2020 was to say the least, a very tough year on everyone. We made a lot of changes throughout the year, but the one thing that never changed was Rainier and Rainier’s staff’s dedication to giving back to their community. In support of the local DAWN organization and spearheaded by our very own Carrie Bredeson, the Rainier team pulled together and managed to give one family in need a very merry Christmas. DAWN (Dawnrising.org ) supports, empowers and shelters survivors of domestic abuse in King County, WA.
I am proud of our team, and thankful to DAWN for all the amazing work they do year-round. We encourage you to look them up and join them in supporting local families in need.
The below is a very sweet note form the family we were so very blessed to be able to share the holidays with.
For most families, no aspect of a move overseas is more important than the education of school-aged children. Most parents believe that an education abroad will be inferior to that at home. Here are some tips for you when selecting an international school for your kids:
• Research – Before you leave, do your research about what is available in your new country. Many countries with expatriate communities offer international schools that teach the same or similar to the curricula based on familiar models.
• Local schools – Some local school systems in other countries offer the same type of curricula including in their native languages. English is popular over the world so there are plenty of options.
• Lessons – If the school doesn’t offer everything your child would like or you prefer, there are teachers available that can teach specific courses outside of the school system.
• Plan ahead – Begin the process of looking for an international school right when you know you’ll be moving your family overseas. International schools sometimes have limited enrollments and or limited enrollment periods. Look into possibilities long before your move.
So, you cleaned your house, got rid of all that junk and now you are ready to move.
I would recommend (if you are flexible with moving) to move overseas during the winter months minus the holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Many times, people utilize the holidays to move. If you can avoid it, the worst time to move is from May to September, in essence, Memorial Day to Labor Day. Moves are based on weight, storage requirements and distance but don’t decide solely on trying to save money verses moving at a different time.
Moving during the winter is the ideal time but there are some factors to consider. Winter months are darker which cuts the moving workday shorter potentially resulting in a 2-day move instead of one. Movers usually don’t work more than 12-hour shifts.
If you are on a tight budget and haven’t planned out in a timely manner of moving, then the winter is best. Keep in mind, temperatures in some countries are cold, wet and snowy weather during the winter so there may be delays. That said, being able to schedule your move and have it done for a discount, winter it is!
After avoiding relocation depression, you’ll want to stay close to the friends especially if you moved clear across the country or to a different country.
Fortunately, today’s technology allows us to stay in touch no matter where we are located in the world.
Here is some simple tips keeping in touch with your great friends:
• Phone – We used to have to pay a lot of money for long distance phone calls. Since practically most people own a cellphone, it’s easy to keep in touch the traditional way, set specific times of the week every week to talk to your friends.
• Letters – Yes, people still use snail mail. This is a good way to stay in touch, plus, instead of your friends finding just bills in the mail, they’ll receive a nice letter or postcard from you. Have them reciprocate and most importantly, have fun sending updated letters about the goings on in your life.
• Email – Yes, of course there is simple email and another good way to stay in touch. And the best part, it’s simple and free.
• Conference calls – Probably the best way to stay in touch. There are free teleconferencing apps such as Zoom you can use to stay in touch. If you and your friends have Apple phones, FaceTime is an awesome way to be in touch.
• Social networks – Another great way to talk to friends and family alike such as Facebook, Twitter etc. You can create your own Facebook page and invite your friends and relatives to join and post to let everyone know the latest.
There are some other things you need to consider before your car is revved up to be shipped overseas. As always, do your research and find out about the country or city’s public transportation system. This really varies from country-to-country and you will be able to assess how much you will need to drive your car and what kind of driving conditions you can expect.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when moving your automobiles:
• Is your automobile street legal in your new city? Remember that Japan, Britain, Australia and other countries require you to drive on the right-side of the road.
• Make sure your professional mover knows about any import tariffs. Your mover lets you know about any of these potential fees so you are not surprised by any unexpected costs.
• Drivers licenses – Most countries will allow you to drive with your existing American driver’s license but only for a specified period of time.
• Research your new country’s driving regulations and laws before your international move so you know when you need to obtain a new license.
• Purchase insurance – When you move, things can happen so make sure you buy moving insurance for your car especially if it’s a new car. This will provide you peace-of-mind if something should go wrong during the transport.
Follow these tips and ensure you hire a reputable moving company like Rainier so that your four-wheel friend is taken care of during your overseas move.
Moving can be unpredictable to say the least. Anything can happen so you want to ensure you and your entire family including any pets you may have will be safe during the move. Turning your back to safety could be a costlier blunder that you could have easily avoid.
