A cheap way to move your stuff overseas

Moving your personal belongings and household items is a big part of moving abroad. Keep in mind that moving your items abroad can be costlier than replacing them, so try to reduce the size before you start packing. When you decide which of your things you are moving, you need to transport them for small amount of money. In this article we have gathered some tips to move your stuff overseas as cheap as possible.

Move your stuff overseas
Follow our tips to save as much money as possible

How to pack to move your stuff overseas?

Do yourself a favor and find the instructions “how to pack”, and then read them carefully. Do not just assume that you know how to pack. Otherwise, you can find yourself struggling with an intense Tetris game for a couple of days. Just to realize that it should fit on the palette of 40″x48″, and not go above 45 inches in height.

This is how they measure. All your boxes will be on the palette; therefore you MUST keep your boxes within 40″x48″ of this palette. The height depends on you, depending on how much you want to pay. This height is where you calculate the use of your cubic feet. They measure to the highest point upwards, from where your lower boxes touch the palette (not from the floor). So, for 50 cubic feet, you have about 45 “on which you can put your boxes. So if all your boxes are 45”, then you throw the ironing board into the mix, your height will be calculated to the top of the board, not boxes, regardless of the empty space between them.

Thus, you will probably break and cut some boxes so that they match each other. And to fit into the remaining space at the top. Get creative!

What should you use for packing?

The best way is to use a cardboard box with double walls. Did you think that all boxes are created equal? Many people did, but that is not the case. Double wall boxes are extremely durable. You will want them. You can pack some of your electronics back into their original boxes. But you should fill the additional space with lots of stuff, such as Cat-5 cords and much more, to maximize the use of space. Additional space = collapsing, which we will explain in more detail below.

Cardboard boxes with double walls
Only thick cardboard boxes can help you move your stuff overseas safely

If possible, use smaller boxes and keep all boxes under max. 5 cubic feet. Large boxes tend to become really heavy, really fast. Store books and heavy things in small boxes and use clothes, blankets and empty food boxes (if necessary) to fill the space left in large boxes.

Customs inventory

You could spend days making an inventory. And you will probably have a list with over 2000 items when you finish. What’s more, you have to do an inventory of what is in each individual box. You can assign each box a letter, and each letter can have its own tab in the spreadsheet. There are no tricks to make this part less troublesome, but you will survive.

However, when creating lists, pay attention how you are naming items. It seems that common terms such as “Stuffed Bear” can get your cargo marked by customs for illegal taxidermy.

Packing and taping

Things can go in other things. Do not leave an empty space in your boxes or it may hang from the weight on top. Even if this box is at the top of your palette, there may be something else that ends somewhere else. Use light things to fill the space like blankets and clothes.

Tape the box on all the seams. First along the center of the flaps, again on the left side of the flap, slightly overlapping the seam, then again on the right. Three layers of tape over the seam on the bottom, then tape along two open edges. Before you start to fill the box, tape the bottom, and then top when you finish, with all the boxes. It is a problem to go back and reopen all boxes, if you need to move things around. Simply add one quick temporary piece down the seam from above, if you need the to protect it from your children while working.

As the last touch, tap along the side seam of the box. The one who runs along the length of the box that is usually stuck when you first get them? Well, it can open when you move your stuff overseas.

For more information regarding this matter, check our guide how to pack, seal, and label shipments.

Fill in the signs

They will send you signboards to print, fill and put on the box after you fill out the shipping application. You need to attach two signs to each box: one on top, one on the side. Depending on the number of boxes, that can be a lot of signs.

Filling the signs to move your stuff overseas
Make sure fill all the signs correctly

After you do all this, your respondent, whom you contact after booking your delivery point, will provide detailed information on how to get your boxes where they should be, depending on your location and service that you use. And what if you need a place to put your stuff once they reach their destination? Well, warehouse Japan is a place where you can put them without worrying something will happen to them.

What else you need to arrange to successfully move your stuff overseas?

There are plenty of things you need to finish before moving your stuff overseas. And you must do them before you start packing.

  1. Arrange a garage sale. Plan it at least a month before the move. That way you can get rid of things you don’t need, as well as get some extra money. If you want to make it more fun, you can organize a barbeque and invite your friends and family. And you will get to spend more time with them before you leave.
  2. Check the regulations of your new country. Each country is different. Inform yourself about their restrictions on bringing your household goods into the country.
  3. Pick a shipping company. As you probably know, there are a lot of moving companies that can move your stuff overseas. But, not all of them are reliable. Check our list of important qualities of reputable shipping companies.
  4. Insurance. Since you are moving your stuff abroad, you need to make sure that you have the right insurance. After all, you want your stuff to be covered in case they break or get lost.

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