International Moving Countdown

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Whether you are moving overseas for the first time or you are a veteran mover, a comprehensive timetable and checklist is the best strategy to ensure a stress-free moving process. It’s also a great way to involve the entire family in the move and to spread some of the responsibilities to each person, including your children. The checklist is set up for an eight-week timetable. If your timetable is shorter early action is required on a number of the more urgent items. This checklist from Hansen Bros. Moving & Storage will help ensure that nothing has been overlooked or omitted from your planning, and that alone will go a long way toward relieving some of your anxiety.

Make a Plan Following our International Moving Countdown Checklist

This comprehensive resource is your ultimate guide to successfully navigating the exciting yet challenging process of relocating internationally. From initial preparations to the moment you unpack your last box, our detailed timeline will ensure your move is as smooth and stress-free as possible. The practical checklist that follows is designed to keep you on track every step of the way.

Eight Weeks Prior To Move Day:

 If you’re moving at an employer’s request, verify what expenses and responsibilities they will undertake and any volume allowance that is provided for your shipment.

 Contact the IRS and/or your accountant for information on what moving expenses may be tax deductible. Look over your Will.

 Review the Customs Information for the country that you are moving to.  Be sure to check whether any permits are required for residency, vehicles or firearms, etc.

 Confirm that all your passports are valid. If not, make the application for your passport, appearing in person at the applicable state office as soon as possible.

 Confirm that all visas are in order. The consular representative for a particular country can advise you if visas are required and how to obtain them. Work permits are often imperative and must be obtained before leaving the country.

 Arrange a power of attorney, if required.

 Remove items from your attic, basement, storage, garage etc. Consider what you would like to move to your new home or what can be sold or donated to a charitable organization?

 Determine overseas electrical requirements and what appliances you will ship or purchase. Check if there are restrictions or limitations on importing certain appliances to the destination country. Electrical services and broadcasting systems varies in different countries. Confirm if your TV will be usable in your new country.

 Start to use up things you can’t move, such as frozen foods, alcohol, and cleaning supplies.

 Check with the consular representative of the country to which you are moving about required inoculations. The U.S. Public Health Services can advise you about optional immunizations.

 Arrange medical and dental check-ups, obtain supply of prescription medication together with a letter from your doctor that your need for these.

 Notify your children’s school of their departure.

 Begin to finalize travel plans and the services you will need at destination such as temporary accommodation, banking and financial services. The Embassy or Consulate in the destination country can supply you with the names of real estate representatives or rental agents. Do not commit yourself to any formal agreements until after you have inspected the premises on arrival.

Six Weeks Prior To Move Day:

 Get a supply of passport-size photos to take with you.

 Locate all auto licensing and registration documents. Make sure your driver’s license and international driver’s license are up to date.

 Contact schools, doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, etc., and obtain copies of your personal records.

 Obtain invoices for new purchases for customs import formalities.

 Begin to learn some useful phrases in the language of your new country.

 Talk to your children about the country you are moving to, and explain the reasons why you are moving.

Four Weeks Prior To Move Day:

 Make a list of everyone you need to notify about your move: family, friends, professionals, creditors, magazine subscriptions, etc. Obtain a change-of-address kit from the post office and begin filling out cards.

 Have your W-2s and other tax forms forwarded, check and clear any unpaid tax assessments.

 Contact your local voter registration office if necessary to register as an overseas voter.

 Contact utility and related companies (gas, electric, oil, water, telephone, cable TV, and trash collection) for service disconnects. However, remember to keep phone and utilities connected at your current home throughout moving day.

 Contact insurance companies (auto, homeowner’s or renter’s, medical, and life) to arrange for coverage in your new home.

 Plan a garage sale to sell un-needed items or arrange to donate them to charity. Dispose of items you do not want to ship. If some of your goods are to be stored, make the necessary arrangements now. (Your Move Coordinator will be able to help.)

 Read through the Customs Information for your destination country once again to make sure that you are prepared.

Three Weeks Prior To Move Day:

 If you have not already done so, book travel and hotel reservations for your moving journey. Don’t make airline reservations for the same day that you’re moving out. House closings are often delayed and other unexpected situations can arise.

 Arrange special transport for your pets. Call the veterinarian to schedule an appointment for 7-10 days before your departure.

 Collect important papers (insurance, will, deeds, stock, etc.)

 Arrange to close local charge accounts and national accounts that you will not use, as well as savings and checking accounts. Consult the overseas representative at your local bank about currency exchange, letters of credit, traveler’s checks or possible transfer of funds.

 Obtain any appraisal for high value items in your shipment. Prepare the valued inventory. Separate inventories are necessary for air and sea shipments.

