Packing for a move is a time-intensive process, and one that forces you to carefully evaluate how dearly you hold your possessions. Preparing for an overseas move is a particularly challenging task, as you begin to wonder how safe each item will be wrapped in standard bubble wrap and neatly placed in boxes. You'll also need to consider all of the potential Customs, Quarantine, and Insurance hurdles you'll have to deal with.

To make the packing process for an international move as seamless as possible, you may have to do some extra planning ahead of time. A professional moving service can help.

Make some cuts

How will you pack everything in your home for your international move? The short answer is: You won't.

During the course of packing your home for your move abroad, you'll probably need to make some cuts. Certain items simply won't be worthwhile to take on your way. You may decide to donate, sell or throw away things that you don't find very valuable, or that you've already gotten your use from.

As you go through your belongings to determine what to throw away, be judicious. While minimalising your possessions will make the move very simple, be sure not to go overboard and toss something with sentimental value.

Ask yourself a few questions, like:

  • Does this item have monetary or sentimental value?
  • Can I easily replace this item when I arrive?
  • How much will it cost to replace this item?
  • Is this item essential to my lifestyle or happiness?
  • Is this item restricted in the country I'm moving to?

After you've determined which items will not make the journey, the packing process will be much more manageable.

Sturdy boxes are essential

International moves are typically long journeys. To ensure your belongings will make the trip safely, package them in boxes that are built to endure a long trip. Flimsy cardboard boxes can tear or break, leaving your belongings vulnerable to damage or loss. Instead, use boxes made with only the highest-grade material.

Choose the appropriate size for each box. Heavy items should be packed in smaller boxes, for example, to minimise the strain on the bottom. Try your best to ensure that no items are loose or able to move within the box. If you still have the original packaging for certain items like electronics, those may offer the best protection, if they have retained the original polystyrene inserts.

Prior to filling a box with particularly heavy or fragile items, reinforce it with extra tape on the seams, corners and sides. Put the heaviest items on the bottom of the box. Use labels to ensure anyone who will carry the box knows how to handle it; for example, write in large letters "Fragile" or "Heavy." You may also label boxes with the name of the room it belongs in.

Optimise your protective packaging

Protecting your fragile and valuable items from damage during the move is critical. Have materials like packaging paper, bubble wrap and cardboard inserts ready to use as you begin to pack.

Each delicate item should be carefully wrapped with packaging. Here are some tips to ensure your materials will provide the best protection possible:

  • Tape packaging in place.
  • Use as much packaging material as possible to protect your belongings. This can include packing paper, tissue, poly chips, or other soft items.
  • Cover all sides and corners of your items.
  • Use cardboard inserts to create divisions in your boxes to prevent shifting during a bumpy ride.
  • Use cardboard inserts as splints: After encapsulating your item in bubble wrap or paper packaging, wrap the item in cardboard to offer a rigid frame that's less susceptible to damage. Tape it in place.
  • Add a layer of packaging material at the bottom and top of your boxes to add extra cushioning.
  • Cartons should be light enough to be easily lifted by one person

Get help from the pros

Packing for an international move is no small task, no matter how strategic your approach is. Hiring help from experts who've been through it countless times can make it a much more manageable process. In addition to having the right supplies and techniques for a seamless move, utilising an experienced team can help you avoid potential snafus with Customs and Quarantine. They will want to know the contents of the items being packed. If you haven't kept a list, you may be in trouble. Customs and Quarantine also tend to flag owner-packed items as they perceive them to be a higher risk, sometimes including restricted or prohibited items. In addition, working with a professional team can make it easier to get your belongings insured during the move. In some cases, it may be challenging to extend insurance to cover items not sighted by the mover or packed professionally.

OSS World Wide Movers are international moving specialists who can assess your belongings, pack up your home skillfully and arrange transport to your new home. With offices and warehouses in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, we can accommodate your move from or to anywhere in Australia.

If you're planning an international move, contact OSS World Wide Movers for consultation or assistance with packing and transporting your belongings, pets, cars and other items to your new home.