10 Easy Tips on How to Pack for an International Move

When it comes to overseas moving, you’ll learn that there are some things you can’t take with you or do without. We will help you answer the question “How to pack for an international move?”

An average American moves 11.7 times in their lifetime. It is also estimated that 9.8% of Americans are moving every year. As you already know, we are contributing to these numbers this year because, in just a few short weeks, we’ll be settling into our new host country.

One thing that every individual who moves does all the time is packing. Today, we are going to share with you how we are packing up our household items as we prepare for an international sea freight move to Costa Rica. We’re also giving 10 awesome steps you can do yourself for your own move. 

If you are moving to another country like we are, before you start packing, make sure that you have already met with your sea freight broker to go over the package restrictions. Each country has different rules and regulations about what can and cannot be imported. As for us, we are working with international relocation partners. 

While preparing for our move, here are the things that we find very useful that might also be able to help you on your own journey. 

Step one

Pick which area of your house you want to start and work one room at a time. Working one room at a time will help keep your boxes organized, as well as keep the whole process from being too overwhelming. 

Step two


Separate your items into three separate categories: 

  • The ship is for all the items that you’ll be sending to your new location.
  • Save is for all the items you cannot live without while you’re waiting for your shipment to arrive. 
  • A shed is for all the items you’ll be selling or donating. 

It’s a good idea to start mentally preparing yourself for this process at least a few months ahead of time. We learned firsthand that this whole process can be both mentally and physically draining. 

Step three

Put all your items into a central location. Pick a room that’s large enough where you can see all your items at once, and you have the correct amount of space to prepare and pack your items. 

Step four 

Individually wraps each item in plastic wrap, bone sheets, or bubble wrap. This will protect your items from damage that could occur from rubbing against each other during the weeks of transport. For your moisture-sensitive items like paper products and electronics, seal them in plastic wrap with a few silica gel packets inside. 

adding label

Step five 

Pack smaller items in larger items. This will help save room and make sure you wrap them tight enough, so they do not move independently from each other. 

Step six

Knowing your boxes and then putting your Tetris skills to work fitting as many items as you can into a single box. Make sure to pack in layers but not overpack the box where it is too heavy for you to lift or it ruins the integrity of the box.

The denser you can pack the box, the better. This will help the box keep its form and hold up on its stacking. Fill voids between items with packing paper or bubble wrap. 

Step seven 

Making itemized packing lists that correspond to each box. Be sure to include the value of each item on that packing slip. This step will make it easier to make a master packing slip and fill out paperwork for insurance. It also simplifies things when you’re unpacking. 

Step eight

When the box is full and the packing slip is filled out, separate the three copies of the packing slip. Keep one for your own records, and put two sheets in a plastic clear sleeve and adhere it to the face of the box. 

Step nine

Add any additional label to the outside of the box such as “fragile”, “heavy”, or room locations. Seal the box with heavy-duty packing tape, then inspect it. Make sure the bottom is secure and won’t fall out while being moved. 

pack for an international move travel advice guide.

Step ten

Pack all your out-of-season clothes in vacuum-sealed bags. For clothes and linens, use vacuum-sealed bags to keep the moisture out as well as save on space. 

We sure hope you’ll find these tips as helpful as we did. Issues with missing or broken things are almost normal when you are moving, that’s why planning and following these strategies are definitely beneficial.

One Comment

  1. Wow, This Is Awesome, One Can Easily Travel Around The World If You Have Enough Fund, Looking Forward To Getting Married Soon Then Travel With My Wife Too. Jas And Chris, You Guys Are Really Doing Great Here. Love You Both.

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