where is the exit?
  • How much does this cost?
  • Can you speak English? 
  • Thank you.

If their main spoken language is English, you can research common phrases or colloquial expressions used regularly. Take note of things that could be offensive to locals. 

You can also research customary practices of the region, for example, whether greeting is done by shaking hands or kissing on the cheek. Do they drive on the left-hand side of the road? Do they use kilometres or miles?

Be sure to research whether tap water is safe to drink. Some areas have perfectly drinkable tap water, and others recommend drinking filtered or bottled water only.

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Key Takeaways

You’ll never be 100% prepared or have every single detail planned down to the tee, but try and control the things you can control.

Go through your belongings and decide what to take with you, what you can sell or donate, and put the rest in storage for the time being.

Don’t be shy to hire the help of professionals to make your move quicker, easier and more efficient. Professional packers can save you money in the long run.

Be sure to cancel all subscriptions before you go, and research the providers you will be using on the other side. Do as much of this before the time as possible to alleviate the administrative burden once you get there.

Get to know the language, customs and cultures observed in the area you’re moving to. This will make navigating your surroundings easier and help you make acquaintances and even friends.


Victor Berezinas
Victor is the Managing Director of ABC Removalists. They pride themselves in being personable family-owned furniture removalists and have been operating and providing amazing service as Sydney removalists since 2015.

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