A plane being loaded with Ship Smart cargo to be shipped overseas.

Shipping Internationally

Shipping Internationally: What You Need to Know to Make the Move

Packing for travel overseas is fun, but packing to make a small move abroad is different. And that means approaching it in a whole other way. It starts long before you start packing. It begins when you first realize you're moving to another country.

Step 1: Downsizing

Shipping internationally doesn't need to be difficult, but it can be expensive, so you won't want to pack more stuff than you need. Instead, once you know that you're going to be moving, take the time to start looking at your belongings more closely and critically.

What are the things that you positively can't live without? These things are so vital to you that you couldn't imagine not having them. Maybe it's the quilt your grandmother made you when you were born. Or perhaps it's a photo album of your children. Maybe it's not something sentimental at all, but instead, it's your financial documents or legal papers.

Start by developing a clear plan for all your items. Are you going to keep, sell, trash, donate, or gift the item? Ask yourself questions when deciding, is it going to fit, is it expensive to replace, do I need it, or do I love it? Create a "keep-for-sure" group and a "maybe" group to keep the process moving.

Next, go through your home room by room. Get rid of the unneeded clutter and easily replaceable items. Knock out your miscellaneous drawers full of junk. Clear out all your old clothes and shoes and donate them or have a garage sale. Get rid of the weird bowls and plates that do not match, and get rid of the pots and pans that are missing lids. You might have home decor or furniture that's difficult and expensive to transport (do you need that same old couch in another country, or would it be easier to buy a new one?). Things like CDs, books, and DVDs that are available online can be donated or gifted.

After your first run through your residence, you will want to start weeding through the 'maybe' items to see which ones you prefer to take and which you can replace (as needed) when you get to your new home. After you go through these items, your downsizing phase should be complete.

Step 2: Preparing

Once you know what you're taking, you'll also need to decide about your move. Is it a large move or a small move? Large moves are moves over 2000 pounds. If you have a one-bedroom residence with a living room and kitchen and are shipping furniture, chances are you have a large move. You can benefit from using a small moving company if you have a few pieces of furniture and mainly pre-packed boxes. Small movers offer considerable savings when shipping internationally.

Working with the right small moving company can simplify the international packing and shipping process so that you can focus on the other steps (like meeting with your current doctor or other medical professionals one last time before you leave). Ship Smart helps you pick up, pack, and ship out your packages internationally. All items are packed, and wood crated using international shipping standards. They are experts in small international moves and have customs brokers that make customs clearance easy and fast.

Step 3: Packing

So, you've got everything set up, right? You know what you're taking (and what you're not) and whom you will work with to handle shipping overseas. Now is the time to start the packing process. And while you're packing, keep in mind that your packages will be traveling a long distance, and how you pack them is extremely important.

You may not need to worry as much about items that aren't fragile, like any clothes or textile items you're taking. Regarding fragile items, you need to consider the realities of international travel. You may be traveling in a cozy seat in first class on an airplane (or even the regular seats in the back), but your packages are going to be traveling a little more rugged. They need to be well packaged for that. You don't want to arrive in that new country to find that your most essential items have been smashed apart.

The best thing is to use packing materials specifically designed for the item you're packing, so they provide the perfect cushioning all the way around. For example, you should use dish pack boxes for dishes and wardrobe boxes for hanging closet items. For miscellaneous items, use other packing materials like peanuts or bubble wrap. Make sure that your items are well protected and aren't going to move around inside the box. For furniture, consider how those items would arrive from the manufacturer with styrofoam custom-made to fit around them.

You may even want to wrap some of your more fragile items in bubble wrap and then pack them in with your clothes so they're well insulated.

Getting ready for an international move can be time-consuming, expensive, and stressful. But knowing what it takes to make the trip more successful will help. For anyone that wants to know how to ship overseas, working with the right company is the first step, and that's where Ship Smart can help. Start today by getting a free small move estimate.

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