 Consider opening a safe deposit box in which to store important documents and valuables you do not need to bring with you.

Two Weeks Prior To Move Day:

 If you’re moving out of a building with elevators, contact the building management to schedule use of the elevators.

 Contact your Move Coordinator to review and confirm all arrangements for your move.

 Arrange to service automobile and other appliances that you are moving.

 Arrange to empty lockers at school and work.

One Week Prior To Move Day:

 Settle any outstanding bills with local merchants.

-Roberta J., October 22, 2018

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 Pick up any dry cleaning, return library books, and rented DVD’s, etc.

 Take pets to the veterinarian for any needed immunizations. Get copies of pet’s medical records.

 Arrange to drain gas and oil from power equipment (lawn mowers, snow blowers, etc.)

 Dispose of any flammable or explosive items, and give away plants.

 Arrange a babysitter for moving day if required.

 Make sure all necessary paperwork for customs clearance is filled out and made ready to be handed over to the packing crew on the day of the move. Keep it all in one place to avoid losing it.

Two to Three Days Prior To Move Day:

 Arrange with neighbors to leave sufficient parking space for the moving truck or shipping container.

 Contact your Move Coordinator to confirm arrival time of the crew as well as to notify them of any last minute details. Also make sure that the Move Coordinator has the contact information necessary to be able to reach you at any time during the move.

 Make sure you have the destination agent’s name, address, and phone number.

 Defrost your freezer and refrigerator. Block doors open so they can’t accidentally close on pets or children.

 Have your major appliances disconnected and prepared for the move. (Your Move Coordinator can help with arrangements for a third party to provide these services.)

 Pack a box of personal items that will need to be delivered first at your new home. Have this box clearly marked and loaded last.

 Start packing your suitcases.

 Organize and set aside those things that you are taking with you in hand luggage so that they do not get loaded in error. Include: Credit cards, Checkbook, Travelers Checks, Passport, Visas, Driver’s License, Airline Tickets, Entry Permits, Insurance Policies, Games and Books, Infant Supplies, Keys, Toiletries, Medications, Prescriptions, and Snacks.

One Day Prior To Move Day:

 Plan a simple breakfast for moving day to eliminate refrigeration or cooking. Use paper plates or plan to go to your favorite breakfast place.

 Record all utility meter readings (gas, electric, water).

 Don’t forget to say good-bye to family and friends.

 Get a good night’s rest.

Moving Day:

 Make sure that someone is at home all day to answer the crew’s questions.

 Read inventory carefully before you sign it. Keep a copy of it, along with all other related papers, in a safe location.

 Please keep all jewelry, important documents, coin and stamp collections in your possession. Do not have the moving crew pack these goods with your household goods.

 Before you leave your old home be sure to check each room, closet, attic and basement. Make sure windows are closed. Turn off all lights and lock all doors.

Upon Arrival In New Country

 Check in with your Embassy as soon as possible after arrival. The embassy can be of real help in answering questions and guiding you as to local registration and any other official procedures.

 Contact your Move Coordinator at destination and inform him/her of your arrival and how to best reach you when your belongings have arrived and are ready for delivery.

 In most cases, you will need to complete personal entry formalities and documentation so that your legal entry is complete.

Moving In

 Be present throughout the unloading and delivery and ready to direct placement of your furniture and belongings.

 Check the condition of your belongings. If any items are damaged or missing, note this on the inventory list and report it to your Move Coordinator.

Sign the inventory.

Why Choose Us



Hansen Bros. Moving & Storage is locally owned and operated by the same family for four generations, since 1890. We have a well-established reputation for service quality and reliability with a high percentage of repeat household and commercial clients.



We’re a certified ProMover by the American Moving and Storage Association with A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, voted “Best in Western Washington” in 2009 and from 2011 to 2016 by KING5. Our company is fully licensed and insured and member of WMC and AMSA.



Hansen Bros. Moving & Storage provide free, no-obligation in-home estimate and competitive rates, including low minimum rates for shipments moving under 300 miles. We’ve set a refund policy for unused packing materials and three Puget Sound locations to help clients save on travel fee costs.


"Great team of guys. Professional and gave the extra effort needed to protect our furniture from damage. I have used Hansen Bros. 3 times in 12 years for local moves and all were great experiences. Save your back and let them do the heavy lifting!"

Frank F./ Seattle, WA


"Everybody at the company was very professional and gave great service. Price was competitive and the moving crew was on time and very efficient."

Clive B. / Mercer Island, WA

Let our team put together a comprehensive moving plan for you. Complete our simple free quote form or contact us at 1-888-300-7222.