International Moves



Moving Overseas is a tad more daunting than moving across country. Keep in mind all your inventory will need to be manifested upon loading, whether you DIY or hire a professional packing company.  Before you begin, read our Guide to Packing for your International Move:

If you've moved overseas before then you've probably asked yourself, "How should I pack my household items?" It may seem trivial, but it's a major component of any relocation if you're packing yourself, especially if all your belongings will be at sea for several weeks.

A list of household goods packing tips could be a long checklist of criteria one might have to go over when considering moving personal goods overseas. Remember things like candles & houseplants are not allowed. Due to customs tariffs at each port, this list will need to be detailed and manifested upon loading. 

It goes without saying that improper packing is one of the major concerns when it comes to breakages and damage, so pack your goods with care. Based on our experience as international shipping logistics specialists, we've created a comprehensive list of tips for packing household goods to help with any move, no matter where your destination.

How to Pack Household Goods Safely for Your Move Overseas - Keeping an inventory in Mind for your Manifest


Following are some of the basic materials one should consider to use for household packing:


  • Always use strong boxes to pack fragile items
  • Make sure the bottom of the box has additional tape to prevent opening when lifted
  • Wrap all fragile items individually in bubble wrap or packing paper
  • Corrugated boxes that can be closed shut are highly recommended to secure your belongings
  • Plan on using lots of strong packaging tape, labels and markers to clearly identify the content being places in various boxes - this helps with your Manifest and at unloading
  • Try and use blank newspapers, plastics or bubble wraps to fill the empty spaces in the cartons


Following are some pointers to pack some of the commonly found household items:

Electronics - Remember to label outside of boxes well for your Manifest

  • Remember to unplug all electronics
  • Refrigerators should be unplugged 24 hrs prior to loading as they need to drain of excess water and ice
  • Remove the inner table in a microwave oven so it does not move inside and break the glass door
  • Check the device manuals for all appliances for any special instructions and place all manuals in a folder for Customs
  • Double pack electronics with glass screens safely to ensure they do not break


Kitchenware - Remember to label outside of boxes well for your Manifest

  • Fragile crystals, bone china and ceramic kitchenware needs to be packed in bubble wrap
  • Glass containers and sharp cutlery should be wrapped with extra packaging
  • Place paper between all plates/bowls/cups and dinnerware to prevent chipping and breaking
  • Wrap cutlery and utensils together in tight bundles and bubble wrap before putting in boxes
  • Wine glasses/ vases / crystal pieces etc, should all be double wrapped in paper and bubble wrap


Small Furniture Products

  • Ensure the edges are fully covered to prevent chipping
  • Remember to protect the surfaces with a bed sheet to prevent scratches
  • This furniture will probably be double stacked in the truck and container so all surfaces must be well protected


Other Items


  • Vehicle(s) will need to be carefully loaded, drained & disconnected and properly strapped with heavy duty straps
  • Books can be packed in corrugated boxes - don't over pack large boxes as books are heavy. Pack in multiple small boxes
  • International sized bags could be used to pack clothes and shoes
  • Wardrobe boxes with hangers are available 
  • Photo frames can be packed by placing packaging paper between multiple frames
  • Lampshades are especially fragile and should be packed well to withstand the pressures of container moves
  • Fine art, pianos, and musical instruments all have unique requirements for packing


Remember, moving internationally is a three step process.


  1. Make sure you have all your household goods packed thoroughly, either by yourself or a professional moving crew
  2. Make sure you carefully manifest each and every box in detail while it is being loaded for smooth sailing through Customs at the Port(s)
  3. Carefully unpack the goods upon arrival at your new destination.

So what are you waiting for? Request a free overseas moving estimate by calling us today or by completing our Quote Request Form.
Niki M.
Niki M.

Niki, an entrepreneur by blood and part-time writer has 20 years in Business Administration in the Hotel and Restaurant Industry. She is now a key agent in USA Truckloads and LTL freight - gaining knowledge and strengthening client relationships with her undeniable will to exceed expectations combined with her tenacious work ethic and integrity. She specializes in Container, Boat & LTL moves to Hawaii, Costa Rica and Mexico. Languages spoken: English, Spanish

Message Niki M.