WHEN you move abroad your head tends to be full of concerns about how you will fit in with your new environment. You may find it is preferable to leave your cupboards, sofas, and favourite paintings to a moving company to worry about, but the most important issue is time. Ideally, you should have three months to prepare for the move, and proceed according to the following schedule:
* Choose a professional international moving company.
* Make an appointment for a pre-move meeting (where the amount of goods to be moved will be estimated).
* Set the date of your move with the moving company.
* Make an appointment with your doctor to have your vaccinations updated and any prescriptions updated.
* Make sure the following are in order: passport, visa, work permit, international driving licence.
* Think about selling or giving away the furniture you will not be taking with you.
* Ask the moving company for information on export customs clearances (in some countries, for instance, VAT can be reclaimed on goods that were bought in the past six months).
* Ask the moving company for a list of forbidden or restricted goods (alcohol, books, video tapes, animals, medicine, weapons, ivory, etc.).
* Book your transport tickets, and keep them safe, as they may be required by customs upon arrival.
* Think about renting some accommodation for a short period if necessary following your move and/or before delivery at your destination.
* Have your mail forwarded, and cancel the following services:
- water, gas, electricity, mail, phone/mobile, bank, insurance, social security, schools, tax centre, TV/cable , associations/sports clubs, rental lease
* Take some time to gather information on your final destination (books, guides, CD Rom, video tape, etc.).
* Sort out which goods will be sent by air or sea on the day of your move.
* Check what kind of voltage is used at your destination; you may have to buy some adapters.
* Think about subscribing to some newspapers or some cultural or business magazines from your home country.
* If you are a foreign citizen, tell city hall or any other relevant institution that you are moving.
* Make a list of all the goods to be moved and indicate the value of each.
* Empty the gasoline out of gas-powered vehicles or devices.
* Think about a baby-sitting service for your children on the day the packing crew picks up the goods.
* Clean and dry off all your electrical appliances.
Finally: Keep your passport, documents, flight tickets, and travel clothes separate from the rest of your belongings.