Planning Your Move: Top Tips
3 months prior or as early as you can...
1. Start a moving plan. Once you finish reading this list, highlight what pertains to you and other things you need to get done, enter it by date on a dedicated calendar and make sure to review it every day.
2. If you have are moving a pet, check the laws where you are going as some require vaccinations min 3 months prior to entering the country. Enter any relevant dates (paperwork, vaccinations, flight booking etc) in your plan.
3. Check your tenancy contract: you will need to give your landlord as much notice as possible regarding ending a rental contract so that you are not left with penalties. Address at the same time the logistics for getting your deposit back (time to get out, what do they expect you to fix/return to original state/ how payment will be made (as you might not have a bank account then). Make a note in your calendar on the date to get your deposit back.
4. Check in your employment contract or with your HR Department if you are eligible for any moving/transfer costs. Look for moving cost, (size of container – car yes or no- insurance –very important) hotel here after you pack or hotel stay/serviced apartments if with family where you are going to for the first few weeks, etc- find out also when you are likely to get your end of service benefit. Also look at how it will be transferred as it will affect closing your bank account timing.
5. Check with the bank what they will need/if you can keep your account open/credit cards- how long cheques made will be honored, etc. Note any to-do on your calendar.
6. Check at destination for school for your kids, reserve spaces if required – add to your moving plan
2 months prior...
1. Check voltage and average size of house at destination that would fit your budget as this will affect what you can/cannot take with you. If you have the chance to choose a house early, get all measurements possible (including space between windows, underneath the windows also), door frame width, access of the building, parking access for a van/truck/container outside etc as it will help decide what will fit where and whether it will get in.
2. Start sorting what you want to 1- move, 2- sell, 3-give away/return to friends, 4-give away to charity (don’t throw anything! There are companies/charities who take everything, such as takemyjunkuae.com (they even come for a pile of not so great items like damaged electrical goods, some damaged furniture, clothes or a bunch of chipped plates, they take, refurbish/repair if possible and resell (to labourers/workers mostly in their warehouse in Ajman for very low prices) - you can have boxes labeled or use 1 room cupboard for what you want to keep, give away, sell etc (add to your plan/calendar – maybe schedule 2 hours every week to clean up? Little steps go a long way and are less overwhelming)
3. Plan a garage sale (check for flea markets in your area or organize your own) or sell (bigger items) on sites such as Dubizzle, qatarliving.com or iloveqatar.net. Cash converter is also an option for the UAE, your return is lower but you only deal with 1 buyer for many goods which makes it an easy deal.
4. Contact professional movers and get someone to come and discuss your requirements - remember to tell them what is moving, what is not, discuss what you want/don’t want, are worried about. Important to show them what might not be of monetary value but very sentimental to you as well. A good company should be able to give you the customs info for the country you are going to, NOT have a hotmail or eim.ae email address and LISTEN to what you need. You must go with who you are most comfortable with. You could use a service like Movesouq.com – that provides a free service for getting you quotes. You can also check reviews from other customers that will help you avoid those nasty moving surprises.
5. Make arrangements for medical or dental records, if necessary. Make appointments with doctors you want to see before leaving. Make a list and note any follow-up dates on your plan.
6. Decide if you will be selling cars etc. Depending on the brand it might take you a while to sell (+ you need to have time to do the paperwork etc) so you might want to sell early and get a rental car which you can easily have until the last day dropped off at the airport
7. Book flights, hotels (at origin and destination if required)
8. Make arrangements to have locally purchased appliances that you are moving serviced prior to your move.
4 weeks prior...
1. Make sure you have confirmed in writing with the moving company and booked the date (even if it needs to change it is always better to have a date booked in). Ask the moving company to deliver boxes ahead of pack so you can start sorting through things.
2. Compile a list of all items you are moving for the in-transit insurance if required. Choose to have total value cover which offers you a general value level of your goods without having to list them all so all but a signature and high value items list is required.
3. Put stickers (post-its don’t always stay in place so use sticky tape if needed) on pcs of furniture: moving/not moving. If you have time, take pictures of your items. If something gets lots/broken during the move (rare but as an extra precaution) you can refer to them later.
4. Inform friends/any service your subscribe to of your change of address
5. Check with your utility and telecommunication service providers what is required to cancel your account. Enter any dates in your moving plan (you might want to get a pay as you go phone for the last few days…). Do keep in mind in terms of timing that you will want to have the A/C booked in until after pack dates (especially for the hot summer months)!
6. Plan the ‘farewell party’ with your friends ahead of the move! Friends are sweet, they often give you a nice farewell gift, often bulky, that might need to go into your shipment!
7. Involve your kids with the move. Plan with them when and how they will start packing; plan a farewell etc. (see ‘Moving with kids’ for more details). This will help them to get excited about the move rather than be afraid of the unknown.
The last week...
1. For private moves, you will need to visit your moving company to make payment. Perfect time to ask any last questions you might have. Ensure you provide the moving company with your contact details at all times (if you travel around, the dates with different contact numbers) so you are always reachable. Also keep the documents/receipts with you (not to be packed).
2. Put away the toys you want to take on the flight, clothes, etc- keep them in 1 room/bathroom that you lock away so neither the kids nor the packing crew takes it inadvertently
3. Put passports, tickets etc in a safe place too
4. Use 1 box to be your ‘essentials’ box with everything you’ll need first at your residence (you might even want the kettle there, to make a cup of tea on unpacking day!). Colour them to spot easily such as yellow and red stripes. If you move with someone else, remind the moving company to packs it last in the container.
5. Arrange for handyman/maid services. You might need someone to disconnect all your appliances, remove your light fittings and fix the walls from damages or holes in your residence after that (to ensure you get your deposit back!). Your house will likely require a good cleaning after the move too, so maid services might be a good idea.
Save your documents 6. Start giving away food/cleaning products etc to friends, plan on having your fridge/freezer empty 2 days before the move
7. Make sure you put on a USB/harddrive any items you have on your home PC that you might need during the move and to keep your harddrive with you during your travel.
2 days prior...
1. Leave a box aside with all items that you will need until the end but cannot take with you (cleaning products, for example)
2. Empty fridge, air out and place a toilet roll in both in the freezer and normal compartments (it absorbs any remaining moisture and helps prevent mould and mildew)
3. Clean and air out your oven, microwave etc
4. Plan for disposable cups, plates, breakfast without cutlery etc for the last day of packing
5. Take all keys from desks, safes, etc and put them in a safe place to take with you
6. Get a good night sleep the night prior to the move!! ( nothing to worry about if you have contracted the right movers!)
7. Get to eat at a friend’s house or book a restaurant at least for the last day if you can
8 Have water handy for the packers (not a requirement but always nice to have)
Day(s) of the move
1. Make sure you do a run through with the moving company as to what to pack and what not to (again, all items you need or really don’t want to pack are best kept in a bathroom/room that no one gets access to), including passports, keys, your USB filled with all info required, kids toys and last day suitcase, etc.
2. Remember to keep copies of the packing inventory into your ‘important documents’ along with all documents pertaining to the move for when you arrive on the other side. DO NOT pack them in the container!
3. Before leaving the house, make sure you check EVERY cupboard, room, closet to make sure nothing is left behind
4. Say goodbye to your new home, and get ready for a new chapter of your new life!
After the move day
1. Return your car, phones, give away products and food to friends, say final goodbyes