It's done, no way back! Our life is in boxes! Small boxes, big boxes, many boxes. They are off to the sea and will be traveling for 3 months until they get to our new home. This is our biggest moving ever - in terms of volume and distance as well. I am sooo relieved, words are not enough to express!
These big packings and movings have always made me feel incredibly excited - the date of traveling & new adventures approaching :) -, yet stressed, too.
So to make movings smoother, and even more fun than stress, I gathered my years of experience below for you! Hope you will find some good tips that will make your life easier when packing :D
1. Write a check list with the To Dos and cross them out once they are done.
It will visualize your results and make you feel successful :) Everything you need to organize, starting from buying tickets, insurance, checking validity of passports, applying for visa if needed, to paying your last bills, shutting down accounts, transferring money, cancelling your rent, selling your car/flat/furniture, looking for a new place to live.
2. Hire a moving company, let them take care of everything for you, and you just pay, sit back and relax!
Ok I know, this costs money, especially if you are relocating privately and it is not a company paying for it. And you still have to send and fill out all the necessary documents for the shipping, insurance, customs, etc.
But it is worth to think of this option if you want to save a lot of time - they usually pack up a complete household in a day! You also don't have to worry about disassembling furniture, wrapping fragile items carefully, getting boxes, etc.
Just make sure you start getting those quotes way in advance (2-3 months before an overseas move), and preferably from several companies. This will give you options, allow you to compare prices, service and pick the best that suits your needs.
3. Get boxes and cartons to pack your stuff.
In time. Before you want to start the actual packing. :) You can either purchase them or if you want to stay green you can tour the bigger stores or shopping malls and ask for remaining cartons that they won't use anymore and would probably end up as waste.
Make sure you prepare an inventory while packing - mark and number every box or package and write their content in your notebook/phone. And keep the notes with you. This will save you a lot of hassle when you are looking for your... forks.
Imagine you opened already several boxes and you got the hairdryer, the books, the pillows but you still cannot eat your dinner and you are really hungry. :)
4. Get rid of the things you don't need.
This is sometimes hard, I know :) but if you haven't used it for a year and just takes the space, it is worth considering to free up some space. Organize a Garage Sales, advertise on eBay, give it for charity or to friends or those in need. But remember, this also needs time. So don't leave it for the last moment, unless you don't mind throwing away those precious (unused) things.
Trust me, it is not so bad to have a nice rest and sleep, or a last walk to visit your favourite places just before you leave without worrying about what time you should wake up to squeeze in some more things in your bags. ;)
5. Start in time. And double it!
Let's say you planned to start packing 1 week in advance prior to your move - double it to 2 weeks. There will always be a last minute happening, farewells, something you forgot or comes unexpectedly that will cause a delay.
This will allow you more time than necessary and if you happen to gain some extra time at the end, you will feel in heaven that you have accomplished everything you wanted - prior to your plans. :)
+1 for people moving to New Zealand
Keep in mind and respect very strict biosecurity measures!
This is one of the few countries in the world where very strict rules apply in terms of what can you take with you and what not. As New Zealand is an island, and it has a very special flora and fauna, the authorities do their best to conserve and protect this truly unique environment.
Watch out for anything that is made of plants or animals, live or dead, let it be food, traditional Chinese herbal medicine, handcrafted wooden ornaments, necklaces that contain shells, or items that have been in touch with plants or animals - hiking boots, bikes, vacuum cleaner, gardening equipment, water sports equipment. These are absolutely NO GO or have to be cleaned and declared - and if needed, inspected, fumigated, destroyed or shipped back - on your costs!
Make sure you check with the Customs for all the details to avoid surprises, as they are really really strict and you don't want to be fined or your container to be quarantined...
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