A Simple Packing Plan for Your International Move

You know the anxiety of packing before a move? Double it and you have a good idea of what to expect when preparing for an international move. Since this move is expensive and you might be moving into smaller digs, you probably won't be able to take all of your possessions, so your first decision will be what to bring and what not to bring. If you're not bringing all of your belongings think about tossing them, selling them, donating them or putting them in a temporary storage facility.

Leave behind bulk items. Things to leave behind include bulky and impersonal items like furniture, which can be bought for your new home and then re-sold at departure. Also, leave behind items that won't work with the different voltage levels outside North America -- locally-purchased appliances are better. Leave behind objects of minor sentimental value, like knickknacks and heavy books.

Make sure you have enough toiletries. You will want to bring enough toiletries and medicines to last a few months because it might take awhile to find replacements overseas. Also, check electronics prices and whether you'd be better off buying an iPod overseas or bringing one with you.

Bring a piece of home with you. Be sure to pack things that give you a sense of home - you might need them if you have a run-in with culture shock. This could be some favorite photographs or a painting or note cards from a friend.

Watch as they pack. No matter how good your international moving company is, be around while they're packing up your stuff. You can minimize bad or mistaken packing and verify where everything is going. Keep inventory lists for each box and label the boxes if stuff is lost or broken, you will need that information.

Be sure to keep some personal items out of the boxes and with you. Your stuff likely won't get to your destination as quickly as you will, so there will be time you can't access your things. This can be for only a matter of days or it can be as long as several months, depending on the complexity of the move and/or the remoteness of the location.