Moving Tips Part 3

If you too are having difficulties adjusting to your new house or are planning to pack and unpack cardboard boxes, then I understand your dilemma as I have been through it too. But here is a guide which will suggest ways to make your new place comfortable and feel more like a home.

Mix Old and New Furniture
This is one of the best ways to make your home feel like your own. It is obvious to bring your old belongings to the new place, but make sure to keep some stuff that reminds you of home too. It can be anything like paintings and decoration pieces. When I moved to New York City, I brought along some furniture, a few painting and ornaments that had adorned my London house.

As you cannot move your entire furniture to the new place, make sure to unpack the old furniture as quickly as possible and shop for the new one. But do not rely on Ikea entirely or it will make your home seem like it came in a box. Ikea is only advisable for a few practical things like Billy bookshelf, pans, pots, cutlery, dinner sets, bedsheets and pillows.

happy homemoving

Unpack on Priority Basis
Make unpacking your priority as it will help in the proper setting of everything at its place instead of being stacked on top of one another. But make sure to recycle the boxes and to take out every bubble wrap and packing sheet so that nothing gets out of sight and hence none of the wanted stuff gets discarded. My parents once, during moving, cast away a valuable miniature painting accidentally along with the waste packing papers.

Decorate with Pictures, Plants and Candles
Unpack the pictures and paintings that you have brought with yourself and put them up as soon as possible. They will make your current home familiar to the previous one and hence develop a homely feeling. But make sure to frame them before putting them up otherwise, they will give the home a “temporary” feel.

 

Buy plants and good table lamps to make the house livelier and cozier. Also, scented candles with their familiar, comforting fragrance and the welcoming glow will help you feel at home.

Mix and Match
Do not go on a single shopping spree and get all the furniture and home goods all at once from a single store. Buy them from different stores and mix and match a variety of things so that it feels like you have invested time in putting all the things together. Urban Outfitters has high-quality mid-century style furniture that goes well with a New York house. West Elm has great aesthetics too and is best for great, reasonable-priced lighting.

John Lewis in the UK and Room and Board in the US have sofas which although are costly, yet are much better than their Ikea substitutes. If you are up for the hassle of wading through its massive inventory, then Overstock and Wayfair provide amazing value. The struggle is worth it.

Plan to Get Rid of Things
Selling
Moving is a great way to discard unwanted things that had been piling up. But it is not as easy as it seems to be and the selling of furniture is all the more difficult when there is a deadline. There are numerous websites, ranging from low-scale to large scale, for selling things online. But it is important that your buyer picks up the things from your house just when you need them to. As some furniture like beds and sofas are needed till the last day of moving, there can be a chance that your buyer does not pick them up at the proper time.

moving home

Donating
Donating is another way to declutter things you do not need but again, your timeline might not match with the timeline of the organization you are donating to. For this, you have to plan ahead and choose an organization which can pick your stuff up at the right time. I too struggled to find a charity, to donate my London sofa before moving to America, that could commit to picking my stuff in time. Larger organizations like British Heart Foundation in London and Salvation Army & Housing Works in New York arrange pick-ups for larger items. But again, you have to plan it ahead effectively.

Selling and donating are better ways than to just leave your stuff or throw it away. They both take time, effort and extensive planning which is probably the last thing you want when planning a big move. But since they are crucial, you should always start the process early.

Sell your Clothes
Moving is a great excuse for getting rid of things you do not need. My thumb rule is that if I have not worn something at least 3 times in New York, then I am not taking it to London, be it clothes or shoes. Therefore, a lot of stuff will need to be washed and folded before it can be sold. Concession stores like Buffalo Exchange and Beacon’s Closet take only clean and in-season clothes and this cleaning and folding takes time.

You can also take your unwanted clothes to the major stores which offer new year discount vouchers in exchange for recycling your clothes. But this really does not solve the decluttering problem ultimately.

Moving Abroad Saving Tips Part 2

When someone is new to a country, they do not know how to shop properly as per the markets and people demands. They do not know the definition of a good deal and the places that offer them. Hence, they end up overspending in their first few months for the sole reason that they do not know any better. Therefore, to avoid upsetting your budget and yourself it is best to assume that you will need more money than you had estimated.

Language
Language can be the greatest barrier in your day-to-day life in a foreign country. You may have heard stories about expats who move to a new country with the thinking that they will learn the language along the way. There are others who assume that everyone understands at least basic English and therefore, think they will do well in the new setup. But the fact is that even though people do this, moving to a new country without having familiarity with its language, it is not recommended.

Learning the basic language before you move to the country will help you in multiple ways. It will help you in official requirements and documents, in fixing problems that may arise and in networking with your new community. Taking advanced language courses after you move will also help greatly in networking.

removals to europe

Staying Healthy
Even though every country has its own rules and regulations regarding entitlement of costs, free care and insurance needs, many people overlook it. Find about these regulations and add them in your calculations. The EU benefits of reciprocal health care for non-English EU nationals are still there after post-Brexit and should be considered too.

