How to prepare your household goods for international shipping: a step-by-step guide

How to prepare your household goods for international shipping: a step-by-step guide

March 24, 2023

- By Alperen Celik

Are you planning to move to another country soon? If so, you'll need to prepare your household goods for international shipping. It might seem that the entire process will exhaust you, but don't worry. We've got you covered with this step-by-step guide. Before diving in, it's important to know what to expect when shipping internationally and what is considered household goods. Next, you'll need to decide on the best way to move your items internationally and pack a shipping container. Don't forget to create a labeling system and inventory for your boxes, and pack clothes, soft goods and bedding carefully. Moving appliances can be tricky, so be sure to follow our practical tips. Finally, we have some suggestions for packing delicate items, such as artworks, mirrors, and framed photographs. With this guide, you'll be well on your way to a successful move abroad.


In this article:

  • Timing, medium, cost, insurance and customs clearance

  • What is considered household goods in shipping?

  • International moving of household items

  • Best way to ship household goods

  • Packing a shipping container with household goods

  • Packing Soft Goods and Beddings

  • Packing Suggestions for Artworks, Mirrors, and Framed Photographs

  • Make a Labeling System and an Inventory


Timing, medium, cost, insurance and customs clearance

What do I need to know before shipping internationally? If you're considering shipping internationally, there are several things you should keep in mind.

  • Firstly, customs and taxes play a big role in the process. All goods you send need to be cleared by customs in the receiving country.

  • Additionally, be aware that shipping to a foreign country may cost more due to factors such as weight and packaging.

  • Timing for transportation is also something to consider, as transit times can vary greatly depending on the destination.

  • To avoid unexpected costs, it's a good idea to compare shipping costs and research documentation requirements.

  • When it comes to selecting a transport medium, keep in mind any restrictions or hazardous items that may need special handling.

  • Finally, consider purchasing insurance for extra peace of mind.

While shipping internationally in many countries comes with unique challenges, with the right preparation and attention to detail, it can be a smooth process.


What is considered household goods in shipping?

When it comes to shipping household goods, the term refers to personal items that are used in homes. This can include furniture, appliances, electronics, and other items that are typically found in households. These goods can be purchased from a factory or retail store and then shipped to the recipient's home or transported by an individual who pays for the transport costs. It's important to note that not all items qualify as household goods, and it's always a good idea to check with your shipping provider to ensure that your items meet the criteria. For instance, Musical instruments such as piano's or violins are not considered a household item.

So whether you are moving to a new home, a new country, sending a gift to a loved one, or simply shipping personal items, understanding what qualifies as household goods is essential for a successful transaction.


International moving of household items

If you're planning to move your belongings internationally, you'll need to choose the right method of transportation.

Air shipping is the fastest and most efficient option, but it can be quite expensive. Air freight might also have a tight timeline you have to stick to when moving internationally.

Ocean freight is a much more affordable method, especially for larger items, but it can take several weeks or even months for your items to arrive at their destination. However, with sea freight you will probably be able to move much more items to your destination country. A full container load might be more affordable for you than air freight.

Road transport can be a good choice for moving items across borders within the same continent, but it's not practical for longer distances. When deciding how to move your items internationally, consider your budget, the size and weight of your belongings, and how quickly you need them to arrive.

Remember, it's always a good idea to work with a reputable international moving company to do an international move and ensure that your items arrive safely and securely. Most international moving companies will have an easy solution to your problems.


Best way to ship household goods

When it comes to shipping household goods overseas, there are a few different options to consider depending on the size and fragility of the items.

If you're only looking to ship one box or two small boxes, using postal mail may be the most efficient choice. However, if you're dealing with lots of boxes, it's usually best to go with a international removals company that offers flat rates for their services. And if your items are on the fragile side, you may want to consider using an international moving company with lots of expertise in moving fragile items. They will take extra precautions to ensure that your belongings arrive safely and without any damage.

Whatever your shipping needs may be, taking the time to research your options and choose the best shipping method for your specific situation will help give you peace of mind, save money, and ensure that your belongings arrive safely at their destination.


Packing a shipping container with household goods

When it comes to packing a shipping container with household goods, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Whether you are doing the packing or someone else does, make sure it is done properly.

  • First and foremost, make sure everything is packed tightly with no open spaces on the lowest rows. This will help prevent shifting during transit.

  • Next, use sturdy boxes that can handle the weight of your items. It's also important to invest in quality tape to ensure that the seals stay intact during shipping. To ensure your item arrives safely, start by putting crumpled paper packaging, foam, bubble wraps or any other cushioning material on the bottom of the package. This will help absorb any shock or impact that may occur during shipping. However, make sure to not pack the packing materials too tightly as it could cause damage to your item.

  • Finally, when it comes to packing the actual boxes, start with the heavier items and work your way up to the lighter and more delicate objects. Oh, and one more thing, using boxes that are all similar sizes can make the packing process a lot easier in the long run and easier to organize into shipping containers.

So you did properly pack everything and it is ready to be loaded into a container load. Make sure you know if the job is up to you to do this or to the company that is in charge of the international shipments. Generally speaking, international movers or the shipping company will do this for you, but always ask in advance.


Packing Soft Goods and Beddings

When moving or storing soft goods and beddings to your destination country, it is crucial to protect them from air and moisture. These elements can wreak havoc on fabrics, leaving them moldy, discolored or even damaged.

To avoid this, make sure to pack everything as airtight as possible. Using plastic vacuum bags for these items is a must since it reduces the space it occupies drastically. One trick is to utilize the empty spaces between boxes in your container. You can simply stuff your sheets and towels inside these nooks, if they are sealed with a plastic vacuum bag.

Alternatively, you can fold them up neatly and pack them in boxes with your other items. Either way, make sure to seal everything up tightly to keep your soft goods and beddings in tip-top shape when they arrive in a new country.


Packing Suggestions for Artworks, Mirrors, and Framed Photographs

When it comes to packing artworks, mirrors, and framed photographs, you want to make sure they arrive at their destination in one piece. The last thing you want is to open up the box and find a shattered mirror or a broken frame.

To prevent this, it's important to use a sturdy box and lots of padding. We suggest putting these items in last or at the top to avoid any additional weight crushing them during transit.

If you're looking for extra protection, you can also wrap them in plastic to ensure they don't move around too much.


Make a Labeling System and an Inventory

When it comes to organizing your inventory and valuable items, having a solid labeling system in place can make all the difference. Not only does it make it easier to find what you need but it also helps streamline the inventory process. So whenever you're getting the packing supplies, make sure to get those stickers and labels as well!

By separating items into categories such as fragile, non-fragile, and consumption items, you can ensure that everything is properly labeled and easily identifiable.

Taking it a step further, numbering these items based on weight or other specific criteria can make it even more efficient.

Whether you're managing a small business or simply trying to stay organized at home, a labeling system can save you time and hassle in the long run.

It's never easy moving household goods from your destination country, especially when it's an overseas move. But if you’re able to equip yourself with some knowledge of the best practices in international shipping, you can make the process go much more smoothly.

From learning what is and isn't considered household goods for the purpose of shipping, to getting familiarized with the packing tips, specific soft goods and artworks, mirrors and framed photographs, you can do a great job of preparing your belongings for transport. And while having an international moving expert at your side would be ideal, you are empowered enough now with some solid tips and tricks to successfully transition your items anywhere they need to go.

So don’t let a move feel out of reach! Take control of each step and make sure your household goods arrive in exact condition. If you're thinking of hiring an international moving company to help out in the shipping and moving process, click here to quickly compare some of them!



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