Tips ensuring paperwork is in good shape before your international move

You have a passport and visa and off you go to move overseas. Not so fast, you need to make sure other documents are in order before leaving. It’s crucial that additional paperwork and important copies of medical insurance, income tax records and the like are with you heading to your host country.

There are not only obligations from your own government here but records of “who you are” are important to have to take with you. Make sure you have copies with you in your briefcase or other hand-carried case on the airplane, don’t put them in your luggage in case it’s lost and certainly don’t ship them away in your belongings heading overseas.

Below is a recommended list of documents to have with you when moving:
• Employment contracts and a letter from your employers stating the terms of your stay. If local host-country authorities need them for some reason or ask to see them.
• Birth certificates of each family member
• Pertinent medical records
• Pertinent dental records
• Driver’s license (if you are planning to drive a vehicle in your host country, you’ll need to apply for a license there)
• Property and vehicle insurance records
• Income tax records
• Wills if Appropriate
• Each member of your family’s passport and other documentation

By making sure you have multiple copies of important documents with you, your overseas move will be so much easier in the event that any of your paperwork is requested while traveling or when you are settling into your new home.

Safe moving!

Tips moving via plane

This week, I’m going to provide you tips if you decide to move via airplane.

Moving by a plane can be convenient alternative to moving by truck or car. If you plan correctly and if you are in a big hurry, here’s some tips to keep in mind:
• Plan ahead – Do your research online and find out what the extra baggage policies are with your airline. Airlines differ on how many bags you can take with you, size and weight are considering factors too. Do your research so you know what your total costs will be to move your personal home furnishings.
• Lighten it up – When moving across country or overseas, costs add up if you have a lot of belongings. If you are moving on a permanent basis, I’d have a garage sale and get rid of a lot of your stuff that you no longer need or use. If it’s temporary, you can probably get away with bringing only the items you use the most.
• Scale – Before you go to the airport, weigh your luggage to ensure it doesn’t exceed the size and weight limits of your airline.
• Alternatives – You probably won’t be able to ship everything via plane, so I’d hire shipping experts like Rainier to package and ship your personal belongings whether by ground, train or air.

These tips will be useful if you are moving via plane.

Safe moving!

Tips on moving your lawn mower

You can’t just load your lawn mower into a moving truck the way you left it right after you last worked with it. And you shouldn’t do it either for a number of safety reasons. Before you can load a lawn mower into a moving truck, you’re going to need to prepare it properly for safe transportation.

Here are simple steps to preparing a lawn mower for a move:
1. The very first thing you need to do when moving a lawn mower is to drain completely its gas tank and its oil tank and transfer those liquids into appropriate containers.

Gas and oil are hazardous materials that top the list of non-allowable items when moving home. And as you know well, professional movers cannot and will not transport dangerous items of any kind.

Dispose of the lawn mower liquids in accordance with the local environmental regulations. Or you can give them to a neighbor who also owns lawn care equipment.

2. Clean well your lawn mower – The second step to preparing a lawn mower for moving is to clean it from any remaining dirt and grass cuttings before loading it up on the moving truck. The idea, of course, is to prevent your other belongings from getting dirty and to keep the inside of the moving vehicle in decent condition.

Use a large sponge and water to wash your mower and pay special attention to its wheels and undercarriage.

3. Remove all attachments and blades – For safety reasons, you’re going to need to remove the blades from your lawn mower before you load it up for transport. Consult the user’s manual of the machine if you’re not sure how to do it properly.

Use extra caution while handling the blades to avoid injuries. Use thick gloves while removing the cutting elements, then place the original protective covers over the sharp blades to secure them. Finally, wrap them up in large sheets of bubble wrap and pack them separately in a cardboard box.

4. Disconnect the spark plug – The final step to preparing a lawn mower for a move is to disconnect its spark plug so that it can’t accidentally be started during transport. Even with its gas siphoned, a lawn mower can still be started in some cases because of the fuel fumes built-up in the tank.

Follow these tips and your lawn mower will be shipped safely!

Safe moving!

Tips about embassies and important contact information

So, you are set with your visa and or passport, now you need to make sure you get to know our embassies. Most embassies and consulates around the world have their own websites. When you move to another country, it’s really important to know the contact information and address of the embassy and consulate of the country you are moving to. They have excellent resources and can assist you if something goes wrong in your new international home.

Here are some important websites you should bookmark and make sure you have on hand before you move overseas:
Embassy.org – Washington D.C. is the “hub” for international resources, lists of directories, passport and visas guides and much more.
Governments on the Web – This is one of the most comprehensive lists of governmental institutions on the worldwide web which lists ministries, parliaments, offices, city councils, central banks, embassies, multi-governmental institutions and more. A great resource to use and know about the important local offices in your new country.
Visa information – A private company not affiliated with a government agency but provides expedited visas, passports and other vital information needed for your move overseas.
Forms and customs information – Rainier Overseas provides useful information on our own site including forms and customs information you should be aware of. Our online search tool is also really helpful.

