master your move to-dos

The Planes international moving checklist, compiled by our team of move pros, will help prep you for your international relocation. Follow this helpful timeline with moving tips to get organized and minimize stress before the big day.

First up?

Contact Planes Global Moving Services for a complimentary moving estimate with guidance on customs regulations, paperwork, and suggestions on how to compare estimates from various moving companies.

  • 4-12 weeks before moving day+
    • Begin clearing clutter from your home. Start with closets, the garage, the basement, and the attic.
    • Get rid of everything you don’t want moved. Host a “garage sale” or use an online auction service to dispose of unwanted items. Donate unwanted clothing or household goods to charitable organizations.
    • Contact your country of destination’s local embassy to understand what VISA and/or residency paperwork is needed for immigration authorities, and what the process looks like to import your personal effects into your new country. For example, you will want to ask what type of VISA you need to apply for, and what the timeline is for that process. You will then need to gather any change of residency documents. If you are working in your destination country, you will also want to ask about work authorizations. Your Planes Global Moving Services Move Coordinator can also help you with some of this information.
    • At this point, you should also contact Planes Global Moving Services, start the process for obtaining moving estimates, and set a date for a virtual or in-home survey. This will allow us to accurately estimate what you are considering moving, and provide costing of your upcoming move, and begin to create a custom-built move plan that aligns with your needs and budget. When comparing estimates, be sure to understand what is included, or not, and ensure that you are comparing apples to apples.
    • To fulfill Homeland Security regulations, be sure your moving company has included all packing materials, completed a detailed inventory of goods being moved, and presented you with all relevant paperwork for customs purposes.
    • Tip: Understand if the service quoted is a direct, exclusive mode of transportation, or if it is a shared space with other shipper’s belongings inside with your shipment. This can play a role with different transit times and how many times your belongings are handled throughout your relocation. If your move is part of a corporate relocation or if you are being reimbursed by your company, share your individual moving policy/allowances with your Planes Global Moving Services Move Coordinator so that they can provide you with an accurate estimate while giving you tips on how to obtain provide them with estimates that meet your company’s policies.
    • Moving a car, motorcycle, or boat? Typically, the original title will be required, with a bank loan/lien on the vehicle closed out before it can be exported. Be sure to speak with your Move Move Coordinator about specific country regulations. Now would be a good time to understand those requirements.
    • Moving a firearm? Exporting a firearm out of the United States requires an export license issued and in accordance with the ATF regulations promulgated thereunder. Without a license in hand, your shipment will be delayed, resulting in significant additional costs. To find out more, visit the ATF Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Your Planes Global Moving Services Move Coordinator can also walk you through that process.
    • Confirm your moving service by signing the estimate and return it to us. Once the estimate is signed and a tentative move date has been scheduled, a detailed move outline email will be sent to you.
    • Consider protection coverage for the duration of your move. Your Planes Global Moving Services Move Coordinator can review coverage options with you.
    • If you are traveling under a U.S. passport, apply for an EIN (Employee Identifying number). This EIN number is required to export personal effects and household goods out of the United States.
  • 4 weeks before moving day+
    • A general list of items that shouldn’t be included in an international move can be found in this Prohibited and Hazardous Cargo List. Your Planes Global Moving Services Move Coordinator can give you more information on guidelines specific to your destination country.
  • 1-4 weeks before moving day+
    • Use up supplies of canned goods, frozen foods, and other household items, and begin to inventory items that you can/cannot bring with you to your new home.
    • A general list of items that shouldn’t be included in an international move can be found in this Prohibited and Hazardous Cargo List. Your Planes Global Moving Services Move Coordinator can give you more information on guidelines specific to your destination country.
    • At this point, your Planes Global Moving Services Move Coordinator is arranging overseas freight, so please inform us of any adjustments that need to be made to your move plan.
