Moving to a new country is an exciting and life-changing adventure. It’s a time filled with anticipation, new experiences, and the opportunity to embrace a different culture. This blog will provide the ultimate guide to packing for an international move from Edmonton. With careful planning and organization, you can ensure a smooth transition to your new home.

Create a Comprehensive Checklist

Before you start packing, it’s crucial to create a detailed moving checklist. This will serve as your roadmap, helping you stay organized and ensuring that you don’t forget any essentials. Tailor the below list to your specific needs, considering factors such as climate, duration of stay, and the availability of certain items in your destination country. It’s helpful to break it down further into smaller categories, or even go room by room, so you know exactly what you need and where it’s coming from.

Household Goods

  • Bedding and linens
  • Electronics (laptop, phone, camera, chargers)
  • Furniture (if shipping is feasible)
  • Home decor and personal mementos


  • Passport and visa documents
  • Birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other important personal documents
  • Medical records and prescriptions
  • Insurance policies (health, home, car)
  • Educational transcripts and diplomas
  • Financial documents (bank statements, tax records)


  • Seasonal clothing appropriate for your destination (including outerwear)
  • Shoes for various occasion
  • Undergarments and socks
  • Accessories
  • Swimwear and workout attire

Miscellaneous Items

  • Toiletries
  • Medications (prescription and over-the-counter)
  • First aid kit
  • Travel adapters and voltage converters
  • Language phrasebooks or dictionaries
  • Snacks or comfort foods from your home country

Organize and Declutter

Moving internationally provides an excellent opportunity to declutter and simplify your life. Go through your belongings and assess what you truly need to bring with you. Consider selling, donating, or discarding items that no longer serve a purpose or hold sentimental value. This will not only lighten your load but also save on shipping costs; your Edmonton international moving company will likely charge based on weight!

Research Customs Regulations

Each country has its own customs regulations regarding the importation of goods (some that you might never guess). Before packing, familiarize yourself with these regulations to avoid any surprises or delays at customs. Some countries have restrictions on specific items such as electronics, food products, or medications.

If you’re unsure, or can’t find the appropriate information, ask your moving consultant at your Edmonton international moving company for help! They are trained to have the answers you need, armed with years of experience, helping to make your international move as stress-free as possible.

Pack Essentials in Your Carry-On

When packing for an international move, it’s smart to pack a separate bag or suitcase with your essential items. This includes important documents, medications, toiletries, a change of clothes, and any valuable or sentimental items. In the event that your checked luggage gets delayed or lost, having these essential items with you will ensure that you can still manage your immediate needs upon arrival.

Consider Climate and Seasonal Changes

Take into account the climate and seasonal changes of your destination country when packing. If you’re moving to a colder climate (like Edmonton), make sure to bring appropriate winter clothing and accessories. If you’re moving to a tropical country, pack lightweight and breathable clothing. Researching the local weather patterns will help you determine what to prioritize in your packing.

Also, consider this a great time to refresh your wardrobe. If moving to a cooler climate from say, a tropical island, chances are your destination will have more appropriate clothing options. Pack smart, and fill in gaps in your wardrobe as needed.

Research Electrical and Electronic Requirements

Electrical systems and plugs may differ between countries. Research the electrical voltage and plug types used in your destination country. If necessary, purchase voltage converters or adapters to ensure your electronic devices are compatible. It’s also a good idea to back up important data from your devices and consider storing it in the cloud for added security.

Maximize Space and Protect Fragile Items

To maximize space and protect fragile items, consider investing in space-saving packing bags, vacuum-sealed storage bags, and sturdy boxes. Use bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or clothing to cushion delicate items. Label all boxes clearly with the contents and their intended location in your new home. This will make unpacking easier and more efficient. To make the moving process even easier, hire an Edmonton international moving company, and relax while the professionals expertly handle your move!

Items to Leave at Home

There are certain items you should avoid packing due to legal restrictions, safety concerns, or practicality. Below is a non-comprehensive list of items to leave out when packing for your international move.

Prohibited or Restricted Items:

Familiarize yourself with the customs regulations of your destination country and avoid packing items that are prohibited or have restrictions.

Perishable Food:

Fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meats may spoil during transit and can also be subject to import regulations.

Plants and Seeds:

Bringing live plants, seeds, or soil from one country to another can introduce pests and diseases that can harm local ecosystems. Many countries have strict regulations on importing plants and seeds, so it’s best to leave them behind.

Flammable or Combustible Items:

Items such as gasoline, propane tanks, and certain chemicals are hazardous and pose a safety risk during transportation. These should be properly disposed of or left behind.

Firearms and Ammunition:

Transporting firearms and ammunition internationally requires extensive paperwork and permits. It’s best to consult the local laws of your destination country and consider legal and safety implications before attempting to pack firearms or ammunition.

Large and Bulky Furniture:

Shipping large and bulky furniture internationally can be expensive and logistically challenging. It’s often more practical to sell or donate these items and purchase furniture at your new destination; alternatively, you can consult your Edmonton international mover for short or long-term storage options.

Moving Abroad? Partner with An Edmonton International Moving Company

Matco Moving Solutions can help you with your local, long-distance or international move. We are a full-service moving company that is dedicated to delivering a stress-free and positive moving experience. We have locations in Calgary, Edmonton, Yellowknife, Whitehorse and Inuvik and over 55 years of moving experience and expertise.

Contact us today for a free moving quote and to learn how Matco can help you with your next move.