How to prepare your belongings for international shipping

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    The relocation process is difficult enough without adding the complications that international shipping can add. Your items need to be prepared as best as possible in order to give them the best possible chance to exit unscathed. While it is not really a common thing to have your items damaged during international travel, it is more common than you think. That is why, even if you hire a good moving company, you will need to prepare your belongings for international shipping. The first thing you will need to do is figure out exactly which items you want to ship. After that you will need to do some inventorying, packing and insuring. All in all, it is quite a process and we are going to walk you through it. So, without further ado, here is the:

    Prepare your belongings for international shipping – Fast and easy guide

    As you can see, there are quite a few of the items on the list below. While you don’t really need to follow every piece of advice that we present, doing so will put you in a much better situation when it comes to international shipping. You will need to:

    • Declutter!
    • Create an inventory list of your belongings
    • Prepare your belongings for international shipping – Gather proper packing supplies
    • Get additional insurance
    • Keep your valuables separate
    Declutter – Get rid of the unnecessary things before the move.


    First of all, the cost of the shipment will be largely based on the weight and the size of your items, as well as the number of them. You most likely have quite a few items in your house that will not make the cut for shipping. The best thing to do when starting to prepare is to declutter. This is a hard process, to tell you the complete truth, and it might require quite a bit of time. The best way to organize decluttering is to create three “piles”. You can name these piles however you want but for the sake of this article we are going to call them the “Yes”, “No”, and “Maybe” piles. You will sort all of your belongings into these three piles.

    The items that you will definitely be taking with you go in the “Yes” pile. The ones that are not making the cut go into the “No” pile. And everything else goes into the “Maybe” pile.

    This will most likely leave you with quite big “Maybe” pile. That is alright. You will be doing several more passes and moving items from that pile to one of the two other ones. The end goal is the “Maybe” pile that is absolutely empty. If you can’t figure out what to do with some of the belongings, try to make some room for them. Because you will almost always feel regret if you throw them away after that. The basic rule of thumb is: After three passes, everything in the “Maybe” pile needs to go to the “Yes” pile. Unless you can’t afford to, obviously.

    Create an inventory list of your belongings

    After figuring out which items are making the trip, it is time to create an inventory list. While creating the list, make sure to take pictures of your items, the more the better. The reason for this is if any accidents occur you will have proof of what was in there. Other than that, having an inventory list can help you identify the items that you don’t need, or need more of. This is the perfect time to evaluate your belongings and to see if you are lacking in some departments. Or simply have too much stuff. While you are making an inventory list you should create the ultimate list of packing supplies too!

    Create an inventory list before you start packing.

    Prepare your belongings for international shipping – Gather proper packing supplies

    Inventory list done, it is time to gather all the supplies you will need for the packing process. You can always hire packing services if you don’t feel like going through this process. However, a savvy homeowner will reduce the cost by acquiring cheap packing supplies, like boxes, from stores and the internet. Simply devote some time for the search and you are sure to find cheap, or even free, packing supplies. A lot of people have gone through the moving process and a lot of them overbuy packing supplies. Thus, they end up having a lot more than they needed and are most likely willing to sell them at a reasonable price. Some people will even offer them for free, but that is a rarity, to be honest.

    Get additional insurance

    You will also want to make sure that your items are properly insured. There are many types of moving insurance and you will do well if you inform yourself of them. It all depends on how much your items are worth, ultimately. What you want to do is match the value of your items with appropriate insurance. Simple as that. There is nothing worse than having an accident and not being able to recoup your losses. You need to know that the regular insurance will most likely only cover the fraction of the value of your items. That is why you need to consider getting additional insurance.

    Keep your valuables separate

    Your most valuable possessions should, ideally, go with you. They need to be in a separate location from the rest of your stuff. If you can’t carry all of them with you, it might be best to ship them separately, under a higher degree of protection. Depending on the value of items, nothing can be too safe and you need to act accordingly. Take what you can with you and ship the rest under maximum protection.

    Pack all valuables on your own and keep them separated.

    Hire professional mover to prepare your belongings for international shipping

    If you really want to make sure that everything is ideal for international shipping, simply hire a professional moving company to do it for you. A moving company has plenty of experience with all kinds of relocations, offers plenty of moving services NYC and is sure to do what is best for you and your belongings. This will also leave you with a lot more free time on your hands.