Founded in 1890, Hansen Bros. Moving & Storage has successfully weathered many history-changing events including the Great Seattle Fire, WWI, the Spanish Flu of 1918, the Great Depression, WWII, the 2008 recession, and 9/11 among many other public crises. The health & safety of our customers, staff, service providers, and local community are paramount and we continue to adhere to all directives from local, state, and federal government agencies.
Although many unknowns still remain, rest assured that Hansen Bros. will be timely and transparent in our communications regarding servicing your moving & storage needs. Our professional relocation consultants will work diligently to offer creative solutions in the event your project is impacted by the current health crisis.


All Hansen Bros. Employees are instructed and expected to follow the guidelines provided by the CDC. This includes:

  • Staying home from work if ill, experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or having been exposed to someone with the virus
  • Washing hands frequently with soap or using proper hand sanitizer when soap is not available
  • Maintaining a 6’ social distance from others to the highest degree possible
  • Wearing appropriate face masks when/if requested or required

Hansen Bros. continues to take the following steps:

  • Regularly refreshing and reinforcing prevention guidelines among all staff members to reduce the risk of spreading infection
  • Daily monitoring of staff for symptoms of illness and sending anyone with symptoms home
  • Offering customers the option of contact-free virtual estimate appointments – More Information About Virtual Estimates
  • Following all guidelines and protocols required by Retirement Living Communities, Apartment Complexes, Condominiums, Commercial Buildings, etc.
  • Upon request and at no charge, our crew members can wear masks while performing your move. Please simply notify your Relocation Consultant if this is your preference.

Hansen Bros. requests the following of our customers:

  • If you have a scheduled estimate appointment or booked move, please notify us immediately if you or any members of your household have been exposed to COVID-19, tested positive for COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms including cough, fever, or difficulty breathing. Please rest assured there is NO CHARGE to reschedule your estimate or move due to illness – we will work together to find an alternate date that works for you.
  • Please use disinfectant/cleaner to wipe down commonly touched surfaces, objects, door handles, etc. at your residence.
  • Please make a sink, hand soap, and paper towels available to your outside salesperson and moving crew for handwashing during their time within your home.
  • Please keep all windows open throughout the moving process as this allows for greater airflow and reduces the containment of germs.
  • Please maintain a social distance of 6’ or greater during both your in-person estimate appointment and while moving services are being performed.

Here are some informative and helpful resources about COVID-19:

The team at Hansen Bros. is proud to continue offering our wide range of services in accordance with the necessary precautions outlined above. Whether you are planning to move your household or business down the street, across the country, or around the world, we’re here to make the process seamless & safe for you, just as we’ve done for well over a century!

~Hansen Bros. Moving & Storage  

Finding your feet abroad: Coping strategies for international relocation from Washington state

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    Moving abroad, whether temporarily or permanently can be a cause of big emotional distress. It can trigger the fear of the unknown, especially if you’re relocating on your own. Leaving everything behind, and starting a new chapter of your life is a huge decision. Therefore, doing a lot of research about the logistics of international relocation from Washington state, as well as reading as much as you can about your new location can lower the fear that arises from unfamiliarity. The goal of this article is, thus, to help you ease into international move planning while giving you solutions for common challenges that come with it. Hopefully, the advice from some of the best movers in Seattle will help you to find your feet in a new country. Keep on reading to find out more!

    The growing trend of international relocation

    Due to globalization, ease of travel, and advances in technology, the number of people leaving their home country and moving abroad is constantly increasing. Even though the U.S. doesn’t formally track its expats, the number of people moving out of the States is considered to be nearly nine million. Since 1999. that figure has more than doubled, as more and more residents are relocating internationally.

    A person holding a world globe facing the mountains
    The number of U.S. expats is consistently growing.

    After the election of Donald Trump in 2016, and the election of Joe Biden in 2020, the number of Americans looking to move has spiked. As much as 15% of Americans stated they’re considering permanently leaving the country. However, the biggest reasons aren’t political. The main reasons include looking for a better quality of life, work opportunities, and education. It is worth mentioning that a lot of Americans move after finding a partner while working or studying abroad, thus deciding to stay there.

