Residential Moving

From chaos to calm: Our international moving checklist will help you stay organized

moving abroad

Moving to a new country is an exciting adventure, yet an international move requires considerable planning. To keep stress at a minimum, start as early as possible and use this international moving checklist.

Download the PDF Version of our International Moving Checklist

3-6 months before your international move

  • Request information on obtaining a visa, residency, and work permit (this can take months in some countries).

10 weeks before your move

  • Make sure your documents (passport, ID, driver’s license) are in order.
  • Create a move schedule, marking the milestone events (like a project plan).
  • Start researching movers and obtain quotes from three FIDI/FAIM-certified companies. (JK is one of only 31 in the U.S.)

9 weeks before your move

  • If you are moving with children, begin to look for an appropriate school with an international standard program to ease future school transfers.
  • Start sorting your belongings by what you want to keep/move, sell, or donate.

8 weeks before your move

  • Begin changing your address, including periodicals, subscriptions, and the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Narrow down the moving company proposals and arrange for a pre-move, in-home survey.

7 weeks before your move

  • Gather family medical records and ensure that everyone has the proper vaccinations (including family pets).

6 weeks before your move

  • Make travel arrangements to your destination.
  • Notify your financial institutions about your move.

4-5 weeks before your move

  • international moving checklist - garage saleHold a garage sale, sell items online, or donate items you no longer want.
  • Check whether your appliances are fit to use at your destination.
  • Arrange for items that need to go into storage.
  • Have any high-value items appraised.
  • Request floor plans of your residence at the destination.

3 weeks before your move

  • Contact utility companies (electricity, gas, phone, cable) and streaming subscriptions to have services terminated one day after your move. Also ensure that all outstanding bills are paid.
  • Make sure you have enough medication for two weeks after your move. Discuss your move with your doctors; they may be able to refer you to new doctors at the new location.
  • Contact an expatriate organization at your destination to help with settling in.

2 weeks before your move

  • Arrange for childcare or a pet sitter for moving day.
  • Start consuming perishables and food that will not be moved.

1 week before your move

  • Make sure you have all passports, ID cards, birth certificates, and other important documents in one place. Keep the spare keys to your car there as well.
  • Label where will go at the destination and clearly mark items for storage.
  • Pack necessary items for travel to the destination and for the first few days.
  • Obtain traveler’s checks or currency for your new destination.

1 day before your move

  • Defrost and clean your refrigerator/freezer.
  • Know where your important documents are so they do not get packed.
  • Have snacks and beverages handy for moving day.

Your moving day

  • Be present and provide specific instructions to the crew foreman.
  • Moving day is busy, try to keep children and pets from being underfoot.
  • Check and sign the inventory list.
  • Exchange contact information with the crew foreman.
  • Do a final walk-through to ensure you haven’t forgotten anything.

Delivery day

  • Be present and guide the crew about placement of boxes and furniture.
  • The destination agent will arrange for customs clearance, however, you may need to go personally.
  • Check each item off the inventory list.
  • In the unlikely event of damaged or missing items, contact the moving company about how to file a claim.