Safe moving!

Making an international move during the Covid-19 pandemic

The world is on hold, but the move must go on. For some, this is simply reality. You have sold your house here in the US, and you need to be in your new home overseas as soon as possible.
Don’t Panic. Not all is lost. For starters, you might be happy to know that moving has been deemed an “essential service” virtually everywhere in the US. This means that currently, movers in the US can pack, pick up, load, ship or store your personal items without much difficulty. This checks off one major box for many. However, regulations related to the moving industry are not universal. Many of our foreign partners are currently unable to operate at full capacity due to either government regulations or labor shortages (or sometimes both). So now you might ask, “Do we go ahead and ship or do we wait it out?”
Well, let’s start with research. Fortunately, most everything you need to know about the current pandemic situation in the country you are moving to can be found online. In most countries, the media is doing a pretty good job of reporting on current status of the Covid-19 virus as well as the projected impact of the virus on life in that country. So, as if you need to be told this, the internet will be the first place to start.
Beyond that, you will need to keep an active chain of communication open between you and your shipping company. They should be able to advise you of any relevant changes or events that might impact your move and provide you with the best options available for your particular situation. Here are just some examples of what’s happening around the world:
In the UK, moves are not currently considered “essential,” so all inbound shipments are currently being unloaded into storage warehouses and kept there (mostly at the expense of the owner of goods) until the government resumes allowing deliveries. Most companies are offering very reasonable storage rates considering the times and circumstances.
In Australia, while most movers should be able to deliver shipments, there is a 14-day quarantine for all people entering the country from abroad. This might mean that someone else will need to receive delivery on your behalf, or, alternatively, you might need to arrive in the country earlier than previously planned.
As Canada is one of the few countries where you must personally present yourself to the customs office to clear your goods, this poses a completely different issue. There is a 14-day quarantine there as well, and since the transit time for most shipments to Canada is less than that, you will likely have to plan for additional storage charges as well make a logistical plan that takes this quarantine timing into consideration.
These are just a few of the situations we are seeing around the world, and things are changing so fast that by the time you finish reading this blog there is a good chance something else might have changed. The best advice we can give you is stay engaged and available, plan ahead, and be flexible. Check your emails regularly and make sure you have clear methods of contacting and being contacted by your movers and your forwarders.
That, and pack an extra case of toilet paper!
Stay safe and Stay well!

Making the most out of “Quarantine”!

Are you making the most out of your quarantine? Whether self-imposed or government sanctioned, let’s look for a silver lining in it all.
If you are planning a move in the next year, quarantine may be just what the doctor ordered for a completely different reason.
Now is the time to Purge! Transfer stations and dumps are all still open for business and let’s face it, social distancing at a dump is a must do regardless of the outbreak. Get the kids together and take a road trip to the dump. The lines are shorter than usual, and it will give you another reason to wear that face mask.
Donations! While most are not open at this moment, when the quarantine is over, they will need your unwanted treasures more than ever. Start separating them out, make a pile somewhere in the house (don’t worry about the mess, no one is coming over to see it) and then when this is all done you can run it out and be ahead of the game.
Get planning your move now! We are open for business and working hard “virtually” to continue assisting. Now is the time to set up a “Virtual Survey” of your home to determine not only budgetary cost but knowing your options ahead of time, may change what you decide to dump or donate.
Once you know what you want to take, you have the time, start your valued inventory. As you sit on the couch today, instead of binge watching all the seasons of Games of Thrones start making a valued list of all your goods. This will save you having to do it at the busiest time of your move, when you have so much else to do.
Lastly, learn about your new home. The internet is filled with valuable information about your new county, state and city. Now is the time to research with the kids or maybe just for yourself. For customs information you can visit our web site at www.rainieros.com/forms/customs-regulations-by-country/

Be safe and stay well!

Get the most out of a garage sale

Last week, I discussed tips moving on a budget. This week, I’m going to provide you tips about garage sales so you can use the money to make it less burdensome if moving on a budget.

One of the best ways to make money and be able to lighten the load for your move is holding a garage sale that can turn your unwanted items into cash. If you’re trying to sell your home, a moving sale might even attract a potential buyer.

Here are some tips to getting the most out of a garage sale:
• Schedule your garage sale on weekends. Start on Friday and end on a Sunday. Post the hours of your sale on the neighborhoods blogs in your area, go online and promote the sale three weeks prior to your sale. Use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. to promote your event.
• When utilizing social media, mention some of the items you’ll be selling like electronics, furniture, appliances etc. Let them know about the prices and provide your email address so they can contact you if they want to know more about the items you are selling.
• Usually garage sales are at your home but if you don’t have plenty of parking and space for people to walk around, consider holding your moving sale at a nearby local school or community center. The fees are usually minimal and you have access to reach hundreds of parents through school or community bulletins.
• How much should you price and sell a particular item? Visit eBay and search for similar items to see what the asking prices are and go online to see how much you can reasonably expect to sell your things.
• Plan for bad weather. You won’t have to worry about the weather if your moving sale is in a school or community center but if it is at your home, get sheets of plastic to cover your items if it does rain.
• Have some drinks on hand and paper bags so shoppers have something to carry their purchases when checking out.

