Countdown to an International Move


FIDI/FAIM created these guidelines to help ensure a smooth move. Follow them, and you'll feel less stress. You can also rely upon your JK international move coordinator if you have any questions or concerns.

Begin official procedures.

  • Request information on how to obtain a visa, residency and work permits (keep in mind that these documents can take months in some countries; it's better get some information ahead of time). 
  • Start preparing your family for the move.

10 Weeks to go.

  • Make sure your own documents (passport, ID, drivers license) are in order.
  • Start reading up on your destination and consider learning some basics of the local language (unless you already know it, of course).
  • Create a brief schedule for your move, marking the milestone events (think of it as a project plan).
  • Start looking for a mover; obtaining quotes from 3 FIDI-FAIM certified movers is the best way to go.

9 Weeks to go.

  • If you are moving with children, begin to look for an appropriate school with an international standard program to ease any further future school transfers.
  • What do you want to take with you? Start to sort through your belongings—is there anything you want to sell/donate? Start making a list/pile.

8 Weeks to go.

  • Start compiling a list of people who should be notified of your change of address. Start putting together an overview of magazine subscriptions, bills, permanent order payments and so on that you have.
  • Start narrowing down the proposals from quality movers.

7 Weeks to go.

  • Call the mover you have chosen and arrange for a pre-move survey.
  • Start gathering your families’ medical records and make sure that everyone has the proper vaccinations (this extends to any family pets you may be taking).

6 Weeks to go.

  • During the Pre-move survey, after a walk through your house, your FAIM accredited mover will discuss the following with you:Your belongings in the light of the destination laws and regulations (what stays, what goes)
        - Your belongings in the light of the destination laws and regulations
          (what stays, what goes)
        - Valuation (insurance)
        - Customs Regulations at the destination
        - The (possible) import of your car
  • Start notifying the people on your list of your change of address

5 Weeks to go.

  • Tie up the loose ends: notify your gym, book club, library, etc that you will be moving and make arrangements accordingly.
  • Start gathering items that you have borrowed from the library, friends, and neighbors and begin returning them.

4 Weeks to go.

  • Hold a garage/yard sale or donate items you no longer want to charity (or both).
  • Check whether your appliances you own will be fit to use at the destination.
  • Start arranging for storage (More often than not your FAIM mover will have a storage facility).
  • Have any high value items appraised.
  • Arrange for transportation to the destination.
  • Request floor plans of your residence at the destination.

3 Weeks to go.

  • Contact the utility companies (electricity, gas, telephone, cable, mobile/cell phone provider) and arrange to have services terminated one day after your move.
  • Notify your bank about your move and arrange for your address to be changed/your account closed etc.
  • Also make sure that all outstanding bills are paid prior to your move and any permanent orders terminated.
  • Contact an expatriate organization at your destination—they can be of help when it comes to settling in or finding clubs or interest groups.
  • If you haven’t been put in contact with the destination agent yet, now might be a good time to ask your FIDI mover to do so.

2 Weeks to go.

  • Cancel any magazine subscriptions you no longer want/need and make sure you give your new address to the magazines you do want to keep receiving.
  • Arrange for childcare/pet sitter for the moving day.
  • Start eating perishables and food that will not be moved. Throw out/give excess away.
  • Contact your post office about redirecting your mail to your new address.

1 Week to go.

  • 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.
  • Make sure you have enough medication for two weeks after your move. Discuss your move with your doctor: they could give you some advice and sometimes even refer you to a new doctor at the new location.
  • Ask JK for stickers so that you can pre-mark which items are to go where at the destination and to clearly mark the items designated for storage.
  • Pack necessary items for the travel to the destination and for the first couple days.
  • Get some traveler's checks or currency from your new destination.

1 Day to go.

  • Defrost your fridge/freezer.
  • Make sure you know where your important documents are and that they do not get packed.
  • Make sure you have some food and beverages handy for the moving day.

Moving day.

  • You have to be present—your children and pets do not!
  • Have a talk with the foreman of the crew and give him any specific.
  • instructions you may have for some items.
  • Check and sign the inventory list.
  • Exchange contact information with the driver and verify that the destination address is correct.
  • When the house seems to be empty—check it again. Look inside the cupboards and other hiding places to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

Delivery day.

  • Again, you should be present, but your children and pets do not need to be.
  • The destination agent will arrange for customs clearance. Keep in touch to make that you are available should you be required to go to the customs personally.
  • If necessary, show the crew the rooms. The boxes should be clearly marked with room designations.
  • Check off each item off the inventory list.
  • Unpack everything and verify that all items are intact.
  • Make note of any claims you need to file.
  • Sit back and relax—you've earned it!

OTI services performed by JK Moving & Storage, Inc., d/b/a JK Moving Services.

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