Packing Checklist for Expats

Preparing packing checklist for moving overseas can help to take a lot out off your mind
Packing to move is not an easy task. Moreover, you must have been so busy organizing the moving overseas and you hardly thought that the time to start packing will eventually come.
You most probably hid it somewhere deep in the back of your mind, and secretly wished that the packing boxes will be packed by themselves.
Well… unless you have some magic power, that is not going to happen.

Breathe and gather your strength, it is time to start dealing with the packing checklist…

Home Organization Tips Before Packing

One way to make the packing process less stressful is to prepare and organize your house properly before packing for moving.
You can think about your moving overseas as a great opportunity for a spring clean, and a chance for some clutter control.
First, Get rid of everything you don’t need – Dispose broken tools, old toys, old clothing, etc’.
This is easy to follow if you stick to two basic rules:

  • Use it or loose it – Throw away whatever you did not use for more than a year. If you did not use it, you are probably not going to use it in the future.
  • When in doubt throw it out – You are not sure if you would be using it in the future? Stop thinking, throw it out.

Having a hard time throwing away your stuff? Plan a garage sale, donate it to a charity, or sale it on E-bay or any online auction site.
Second, Decide what to leave behind – Here are a few things to consider before packing boxes for moving abroad:

  • If your employer is responsible for shipping your household to the destination country, there might be restrictions on the size of the shipment you are allowed to ship.
  • If you are responsible for shipping your household to the destination country then you may be influenced by the cost of shipping large quantities.
  • Learn what kind of weather to expect at your destination country. You might not need to pack your winter clothes.
  • Check the electricity volt in your destination country, as your existing appliances might not work there.
  • Will your employer provide a furnished house in the destination country, and what will be the size of your house?

Avoid packing and moving anything you don’t really need,
or won’t be able to use.
keep in mind that you are creating a home away from home.
Make sure to pack those essential items that will make you feel comfortable and welcoming in your new surrounding. 

Important Tip on Getting Organized Before Packing

Much of what you decide to leave behind (furniture, appliances, valuable jewelry or art work, etc’.) will be of use to you after repatriating.

Therefore you should decide where you are going to store this staff while you are away – with family and friends, in a safety deposit box, or maybe in a storage unit.
Whatever you decide to do, make a proper inventory list and indicate where you stored each of the items. After all you will be gone for a few years, and you might forget where you stored your valuable items.

Prepare a Home Inventory List and Take Photos of Your Valuables

A very important task on the packing checklists is to prepare a home inventory list.

Why is it important to prepare a home inventory list?
First, you will have to provide your relocation company an inventory list of all your belongings for insurance purposes. Moreover, if there is damage or loss to your possessions, having a detailed home inventory can help settle your insurance claim faster.
It is therefore recommended to create a room-by-room inventory list of your personal possessions. Take note of all your items from jewelry and appliances to clothing and toys. Along with the list you can take pictures of important individual items. On the back of the photos, indicate what is shown, where you bought it and the make, model and serial of the item.

Packing and Moving Supply

pile-of-packing-boxes Are you packing yourself? Or will the moving company do the packing for you?
If you are packing yourself it is recommended to arrange in advance packing supplies and packing accessories such as: boxes for moving, wardrobe boxes, bubble wrap, wrapping paper, tape rolls, packing tape, packing foam, etc’.
You can either collect packing materials from stores near your house, or you can purchase them online -there are some inexpensive packing supplies. In any case make sure you have proper size and type of cartons, and enough moving packing supplies for your entire household.
If the moving company would be packing boxes for moving overseas for you, then please ask them to provide you packing materials before the moving day. It is recommended that you start packing a few items yourself.

Packing Tips for Moving Overseas


  • Start packing 2-3 cartons each day, a few weeks before the moving day. This will keep you organized and the task of packing to move won’t be so overwhelming.
  • Pack one room at a time; keep the contents of each room in separate boxes. This will save time when you’re unpacking at your destination country.
  • Begin by packing everything you don’t use on a daily basis such as: off-season clothing, knick knacks, some of your dishes, pots and pans, extra beddings, extra blankets etc’.
  • Place heavier items on the bottom of the boxes; pad the packing boxes with paper on the top, bottom and inside the box so there is buffer protection, and make sure to close the boxes tightly with packing tape.
  • Use a felt pen or packing labels to indicate on the packing boxes information such as: contents, destination room, fragile, this side up, etc’; Make sure to number each packing box and prepare a moving packing list with the boxes numbers and their contents.
  • Important note – Some household items are considered hazardous and are not allowed to be included in your shipment, such as: paint, bottled gas, cleaning fluids, etc’. It is recommended to consult with your moving company and to ask for a full list of Hazardous items.

Congratulations, you are almost done with the packing checklist, but Before you get some rest on the plane, there is one more item on the packing checklist.
As a matter of fact it is a very important detail –
Start thinking about packing luggage It will take a while until you reunite with your belongings. It is therefore important that you pack all essential items that you’ll need until you get settled and organized in your new house at your destination country.