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Man carrying boxesChecklist 7: Tips for shipping personal effects

Choosing what personal items to bring, packing them up and then shipping them safely can seem overwhelming. Where do you begin? Here are 10 things to consider.

1. Bring items that are important to you emotionally and nostalgically (i.e., family photos, heirlooms, etc.).

2. Bring items that will be cheaper to ship than to buy new (i.e., furnishings).

3. Leave items that are better replaced with new versions in Canada (i.e., appliances, electronics and items more expensive to ship than to buy anew).

4. If your household packing is done by professional movers, they will itemize and label your belongings, making it much easier to unpack at the other end. Ensure that the movers provide you with a detailed packing list as well. If you pack yourself, follow the same method.

5. Check if your freight forwarding company offers shipping only, or if it includes an unpacking service.

6. Ensure you have insurance against loss or damage of your possessions while in transit.

7. Ensure you have the shipping company’s contact details and they have yours.

8. Get recommendations from friends and relatives to find a reliable mover.

9. A word of advice about packing the little things: as it could be some time before you will be in a position to buy day-to-day items such as cutlery and dinnerware, you might consider bringing a box of such necessities from home with you on the plane.

10. When your personal effects arrive, you will be required to appear at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) office to collect them. This is a simple procedure; if your papers are in order, there should be no delay.