Moving Tips&Tricks February 18, 2022

7 Moving Mistakes Every Expat Wants to Avoid

Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

If you’re relocating halfway across the world soon and want to avoid common moving mistakes you’ve probably already called your friends and family to get first-hand experience and hear some tips. However, we know a thing or two about relocating as well, so keep reading to get some professional tips that will certainly help you move more efficiently.

What Should You Not Do When Moving Abroad?

Apart from things you obviously need to do when moving, like obtaining documents to travel, writing an expenses checklist and learning some of the best relocation tips and hacks, there are also some things you should avoid. Common errors are common for a reason – people aren’t aware of them until it’s too late. That’s why you should learn all about them on time and ensure that the whole process of moving across the world goes without any relocation stress.

Is There a Checklist for Moving?

There isn’t one specific checklist that is suitable for everyone because every move has its unique features you have to consider. You are the only person who can adjust this checklist to your specific needs, so the answer is that you should make it. For example, the checklist won’t be the same for a person moving to Russia and the person relocating to Argentina. That’s why, start by noting all the mistakes we’ll mention in this article and the best ways to prevent them.

Girl making a checklist list before relocating
There are many responsibilities you have to handle during your move

#1 Booking an International Moving Company Without Researching It Online

One of the most important things to remember when moving overseas is that a good relocation company is key to a successful move. This is why you shouldn’t hire the first company that comes to your mind or that you somehow found. Unfortunately, there is always a risk of becoming a victim of a relocation scam. That’s why you have to learn how to protect yourself and do research on the companies you’re hiring.

When Moving Internationally Ensure You Hire Licensed and Professional Movers

A trustworthy company will offer you a wide range of services, starting with packing assistance, and professional car shipping. However, another thing you should check is if this company you plan on hiring is licensed and has valid permission to assist you during the move. Other things you should check are:

  • Contract – especially the fine print where they can hide many additional costs,
  • Equipment – professional movers will have suitable equipment and skills, to fulfill all the promised assistance
  • Website – trustworthy companies, should have a website nowadays, where they showcase their international moving services
  • Reviews – not only on their website but on other platforms as well.

Another suspicious thing that might come out is the pricing ratio. If you find out that a company is offering unrealistically low prices, that’s probably because they are trying to scam you to pay them much more in the end. This is a usual trap, but you can easily avoid it if you research and compare prices on websites of other companies.

Schmidt International Relocations crew
Extremely low prices and quotes can be a sign of a fraud

#2 Waiting Until the Last Minute to Start Organizing Your Move

You can also get in a lot of trouble if you leave everything for the last minute and start packing fragile items in a hurry. People often have this illusion that there is enough time to do everything on short notice – just a few days will be enough. Unfortunately, in most cases, this is not enough, especially if you have to work and take care of your children at the same time you’re organizing the move.

Start as Soon as You Can

Leaving everything for the last minute can lead to many accidental mistakes you’ll make while trying to handle everything at once. That’s why it is essential that you start on time – as soon as you have enough reasons to move and find your dream house around some of the best countries to live in.

Girl sitting between cardboard containers
Don't postpone your tasks and do it all on time

#3 Forgetting to Change the Address

If you want to move efficiently, you need to bring all of your mail with you. However, one of the common moving problems that occur is people forgetting to change their address on time. This results in lost mail and a long list of unpaid bills. That’s why it is essential to think about this in advance and organize all of your important documents, change the address, and set up utilities in advance. Additionally, if you are relocating with dogs or cats, don’t forget to change the info on their microchips.

Pile of papers
Sort important documents and change your address in advance

#4 Forgetting to Declutter Before You Start Packing

This might seem like a natural step you would not forget, but you’ll be surprised how many people actually forget to do this and start wrapping and boxing up everything they find around their house. This is only complicating everything – that’s why it is considered a mistake.

It will definitely cause additional expenses both for packing materials and professional services, and some of these objects won’t fit your new house, so relocating them is completely unnecessary. Also, there is no need to relocate something that is damaged or unuseful and just sits around your house without any purpose.

