As an expat many of us move from place to place on a regular basis, determining a standard removal cost can be challenging and not without its hitches. An international airfreight move is billed according to the weight and volume, while a container cost in contrast depends largely on the size of the container or space you may wish to share with another client. So shipping all your belongings abroad might prove to be an expensive affair. However, with careful planning, you can reduce the cost of your international move considerably. Here are some effective ways to control these expenses:
1) Consider selling your car
Moving your car abroad is a tedious process, not to mention a huge additional expense. It might be cheaper to buy a car abroad or if you are moving to a city with an efficient public transport system, you might not need a car at all.
Also factor in the cost of owning a car in a place like central London for example, where you are required to pay a hefty congestion charge. In some cases it is just not practical at all, as countries like the UK, Australia and India drive on the left hand side of the road.
2) Take a good look at your wardrobe
A good size wardrobe weighs more than you think. Make a note of all the items of clothing and footwear that you have not worn in the last year. Keep the ones that have sentimental value. Give the rest away to your local charity.
If you are moving to a warm tropical country, you are not going to need your winter clothes. Sell them if possible or if not, donate them to a homeless shelter. If you are moving abroad for a short-term assignment, consider placing them in a storage facility.
3) Use up all your stored food
Plan ahead. Store just enough food to last you until your move. Use up your frozen and canned food. It is best not to pack surplus canned food, many countries do not allow food, food products, or alcohol to be included in the container, check this with your removal company. In case you have unopened canned food, donate it to your local food bank.
4) Sell your fitness equipment
Home gyms, treadmills, rowing machines and weight training equipment take up a lot of space and add substantial weight to your shipment. You can sell it online or place an ad in your local newspaper.
5) Hold a moving sale
Clear out the attic and basement. Chances are that you are not going to need any of your old furniture, toys, collectibles and paraphernalia that has accumulated over the years. You can sell your lawn mower, heavy work tools, stationery, carpets and curtains or put them in storage. A great advantage in the era of technology is that you can now sell these items online or via social networking sites, see what is available in your area.
6) Give away or sell hobby equipment
Camping gear, bikes and other bulky hobby equipment can be sold as per above. Also, most countries do have restrictions on importing plants, once again check this with your removal company. If you have potted plants, consider giving them to your friends and family as a goodbye present.
7) Keep your belongings in storage
If you going abroad on a short to medium term assignment, renting a storage space makes sense. Heavy furniture, carpets, household appliances, books, DVDs and the like can be held in storage till the time you are back.
8) Take along as baggage
Book your travel tickets early, on an airline that offers maximum luggage allowance. Check if you can purchase excess baggage in advance at a lower price or via your air-miles if you belong to an airline scheme. Utilize your luggage allowance to pack your clothes, valuables, personal electronic equipment and important documents.
9) Hire a competent international mover
A quality international mover can save you money in the long run, as they deliver your possessions just like they were when they left your door. Get a minimum of 3 international movers to do a visual survey of the items you need shipped.
Ask for an all-inclusive door-to-door quote if possible, including the disassembly and reassembly of furniture if required. When you give your mover your destination address, make sure to mention if there is parking nearby or if your building does not have an elevator. This will help the mover prepare a more accurate quote.
Find out about any ‘hidden extras’, customs duties, port taxes, etc., if applicable and get details of any additional charges in writing, from your mover. Find out about insuring the items you would like to replace if they are stolen or lost.
When the removal company is packing, check that all the boxes and items are accounted for and more importantly check each and every cupboard in the house to ensure that nothing is left behind.
Finally be sure to read user reviews of international movers on FeedbacQ, before you make a decision.
Tishana is an international move specialist with www.feedbacq.com, a platform for expats and would-be expats to connect with quality verified international household movers. She likes tennis, yoga, dancing and stand-up comedy.
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