An international move is a lot of work. On the packing end you need to make sure that you take the right stuff and not “too much” as you are often moving into a smaller place (In our case – 1/2 the size) and on the receiving end, it is just a lot of work sorting, putting away, unpacking.

On Thursday last week our stuff finally arrived, a 10 week journey and the massive unpack began. As of Tuesday, we were “almost” there and entering the “What the heck is this” and “Oh no, that is broken” phase.

The “what the heck is this phase” involves identifying loose things that were separated from their home. Miscellaneous screws, plastic what-cha-ma-call-its and inevitably, power supplies that you cannot figure out what they supply (I have been taking a marker to every power supply and writing it’s owner for years, but I miss on occasion). A painful process that usually ends with pieces thrown into the bin or a small box sitting in a corner hoping to find a need at some point.

The other element is the “broken phase”. Moving everything in a single large container will lead to scratches, dents and broken items. The quality of the mover will dictate quantity of pain. This is particularly draining as there is no pay-off. You either get things fixed (reducing quality) or replaced (which is painful as you are in a new country and have no idea how to find that item) or sometimes you are just out of luck (because it is irreplaceable).

That being said, this painful phase also signifies something else: the light at the end of the tunnel.

It is the final phase, your place is now a “home”. Almost ….


  1. Hi Michael, I can certainly sympathize with you. When my wife and I moved from NYC to Australia our stuff was a month late (it took 16 weeks!). On that note, we started to collect reviews on int’l moving companies from expats. It’d be great if you could take a minute to review your experience now that you’ve got your stuff. Cheers, Adam

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