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A List of Things to Do upon Arrival

Just landed in the new country, now what?

Finally there! Now the show can begin.

  • You have arrived in the new country and are expected to settle in as quickly as possible, so as to begin immediately your new daily life. To remove the background noise of all the start-up tasks you have to deal with, it is useful to have an understanding of what  are the priorities.

First of all remember that there are always two important aspects to a move: the 'logistical' aspect and the 'emotional' one.

  • The logistical side relates to anything that is practical and requires organisational skills. It includes identifying the right area to live, if you have not had a chance to do so with a reconaissance trip. If you have already made arrangements for your long term accomodation, the next steps are making sure the utilities have been connected, renting a vehicle or looking for one to buy, finding out  where the shops are, their opening hours, the route to take the children to school and the one to reach the office, location of the hospital etc.
  • The emotional side involves making sure that no one in the family is overwhelmed by the move.  Watch out for the pace of your new life and leave time for ordinary things to happen. Spend a few hours playing with the children and taking them around, so that they can take in the new surroundings is worth a lot to them and to you. Show them the new school, the area where they will be living. Children love anything their parents love, so show them your enthusiasm and good spirit.
  • Leave a window where you can take it all in and appreciate being abroad. Remember, taking time "off" a move is as important as managing a move.

From landing to delivery of your shipment there could be a lapse of days to few weeks or even months. During this period you might decide to stay somewhere else, or camp in your own empty house, if you have got one already, with only the basics. You can turn this period into an exciting opportunity to relax and enjoy the new location with your family. Once the shipment arrives, calculate at least a week of total chaos during which, if you have organised things properly (children and pet safely out of the way) you can be concentrating on unpacking and "recreating" your home.

  • When the shipment arrives it would be wise to have arranged for a babysitter if you have small children and to keep your pets out of the way or in a kennel while you unpack.
  • TIP: for mysterious reasons shipments tend to be delivered the day prior the weekend, which means that the packing crew will have time during the day to bring in all the boxes, start opening some of them and wave you good bye for the weekend, leaving you in a house full of unopened boxes. They seem to know, that left on your own on the weekend, you will do the unpacking for them (if so agreed upon). They then come on the first day of the week to load the empty boxes and their job is done.
    If you can resist the temptation of receiving the shipment as soon as possible, it is better to have it delivered immediately after the weekend (which may be a different day of the week in different countries, remember that too!).
  • Take time to note any damage or loss that may have occurred to your goods during the transfer. When you sign the delivery receipt, you are accepting your goods in apparent good condition, and any subsequent claims will be adjusted accordingly. Please make sure that any exceptions are noted on the inventory at the time of loading or delivery.
  • TIP: yes it is a pain, but this means opening ALL the boxes and checking their contents there and then. In fact you have quite a short window during which you can claim any damage. Check with your moving company or whoever has insured the shipment for you, on how many days after delivery you have to fill in a claim report.
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