One to Two Weeks Prior to Departure


  • Divide and mark possessions into air shipment, sea shipment, personal baggage and storage.
  • If you are doing your own packing (not recommended), get cartons and packing materials.
  • Do not pack items in closed plastic (cleaner’s bags/plastic garment bags), especially shoes or other leather goods (this dries out leather). Corrugated paper, which is waxed, could also damage goods.
  • Arrange for payment of the move. Unless arrangements have been made through your company, moving companies will want to be paid upon delivery.
  • Reconfirm packing and moving dates with movers. If possible, arrange for storage load to be packed and picked up separately from shipment items to avoid mix-ups.
  • Remove and replace any items you are not selling with the house such as light fixtures.
  • Make arrangements necessary to assist movers (elevator, parking for moving van, etc.).
  • Return all library books.
  • Draw a floor plan of the new house and where furniture will be placed, so that you can direct the movers as they bring in the furniture.
  • Arrange for disconnection of utilities and services such as:
    • Gardener/Yard service
    • Day care
    • Newspaper
    • Home repair
    • Garbage collection
    • Cleaning service
    • Cable/Internet/Phone
    • Electrical/Gas/Water service


Personal and Official

  • Keep a contact file with information for movers, company contacts, friends, etc.
  • Arrange to have current bank transfer funds and credit references to the bank you have chosen in your destination. Close out extra bank accounts, if appropriate.
  • Obtain cash in foreign currency.
  • Make a list of important numbers; credit card, car serial, bank account, traveler’s checks, camera serial, etc. Carry one copy with you and keep one copy in safety deposit box.
  • Reconfirm travel arrangements. You might want to leave a day or two after the final moving day so that you have time to organize details and relax.
  • Allow each child to pack a small carry-on bag with favorite toys, books, and snacks. Have each child pack an “Open Me First” box with special toys and favorite items.
  • Collect all valuables and items for “Essentials Box” to be carried with you. Place them in a safe place or a safety deposit box until the day before departure.
  • Collect receipts for expensive articles for customs entry (i.e. computers, cameras, jewelry).