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Moving to the Greek Islands

Many buyers of Greek Island property do so with the intention of moving or retiring to the islands. Emigrating is ranked as one of the most stressful experiences in life. The excitement of buying your property and starting a new life tends to disappear as you are faced with the uncertainty of your new venture, packing your possessions and worrying about if and in what state they will turn up at your new home. At this time you'll be faced with endless paperwork, decisions about what to take or leave and putting your life in boxes. We take a look at some steps you can take for a trouble-free house move to the Greek Islands.

The option is between DIY and a removals company. We've all heard the horror stories and sometimes it is surprising that having spent so much on a property, buyers try to do the moving part on the cheap. It is best to be as careful with your possessions as you were with your property transaction, either packing diligently yourself or selecting a reputable international mover, so that your items will turn up at your new home without damage.

International movers

There are numerous moving companies who have much experience in international transit and moving items from your home country to your new home on the Greek Islands. Be aware that you are likely to get a wide range of quotes. A cheap removals firm may ask for less money but you might find there are more damages.

To get a quote, you'll need to work out the number of boxes and weight for your shipment. Consideration should also be given to insuring your items. No matter how well packed your goods are, accidents can happen.

Checklist for international removals companies
- how long have they been in business
- do they have their own offices at both ends of the journey
- find out if it really is a removals company and not just a frieght forwarder
- will they provide a full removal contract with all their obligations


Pack it or leave it

Before you even start packing, it's a good idea to get rid of the stuff you really don't want - have a car boot sale, send it to charity, give it to family or friends; or even put it up on ebay. Many people have moved overseas only to find that half of their boxes never get unpacked. So, you can really live without quite a lot of your items.

Careful packing pays off

Even if you have chosen an international removals company, you may still elect to pack everything yourself.

Packing materials will make all the difference here as to what condition your possessions arrive at their destination. Forget about scavenging newspapers and boxes from friends, family and work. Ask your removals company if they can provide materials as these will be of much higher quality and strength. Allied Pickfords provide customers with a diy packing kit.

The things you will not be able to do without :
- marker pens
- bubble wrap
- heavy duty tape
- a variety of different boxes

Ensure that there is a list of what has gone into each box. Not only does this make sense for when unpacking but your removals company will want a copy of this in case of need at customs and for insurance purposes. For insurance, also make special note of any pieces which are valuable.

Watch out for items which may not legally be transported by moving companies, such as plants, bleach, nail polish remover and foodstuffs. Even certain legal documents may not be transported by removals companies, for example, deeds to property. Any boxes containing items which are fragile must be labelled as such; and even mark them which way up they should be stacked.

Tip: If you have rugs, send them to the cleaners before the move as they will come back all nicely rolled up and wrapped, ready to go and be laid down at your new home.

Have a separate box for things you'll need straight away at the other end and keep all important documents with you (deeds, power of attorney, passport, etc).

By the evening before your actual move you should have everything packed, ready to go onto the truck, apart from what you'll need yourselves for the move.

Packing up home and making the move is a huge task and not to be underestimated. A tip from Mike Black, who made a move to the Greek Islands with the cheapest removal company quotation, "My advice is to go with a reputable firm. I wish we'd paid more as it would have been well worth it for peace of mind. I'd hate to see anyone go through what I want through. Check and check again any recommendations, particularly those on a forum. I can't believe how Gill and I were taken in".