Arranging an overseas move requires a lot of time and financial planning. You can significantly ease the moving process by using a self-storage unit for the items that you don’t necessarily need.


People willing to accept education and career opportunities abroad are in the difficult situation of organizing their relocation. Arranging an overseas move requires a lot of time and financial planning. You can significantly ease the moving process by using a self-storage unit for the items that you don’t necessarily need.

Reduce the cost of the relocation

Depending on the what kind of move, movers charge per hour, per pound or per cubic feet. Moving companies base their estimates on the overall weight of the shipment when the move is long-distance and on the overall time for execution of the job if the move is local.  Overseas moves are charged per cubic feet of the items that will be transported. Moving a two-bedroom apartment overseas (USA-UK) could cost you from $5000 to $7000 depending on the space that your items will actually occupy in the container.  Furthermore if you have a car which you want to ship overseas, that would be about $1500-$2000 depending on the vehicle. Shipping a vintage car will most likely cost you even more.  Plus, movers apply accessorial fees for services like hoisting, stairs and long carry. Also, insurance cost comes at 2-3 % of the declared value of your belongings and insurance policy won’t be valid unless professional packing is required.

Avoid taxes

Shipping household items abroad can turn into financial turmoil. Not only there is a lot of paperwork involved, but you might end up paying thousands of dollars in taxes. For example the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Department allows items for personal use to be imported free of duty, only if the items have been in a possession of your household for at least one year. But that’s the U.S. case only. You have to thoroughly examine the import rules of the country you are moving to.  There may not be only taxes on some of your household items, but severe restrictions regarding particular items may apply. Besides the fees and the paperwork you have to deal with, it can take a lot of time for your items to go through customs clearance.  Generally, the U.S. imposes about 2-3% tax on cars and if your car doesn’t meet certain safety and emission standards, you have to modify it before you can import it. You have to take care of all of the modification costs too.

Lower the cost of living

Last but not least, if you consider staying a year or more in your new country, you may rent a smaller property or even a furnished one. There is no need to move all of your furniture if you plan to stay temporarily. Downsizing can be an effective way to cut living costs. You have to consider this option especially if you are moving to a country with a higher standard of living. Maintaining a smaller property is much easier and cheaper.

Ultimately, it makes sense to use self-storage if you are moving overseas and are staying only for a short period of time. Self-storage units have different sizes so you can choose one that can perfectly accommodate all of your items. Moreover, you should look for a self-storage facility that has high security standards and provides insurance, one that is well-maintained, clean and climate-controlled if you consider storing such sensitive items such as electronics or arts.. Clean all of your belongings before packing them. Also avoid using sealed plastic bags to prevent mold and mildew to occur. Organize the boxes in the storage unit well and do not forget to label them. You can continue using your items once you move back.
Article written and contributed by Manuella Irwin.

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