How-to November 12, 2021

15 Ways to Prevent Things From Breaking When Moving Abroad

Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

Relocating an entire home to a new country is not an easy task, and your belongings will go through a lot of hands during transportation. And yes, chances are something bad might happen to your belongings along the way. But there are ways to prevent things from breaking while moving abroad. And if you are extra cautious, your stuff will make it to the new destination without a scratch.

The only thing you wish to see broken when relocating overseas is the language barrier, so to prevent any breakages during transportation, you will have to make a good packaging strategy and start with all the work on time. So once you have gathered all the documents needed to travel abroad, you can immediately start with other preparations. Because relocating across the world will be emotionally and physically exhausting, and if you wish to avoid any additional relocation stress, learn how to deal with your fragile items.

Packing Is Different When Moving Internationally

It doesn’t matter if you are relocating to some of the best countries in Europe or if you wish to try your luck in some Asian metropolis like Bangkok – your belongings will have to be transported over the ocean. Which means you will have to adjust to different packaging methods. The first thing you need to establish is shipping arrangements. Will you ship by sea or by air? Shipping by sea is cheaper and not limited in terms of volume (you can pack and ship your entire home,) but it takes longer.

While airplane transportation is faster, there is a limitation to the number of things you can bring. To be fair, both ways are good and which one you will choose depends completely on your needs. For example, if you are relocating abroad alone because you get a great once-in-a-lifetime job offer in Scotland, shipping by air will probably be the better choice. But if you decide to relocate to some of the best places to live abroad with your family and wish to relocate most of your household belongings, shipping by sea is your best option.

Find Out What Items Can’t Be Shipped

Even if you are relocating to Hawaii, there are things you can not bring in. For example, relocating with cats, dogs, and other pets can be demanding. Or, if you plan to relocate to Russia, you can transport goods up to $11,500. Therefore, you will need to check rules and regulations before packaging because every country has its own laws that determine what you can import. But some rules are the same for most countries – for example, for artworks, expensive music instruments, antiquities, and guns with special permission. You can check rules and regulations on the US Department of State.

Find Best International Moving Company

Your dream of living overseas can hardly be accomplished without the help of an international moving company. Find a company that can provide you with all the services you require, from car transportation to shipping by sea. You will be less stressed out if you have movers that can handle everything and even provide a professional packing service. With their experience in shipping and transportation, your belongings will be properly packed, stored, and finally shipped to your new destination without any damages.

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You Will Need a Detailed Inventory List of Things You Are Shipping

When shipping by the sea, the Titanic-like scenarios will probably never be the reason why your fragile items are damaged. The most probable course of events would be damage during the customs inspection. So when you start deciding what to pack when moving abroad, one of the best tips we can give you is to start making an inventory list of things you are bringing with you. If you have a list of things printed-out in detail, the customs officers will likely not go through each of your boxes.

Label Everything and Prevent Customs from Destroying Your Belongings

One of the best tips is to properly label each container. That will help your movers load and unload your belongings, but it will also be a good way to inform customs officers about what is inside your boxes. It would be good to print an inventory list of each container and tape it on it. And we don’t need to mention how this labeling system will work wonders for your unpacking too.

Schmidt International Relocations
Use marker if you don't have labels

To Prevent Things From Breaking Is Impossible Without Right Supplies

Whether you are relocating to the Bahamas or you’re more like relocating to Canada type, you will have to purchase some packaging supplies, and new protective materials will be a top priority for protecting your fragile items. Here is the list of supplies to buy:

  • Medium-size boxes,
  • Packaging paper,
  • Pliable cardboard,
  • Duct tape,
  • Bubble wrap,
  • Scissors,
  • Cushioning,
  • Markers and labels.

Buy Transparent Boxes

One of the great tips to help you go through the customs easier is using transparent containers. Because, aside from the fact that your belongings will go through x-rays, sometimes customs officers must perform a manual search if something is jamming the image. So if you wish they go through your stuff faster, put everything in transparent containers, and their in-person search will go smoothly.

Schmidt International Relocations
If you can find transparent containers, make sure you write a detailed inventory list on each box

How to Prevent Things From Breaking When Moving to New Country

Like in every relocation, the most important part is to have a good packing strategy in place. And for international moving, some things are done differently due to longer transportation and the fact that many people will process your belongings. And not to mention your belongings would spend some time in storage units. Still, with high-quality packing supplies and a couple of tips and tricks, you will protect your belongings with ease.

