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Moving abroad can be exciting, life enhancing… and sometimes incredibly stressful! Whether retiring to France or taking a young family to a new life the other side of the world, choosing what to take, how to get it there and what to leave behind is both a financial and an emotional decision.

One thing that shouldn’t add to the stress, however, is wondering whether all your worldly goods will arrive in your overseas home, or in the state when they were packed.

Preparation in advance will mean you can use a good and reliable removal company, and possibly get a better price too. It’s definitely one to tick off your list early. Here are a few tips to help you find a reliable firm that’ll help transport your belongings with care.

The benefits of using a professional service, speaks volumes

Stick to the professionals

Whether you’re sending your most valuable furniture and art over the Alps to Italy, or your whole life in a container across the Atlantic, choose experienced professionals who have approved partners around the globe.

Some innocent people have been scammed by fake removal firms getting in contact with a juicy discount price as soon as your house sale is made public. Several weeks later, when your possessions don’t turn up abroad, the fake company will be long gone.

So, take your time researching removal firms. Start by only considering those with industry accreditations from the British Association of Removers (BAR), International Association of Movers (IAM) and Fédération Internationale des Déménageurs Internationaux (FIDI- FAIM).

At Smart Currency we recommend Doree Bonner. They’re a UK-based international removals firm who have helped more than a million people move, many of them abroad. They are members of all the relevant international organisations and are committed to going the extra mile.

Professional removal firms guarantee your belongings will arrive in one piece

Before your quote

You should speak to your removal company a matter of months – not weeks – before your move.  A long-haul move (especially by sea) can take six to 12 weeks door-to-door, including transfers and customs clearance.

Things that affect the timing include the type of shipment (the process takes longer for loads in a shared container), departure times for the cargo ship, handling at the port of departure and port of arrival, efficiency of customs and the length of onward transfer. Customs clearance alone can take up to 10 days, often longer.

The process will normally start with an online consultation.

Shipping by sea is most common – and far cheaper than air freight – and the quantity tends to be by container or part container. With a rough idea of prices, you can begin to plan what to take and what to leave behind.

Your surveyor will be a fountain of knowledge here. Will your fridge freezer work in your new home? Is it worth taking your bicycles? (Note – if so, make sure they’re clean! It’s a legal requirement to avoid any soil or vegetation being carried in). Will you take your old record collection? What about your books? Cherished baby clothes? Family heirlooms? Favourite cushions? As we said, it can be an emotional process!

Your surveyor will be able to calculate the cost of sending the whole kit and caboodle, and whether some items will be cheaper to chuck away and buy new when you get there.

Moving abroad doesn’t have to be a stressful experience

Onsite survey

When you have a rough idea, and have been through a process of ‘ship, toss, give away’, the next step will be an on-site survey in your home with an experienced surveyor. It’s all without obligation at this stage, but you can discuss proposed moving dates and budget.

They will likely need to visit each room in the house to note down everything you intend to ship and offer guidance on items that need special attention or you’re unsure about bringing. Other things to cover include packing and storage – will you require either or both of these? Once they have all the required information, the remover can send you a full itemised quote.

You can then decide which items will need to travel with you and which you can afford to spend three months in a container. More essential items might go air-freight, for example.

To save time and hassle, reach out to Doree Bonner today to ensure your cherished belongings arrive in one piece.

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