Your company has decided that you better serve them elsewhere or you decided to try working remotely on your own. Either way, such a move requires ample preparation work as it is not easy to move anytime, but to move to a new country takes a great deal of planning and research. Let’s take a closer look of what a move across the pond to the United Kingdom entails with some tips to help make this journey a bit easier.
More than a Month Prior to Your Move
Book your moving company date as far in advance as possible
Be sure to include insurance coverage for the move (what if the ship wrecks?)
Ask your insurance company to organise export certificates for any vehicles.
Provide a detailed valuation of your effects for insurance purposes.
Order packing cases (unless provided by moving company)
This is the time to sort through your goods, and dispose of things you do not need. You will need to decide whether to store electronics, and furniture or dispose of it unless you can take it with you.
Make lists for
Take with you list
Air shipment list (if applicable)
Removal list –what will be included in your shipment to the new country. Make sure any large piece of furniture will fit in your new home if possible. Appliances in 220 volt can be purchased and delivered tax free to be included in your shipment. This is highly recommended if you can fit them in your new home. This can include washers, dryers, refrigerators.
Dispose of list – either sell on ebay, garage or boot sale, or donate to charity
Ensure your passport, visas and vaccinations needed are up to date, and will be valid for your move.
Arrange to have your mail redirected. Send address change cards to friends, family, and billing departments. Once you get a new address- I recommend keeping an address, even through a service in your home country as this allows you to keep a bank account, at least 1 or 2 credit cards, and receive magazines that you love while living overseas.
Advise post office, insurance companies, credit cards, banks, bills, etc of your move and your change of address.
Cancel any club memberships to avoid paying for them.
Advise doctors, dentists of your departure. Obtain copies of your medical and dental records. This is especially important for children’s shot records and medical files.
Transfer, change address, or close bank accounts. Check with your accountant for tax implications, you will be required to continue filing taxes in the USA as well. As an expat in the United Kingdom you will have to pay your taxes in your host country but will need to declare all your income and foreign bank accounts in the USA. You may qualify for foreign earned income exclusion if your annual income is less than $105,900.
Make arrangements to open bank and credit card accounts in the UK.
Check to see if you are due a Council Tax rebate, or any other tax refunds.
Obtain an International Driving license from AAA in the US.
Begin using the food in your freezer
Check regulations and make arrangements for the moving of pets. In order to minimize the time spent in quarantine, your pets must have paperwork started and be implanted with microchip 6 months prior to move.
Ask for final electricity, gas, water and telephone bills and arrange disconnection if required. Do not arrange disconnection of your telephone until the end of the last day of the move so that you can maintain contact.
Cancel subscriptions (or arrange forwarding) of any newspapers, magazines, book clubs etc.
Arrange new schools for your children in the United Kingdom.
Notify your children’s existing school and arrange for school records to be forwarded to the new school.
4 Weeks Before Moving Day
Notify your relocation agent of your contact address and telephone number in the current location and overseas after you move out of your home.
Notify your relocation agent of the delivery address (if known), and advise of any possible access difficulties and parking regulations. Moving to the city of London would provide much more logistical issues than moving to Bethesda in rural Wales.
Arrange full insurance cover for moving your household effects. Turn in the paperwork.
Cancel all rental agreements, memberships, etc.
Locate marriage and birth certificates. Carry them with you on the plane.
If you are a returning resident, locate your inbound moving packing inventory (this can be useful if not necessary for customs clearance).
If you are a member of a club that will offer your unwanted items for resale, send the information to them of the dates the items will be available.
Ensure your driving licence and car insurance will be valid in the new location. If needed, apply for a new licence or begin paperwork.
Clean out your attic, garage, shed.
Arrange storage, if needed with your relocation company.
2 Weeks Before Moving Day
Arrange ‘car boot sale’ or ‘garage sale’ of any unwanted electrical and other items, or take them to your local recycling centre. Ask your relocation agent if you need advice on the disposal of items.
Dispose of alcohol, if at all possible, as this can cause problems at customs in the United Kingdom. Please advise relocation agents if you do intend to include alcohol in your household move.
If you are moving your washing machine do ensure that you have the drum securing bolts or bar supplied by the manufacturer and secure the drum after you have completed your last load of washing. The Moving Crew may be able to assist you with fitting these on the day of packing but the onus is on you to provide them with the parts and to advise them that it has not already been done.
Empty your refrigerator and freezer of food.
Arrange to have kitchen appliances disconnected by a professional.
The Week of the Move
Ensure that you have labelled everything to be moved clearly, i.e., AIR/SEA/STORAGE/DO NOT PACK, etc., for the packers, most relocation agents will provide you with stickers.
Put to one side all personal items that you will carry with you (i.e. passports, documents, work permits, purchase invoices for new or valuable items, jewellery, money, airline tickets, clothing and toys, etc.). Make sure that you take enough clothes to tide you over until your airfreight move or sea freight shipment arrives. Please note that unaccompanied air freight moves often take 10 to 14 days to arrive. No matter what the movers tell you, count on at least 1-2 months for your sea container to reach you. It must clear customs after it reaches the new country.
Important documents to take with you include: birth and marriage certificates, medical and dental records, insurance paperwork, financial information, tax records from recent years, current tax information, passports, address information for family, friends, and relatives. Keep a separate photocopy of these documents in a safe place.
Authorities may require notarized copies of your vital records (birth certificate, marriage certificate) but these can be done remotely via electronic notarization services, there is no need to notarize them at this point yet.
Obtain foreign currency to use on arrival in a new country.
Empty any safety deposit boxes.
Defrost fridge and freezer.
Draw up a plan of your new house, noting what furniture and boxes goes where.
Pack suitcases with items you need on the journey, and immediately on arrival.
Make arrangements with your neighbors to allow enough parking spaces for our vehicles on the day of the move.
Re-confirm air tickets and flight details at least 48 hours before departure.
Return any rented or borrowed items, e.g. library books, video tapes, etc.
Have all operator manuals for your electrical items ready to be packed.
The Day Before the Move
Information contained in your Computer should be backed-up into another format and carried with you to the new location. Laptops will work worldwide, so they are a great way to move your data, and remain connected in your new location..
For an international move- you may want to replace electronic equipment
Remove toner cartridges from printers and dispose of them. Note: the damage that can occur due to cartridges leaking inside the machine or out of it is well in excess of the value of the cartridge. If you do need to include toner cartridges in your shipment take sealed unused units only.
Should you still have the original packing for any fragile, electronic items such as TVs or stereos we recommend that you advise the packers of this upon their arrival at your home. This packaging is custom-made to suit your equipment and may offer additional protection.
The Day of the Move
Leave the packing to the relocation company.
Put everything that is going with you in the car, or make sure you keep it separate.
If at all possible, try not to arrange travel overseas on the same day as the move, as this will tend to add to the stress involved.
Show the moving crew foreman exactly which goods are to be packed, pointing out items of particular concern.
The moving foreman will prepare a list of each packed item to be moved (e.g. ‘carton of china’ not a list of every item in the carton). This will be signed by him and you as a receipt for the effects being shipped.
Before the removal vehicle leaves, have a final check that everything you want in the move is inside.
If no one is moving into your old home, turn off the power and drain or turn off the water supply. Make sure it is left secure and see our article on rental property for tips on getting back your deposit.
RELAX – while this is stressful at the time, it will all pass and you are beginning a new journey!
Thanks for reading!
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