Packing Dishes and Glasses Is the Same

When it comes to tips for packing plates and other kitchen breakables, the rules are the same as if you were relocating somewhere closer, like Vancouver. Plates must be wrapped in packing paper. Once you cover each piece, place them in the container horizontally. But before you put them in the container, place a layer of cushioning to the bottom. You can use stacked paper or foam peanuts.

When it comes to packing glasses, the process is similar. Envelope each piece individually and then place them in a container that has been filled with a protective layer. When placing glasses, you should put the bottom of the glasses first and completely cover the box’s bottom. Make sure to put protective material between each layer of glasses.

Lamps Will Require Extra Attention

First, you have to disassemble the lamp. Remove the lampshade from the lamp body. Put the screws and other small parts in a zip lock bag. Take the lamp body and cover it with bubble wrap if it is ceramic or paper if it is made from wood. Place the body in a container large enough to fit its size and surround it with some cushioning. The lamp’s shade should be wrapped with paper and then placed on top of the body. Make sure to put a lot of paper so no parts can move inside the container. Close everything and reinforce the container with duct tape.

Learn How to Protect Wooden Items for Long Stay in Storage

Even if they are not fragile, your wooden belongings can be damaged if not appropriately protected. The first rule when dealing with wooden belongings is never to cover them in plastic or bubble wraps. Plastic will create condensation, which can damage the wood. The changes in the temperature can easily happen, and moisture will be one of the biggest consequences. So when dealing with wooden parts, envelop them in sheets, blankets, or paper. When packing your furniture, unscrew the wooden parts and place them in the boxes. If this is not possible, try to protect those parts with paper.

Schmidt International Relocations
If possible, unscrew the wooden parts of your furniture before sending them to storage

Here Is How to Protect Your TV and Other Electronic Devices

When it comes to packaging your flat TV, it would be best if you have the original box. But if this is not the case, you should follow the instructions for proper protection. First, you will need to cut the styrofoam to fit the screen. Styrofoam must be placed from the inside corners and fastened with duct tape. The next step is to cover everything in bubble wrap.

Then, take corrugated cardboard sheets and place them on your working surface. Take the TV and put it on top of your sheets. Fold the sheet in such a way as to cover both sides of the TV and mark where you will do the cut. Cut the sheet and envelope it around your device. Put all together with duct tape and fold the side edges, and tape them as well. Take a marker and write “screen” on the side of the box where your screen is. Write the model of the TV on the box as well. For an example of how to pack a TV with ease, check out the following video.

YouTube video

How to Deal With Large, Oddly Shaped Fragile Items From Your Home

We mentioned earlier that you would need pliable cardboard. This material is best for tackling belongings that are oddly shaped. And like many homes, you probably have a lot of these objects as well. Pliable cardboard is great because you will be able to make adjustable cardboard containers for unusual objects. Take bubble wrap, envelope the object with it, reinforce everything with duct tape, and then cover everything with pliable cardboard.

Schmidt International Relocations
Use pliable cardboard for artworks and other valuable objects

What About Picture Frames and Mirrors?

You can cover picture frames and mirrors in bubble wrap or with foam sheets. Of course, if your picture frames or mirrors are made from wood, you should envelop them with sheets or blankets. Before wrapping them up, you should make an X shape with packaging tape from corner to corner of your mirror or picture frame. That will prevent the glass from breaking. You can make a cover out of corrugated cardboard sheets and cover each piece with it.

Small Glassware Items And Figurines Must Be Taken Care of, Too

If you have a lot of small ceramic figurines, you should envelop each in paper and then place them in a box with cushioning. You will probably want to have your Christmas ornaments with you as well. These items are highly fragile, so you will have to cover each piece with paper. You can use a shoebox for a really small object. Just ensure you don’t leave any space inside the box. Fill everything with cushioning.

Schmidt International Relocations
If you have an original container for your Christmas ornaments, place them there

With Best International Moving Company You Will Relocate With Ease

As you can see, a lot of things must be done when relocating overseas. And it doesn’t matter if you are relocating to Ontario or some far Asian country. You will have to protect your belongings appropriately, especially if your belongings are about to cross the ocean. Still, if you hire professionals for packing service, this whole process will be much easier. They will know how to pack your belongings properly, but they will know how to pack them in the best way possible for shipping and customs checks.

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