Donate, Recycle or Sell Things You Don’t Use

Once you decide what to keep when relocating, you should decide what to do with items you aren’t going to keep. One of the best options is selling some of the objects that you find worthy – this can be old clothes or some furniture pieces that are still functional and in good condition.

This is one of the benefits of relocation – you can even earn some money and use it for other needs, for example, furnishing your new apartment according to your style. Another option is to donate some of the pieces or recycle if you have to get rid of them because they are useless. For example, Goodwill and RedCross might be a good option for donating old stuff.

Wrapped chair
You can always donate some old furniture pieces

#5 Relocating Bulky and Heavy Objects by Yourself

Relocating large objects by yourself is risky (if not impossible) – there is a big chance that you’ll get injured, for starters. Also, some of the fragile objects might get damaged, so don’t try this at home alone. Not only that, this will be hard, but in most cases, it will be impossible to do on your own, especially if, let’s say you are relocating to Schotland or halfway across the world to Bangkok.

Ensure You Get the Proper Assistance

First things first – even if you decide to pack on your own, you have to find proper assistance. This can be your family members and friends. However, we recommend that the first choice should be professional packers. Especially if you have a lot of bulky pieces on your packing list or you have to move a piano or some other extremely heavy and large object in your home.

Conquer This Task by Learning Proper Lifting Techniques and Getting Suitable Equipment

If you decide to tackle packing on your own, consider the equipment. Boxing up large items is much easier with suitable boxes and padding materials. So ensure you have at least some of those. However, if you don’t want to buy them – don’t worry, hire professionals who already have them ready in the truck and know how to use them properly.

Schmidt International Relocations packers
Boxing up large objects on your own can be a tiring process

#6 Skipping to Prepare a Box With Essentials

Another thing people forget to do when they are in a hurry is to prepare a bag or a box with essentials. You can make this common mistake if you rush to pack all the items in separate boxes following particular categories instead of picking some of your most essential belongings (things you use daily) and boxing them all together.

This Box Should Contain Things You Use Daily

You should prepare this box, for example, on the night before the move. It won’t be hard to decide what to put inside – these will be the objects you are still using on the very last night in your old home. These are usually your toiletries, towels, some clothes, laptop, phone chargers, or medications. You should pack them all together and keep this box close to you in case you need some of these things as soon as you get to your new home.

Moving day box
You should dedicate one box to your essentials

#7 Not Labeling All the Boxes Properly

Another fatal mistake that can lead to many complications and confusion is often a result of a poor organization. Even if your fragile objects are packed perfectly, what’s the use of it if you put a box that contains your delicate glasses under a heavy nightstand – none. Something will get broken, and you’ll feel bad about forgetting to label this container in advance. This is also essential when packing computers and other electronics.

Check if Everything Is Labeled Properly and Be Extra Careful With Those Boxes That Contain Fragile Objects

It is vital that you label everything as soon as you put your belongings into containers. This will help you avoid any confusion. This is also one of the relocation hacks that will help you with the unpacking process. You’ll know exactly where to put the container once you get to your new home. Once you position them correctly, it will be much easier to unpack, plus you’ll save energy.

Movers labeling boxes
Never forget to label your boxes, especially those containing fragile objects

Now That You Know All the Moving Mistakes, It’s Time to Hire Professional Movers to Help You Prevent Them

Now that you’re aware of potential moving problems that might occur and the best ways to prevent them or conquer them, it’s time for our final and one of the most important tips. Hiring professional international movers is definitely something that will update the quality of your move and leave you enough energy to deal with other responsibilities.

With the team of right packers and movers, you’ll have enough free time to prepare for the culture shock that relocating abroad brings. Also, while the crew does all the heavy lifting, use the free time to break the language barrier. Knowing the language will make the adjustment process easier and faster.

Now that you know how to avoid the most common mistakes expats make, it will be easy to make the whole process of moving internationally an adventure worth remembering.

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