An overseas move is very different from your average cross-neighbourhood relocation. Aside from the extra processes and steps you must take, there are also certain packing practices you need to learn to ensure the safe transport and arrival of your belongings.
In this article, you will learn five packing hacks certified by international relocation companies plus reminders of what you need to do before you start packing.
Before You Pack
Before digging into helpful pieces of advice on packing, there’s one thing you need to do to make the task significantly easier: purge.
Purging your belongings not only reduces your baggage during the move, but it also lets you have a fresh start in your new home.
Plus, the items you decided to let go of can also give you additional income you can use for your move when you sell them in a garage sale. Of course, this would only be applicable if you are not in a rush or have gone through your stuff well before your move.
Purging aside, you need to ensure that you have plenty of time to do your packing. Remember that while the task may seem simple, it will eat up a lot of your relocation prep time if you don’t do it early and systematically.
You also need to clean anything dirty before putting it in moving containers or boxes. You wouldn’t want dirty clothing causing the rest of your things to smell.
5 Packing Hacks for an International Move
Now that you know the most important pre-packing reminders, it is time to learn the five packing hacks that will make your international move so much easier:
Use the right containers.
Sure, this may not seem like something that needs saying, but believe it or not, many movers make the mistake of using the wrong containers for their belongings.
You see, moving overseas means your stuff will also have to go through numerous transport changes and checks. To make sure the entire package arrives in one piece, you must use containers that won’t easily break.
Corrugated boxes are the most obvious choice as they can be securely sealed before the transport. But if you tend to move frequently, you might want to reconsider this as the cost of packing supplies can add up as you move from one dwelling to another.
In this situation, renting moving boxes made of hard plastic is an excellent alternative. Depending on the location, these rental bins can cost around 50 percent less than new cardboard boxes. They also have the added advantage of being waterproof and crush-proof.
You can also use suitcases and garment boxes. If you’re hiring international movers for the relocation, you might want to ask them about packing services, delivery and pickup, and even peel-and-stick labels as well.
Vacuum-seal items that take up a lot of space.
Blankets, pillows, and thick jackets can take up a lot of space even though they’re relatively lighter than they look. When compressed, these items actually take up less space.
The only problem is that vacuum space bags tend to cost more than you would want to spend. Fortunately, this is where your vacuum could come in handy.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Gather all your materials, including a garbage bag (pick the thick ones that don’t easily get ripped), rubber bands, and a vacuum hose.
- Fold the items for compressing. Stack a few together if you like.
- Put the folded items inside the garbage plastic.
- Insert the vacuum hose into the bag. Ensure it doesn’t come into contact with the plastic while you form a seal around the opening.
- Turn on the vacuum while keeping one hand secure on the sealed opening.
- Ask someone to help squish the bag gently to speed up the shrinking process while the vacuum sucks the air out of the bag and the fluffy items it contains.
- Once the bag has shrunk, detach the hose and secure the bag by tying a rubber band around its opening.
Take note that vacuum sealing won’t change the weight of the items you pack. Make sure you don’t overdo it to avoid carrying super heavy luggage.
- Choose eco-friendly packing peanuts and bubble wrap replacements.
Bubble wrap and packing peanuts can cost a lot. What’s more, they are not biodegradable.
You can use your clothing, towels, and sheets for your breakables, but that opens up the question of whether everything in your moving boxes is squeaky clean. If not, doing this might lead to a laundry nightmare.
So, what can you do? Consider putting your paper shredder to good use.
During decluttering, there’s a good chance that you’ll be shredding plenty of paper as you’re preparing for the move. But rather than dumping them into the recycling bin, consider using them as a cushion for your fragile belongings.
Here’s a pro tip: Avoid making a confetti-like mess by putting shredded paper into grocery bags before using them as padding for your boxes and cushion for breakables. Don’t forget to tie the openings to prevent them from spilling.
You can also use clean plastic bottles to keep odd-shaped items from moving around their respective boxes during transport.
Organise tiny items.
Small items are often the ones that get lost during a move. Save yourself from the stress during unpacking by organising them as you pack.
Resealable bags (the ones with zipper-like locks) are perfect for this situation. They are also reusable and come in a wide range of sizes that could fit just about anything, such as important papers, furniture screws, and electronic cables.
Some of these zip-locking plastics also have white areas you can write on. Careful labelling is vital in making this idea work.
You can put together similar items like cable cords or gather up all accessories that go with each gadget you own (e.g., smartphone chargers, headphones, etc.).
Prepare problem-solving essentials.
When you arrive in your new home, you’re bound to have a lot of stuff to deal with. Don’t add mundane stuff like locating a bar of soap or your pajamas to the list. Prepare problem-solving essentials kits, such as:
- First-aid kit – Bandages, antiseptic, fever medicine, etc.
- Bed-and-bath essentials – Shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toilet paper, towels, and sheets, among others.
- Toolkit – Screwdrivers, hex keys, pliers, scissors, and other items used to assemble furniture and open boxes.
- Food kit – Snacks, bottled water, and other pantry items.
Pack Like a Pro (or Ask Others to Do It)
Packing is one of the most important steps in a move. Try packing like a pro with the help of these hacks or make the smarter choice – let experts do it. Either way, this should give you a less stressful relocation.
Praful Gupta is the Business Head for Asset Mobility at Writer Relocations, India’s premier mobility services company that handles all types of moves: International & Domestic Relocations, Office Relocations, Commercial Move Management Services, Hospitality Logistics, Fine Arts Logistics, Orientation Services, and Storage Solutions. Headquartered in Mumbai, Writer Relocations has presence in 7 countries and operates in more than 190 countries.