Some safety tips:
• Kids – It can be dangerous if you have young kids around when moving. Heavy household goods can be dropped so avoid any distractions too by having your kids stay at a friend’s place or relative.
• Pets – Just like your kids, you don’t want to have your pets roaming freely while your move is underway. Anything can happen, plan on taking them to friends for the day or hire a pet-sitter to take care of them during the big move.
• Clear hallways – Pick up any clutter, toys or other items that may be in the hallways. Ensure all pathways are free of dirt, water, other substances and ice outside pathways.
• Clothes – Wear the most comfortable clothes during the move, shirts and pants that stretch. Wear comfortable shoes that have good traction and consider heavy duty gloves to protect your hands.
If you are planning to move to another state or country that’s really cold during the winter months, there are some tips you should consider doing prior to your move, especially if you are currently living in a warm climate year-round. It’s a big lifestyle change but it does have some benefits.
There’s not as many bugs around, less allergies, better sleep and much more. Some simple tips to consider when moving to a cold climate:
• Lotions – You’ll need chap stick, lip balms and other types of hydration lotions to ensure you don’t get chapped lips, skin cuts etc.
• Humidifier – If your new state or country is really cold like in Alaska or parts of the Midwest, a humidifier will come in handy to keep your skin and other things in getting it too dry.
• Clothing – Good to invest in a nice parka with a hood, wool sweaters, thick and high stockings, scarves, cozy gloves and heavy-duty pants.
• Insulated blankets – Make sure to purchase big fluffy blankets and heavy sheets to keep you warm during the night.
Next blog will be part two on how to stay warm when moving to a cold state or country.
Now that you have packed your things and the moving trucks are on the way to your new home, I have some tips for you to consider before moving into your new home.
Here’s what you should do when moving into a new home or apartment:
• Document house or apartment – In other words, make sure to take photos of your apartment or home you are moving into. If you have a landlord, document showing the condition of your new home. It will prevent problems down the road and avoid unnecessary liabilities and expenses.
• Boxes in pertinent rooms – As I discussed last week, make sure to label and separate your items room-to-room. Place your boxes in the appropriate rooms so it will be easy for you to unpack and you’ll also avoid any heavy lifting.
• Essentials first – You’ll want to assemble and put together the furniture and bedroom items first, the things you’ll use right off the bat such as a bed, chairs, tables etc.
• Large items – Also, take care of these items first such as the refrigerator, stove, washing machine and other big ticket items. It’s easier to install the bigger appliances when you have the room to hook them up, plug-ins and anything else that’s needed.
• Cleaning – When you first move in, clean the toilets, tubs and other bathroom areas. It’s one of the most used places in your new home besides the living room.
Use these important tips prior to moving in your new home and you’ll be more prepared and will settle in a lot quicker to make the overall experience more pleasing.
This week, I’m going to provide tips about renting furniture if needed when you move.
When you move across the pond, not everything will go right when it comes to furniture. Some of the furniture you currently have to move might be too big or too small for the new home. Your couch might not even fit through the door. Or, your furniture doesn’t arrive on time, so you have to rent some furniture in the interim.
• When looking for homes, consider searching for furnished apartments or homes. This will save you money and any hassles from shipping furniture overseas.
• Also, consider renting household goods such as kitchenware’s, vacuum cleaners, televisions, bedding, silverware and other items. This will save you time and money especially if your move is for a certain timeframe.
• Research relocation consultants. From single items to fully tailored packages, consultants can come in handy to provide expertise for your new home.
Even though many of us receive packages via FedEx or by other means, we still have important snail-mail to collect and when moving overseas, you want to ensure you receive it at your new home or residence. With technology today, you can now actually manage your mail from abroad by using mail forwarding services.
Moving can be stressful especially moving overseas but be sure to select a mail servicing company before heading out so that important letters, correspondences and yes, even bills are still sent to you.
You can choose a variety of features including:
• Mail sent monthly, bi-monthly or as requested
• Add an Internet account so you can view the status of your mail and specify specific shipping dates
• Shipping and customs documents can be handled by the shipping service you choose
• Categorize or select which parcels of mail you want to receive overseas
The U.S. Postal Services regulates commercial receiving agencies (CRMAs) and requires a form to be filled out (you can download it here: https://about.usps.com/forms/ps1583.pdf) and have identification documents handy when filling out the form. If you have a significant other and you’re not married, each person will need to fill out a separate form.
Mail-forwarding services eases a lot of worries when heading overseas and this is just another convenient service to use when living in another country.