    The biggest number of Americans (an estimated 40%) who leave the U.S. move to Canada, South America, and Central America. The next most popular location is in Europe, with 26% of expats choosing it as their new home, while the least amount of expats ( 3%) choose Africa. The most popular countries include Ecuador, Mexico, and Malta.

    How to solve the main challenges that Washington residents face with an international relocation?

    Language barrier

    One of the biggest challenges of international relocation from Washington state is the language barrier you’ll experience. Unless you’re moving to an English-speaking country, or you already know a foreign language. this is an uncomfortable occurrence you have to face. To overcome this challenge you should try to use online resources, such as language learning apps, to become slightly more familiar with it. While lack of fluency can be a problem, even the knowledge of some common words and phrases can help tremendously. Therefore, before hiring international movers Seattle has, try to learn as much as you can. Additionally, upon arrival, you can sign up for classes, and talk to locals to become more fluent.

    Culture shock

    Culture shock is another common issue of moving overseas. Depending on where you’re emigrating to, it may be more or less extreme. Generally speaking, moving to other developed Western countries from Washington state will be easier than moving to, for example, third-world countries. You have to get accustomed to the way people dress, to the different societal rules, different climates, etc. While there isn’t a foolproof way to overcome this obstacle, doing excessive research on the culture you’re relocating to can be the most helpful way.

    Visa and other documents on top of a world map needed for international relocation from Washington
    Moving to a faraway country may cause culture shock.

    Financial issues

    Moving abroad is an expensive process. Once you start calculating you’re expenses it can seem like they’re never-ending. First of all, moving can be costly, then the plane tickets, passports, visas, and housing can all seem overwhelming. Try to tackle one thing at a time, and research specific costs of each moving necessity. International relocation may require you to start saving money long beforehand, as a way to solve this problem. One other thing to try and do is lower the moving process expenses. You can do this by finding affordable moving services Seattle offers and obtaining free packing supplies.

    Finding housing

    One of the biggest challenges of moving abroad is finding proper housing. First of all, if you plan on staying permanently you need to decide whether to rent or buy. Renting an apartment is almost always the better option, at least for the first few months. Since you’re unfamiliar with the area you may end up not liking your neighborhood after living there for some time. Therefore, it is better to keep your flexibility with renting. Additionally, it can be harder to find housing when you don’t know the regulations on how to real estate market in that country works. To battle this obstacle consulting a local real estate agent can be the best option.

    Feeling homesick

    The majority of emigrants who end up returning to their home country have one common reason, and that is homesickness. Moving to a fairway country where you don’t know anyone while being separated from friends and family can be emotionally difficult and exhausting. There isn’t a way to stop missing your loved ones, but there are things you can do to help you deal with your feelings. Most importantly, try to communicate frequently through video calls so you don’t lose track of each other’s lives. Secondly, if you’re budget permits, try and visit at least once or twice a year!

    A woman waving on a video call on her laptop after international relocation from Washington State
    Frequently communicating with your loved ones can help with feeling homesick.

    How to prepare for international relocation from Washington state

    Start planning early

    Every successful international relocation from Washington state starts with a detailed plan. Since you need to find movers or freight forwards, obtain documents, find housing, pack your belongings, empty your self storage Seattle unit if you use one, and complete multiple other tasks, making a checklist early on is the key to keeping you sane. It will lower the chances of forgetting something, while also helping to keep you on schedule.

    Hire international movers

    Unless you’re planning a DIY move, one of the first steps of your planning process should be researching moving companies. Relocating overseas is a lot more complicated than an instate move. Thus, not all movers are equipped and experienced in international relocation. You have to find a moving company in Washington state that has a lot of knowledge about international moves and can, therefore, help you overcome any challenges that arise along the way.

    Additionally, make sure they have previously completed moves in the country you’re relocating to. Once you pinpoint companies you find to be reliable you should obtain free moving quotes from them. This will help you once you start calculating how much money you need to spend on your move.

