Do you ever dream of winning the lottery? Honestly, that’s not my favorite dream. In my “jackpot” dream, I get to move overseas for a couple of years.
To Paris. (Have you met me???)
I’d pick up in a heartbeat if I got the chance. But while moving internationally can take a lot of planning, we’ve been honored to help clients with two details that sometimes get forgotten in both international moves and domestic moves. If you are planning a move, take note of these two really helpful logistical details.
First International Move Organizing Detail: Photos
Those photos are going to be especially bulky, heavy, and potentially fragile to ship. Sure, they won’t break, but they are subject to water, mold and just plain old heartbreaking loss. Before you move overseas, have a professional photo organizer (you can find one at APPO) scan all of your photos, wall canvases, slides and home movies in formats from film reels to VHS tapes. You may still choose to keep and store your printed photos, and professionals recommend that you do, but now you’ll have a digital copy as your backup. Even better, store that library of photo scans in your choice of cloud service, and can safely access your family memories from anywhere in the world. While you are at it, have your photo organizer upload all of the images and videos from your old computers, hard drives, CDs and DVDs into the cloud service, as well, so your entire family history is all in one place. And in preparation for your move, make sure the printed photos are stored in archival quality, photo safe storage in order to avoid further fading and damage as they age. You’ll want to leave a couple of months for all of this work to be completed, but lucky for you, your Photo Organizer will be happy to work on it at their office while you attend to other aspects of your upcoming move.
Second International Move Organizing Detail: Mail Delivery
The USPS is happy to stop your current mail service, and they’ll even forward it to another domestic address. But when moving overseas, it’s a bit trickier. Consider renting a domestic post office box and hiring a service to retrieve items from your PO box and scan them for you. Thanks to the miracle of affordable (and sometimes even free) cloud services, you can keep getting your domestic mail. This is especially important if you have ongoing affairs in the US or if you expect to return to the US fairly soon. For a fee, a trusted service can check your PO box on a schedule that works for you (for example, twice a month), scan your mail, deliver the scans to you electronically, and destroy your physical mail to reduce the chance of identity theft. They can even handle any checks received, since you might be expecting deposits and rebates from domestic service companies only after you’ve left the country. Don’t lose important notifications and money due to your move.