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How to Protect Your Belongings During an International Move

One of the primary concerns during an international move is ensuring the safety and security of your belongings. From the packing process to the journey across the ocean, your items will undergo various stages of handling and transportation. This article provides essential tips on how to protect your belongings during an international move, ensuring they arrive at your new home in the same condition they left.

Choose High-Quality Packing Materials

Using high-quality packing materials is crucial for protecting your items. Invest in sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, and heavy-duty tape. For fragile items, consider using double-walled boxes for extra protection. Specialized materials, such as dish packs for kitchenware and wardrobe boxes for clothing, can also help safeguard your belongings.

Professional Packing Services

Hiring professional packing services can significantly enhance the protection of your items. Professional packers have the expertise to pack items securely and efficiently, using the right materials and techniques. They can also handle the packing of delicate or high-value items that require special care.

Labeling and Inventory

Clearly label all boxes with their contents and the room they belong to. This not only helps with organization during the move but also ensures that fragile items are handled with care. Creating a detailed inventory of all your belongings is essential for tracking your items and making the customs process smoother.

Proper Packing Techniques

Adopting proper packing techniques can prevent damage during transit:

  • Heavy Items at the Bottom: Place heavier items at the bottom of boxes and lighter items on top.
  • Fill Empty Spaces: Use packing paper or bubble wrap to fill empty spaces in boxes, preventing items from shifting during transport.
  • Wrap Fragile Items Individually: Wrap each fragile item individually in bubble wrap or packing paper, and place them in sturdy boxes with additional padding.
  • Secure Box Seams: Reinforce box seams with heavy-duty tape to prevent them from opening during transit.

Special Care for Valuable Items

For high-value items such as electronics, artwork, and jewelry, take extra precautions:

  • Electronics: Pack electronics in their original packaging if possible. If not, use plenty of padding and antistatic packing materials.
  • Artwork: Use custom crates for large or valuable pieces of art. Ensure they are wrapped in protective materials and secured within the crate.
  • Jewelry and Small Valuables: Carry jewelry and small valuables with you if possible, rather than packing them in the shipping container.

Insurance Coverage

Comprehensive insurance coverage is essential for protecting your belongings during an international move. Discuss insurance options with your moving company and choose a policy that covers the full value of your items. Understand the terms and conditions of the policy, including how to file a claim in case of damage or loss.

Climate Considerations

Consider the climate conditions your belongings will be exposed to during transit. Shipping containers can experience extreme temperatures and humidity. Using climate-controlled containers (reefers) can help protect sensitive items such as electronics, wooden furniture, and artwork from temperature fluctuations and moisture.

Customs Compliance

Ensure that all items comply with the customs regulations of your destination country. Failure to do so can result in delays, fines, or even confiscation of your goods. Work with your moving company to prepare accurate and complete documentation for customs clearance.

Monitoring and Communication

Stay in communication with your moving company throughout the shipping process. Most reputable companies offer tracking services, allowing you to monitor the progress of your shipment. Being informed and staying in touch can help you address any issues promptly.

Unpacking and Inspection

Upon arrival, inspect your belongings as they are unloaded from the container. Check for any signs of damage and compare the items against your inventory list. Report any damage or missing items to the moving company immediately and file a claim if necessary.


Protecting your belongings during an international move requires careful planning, proper packing, and the right insurance coverage. By taking these steps and working with a professional moving company, you can ensure that your items arrive safely at your new home. Proper protection and preparation are key to a successful and stress-free international move.