LIGHTENING THE LOAD
You can move without professionals, if you don’t have too much stuff. This will save money, and also give you the reassurance of never leaving your possessions’ side. It won’t be the simplest task, so do ensure that you have the time to manage.
Shipping furniture and heavy boxes is no small task, so it’s worthwhile to think about what you really need to take. You’ll pay for every metre of shipping space, so avoid taking non-essential items. Maybe your accommodation will be fully or part furnished; if so, you can save money and effort by selling your exiting furniture (the extra cash won’t hurt, after all!). For items with sentimental value, put them into low cost storage. Even better, see if a friend or relative can make use of them, keeping them safe for you for free. Some cheap goods like toasters and kettles will probably be more expensive to ship than to simply replace once you arrive, so consider donating your old ones to friends or charity shops. See this process as a huge spring clean… Most of us have too much clutter and could do with a big clear out!
ON THE MOVE
If you’ve struggled to reduce how much you need to ship, it may be time to call in the professionals. A large haul of possessions may require several trips back and forth, which will be expensive, time consuming and tiring.
If, however, you’ve got a manageable amount of things to take (think: what fits in a 7.5 ton truck, as typically you would be able to drive that on a normal licence), you’re all set, and you can start planning a DIY move!
Begin by checking local laws: will you be able to drive the truck in each country you pass through? It’s going to be your best bet for setting up a new home, as you won’t be able to take much on a plane, boat or car.
When you’re sure that you can do the move yourself, it’s time to start packing. You can save money by keeping boxes from parcel deliveries, and by asking in supermarkets and warehouses for empty containers. These will do for most items, though you will need to buy special packaging for fragile items. Keep all your valuables and documentation in a clearly labelled box so you can access them at a moment’s notice. Don’t skimp on bubble wrap and parcel tape: you don’t want the bottom of a box to collapse when you’re heaving it up a flight of steps. Recruit friends and family to help pack and load the truck, if you can. It could be a very slow process otherwise!
We hope that these tips have made the exciting idea of relocating to Germany seem a piece of cake… Black Forest Gateau, perhaps?