The Big Moving Day

House Removals - The Big Moving Day

What to expect when moving overseas

The day of reckoning has arrived, this is the day your removals company will arrive at your door and start to move your furniture and personal items out of the home that you have probably lived in for many years. Not knowing what to expect can be as stressful as the move itself in some cases especially if you're moving all your belongings to another country. You've tried to plan everything in advance but there's always that niggling doubt that you have forgotten something.

Top Tips for a stress-free move

  • Keep your documents separate, hand them to a family member or friend and get them out of the house. This will make it easier to locate when you need them after the truck has gone

  • Pack a few suitcases with plenty of every day and work clothes and don't forget the shoes

  • Keep tablets and medicines with your personal documents at a friend or family member's house in a plastic container. You may need to access this urgently if you rely on these for your ailments.

  • If you are packing your own boxes try to keep shoes together, ornaments together, kitchen utensils together in separate boxes etc. Label boxes A, B, C and so on. Write an inventory of all boxes such Box A = Shoes, Box B = Ornaments, Box C = Kitchen Utensils.

  • Dismantle as much furniture as feasibly possible, keep screws and bolts taped in a bag on the piece of furniture dismantled so as not to lose any. This will help to cut costs in some cases and can even protect some furniture when being moved or shipped overseas.

  • If you are having your goods packed at your home, sit back and relax as your moving team will ensure that all the above is taken care of (apart from points 1 & 2).

How long will it take to move my furniture & belongings?

This will depend on the size of your property and how much you have to be packed and moved. If you have packed all the boxes yourself, a 3 bed house for example can take anything from 3-6 hours. There are many factors to consider when moving overseas such as; can the truck or van park right outside the property or is there a long walk from your front/back door to the road, how many pieces of furniture you have, how heavy they are, if they are awkward sizes and so on.

If you are having a packing team pack your belongings for you then this can increase the time quite substantially. As a rule of thumb, a 3 bed property requiring a full pack will take between 10-12 hours. This may even go in to 2 days as once everything has been packed your goods will need to be carefully loaded either straight in to a container or on to van/truck depending on which mode of transport you have chosen to ship your goods abroad.

Everything has been packed and loaded, now what?

If your belongings are being shipped by sea in a container straight from your old property, the container doors are locked in front of you and seals are put on the locks to stop anyone from opening the doors after it has left you. The only people allowed or permitted to open your container is customs and the port authority. This is a random operation where not all containers are opened at the port, however there is occasion where your container will be randomly selected to check its contents before being allowed to be shipped or just after it arrives in your chosen destination. You will always be notified by your local agent if yours has been selected.

Once the container has left your property it will be driven straight to the quay where it will sit with thousands of other containers where it will wait to be loaded on to the ship that your cargo is booked on. Once the container has been loaded on board, you will receive a copy of the draft bill of lading. This document has your UK address and contact details and your overseas address and contact details. It will describe what goods are being shipped such as 144 pieces of household goods and personal belongings. It will advise the container and seal number, the arrival port and any local agency details if you have chosen one.

How will I know my household goods have arrived?

You will be notified in writing or by the telephone from either your chosen agent or the ships agent to advise that your container is expected to arrive on a certain day. You will receive an invoice for local charges, customs and duty if this is applicable along with agency fees and so on. Once you have paid your invoice and the container arrives on quay, you can either go and collect your belongings or have an agent arrange for the delivery of your goods to your new home. Voila, welcome to your new home and to your new life abroad!


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