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
- Hold 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.
- 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.