    • Now is also a good time to begin saying your goodbyes. Host going-away parties for you and your family!
  • days before+
    • Cancel subscriptions, cable and utilities, lawn maintenance, and any other services.
    • Take final inventory of items you wish us to pack, remembering that moving companies are not allowed to transport anything toxic, perishable, or combustible.
    • Collect things you definitely want packed together and group them.
    • Drain all fluids from hoses, lawnmowers, propane tanks, etc.
    • If taking your fridge/freezer, it is recommended that the doors be left open for 24 prior to moving to avoid mold.
    • Keep your cleaning supplies ready until you’ve done your last cleanup—especially if you have a security deposit on a home. Don’t forget to clean the oven!
    • Have an essentials grab bag with toothbrushes, chargers, medicines paper towels, toilet paper, coffeemaker, paper plates/cups, and plastic ware.
  • move day+
    • As part of your move, we disassemble standard beds and furniture. Any specialized services will have been arranged in advance, and as highlighted in your agreement. Be sure to go over these details with your Planes Global Moving Services Move Coordinator the day before your move begins. Try to relax, we’ve got this!
    • If not pre-arranged by Planes Global Moving Services, secure designated parking as close to your house or apartment as possible.
    • Check closets, cabinets, drawers, and any other storage spaces for overlooked items. Also, keep in mind that we can’t go into attics or crawl spaces.
    • When your Planes Global Moving Services team arrives, ask any questions you may have before they begin. Also, please show them which bathrooms they can use.
    • Remain close by until all packing and loading is complete. An inventory will be emailed to you. Make sure to look it over to check for accuracy.
    • Please sign necessary paperwork upon completion of the packing and loading (Inventory Forms and Bill of Lading).
    • Confirm your destination address and your contact information with your Move Coordinator.
  • 2-5 days after move day+
    • Your Planes Global Moving Services Move Coordinator will contact you again to finalize charges, routings, dates of departure and arrival, and any last-minute questions you may have before your shipment leaves the country. Be sure to review costs to confirm that they align with your original estimate.
    • Your Move Coordinator will let you know once your shipment has been loaded on to the vessel or airplane.
    • Be available by email and phone at least 2 weeks prior to your shipment arriving at the destination port. Once our partner agent begins the customs clearance process, we may need to speak with you in order to make sure that all documents are in place. If you are going on vacation ahead of arriving in your destination country and you cannot be reached, be sure to leave alternative contact information (a close friend or family member) who can speak on your behalf during your absence.
    • Once customs clearance has occurred in your new country, delivery arrangements will be made. At this point, you will need to confirm your delivery address, delivery conditions, and any special needs that might affect delivery.
    • Be available to accept delivery or authorize an adult to accept delivery and pay any charges for you.
    • When unloading, be ready to give direction as to where each piece of furniture will be placed, including laying rugs and setting up any beds that were disassembled.
    • Check your household goods as they are unloaded. Note discrepancies on the inventory sheet before signing. Keep all documents pertaining to your move in a safe place for tax filing purposes.
    • Check for property damage before the Planes delivery team departs. Note any damage that might have occurred during transit. Contact your Move Coordinator so that a claim can be filed.
  • after your move+
    • Clear as much clutter as possible by getting rid of empty boxes and condensing half-unpacked boxes.
    • If you did not have the boxes removed on delivery day, feel free to schedule a debris removal service with your Move Coordinator. For a small additional charge, our team can break down empty boxes, condense packing paper, and more.
    • Once settled into your new home, take a few moments to reflect on your experience, and provide feedback.
      We welcome your honest feedback. Our goal is to improve our process and ensure that our future customers have the best possible experience. Your feedback also allows us an opportunity to recognize personnel who have gone above and beyond and gives us an opportunity to learn about areas where we can provide an improved experience.
    • Perhaps leave us a review as well!
    • Once you have settled into your new home, nothing makes us happier than seeing our clients outside of their new homes or in their new city! We enjoy sharing those pictures on this website (only with your written permission). This page is dedicated to our customers that have moved all around the world.
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