Shipping Your Furniture Overseas
For most of us, moving abroad means starting a new life. However, moving doesn’t imply that you need to start from scratch for your possessions. There are often things that you can’t leave behind when you’re moving.
Children and pets are first on everyone’s lists, and furniture is usually a close second. When you’re transporting your furniture long-distance, you want it handled with care. Chances are, you’ll also be shipping dishes, electrical appliances, and other fragile items.
The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination only to discover that your cool high-tech bed is damaged. This guide will cover how much it costs to transport furniture to another country and how to decide what to leave behind.
You’ll also learn how to pack everything properly. Even your mirrors can travel overseas in one piece if you follow each step carefully. So, let’s look at the best ways to ship your furniture overseas.
How much will it cost?
Many factors will affect the price of relocation. Every detail matters here. Your starting point, destination, shipment volume, shipment method, and the company you choose to hire. You can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000.
For instance, if you want to ship the contents of your three-bedroom apartment from New York to London, prepare to cough up about $2,000 for sea freight, and $3,000 if you decide to ship them by air.
It’s worth mentioning that there are companies that specialize in overseas household moves. So, if you want to get the best deal possible and provide a safe journey to your precious belongings, find reliable international movers.
They’ll bring everything to your doorstep, and you will be free of all the hustle. And the best thing of all is that you’ll be insured if anything goes wrong. This is undoubtedly one of the best ways to ship your furniture overseas.
Are there any other costs you should know?
Depending on the size and type of your furniture, you may need to disassemble and reassemble it. Of course, packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading will all add to the cost. You may even need cleaning services when you arrive at your destination.
International moving companies offer all the services mentioned above, so you won’t have to look far to find someone to do all these things for you. However, extra services come with a steep fee. If you decide to use them, expect to pay about $2,000 to $2,500 more. However, remember that you can do many of these tasks on your own if you’re looking to save some money.
Should you pack on your own?
You can save a lot of money if you disassemble and pack your own furniture before the move. There’s no secret here. Packing is one of the most expensive services that movers offer. And if you have lots of belongings, you can save up to 50% on your move just by doing it yourself.
If you want to make your new home more attractive, your future self will thank you for pinching a few pennies. However, there are a couple of things you should know before you dive into it.
First, get good quality packing materials. No matter which of the best ways to ship your furniture overseas you choose, your furniture will travel thousands of miles, and you shouldn’t try to save money on this. And second, you need to pack everything properly. Sometimes, this is easier said than done. So, here are a few tips on how to nail the packing process.
Gather all necessary packing materials
As we already mentioned, you need to wrap and pack your furniture properly if you want it to survive the relocation. In order to do this, you must have all the right materials for the job. This is a crucial part of the process. So, here’s what you’re going to need:
- Corrugated cardboard sheets – put these between unique items and pieces of furniture to prevent them from knocking against each other.
- Cardboard boxes in all shapes and sizes – different sizes will fit different things.
- Bubble packing – if you don’t want your furniture to get bent, bashed, and broken, wrap it in three layers of this material.
- Plastic shrink wrap – this material is super stretch. It will keep everything tightly together and protect it from dirt.
- Moving blankets – these aren’t your regular blankets. They’re industrial quality and offer a nice layer of padding for your furniture.
- Sealable plastic bags – you need these for keeping all the screws and small parts in one place.
- Rope – furniture loves to move around when being transported. Thick rope should keep it in place.
- Packing tape – use the tape to seal your boxes. You don’t want moisture damaging them during transportation.
- Labels and markers – even if you have glorious memory, don’t be ashamed to label everything you can. You’ll thank yourself later.
Now, you can get all these materials from your moving company. However, that’s a more expensive option. Instead, make a trip to your local hardware store. And if you want to spend even less money, check supermarkets. Chances are, they’ll have some boxes lying around that they don’t need. Why would you pay for something when you can get it for free?
Plan your packing thoroughly
Once you gather all the materials, it’s time to create a plan for packing. Know that this is something you can’t overdo. The more time you spend on it, the better things will turn out.
Learn everything about your new home. Find out if there is any furniture that will wait for you there. Regardless of how much you love your wardrobe, there’s no point in dragging it across the ocean if you already have one at the new place.
Create an inventory. Make a list of all the things you’re packing. Having all of it in writing will help you understand what you don’t need to bring.
Inspect your furniture. This is especially important if you have small children or pets. Take pictures of any existing wear and tear so you can claim your insurance if anything gets damaged. Modern desk chairs are expensive, so leave nothing to chance.
Get your friends to help you. You’ll need all the help you can get for packing. So, ask your friends and family to take part. This will be cheaper than hiring professional packers, and you’ll also have time to hang out before you move.
With a proper plan in hand, you won’t waste time or money. You’ll know what you need to do, when you need to do it, and how you need to do it.
Think about what you should leave behind
All moving companies charge by volume for shipping things overseas. So, the less you bring, the less you’ll pay. Of course, there will be things you can’t leave behind, but you probably won’t have any problems parting with some of your belongings. Look at your inventory list and think about the furniture you’re planning to bring with you. Do you really need to take that IKEA desk chair when you can buy a new one as soon as you get there?
Antique furniture can be a pain to transport, and it’s not only because of the scratches and dings. Weather can get to it pretty quickly. So, it might be a good idea to consider the benefits of renting storage during your international relocation.
Two things you need to ask yourself are: will it fit and do you really need it? If there isn’t enough space in your new home for the things you’re bringing, what’s the point? Also, why should you go through the hustle of packing and moving bulky kitchen appliances if you don’t use them that often? Leave them to a friend or sell them before you go.
Should you move by air or by sea?
Most commonly, people opt for sea freight. It’s cheaper, and it allows you to bring more of your possessions. However, this method doesn’t come without drawbacks. Although you’ll get more options, it will take a lot longer. Your bold patterned fabric sofa will be in that container for weeks and some people don’t like that idea. Instead, they choose air freight. It’s more expensive, but it’s also much more convenient. Sometimes, you can even travel with your furniture. Air travel has strict weight limitations. If you want to ship your entire household, you’ll have to pay for a few separate trips.
Choosing between the best ways to ship your furniture overseas comes down to what you need and can afford. If you’re on a tight timeline, a plane might be the better option. But if you want to bring many things with you, a ship is your best bet. Whichever option you choose, make sure it fits your budget and timeframe.
Meta: Find out what the best ways to ship your furniture overseas are. Learn how to pack and what mode of transport to choose.