Happy New Year!!! We’re back from our Twelve Days of Christmas hiatus – hope you enjoyed the gifts.

‘Tis a time for resolutions, and these usually involve some form of self-improvement and productivity. So if you’re moving to London in 2011, one key way for you to boost said productivity and feel so good about youself is to get it in gear and make strides toward that overseas move! That’s what these Saturday packing tips are here for, so let’s get rolling with some more.

Today I’d like to discuss researching international movers. There are none in particular I can recommend here as it depends on where you’re relocating to London from as well as your particular budget and other criteria (though you might try searching at the FIDI website for a list of Global Alliance movers). Unless you’ve negotiated an expat package with your employer that may include the company taking care of it, you’ll need to decide whether it’s worth your extra coin to hire a full-service mover that will handle every stage of your move from Point A to Point B (from packing your belongings to picking them up locally at your home to transporting them to the shipping point where they’re loaded as cargo to picking them up at the UK dock point and transporting them to your new London apartment – found with you by London Relocation ;)). Such continuity makes this a very attractive option, as does the fact that full-service movers will insure your possessions on an individual level—that is, if a box of dishes arrives at your flat with broken contents, the moving company should cover it.  Yet it is also for these reasons that they may cost several thousand US dollars more.

As an alternative, then, you might look into lesser expensive moving companies that are so because they outsource the individual services. Though cost-savings is an obvious benefit, the added risk with this option is that the handling of your goods is now decentralized—you have that many more separate vendors at each stage of the move to keep track of, and different costs (e.g., port fees, gas price increases) might pop up that your original moving contact doesn’t anticipate because it’s not their direct responsibility. Also, your shipment will typically be insured as a whole, which protects you if the ship goes down with everything, but not if those dishes arrive chipped and cracked.

Regardless of whether you go through a full-service moving company or otherwise, you’ll want to speak with them over the phone and conduct an interview such that you’re clear about their policies, the extent of their services, etc. Get a feel for their reliability and try to be thorough so there are no surprises along the way.

We wish you happy trails in the new year as you move to London – it’s an enormous task, but keep truckin’!