Moving overseas can be an emotional and stressful experience for individuals and families. The two biggest factors that will help make that process easier is being prepared and giving yourself enough time to get everything in order.
There are professional businesses out there, joined together by associations. The British Association of Removers (BAR) is the leading one in the United Kingdom. Businesses marked with the BAR stamp means that they’re accredited and meet strict industry standards. Sadly, there are lots of untrustworthy businesses out there, so ensure you stick with BAR approved ones to avoid any heartache.
Besides sticking with BAR companies, here are some general tips for a successful move:
Set a good date
Try to set a date for your move during an off-peak time. Many people move during the summer when their kids are on school holiday. Plus, the ends of each month, when flat and house leases expire, also tend to be busy.
Find a good company
The next step should be to find an international removal company that is trustworthy, offers “destination” or “relocation” services and is accredited. In the United Kingdom, it’s best to look for the FIDI (International Federation of International Movers), and the BAR (British Association of Removers) stamps to ensure you don’t get ripped-off.
International removal companies differ in what services they offer. Are you shipping vehicles, pets, antiques? What methods does the company use to ship your goods? If money is a factor in your move–which I assume it is, then asks for “groupage” rates. Instead of the company charging you for a whole shipping container, they will only charge you for the space you need. Three estimates are the golden rule. And of course, ask friends and colleagues for recommendations.
Get it in black and white
When speaking about business matters it can sometimes feel awkward asking to have it written down. But this part is crucial. Make sure that all parts of your move are put down on paper to avoid any last minute surprises. The last thing you want is to be in your new, empty flat waiting for furniture that won’t be shipped for another six months, and having no proof of what you wanted from the removal company.
With the right international removal company, you don’t need to worry about packing yourself. It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s best to let the professional mover do it so that everything is marked and packed correctly. Decide what to leave behind, likes plants or electronics that may not work in your new location. Just pack a bag with what you need for the journey with things like passports, clothes, and toiletries. As the packers are taking out the last few items, double check the cupboards for things that may have missed.
Moving overseas is a “front-heavy” process, as you may be able to tell. Giving yourself enough time, doing some research and planning will be critical to how well your move goes. Throughout it, all, aim to have the best peace of mind with who you’re dealing with by finding the right international removals company that works for your needs.