Many people find packing stressful, even when it is just for a holiday, let alone a move abroad. Anyone who has made a move internationally will know that packing becomes even more stressful when you’re required to ship your belongings overseas. However, with some sensible planning you can save yourself time, stress, and even money.

Stock up on supplies

When packing it is common practice to focus on organising your things into piles, leaving the actual packing till last. Make sure you don’t have a last minute panic when you realise your bubble wrap role is far too short and buy in bulk. You will probably need more than you think.

Kill two birds with one stone

Space means money. The more compact you can make you belongings be, the cheaper your shipping cost will be. Try using towels and bedding to wrap up fragile items, make the most of empty drawers, and always fill boxes to the top. This isn’t just more cost effective, it can actually prevent your belongings being damages on the way to your new destination as containers that aren’t full can get crushed during shipping.

Think about the unpacking process

Pack with unpacking in mind. Unpacking can be a long and tiring process and it will be much easier if your boxes are organised by room. When faced with the ‘junk drawer’ we are a;l guilty of possessing don’t just dump it into a box , decide what is actually useful and throw the rest away. That shoe horn sure could come in handy, but let’s face it, you can buy them anywhere. Lastly, try keeping an inventory of what is contained in which boxes. Trust us, your future self will thank you.

Be clear about what you’re packing

Beware of ‘dangerous’ goods. You may not think that your personal possessions fall into that category, but it’s always worth double (and triple) checking. For instance, if you want to ship a hoverboard or air wheel powered by lithium batteries, it will have to be packed and shipped in a specific manner. The best way to make sure you are packing legally and safely is to speak to a shipping expert.

Leave the big stuff to the professionals

It can be hard to trust someone you don’t know with some of your most expensive and loved posessions but sometimes it is for the best. As much as you may want to wrap your own furniture and ensure your chesterfield sofa will come to no harm on the way, many shipping companies offer this as part of the service and, because they’re professional packaging experts with thousands of hours of combined experience, you can rest assured that they’ll do a good job.

Get insurance

Shipping your belongings is not entirely risk-free. Between 2,000 and 10,000 shipping containers are lost at sea every year, this only equates to 1% of containers shipped annually but it is still an understandably scary figure to know. Take some time finding the right insurance provider for your needs, prioritising the most valuable and breakable items, and remember that you won’t be able to claim for broken items that you packed yourself.

Use up that booze!

May countries impost high taxes on alcohol imports and so, while you can usually bring a small amount of alcohol with you, it’s best to drink up the remainder of your wine cellar. A good and fun tip is to use your leftover alcohol at your leaving party with close friends and family.

Give yourself time

The most important thing you can do when preparing for an overseas move is to schedule an appropriate amount of preparation time. Moving is extremely time consuming, so set out clear boundaries, take lots of breaks, and – most important of all – ask for help from the people around you!



Jim Limerick


1st Move international are an international removals company based in the UK