Moving Furniture Overseas

When you ask most people what their most precious belongings are, you’ll find furniture is often chief among them.
A person’s home is their castle, or so the saying goes. But what makes a home, a home? As trite as the question may seem, there’s a lot that goes into what distinguishes a place where one simply sleeps and lives, from a place that one considers “home”: smells, sounds, people and perhaps less obviously, our things
When you ask most people what their most precious belongings are, you’ll find furniture is often chief among them. A family-heirloom vanity, that coffee table a young couple bought to furnish their first apartment together, that expensive TV stand to accommodate an equally expensive new television and much more. 

 Should you move your furniture overseas? 

Anyone who has experience relocating overseas will know that ones’ belongings are an important part of embedding a sense of “home” into a new, often alien-seeming location. 

The dislocation often caused by moving is already well understood at a psychological level, but packing up and journeying halfway around a continent, or indeed the world to a new place to call your own only makes this experience all the more acute.

If you’re moving with a family, this should take utmost priority. Psychological literature has repeatedly shown that whatever stress or anxiety you are feeling, your kids are probably feeling even more pressingly. And as is well known in the expat world, your partner and children’s ability to adapt to a move is absolutely vital in ensuring your relocation will be successful. 

Another critical consideration is that, if you choose to sell your furniture off and purchase new items at your destination, this will be an added stress-point just as you’re moving into your new home.  Perhaps you’re not wild about assembling, or even making, an entirely new furniture set. 

In the end, it’s all about you and those dear to you. Having the comfort that is felt from a familiar bedside table as you wake up, or coming home to that comfy armchair after a long evening commute in an unfamiliar city, are things of enormous intangible value. 

What should you move?

Even if you’ve made the decision to take those precious things with you to help bed in the process of making a new home, it’s possible you might not want to take everything. So then the question becomes “what furniture should I move and what should I sell on?”
Here it’s worth considering three key things. 
  1. How important is the piece of furniture to you emotionally?
  2. How often do you use it, if indeed it can be used?
  3. How easily replaceable is it at destination?

Make a thorough list of all these things using the above criteria. Remember that “easily replaceable” doesn’t just mean how easy it is to buy a replacement. You’ve also got to consider the labor that goes into the assembly of something completely new, that you’re not accustomed to. 

How should it be moved? 

Account should be taken of the size and dimensions of furniture before you move, and how well does this tally with door frames in your own home?

Furniture should be packed in a way that it is well-protected from the elements, remember that it is likely going to be put into a shipping container if you’re going overseas. Doubly so we’re talking about things with fabric, upholstery and leather - good packing practice for these items isn’t a “nice to have”, it’s a necessity. 

With that in mind always ask questions of your relocation company, most importantly:
  1. “What measures do you take to protect my items from mold and mildew damage?”
  2. “How do you ensure the shipping container itself adequately protects the items that are packed within it?”
  3. “Do you take pictures of my belongings before you move them, to ensure the condition is just as good at the destination?”
Remember to pay special attention to wooden furniture. Query the company you’re going to use as to whether they’ll be using edging strips to protect the edges of things like wooden table, probe further about how they protect polished surfaces as this is often an area overlooked by less thorough moving crews. 

A reputable relocation firm will also be able to offer you secure storage at your destination, if you need to hold those precious things in situ for a little while longer. This is especially important given mold and mildew concerns. A relocation company with good, owned facilities and a good partner network will ensure the condition of your furniture from origin all the way to destination. 

Crown have been moving millions of people for over fifty years. Want to get some guidance on what it will take to move your precious things overseas? Our experienced staff will help guide you.