    Make a budget

    International relocation can be incredibly expensive. Even the more affordable moving companies or housing options are costly. If you’re moving to a faraway country, the plane tickets alone can cost over $1000. Therefore, budgeting is crucial. You might even need to start saving money months in advance. First of all, the average cost of international movers is around $10,000. Secondly, since you’re relocating to a new country it is vital to have some money saved on the side, in case of any emergency. Deciding on a budget can greatly help you from overspending your money during the whole process.

    A person calculating costs of international relocation from Washington
    You should determine a budget for your international relocation from Washington state.

    Research your new location and its culture

    Before you hire one of the best shipping companies in Seattle and leave Washington state you should do as much research as possible regarding your new location. If you have the time and resources visiting would be even better. However, with today’s technology, you can find everything you need to know through online resources. Using Google Maps can be convenient, but also reading what locals say about the place.

    Additionally, learning about the culture is as important as learning about the logistics of living in your chosen location. It will help you avoid any potential issues due to cultural differences as a foreigner, and help ease the transition as well.

    Obtain necessary documents

    First of all, to enter a country you will need a valid passport. If you obtained you’re passport after the age of 16, it is valid for 10 years, while passports obtained before the age of 16 are only valid for 5 years. Make sure to check the expiration date early enough. Getting a new passport can take up to 14 weeks, sometimes even longer. The general recommendation is to apply for renewal 6 months before your moving date. Additional documents to keep track of include:

    • Child custody papers
    • Birth certificates
    • Medical records
    • Social security cards
    • Financial records
    • School records
    • Driver’s licenses.

    Depending on the reason why you’re moving you’ll need to apply for a visa. If you’re moving for work, you’ll need to apply for a work visa, or a student visa if you’re relocating to study in a foreign country. If you plan on becoming a permanent resident you have to get citizenship. Make sure to check the laws and regulations regarding citizenship and visa procedures for the specific country you’re relocating to, as well as how long they last, and how many times can you renew them.

    Inform government agencies

    Before moving to another country, you will need to notify some government agencies in your state, as well as the government of the country you’ll move to. Some of the agencies you have to let know about your relocation include the USPS, the IRS, the Social Security Administration, the Federal Voting Assistance Program, and Washington state’s DMV.

    Join Washington expat groups

    If you’re planning an international relocation from Washington state multiple instate resources can help you make a smoother transition. Local expat groups in Washington can be useful to join and learn more about overcoming the challenges of overseas relocation and adjusting to life in a new country. You can a lot of them throughout the state, and meet fellow residents who have lived abroad. These groups can offer a lot of first-hand advice and support you might need.

    A group of people talking about international relocation from Washington
    Find local expat groups in Washington for the best advice.

    Adjusting to a new country

    Learn the language

    As it was already mentioned before, the language barrier can be frustrating. It can slow down the process of integrating into your new culture. Therefore, as soon as you arrive, you should sign up for language classes. Once you start to speak the language everything else will become a lot easier.

    Explore your city

    Instead of sitting at home, try to go out and explore as much as possible. One of the best parts of international relocation from Washington state is that you get to experience a completely new world. You should explore the city, starting with your neighborhood. Find local groceries stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and parks. Once you get more familiar with your surroundings it will ease the fear of the unknown. Last but not least, exploring a new city is one of the most fun parts of moving, enjoy it!

    Try to socialize and meet new people

    Meeting new people can be a great way to make new friends and settle into a new country. There are multiple ways to meet locals, and make friends. You can join clubs and groups in the area, and meet people with shared interests. Once you settle in, start attending local events, or volunteering in different programs, and organizations. Additionally, if you manage to find expat groups, joining them is also a good way to spread your social circle. If you’re studying or working in the city, you can socialize with people from school or work, too.

    Good luck with your international move!

    If you carefully research everything and make a moving plan you’re international relocation from Washington state will be much easier. Don’t forget to start learning basic langue phrases early on, and check laws and regulations regarding visas at least six months before. Finding reliable movers is half the job done. Once you arrive try to go out as much as possible and expand your social circle to combat the feeling of loneliness and homesickness. Embarking on this journey takes a lot of courage, but the outcome is likely to be worth the stressful process. Hopefully, you will enjoy this new chapter of your life. Good luck!


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