By using these simple tips, you should hopefully have a successful garage sale, making some decent cash while unloading your unwanted items.

Follow these simple steps and you will lower your moving expenses and will also be organized and prepared for the big move.

Safe moving!

In the military? We have some tips just for you

Now you know how to move your car overseas but what should you know if you are in the military? Moving is complicated by itself and if you are in the military, you know moving your belongings and family can be quite a challenge. A permanent change of station (PCS) is something every military family will experience eventually.

To make the move a lot smoother, here are some simple tips to keep in mind when heading overseas:
• Personal Property Office (PPO) – Once you receive your PCS, contact the PPO. You might have already done this before but no two moves are alike and they have excellent resources for you. There, you can find your basic entitlements and responsibilities among many other helpful tips. A website you will find useful is the Department of Defense site that offers a lot of basic PCS information.
• Make sure to contact your sponsor or new command once you receive your PCS. Your sponsor can help you get to know your new destination and provide you valuable information about what specific belongings to bring or not to bring. In other words, if you are moving to a country that doesn’t accommodate big-sized furniture, your sponsor will let you know so you can put some of your possessions in storage until your new PCS.
• Need to know your entitlement – Make sure you find out how much weight for your move that the government will pay for you. This is really important to ensure you stay within their budget and yours too so you avoid any extra excessive weight fees or charges.
• Papers in order – Before moving, you will need to make sure you have plenty of copies of your PCS available and stored in a safe location. Be sure to have any letters of authorizations, powers of attorney docs, appraisal of high-priced belongings, video or photo identification of your items, and pertinent insurance policies.

One final tip, always purchase movers’ insurance before you move so that your personal belongings are protected when they are shipped overseas. It will definitely give you peace-of-mind. By following these tips and thoroughly preparing before your move, you will know you did everything in your power to ensure a safe military move.

Safe moving!

Moving overseas on a limited budget?

If you are planning to move overseas whether on your own or due to work, it can become very expensive but there are certain steps you can take to make it less expensive.

Here are some useful tips to move on your budget and to make it even less complicated:
Lighten the load – When you move, this is a great time to get rid of non-important things and items you never use such as books that have been in your shelf for years or a chair that you never use. Less movers have to move, less you’ll have to pay. Plan on giving away your extra un-needed items, donate, sell or recycle them.
Dedicated mover – Make sure to hire someone that has been in the business for years and is reputable. At Rainier, you will receive dedicated and personalized service. In addition, we know hundreds of agents throughout the world to provide you the very best price.
Purchase insurance – Movers know how to transport your belongings but accidents do happen. A reputable company will always offer insurance coverage. If something happens during transport, you’ll know you won’t lose everything monetarily.
Moving date – Generally speaking, movers are extremely busy during the summer months, weekends and at the beginning and ending of each month. If you can be flexible about the date of your move, the ideal times are middle of the months, November through early December, February through April. These are some of the least busy times and some movers may provide discounts during the slow months.

Follow these simple steps and you will lower your moving expenses and will also be organized and prepared for the big move.

Safe moving!

Purchase and know your insurance coverage before crossing the pond

Insurance is one of the most important things you need to take care of and ensure you are covered before you leave overseas. I’m talking about personal insurance for you and all of your family members as well as insurance to protect all of your belongings!
If you are relocating abroad with your home-country employer, check the insurance provisions your employer may have on a corporate basis to cover employees who relocate internationally. Sometimes companies with large numbers of internationally located employees have negotiated group policies. Some of the provisions may be applicable and useful to your circumstances and sometimes, you will need to make your own arrangements to ensure you are covered.
If you are moving overseas for work, be sure to know who is making the insurance arrangements for your personal items. Your employer may provide insurance for some of your household goods but then again, maybe not. Also, if you are shipping pricey items and over-sized belongings which may be excluded from coverage, make sure your employer knows this so that if items need to be insured, either by you or your employer, it will be covered.
Find out if shipping insurance, for example, is being arranged through your corporate office or through an agent abroad, and whom you should contact in the event of a problem. You will also want to know exactly what each policy covers; when coverage begins and ends; and what the claims procedure and the deadlines are.
By taking steps and knowing what your employer will or will not cover, you’ll be in a great position to ensure your items are covered. If you use our international moving service, we will be happy to guide you through the process and provide you with peace-of-mind knowing that everything will be taken care of when you move to your new country.

Safe moving!