Moving from the US to Europe: Here’s a Checklist That Can Help You Make the Process as Smooth as Possible

Whether you’re moving to Europe for work or to experience a different lifestyle, the change is likely to be a significant one. 

Get ahead of the game by planning in advance and arranging in good time as much as possible to ensure the move is as smooth and hassle-free as possible. Work your way through the checklist below to make sure nothing gets overlooked.

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Hire a Moving Company

For most people, entrusting the practicalities of moving furniture and belongings from the old home to the new one is something best left to a professional removal company. With all the other demands on your time in the run-up to the relocation, being able to leave this particular aspect of the move to the specialists is usually seen as a very good idea. As well as ensuring the safe transport of your goods, a removal company has the experience and know-how to ensure that everything on this score runs smoothly.

Most removal companies will have insurance, too, so that you won’t be out of pocket in the unlikely event that any damage to your belongings occurs. Have a look here for the best moving companies, for all the information you need on providers who can assist with long-distance relocations. You’ll find here tips on how to choose a removal company, too, so that you can select the perfect service for your needs.

Get on Top of Taxes

It’s vital to fill in all the necessary tax paperwork regarding your relocation before you leave the country; if you don’t do this, you could be facing the unnecessary expense of double taxation. You can, however, keep your US banks and investment accounts open if you wish. 

Once you have arrived and settled in your new home in Europe, you’ll need to apply for your personal taxation number. Obtaining this may take a few months, although most companies will allow you to start work while you are awaiting it – in this interim period, you will likely pay a higher rate of taxation, which will be reimbursed once your tax number has been provided to you.

Backup Banking Card

Before you leave the US, it’s a good idea to ask your bank to issue you with a backup card that you can use should you lose your regular card. Until you get set up with a European bank, be aware that using your current bank account will likely incur fees.

Once you’re in your new home, start looking for a new bank – it’s worth spending some time researching all of the banks available to find the one that’s best for you.

Sort Out Your Driving License

You can drive in Europe with your US driving license for up to one year after your relocation. During this time, to be able to legally continue driving, you will need to successfully pass the practical and written test of the country you are residing in to gain a valid license. 

If you want to purchase a new car, be aware that European vehicles tend to be smaller than their US counterparts and have manual gears.

Sort Out Your Belongings

As the time of the move draws closer, it’s well worth having a good sort out of your belongings – be realistic about what items you’d like to keep and which could be sold or donated to charity. Carting unnecessary stuff to a different country only to put it straight into a cupboard or attic may not be the best use of time or resources.

As part of this process, get the measurements of the rooms in your new home to help you determine which items of furniture will and won’t fit the spaces.

Transfer Utilities

Shortly before the move, arrange to end your current utility contracts and have new contracts scheduled to begin on the day that you move into your new home. As well as gas, electric and water, don’t forget to include services like internet and phone, too.

Pack A Moving Bag

Just before the final pack-up, put together a moving bag or suitcase that will help you get through the first night or two in the new property as smoothly as possible. Include things like toiletries, contact lens supplies, clothes, a book, your charger – and, for the kids, favorite teddies and a few well-loved toys.

Begin the Adventure!

Once everything is complete, and you’ve been through the above list, get ready to start your new adventure in Europe! Such a major move is daunting, but it can be profoundly rewarding, too, and a chance to thoroughly immerse yourself in a brand new culture and all the benefits that come with living a totally different lifestyle.

One of the things you may quickly notice is the different pace of life: American workforces are known to be extremely hardworking, clocking in on average sixty hours plus a week, whereas the average full-time European worker notches up forty hours a week…meaning that you could have plenty of time, in comparison, to see all the sight and soak up all the culture of your new home!