Moving Overseas Checklist

Moving overseas can be a life changing experience, but it’s by no means an easy feat. You’ve likely already found that there’s so much to organise and, because of that, the whole process may be starting to feel a tad stressful. Fortunately, we know the secrets to a less stressful move out of the UK, which are organisation and a good checklist. From personal experience, we’re aware that not everyone is born with an innate sense of organisation. But don’t fret, that can be overcome with our great moving overseas checklist! Yes, it’s better than good.

Before you even think of moving to a different country, there are a few administrative tasks that you’ll need to tackle. Of course, some of these will depend on the reason you’re moving out of the UK, such as for work or retirement. The only difference between these two being the need of a work permit or proof of funds.


In general, the first thing you’ll need to ensure is that you can legally live in your new home country by checking the entry requirements and having a valid passport that won’t expire anytime soon. And, since it can take a while to get your visa approved, starting the process as early as possible is a must! Furthermore, being prepared with all the necessary documents (proof of degrees and qualifications, work permit, proof of funds, etc.) isn’t a bad idea either.

Moving Date

The next box to check off is figuring out your moving date! This might seem like a simple decision to make when moving overseas, but you’ll likely have to sort out your accommodation in the target country and, if you currently own a house, you’ll need to put it up for sale. Ideally, you should give yourself at least two months so you have plenty of time to pack and take care of administrative tasks, like finding accommodation and closing up shop at your old address.


As you’ll be leaving the UK, your moving overseas checklist must include the cancellation of all your current utilities, as it’s very unlikely that these companies will be present in the country you’re moving to. And, if you don’t want someone to accumulate debt on your account, then this task should be a top priority.

Of course, you don’t want to cancel them haphazardly. Once you know the moving date, you can then tell your utility providers when you’d like to end your contract, ensuring that you’ll have electricity, water, and internet up until the last day you need it!


Taxes… The one word nobody likes to hear, but something you’ll need to get familiar with before your move. From stamp duty on the sale of a house, if you’re so inclined, to informing HMRC and your local council about your change of address for tax reasons, all this is necessary to avoid being erroneously labelled as a tax evader! And the fun doesn’t end there as you’ll have to become acquainted with a whole new tax system. So, be sure to research the country’s tax system before you go to avoid running into problems later!


Finally, we’re shifting away from the admin tasks and on to the most important moving-related ones. There are a lot of different options to consider when moving house, like the mode of transport, FCL vs LCL, port-to-port or door-to-door, and more. Fortunately for you, we will shed some light on these below!

Finding an International Removal Company

It can be tricky to find the right removal company since there are often too many options to choose from with varying prices. However, if you understand container shipping costs, you’ll be in a much better position going ahead with your selection. A great recourse for this information and more is Sirelo. With a nice breakdown of the costs and a great service to find a removal company, you can’t go wrong with their assistance!

Additionally understanding the terms we mentioned above is a good place to start. First, when it comes to the mode of transport, the options run between plane, ship, and lorry. Each have their own pros and cons. The most important thing to know is that transporting your household goods by plane is the most expensive and quickest option, while shipping via sea is the slowest and cheapest alternative. You just need to find the right option for you.

Full Container Load (FCL) and Less Container Load (LCL) refers to shipping practices where you’ll either be using a full container or only part of it. LCL makes sense when you have a small load and, thus, sharing the container and the cost make the most sense. While FCL is best when you’ll need the full container for all your worldly belongings.

The option of port-to-port or door-to-door is easy for many. The service of door-to-door, where the removal company helps you through your moving journey, is popular choice for the simplicity it adds, as well as the helping hands. However, we never aim to admonish the brave and port-to-port is an option for the self-sufficient few who can bring their belongings to and from the port without assistance.


This is where you’ll really be put to the test during your move abroad. Packing is not an easy feat unless everything you own fits in a suitcase. While this may just be a moving overseas checklist, we’ll include some packing tips to keep the stress away.

Our first tip is to start packing at least one month before your move date, but truly the earlier you start, the better. The best way to start is by making an inventory of everything you want to move and things you would like to part with. Best to declutter before you move rather than after paying the shipping costs. After all space is money!

Next, you’ll need to come up with a plan on how you intend to pack. You’ll want to start with the non-essentials, as you won’t miss them in the last month before you move. Needless to say, you should ensure that your boxes are well labelled, just in case you need an unexpected non-essential item, since you don’t want to have to unpack everything just to find one item. Beyond finding something, labelling will also be useful when you move as you’ll know exactly what each box contains. This will certainly make unpacking much more manageable.

A final packing tip is to consider the way things are loaded into the shipping container. This might seem like strange advice, but items placed at the back of the container will be the last to be removed. Thus, by placing the most essential items at the front, you’ll ensure that they’ll be the first to be unloaded. Our advice? Pack your kettle last, as we’re sure the first thing you’ll need before you unpack is a nice cuppa!


Mail isn’t always the most important thing, but we can imagine that missing letters from family and friends (or an old crush) could be a little disappointing. You might find it useful to ensure you haven’t forgotten any loose ends with the likes of bills or summons going unnoticed. Otherwise, it could ruin a holiday back to the UK. If it sounds like a headache you’d like to avoid, you can use the mail redirection service offered by Royal Mail.


This may seem like a short moving abroad checklist, but what has been included are the most important parts of a move. Also, you don’t need an overwhelming checklist with a thousand steps, otherwise you’ll just get stressed! So, be sure to cover the most important tasks, and then have a wonderful time moving at your own pace. Finally, good luck with your move, we’re sure it’ll be stellar!