Well done, on getting this far; you have arrived at the final point in your journey of moving to New Zealand. The actual move and the very last practical things that you will need to do to get you ready to start your new life abroad.
Final packing tips on moving day
When completing a move abroad, the removal company will usually complete the packing as part of the process; which is generally the optimal way and one that I would highly recommend. Not only does it decrease the stress experienced during such a move, but it may help to save time and money as belongings are less likely to require thorough investigation by the customs department at your intended destination as it would be assumed that the shipping company have checked everything prior to packing. Another bonus that comes With having the shipping company pack for you is that this can all be completed a few days prior to leaving so there will be less disruption on your part.
Often the pack could take two to three days depending upon the size of your property. So on day one, they will wrap up items that aren’t needed and start to store packed items in one room. They will leave beds up or at least leave a mattress so that you can sleep on. Kitchens will be completed last but, by this stage who in their right mind would want to be cooking? I say that it is takeaways unless you have a steady flow of willing friends inviting you over for meals. So, if you are reading this because a friend is preparing to leave, now you know what you can do to help out that will be useful.
Now I can’t stress enough that everything will be packed up for you. So if you can close one room up and place your suitcases away, With your passports and any important documents that you need to carry with you then I suggest you keep them in this room with a HUGE and I mean HUGE sign that nothing in that room is to be packed. There have been a few families who have been caught short here and left their passport in the filing cabinet only to find it is bubble wrapped somewhere ready to be placed in the container. Avoid this hassle and keep an eye on what is going on with the packing. I suggest that you carry all original documents on your person and not place these in the containers anyway. Ensure that you have set aside all documentation you will need to avoid these being packed in the container.
Your shipping packer should highlight any restricted items when they are packing. They should be checking all items to be packed along the way. Remember that they will pack everything as they find it. This is great if you have tidied your home and everything is ready and all clutter and junk has been thrown out. You have been pre-warned. They will pack the odd single sock as they find it.
Your shipping company will also wrap and dismantle items so that they can be packaged suitably. Some shipping companies will place all small items in a Bits and Bobs box — this is fine if it can be located on the other end. For example they will place all screws and items from items dismantled inside this box. I found this more hassle as trying to work out which screws went with which item was an absolute nightmare. If possible when they are dismantling ask them to place all screws and fittings into a plastic bag which can be taped firmly to the side of a desk or table it has come from. At least you will have the fixings ready to hand. This could have you hours of searching and sorting on the other end.
The fun, I can assure you will be when you come to unpack on the other end. Nothing on my inventory list matched what was stated to be inside the box. Hence looking in the kitchenware box, we found all sorts of non-kitchenware delights inside. I am not sure what methods the packers use but it sometimes doesn’t speak of a logical order so if you can overseer the pack then do but don’t get in the way. Some companies may require you to sign an inventory list of all the items they have loaded. Check through this to ensure you are satisfied.
Once all items have been packed, take a final walk around to ensure everything has been included. Remember to check behind doors and inside cupboards — I left a huge coat behind the door that was missed and had to put this in my suitcase taking up valuable space and weight. There is a long list of things you will need to finalise and practicalities to be completed at this stage and the list will seem never ending. It is exhausting and you will accumulate list after list of things to do.
This is the main list of things I had to do before we left;
- Sell house
- Sell car
- Quit job
- Tell the school
- Change address
- Tell the tax man
- Tell child benefit
- Tell my pension provider
- Tell utility providers
- Update my will
- Advise my banks
- Keep your UK credits cards and use a UK correspondence address, at least until you have settled.
- Arrange to open an offshore account to transfer foreign currency.
- Arrange to open foreign bank accounts.
- Say good bye to friends and family.
If you have reached this stage, then congratulations will be in order. All you have to do is look forward to the next stage – starting your new life in a new country and home.
I’m Jenny and I whilst I love being an expat in Auckland I could not find any reliable advice or guides online from someone who had actually made the move to New Zealand. So I decided to create this blog which offers free advice for expats by an expat. Hopefully you will find everything you’re looking for (and what I wish I knew before) here but if you can’t please do contact us.