Moving to Europe checklist

Whether you are relocating through work or retiring abroad, there are so many things to think about when you move to Europe.

As well as all the usual chores involved in moving home such as notifying your utility suppliers, re-directing your post and cancelling your milk order, you will also have to worry about moving your belongings over a huge distance, getting acquainted with a completely new culture and even learning a new language!

To help you through the moving process, we’ve put together a helpful checklist of things to think about and organise when you are moving to Europe.

As early as possible

  • If you haven’t done so already, start researching your new destination thoroughly.
  • Make sure all passports are up-to-date.
  • Start sorting through all your belongings and decide what you want to take with you, what you're going to store and what you're going to dispose of. Remember, the more you take with you, the more expensive your shipping costs will be and remember we can store for you both here and abroad.
  • Meet with your European move co-ordinator and arrange a date for your move. If you have children then you might prefer to move in the school summer holidays.
  • If you don’t already speak it, start learning the local language.

6 weeks before moving

  • Check and confirm all your travel arrangements such as flights, trains or ferry reservations.
  • If you’ve got a long journey ahead organise any temporary accommodation or hotels on your route.
  • Don’t forget to advise doctors and dentists of your move and obtain your medical records. If you are moving to Europe, apply for a European Health Insurance card (EHIC) (you can pick up an application form from the Post Office) and check to see if you are covered for emergency health care in the country you are moving to
  • Notify your local council and check if you are due a Council Tax rebate.

4 weeks before moving

  • Go over your move with your European move manager
  • If you are travelling in your own car, make sure your driving license and insurance covers you in your new country and make sure your MOT is up-to-date.
  • Make a list of what you intend to take with you
  • Arrange to have your mail redirected
  • Make sure all your finances and credit card payments are in order

3 weeks before moving

  • Clear out your loft, attic, shed or garage and dispose of or recycle anything you aren't taking with you.
  • Speak to your move manager to arrange storage at home or at your destination.

2 weeks before moving

  • Contact your electoral office about postal voting forms.
  • Dismantle large items of furniture
  • Arrange for a professional to disconnect kitchen appliances
  • Organise for utilities like gas, water and electricity meters to be read on the day of your move, your phone disconnected and any bills forwarded
  • Arrange for any rented items to be collected
  • Cancel milk, newspapers and pay local bills
  • Transfer or close bank accounts. If you are keeping any savings accounts open, notify them of your new address and fill in a ‘Not ordinarily resident’ form so you don’t have to pay tax on your savings.

1 week to go

  • Start emptying and defrost your fridge and freezer
  • Collect all important documents like birth and marriage certificates together ready to carry them with you on the move. Keep separate photocopies in a safe place.
  • Go over the final checks of your move with your European move manager
  • Get your foreign currency to use on arrival
  • Drain lawnmowers and other power equipment of petrol and oil
  • Label your furniture, draw up a plan of your new home, indicating what goes where
  • Pack luggage for your journey, keeping with you all the items you'll need on arrival (leave the packing of furniture and possessions to Clockworks' expert packing teams)

1-2 days before your move

  • Pack the items that you are travelling with eg. travel documents, passports, clothes, currency, medicines in your car or hand luggage.
  • Arrange with your neighbours to save a parking space outside your home for the removal vans

On moving day

  • Before the removal vehicle leaves, double check all your rooms, cupboards, loft, shed, garage etc to make sure that that everything you want to move is packed away.
  • If no-one is moving into your old home, turn off the power and drain or turn off the water supply, lock up and and hand over the keys to your estate agents.
  • Relax and enjoy your move while we look after the rest!


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