You’ve decided to make the move abroad that you’ve been planning for years. With only weeks to go, it’s time to think about moving your furniture. What to take? What to discard? What to sell? This article will make things easy by giving all the advice you need on moving your furniture abroad.

Shipping furniture: how much will it cost?

The first thing to do is get a quote from the most cost-effective and reliable furniture removal company to move your belongings to your new home overseas. To save you time and money, MoveHub has developed an amazing cost comparison formula to give you up to 6 quotes after you complete our short form at the top of the page.

When choosing an international removal company, part of your decision will be whether to pack your furniture yourself or whether to use specialist packers. You may wish to save on costs by doing it yourself, but it’s worth considering whether you want to risk irreplaceable items being damaged.

10 tips for international furniture shipping

If you do decide to take your furniture with you when you move overseas here are some ideas to help you:

  1. Firstly, measure all the furniture you wish to ship to determine the volume of your move.
  1. Take pictures of everything. This will help cover you if anything is lost or damaged on the journey.
  1. If moving furniture yourself use plenty of blankets to protect solid items. Protect sharp corners with cut-off corners of cardboard boxes. Use foam between items to prevent damage.
  1. If packing yourself, remember to label each box with what it contains. This is especially important for fragile items.
  1. Put all furniture and boxes on the pallets and use shrink wrap to cover everything. This will help keep all of your belongings together and protect them from the elements.
  1. Pack medium sized electrical goods like TVs, computers and microwaves in the original boxes to protect them. It´s always a good idea to keep the original packaging for these kinds of items if you’re a person that’s prone to moving. Take apart whatever you can (beds, desks, wardrobes) and flat-pack them
  1. Take apart whatever you can (beds, desks, wardrobes) and flat-pack them (essential tip: tape screws and fixings to the individual items).
  1. Pack cushions, sofa covers and bedding in plastic bin bags or storage bags that can be bought cheaply in many high street shops to protect them from dust and dirt.
  1. Garment hanging boxes are fantastic – they’re like portable wardrobes. Ask your removal company if they have any you can hire/borrow. All you have to do is take all your clothes on hangers from your wardrobe and hang them in the boxes. At your destination, you just hang them in your new wardrobe. No need for folding or packing suitcases!
  1. When you pack your things into boxes. Gently shake it to check if anything is moving. If the things are still moving, add more padding.

Select the size of your move to get free quotes

Packing your furniture for shipping – things to consider


Book your removal company as soon as you know your moving date. Popular destinations can be very busy and the sooner the removal company has your booking the sooner you can tick this off your ‘moving to a new country’ list. If you don’t have a full load the removal company will share your move with another load, which will make things cheaper for you.

When it comes to deciding how much you wish to ship, establish what size shipping container is right for you. Shipping containers come in two sizes: 20ft and 40ft. A 20ft container could fit the contents of a two bedroom house with a car. A 40ft container could easily fit the contents of a 4 bedroom house, including larger items such as a piano. If you don’t have the contents of an FCL (full container load) you’ll be able to ship your belongings in an LCL (less than full container load). This will may take longer but will cost less.

The cost of selling versus buying new

Moving abroad is the time to be ruthless with what you keep and what you get rid of. This is the time to clear out all your old unwanted furniture and sell it or dump it. Do you really want those cheap-looking bedside cabinets or the chest of drawers that falls apart every time you open the drawers? This is your chance to make a new start and a certain degree of ‘out with the old, in with the new’ should take place.

Also, bear in mind that voltages are different abroad and your appliances may not suit the electricity supply. For example, in many southern European countries something as simple as the kettle, can blow the whole electricity system in many houses. For further ways to save money on your move, check out our cheapest ways to move abroad page.

Also, bear in mind that voltages are different abroad and your appliances may not suit the electricity supply. For example in many southern European countries something as simple as the kettle, that we simply can’t live without for the good old English brew can blow the whole electricity system in many houses.

Is your move permanent or temporary?

You may just be moving abroad for a year or so, for a work contract or to try living in a new country. In this case, it’s probably not worth taking all your possessions in case you decide to return to the UK.

You should weigh up the cost of storage of some of your furniture versus transporting it abroad. You may be able to rent a furnished home in your new location, meaning you don’t have to take everything with you. Items that you do not need immediately in your new home can be put into storage. If you’re planning to live in temporary accommodation before you find something permanent, it can be a good idea to put large pieces of furniture in storage.

So, in summary, moving your furniture abroad doesn’t have to be a major issue. All you need to do is think about the options, compare prices and work out which plan is best for you.

Remember, MoveHub are here to help and by completing our simple quote form you could save up to 70% on your moving costs!