Getting a Job
If you are moving abroad to live solely on your investment assets and pension, you should make sure that they are enough to buy you a lifestyle that you imagine. But if this is not your case, you should analyse the local job market before moving. You need to search about the work permits, average wages, your qualification equivalency, and the job market for your qualification. You should also see the job trend for your area of experience and expertise. This trend is difficult to analyse as the employment figures from different websites may or may not be true.

The best way is to connect with the people working in your field in that country and build good contacts with them. You can share your C.V. with them too to get an opinion as they will be able to tell you what additional qualification, training or skill you need.

Distance from Friends and Family
Even though you plan to visit your family and friends back in your home country frequently, it is not possible of reality basis. Therefore, you need to think carefully about moving to an overseas country as the time difference will be large and it will be difficult to move to and from your country. Just as calling on your family becomes difficult this way, so does calling them. You should get used to not being able to contact your loved ones in time due to the time difference. You will have to adjust your time in order to make a Skype call and use another clock that shows your home country time so that you do not miss important birthdays and holidays.

Of course, the atmosphere can be clean, the grass can be greener and the climate can be the one you like. But just as there are highs, there are lows of every foreign country. Therefore, before committing do proper homework online and in real life. Visit your destination before moving to it so that you can get to know some hints of how it would be to actually live there. Go beyond the guidebooks and discuss your decision of moving with your family, friends and colleagues. If they or anyone they know have visited or lived in that country, then you can discuss it with them. Ask that person about the cost of living, lifestyle and other important things that you think you need to know. Stay realistic and do not hold high expectations and your experience will live up to them.

moving home

Helpful Resources
Basics: The British Embassy Website is a great place to know about visas, healthcare and legal regulations and work permits.

Money Matters: Movehub and Expatistan provide detailed price guides and comparisons for many cities. Wagonersabroad is an expat blogger which offers a comprehensive breakdown of everything the spent in their first few months abroad and the regions where they overspent. Global Ta Navigator will help you with local tax information.

Languages: In the UK and abroad, many companies offer extensive language courses. Local educational institutions have language classes too. Look into them and join a language course to get a head start in the new country. Free apps and websites like Memrise and Duolingo can greatly help you in this purpose too.

Expat Advice and Forums: Many an expat forum, the likes of Expatforum and Internations and Britishexpats.com, have friendly and helpful international communities. Facebook expat community groups give advice and advertise about accommodations too. Meetup.com holds expat social events in various areas too. You can look up when they are arranging an event near you.

Moving Abroad – Saving Tips Part 1

We have lived and worked at so many places of the world and therefore, have done our fair share of moving. We have lived at exotic places of the US, Mexico, Brazil, France, Spain, Italy, Israel, South Africa, Qatar, Hong Kong, Sydney and North Finchley. And therefore, we know basic tips to live and adjust to a foreign place easily. Following are the few tips we have learned from experience.

Money Matters

The opportunity of moving abroad and experiencing the lifestyle there is too alluring at times to think pragmatically about all the problems that we might face in a completely different environment.  We want to move at all costs dropping everything. But finances are the main reason expats return home. Therefore, all the costs should be calculated and considered before moving and not after that. An irrecoverable financial dent can be made by the 3 Fs i.e. flights, flat deposits and furniture. You need to save for the first few months before moving so as not to end up broke in an alien country.

removals to europe

Cost of Living vs Salary

You need to know what average salary is paid to a person of your experience in the country to which you are moving. This will help to know whether the lifestyle you are imagining will be feasible according to your salary there or not. There are many small expenses which you might overlook but they vary dramatically from one country to another. For example, broadband internet connection is cheaper in the UK as compared to that in Italy, France and Spain. Some other unique costs like health expenses can be there too in the country to which you are moving. Therefore, you might want to go through expat blogs and cost of living calculators to estimate the realistic expenses according to the lifestyle you seek. Holiday guides will not help you in this situation as they are specified for holiday-spending expenses only, which is entirely different as compared to actually moving and living.

moving to europe

Savings

Saving is of utmost importance. Your expenses might vary according to your job, lifestyle and social status. Therefore, you need to save living expenses ranging from a few months to a few years to be on the safe side. Apart from the everyday expenses, you also need to take into account the expenses required for moving and the one-off costs you may have to pay when you reach your new destination. These expenses may include visas, taxes, legal services and permits. Also, while using your credit card abroad you should look out for the currency charges. The currency conversion rates are always higher than your expectations and can easily disturb your budget. Also it’s an good idea to look for a part-load removals – This way you can share the space with others and save even more. I know that if you are moving in Europe there is this great service for part load removals to Germany. Other directions – you need to do your own research.

When someone is new to a country, they do not know how to shop properly as per the markets and people demands. They do not know the definition of a good deal and the places that offer them. Hence, they end up overspending in their first few months for the sole reason that they do not know any better. Therefore, to avoid upsetting your budget and yourself it is best to assume that you will need more money than you had estimated.

 

And this is my favourite video from YOUTUBE: