Imagine if you lived in the same house, the same neighborhood, and the same city for your entire life. How much culture would you have exposure to? Sure, you might learn new things about people all over the world thanks to your television set, but you’ll never get to taste those foods, walk up those staircases, and see that art in person.
Luckily, you have no intention of living in the same house or even the same city. You have wanderlust, and you’d like a change of scenery. So you’ve decided to move to Europe – you just don’t know where yet.
Let us help you out. We’ve compiled some European cities that have routinely ranked high on Mercer Consulting’s Worldwide Quality of Living Survey, which they publish every year. Have a look at these cities as you decide where to live and when you are ready to move, let us help you with our international moving services.
If you want to inundate yourself with so much artistic, musical, historical, and culinary culture that you can’t stand it, move to Vienna. The United Nations has designated this city’s center as an educational, scientific, and cultural World Heritage Site. No matter what your passion is, you can find more than enough to satisfy it in this city.
Additionally, Vienna boasts one of the world’s top education systems, and you’ll have a hard time finding anything but top-notch housing. Keep in mind, however, that you will have to learn German if you don’t know it already.
2. Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich may have a smaller population than other cities on its list, but despite its small size, it has more than enough adventure to fill a lifetime. It boasts thousands of restaurants, including one with original paintings by Cezanne and Picasso. It also gives residents a gorgeous view of the Swiss Alps and Lake Zurich.
Beyond that, Zurich also boasts low taxes – the lowest in Switzerland – not to mention a nonexistent inheritance tax. It also has top scores for medical care and banking services. Just remember that you will have to learn German, French, or Italian to get by in this country – you’ll do best with German or French.
When you move to Dusseldorf, you move to the fashion and shopping capital of Germany. You’ll have so much to see and do. Plus, you’ll live in a beautiful area on the banks of the Rhine River. You won’t have any trouble getting a job here because it features advanced infrastructure and international transport connections, not to mention some of Germany’s largest corporations.
Again, before you decide to move to Dusseldorf, you will have to learn German. Many people do speak English, but you show your respect for residents and their culture when you learn German.
4. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen has a high cost of living, but that doesn’t mean you would hate your life if you lived there. It boasts over 11 Michelin – starred restaurants, not to mention hundreds of art galleries and museums. You’ll also stay healthier if you live here. The city features a popular bike culture, as well as a relatively clean environment compared to most big cities.
Additionally, Copenhagen has plenty of international schools and fantastic medical facilities. Just make sure you know Danish before you go there.
When you’ve seen Amsterdam in movies, you probably admired the miles of canals and green areas. Amsterdam also houses a number of art museums and other cultural attractions that will keep you entertained for years. And like Copenhagen, this city has many international schools so your children won’t face a disadvantage if they move here.
However, Amsterdam has higher pollution and limited housing, so take that into account before moving to this country. And don’t forget to learn Dutch!
If you move to a new country, all sorts of exciting opportunities will open up for you. Consider all the cities above as you plan your next international move.
Moving is expensive, especially when you are moving across the country. The bottom line is simple: the more stuff you move, the more it’ll cost you. There are plenty of ways to cut the weight of your shipment, which will in turn save money when you move. Check out the infographic below for easy and creative approaches to save money on your upcoming move.
You can find more money saving tips and tricks on our website.
Download this infographic.
Moving to a new home presents the perfect opportunity to organize your media collection(s). Media comes in many forms: books, movies, comic books, and video games. The more you have, the harder it gets to find what you’re looking for. Not to mention your items look great when lined up.
Here are our step-by-step instructions for organizing your media after a move.
Step 1: Have a Place for Everything
No one likes to see books stacked on the floor. Before you begin organization, make sure you have a place for all your items. Most items fit on shelves, but you can also use filing cabinets or special containers.
A lot of media comes in standardized cases, like CDs or DVDs, so try to find shelves built for those mediums. Doing so will increase space efficiency.
Step 2: Pick a First-tier Organization Style
Once you have a place for everything, choose an organization style. First, we recommend organizing by type of media (it might confuse you to mix music with books or video games). Here are the most common ways to arrange your media:
- Alphabetically: This is the most obvious way to organize. However, it might not be as straightforward as you think. For example, you could organize by author or by title. For books, organizing by author is common, but for movies, most people prefer to organize by title.
- By Genre: Genre is a popular method of organization, and it’s self-explanatory. Genres can include action, drama, romance, mystery, comedy, horror, science fiction, or nonfiction. You can choose an infinite number of genres. Choosing them depends on your tastes and what genres your media emphasizes.
- By Color: If you like art, organizing by color might excite you. Many people like to display an interesting color arrangement. You can even create a rainbow by arranging the red media together, followed by orange, etc. Some like to create mosaics from their media, such as arranging their red, white, and blue media into an American flag. We recommend this method only if you have a lot of media to work with.
- By Date: You can organize all your media by the date each was originally published. You could also organize them in the order that you first read or watched them.
- Chronologically: If you have a lot of historical media, you could organize it in historical order. Similarly, if you have a lot of long series, it doesn’t always work best to list them alphabetically. For example, if you purchased all the Marvel films, you might want to put them together in the order they came out.
Step 3: Pick a Second-tier Organization Style
Once you have picked a first tier of organization, some like to choose a second tier. For example, if you organized your first tier by genre, you might choose to arrange your media alphabetically within that genre. A second tier is not always necessary, but it can help.
Step 4: Keep a Catalog
If you have a large volume of media, keeping a catalog is essential. We recommend having a list of all your media in the order that you chose to organize them. That way, if you take something off the shelf, you know exactly where to return it. Keeping a digital spreadsheet is another step up, because then you can sort through the data to find what you need.
Step 5: Label
This last step is optional, but many people like to label their shelves. This is especially useful if you need to move to a new home.
You or the moving company can easily mark boxes with the appropriate label as you unpack shelves. Thus, unpacking becomes easier.
As you unpack and organize your media, follow some of our suggestions, and you’ll always find the media you’re looking for.
Moving internationally with children seems terrifying. Especially because your toddler bursts into blood-curdling shrieks with a simple drive to the grocery store. You imagine that sitting on a plane for 10+ hours with your child will be impossible, painful, and noisy. How can you entertain your children when you fly? What toys or other items should you bring on the plane with you?
Flying with children is much easier than you think. You have many different options available to you to make your flight as relaxed as possible.
Travel Documents for Your Children
Before you think about fun games and activities for your children to play, take care of the necessities first. Did you know that everyone, including your infant or toddler, requires a passport for international travel? Make sure to acquire the appropriate documents for your children. Keep their travel documents with yours for easy access and a smooth trip.
Items to Ask the Airline for Before Flying
If you have small infants, ask the airline about their cot or bassinet options. Many airlines offer bassinets for families with newborns or infants. Your baby can sit or sleep in the bassinet so you don’t have to hold him or her during the entire flight.
If you want your child to sit in a car seat during the flight, ask the airline if you can bring one with you and if you’ll pay any additional fees to do so. If you need to use a stroller, ask the airline if they gate check it. If the airline does gate check strollers, they will place it in the cargo area as you enter the plane and have it ready for you at the end of your flight.
Items to Bring on the Plane
Sometimes you find it hard to entertain your child for an extended period of time. You might think that you can’t bring a lot of entertainment with you on the flight. You may also worry that some items aren’t allowed on the plane. However, you’d be surprised at how many things you can bring with you while traveling.
The items you bring with you are either necessary or for entertainment purposes. Always double check with airline policies so you know which items you can bring with you. Items to bring on the plane include:
- A small blanket
- Baby Tylenol and any other medication your child might need
- Bottled water from the airport (to mix with formula)
- Child-friendly headphones
- Coloring books and crayons
- Extra diapers and wipes
- Food, formula, and bottles for infants
- Grocery bags for dirty clothes
- iPad or other tablet (great for games and distracting your little one)
- Lollipops to suck on during take-off (sucking on lollipops reduces any pain in your child’s ears)
- Small puzzles
- Small toy animals or cars
- Snacks and empty sippy cups
- Spare clothes (socks, underwear, shirts, etc.)
- Spare clothes for yourself (messes happen anytime, anywhere)
- Two or three small books
If the in-flight movie selection isn’t enough to entertain your children, have games and activities ready for them to dive into.
Have your child draw a picture or tell a story about the country you’re moving to. Read the books you brought along. If you can’t distract your child with pictures or stories, try some other games or activities. Plane-friendly games and activities include:
- The alphabet game
- Card games (Uno, Old Maid, Go Fish, etc.)
- Gameboys or other handheld gaming devices
- iPad games (My Little Pony, Fruit Ninja, Tsum Tsum, Super Why, etc.)
- Make puppets out of barf bags
- Paper toss (using cups and napkins from the flight)
- Rock Paper Scissors
- Tic Tac Toe
- Travel Bingo
- Travel Scrabble
- Word searches
International travel with your child is easier than ever. Try out a few of these games and activities with your children before you travel. Adjust any activities to better fit your children’s likes and interests.
Your pantry and your refrigerator are some of the last spots in your house that get your attention before a move. After all, you have to eat in between packing up your belongings and tidying up rooms.
Still, with moving on your mind, you find yourself staring at your pantry, mentally trying to fit each item inside a moving box.
You wonder if you should just leave some items behind. Sure, you spent money on all those frozen veggies, but you don’t think they’ll survive the two-day road trip to your new house.
If you feel unsure what food items to transport on your move, consult the list below. We’ll tell you what to save, what to toss, and how to pack it all just right.
What to Save
Bring only food items that will remain edible and stay inside their containers during the trek to your new residence. In most cases, non-perishable and unopened items fit this criteria best, but you’ll find a few exceptions included on the list below.
Canned goods of all sizes should do just fine during your move. Check expiration dates, and discard any cans that have a fast approaching use-by date. Pack everything else in small or medium boxes so you or your movers can lift them without difficulty.
A few weeks before your move, visit local grocery stores and ask for boxes. Many stores have extras available for customers at no extra charge. These boxes fit canned goods snuggly, too, meaning they won’t shift in transit.
Unopened Condiments & Boxed or Bagged Foods
Like canned goods, these pre-packaged foods are easy to bring along. Stack them side by side in their own boxes, or at the top of unfilled boxes. You can also put them in canvas reusable grocery bags and store them in your trunk until you arrive.
Basic Cooking Ingredients
- Put unopened bags of dry ingredients into boxes or plastic storage barrels.
- Pack loose, opened ingredients into reusable kitchen storage containers.
- Tape shut any spices, such as salt containers, that may open if tilted.
- Place spice bottles in boxes with canned goods. This uses empty space without adding too much weight.
If you have a stockpile of foods to use in emergencies, bring it along to your new house. As much as possible, put these cans into boxes or durable plastic storage bins.
If you stock your food storage on shelves in an easy-access location such as the garage, ask your movers to wrap these shelves in industrial plastic wrap. This saves you having to disassemble the shelves and reassemble them later.
What to Toss
You should eat up, throw out, or donate any foods that didn’t make the above list in the final days before you move. This includes food stored in glass jars and anything that requires refrigeration or freezing. Of course, if you’re moving only a short distance, you might be able to salvage some items that fit into those categories.
Remember, the cost of your move is based on the weight plus distance your goods are traveling. You may want to consider losing some of the weight and helping others by donating your unwanted, non-perishable food items to local food banks. Donating your food is easier than everwith Move For Hunger. Through Move For Hunger, your local Wheaton agent will take your donated food and deliver it to a local food pantry. Talk to your local Wheaton agent to learn more about Move For Hunger Program.
You might balk at the amount of food you must get rid of to meet these requirements, but consider the alternative. Think of the mess you’ll find if a jar of spaghetti sauce breaks open between here and there. Tell yourself it’s okay to spend money on groceries in your new city to avoid cleaning up nasty spills.
While childcare is convenient for moving day, hiring a babysitter is not always an option. Some parents may prefer to keep babies and toddlers close for stability during this transitional time.
On moving day, you may find yourself juggling the responsibilities of parenthood with managing belongings and directing movers.
Moving day doesn’t need to be stressful when you have young children. With a little extra preparation, you can orchestrate a successful move while keeping little ones comfortable and out of the way.
Prepare in Advance
First, have as much of the furniture and boxes as possible in easy-to-access locations-the closer to the front of the home, the better. This will prevent movers from having to wade through your belongings or trip over children to get things loaded into the truck.
Pack and load your child’s things last. This way, they will be easily accessed longer before the move, and will be among the first things unloaded and ready to set up in your new place.
While you finish up those last day-before packing jobs, set aside one or two days’ worth of essentials in a small bag that’s easily carried and tossed in the car.
The moving pack for your baby or toddler might include:
- Food or snacks
- A bottle or cup
- Formula, water, or other drinks
- 1 or 2 changes of clothes
- A familiar toy or book
Having these items ready in one go-to location will make meeting baby’s needs easier at this busy time.
Pick a Central Location with Activities
With things and people coming and going, you’ll want your little one in an easily supervised, yet safe location.
A playpen is a great choice, especially for older infants and toddlers. Many playpens are compact, include wheels for easy transportation, and are quickly packed away.
For younger babies, a blanket on the floor or a bouncer may be a great place. For little ones needing more attention, try hanging toys nearby or putting on some fun relaxing music for your baby to listen to.
Find Balance in Stimulation
Each child needs different levels of stimulation. Some are content to watch people and look around. Others, especially once past the newborn stage, need more interaction from people and things.
Small, age-appropriate activities and toys in a playpen can help entertain older babies and toddlers while mom or dad is busy.
If your television is packed away, a tablet or laptop on a chair or table makes a great option for your child to watch favorite shows.
Choose Carrying Options
There are times when children, especially infants, need to be held. For those moments, you may want to think about one of the following options:
- Front carriers
- Backpack carriers
These options make multitasking easier by allowing parents to use their hands for other tasks while keeping their baby close and secure. However, they aren’t recommended if you need to lift and carry heavy objects.
Many department stores carry these options. Online tutorials also teach how to make and use these different carrying aids.
Food is an important routine that often comforts us. Meals with small children, however, can be messy. To minimize cleanup during and after the moving process, consider these suggestions for easier feeding:
- Set your baby’s food aside in advance where it won’t accidentally get packed or thrown away.
- Choose normal foods your child enjoys to increase security.
- Select foods that don’t require refrigeration or cooking.
- Keep plenty of easy snacks handy.
- Consider a treat to make the day special.
- Use disposable dishes, utensils, and bibs.
- Have a pack of baby wipes ready for easy cleanup.
If your table is already packed and moved, you may want to lay an old sheet on the floor and eat there. With a quick shake outside, the sheet can be rolled up and stashed in the car.
Plan Ahead for Peace of Mind
With a few extra steps, moving day will pass smoothly for both you and your children. Follow these tips and reduce the stress in your family’s move.
Many times the hardest part of moving involves selling your home. The pressure of finding and persuading a buyer can become exhausting. Most often, you get one chance to make a positive first impression. So you have to make that moment count.
Help potential buyers feel welcome, safe, and warm when they come to your home by using these tips.
Focus on Curb Appeal
The first impression often starts with the exterior of your home. Make sure your yard and front porch look as attractive as possible. You may need to plant fresh flowers, mow the lawn, and paint the door to create a beautiful entrance for potential buyers.
You may benefit from removing fencing around your yard. Most fences make yards appear smaller than they actually are. You don’t have to revamp your entire lawn, but focus on these hot spots to improve the overall aesthetics of your home.
Accentuate Your Foyer
You want potential buyers to step into your home and say “wow.” So start interior improvements in the foyer. Buyers often set their expectations for the home based on what they can see from the front door. Therefore, you have to make your foyer look bright and welcoming.
Consider applying a fresh paint coat, eliminating clutter, and cleaning the coat area. You may want to get a mirror or painting to create a focal point for this area. Then pick place a vase with flowers or bowl of potpourri to make sure your home smells clean. These small additions help your home look both simple and sophisticated.
A major turn-off for potential buyers is dirt. You want them to visualize their life in a place better than the one they currently have. Clean more than the day-to-day buildup. You will need to deep clean the carpets, repaint rooms, and store away or sell all unnecessary home pieces.
Every buyer looks for places that they can store their things. To make your home seem larger, remove half of your things from every storage area. Once you remove the items, organize the remaining items into neat piles. Buyers will look in closets and cabinets to determine the spaces available. Make sure your home looks as spacious as possible by de-cluttering every room.
Incorporate Natural Light
The lighting in your home can make a huge difference on buyer’s decisions. Fortunately, you can fix lighting issues easily and quickly. Wash your windows to give a clear picture of your view. Replace dark drapes with light colored window treatments.
Update light bulbs and consider adding overhead lights. As a rule of thumb, you should have 100 watts every square foot. You can also add floor lamps or task lighting to brighten your home.
Your kitchen can make or break the buyer’s decision. You have to make this room the highlight of your home. Otherwise, your potential buyer could knock down his or her asking price by thousands of dollars because he or she doesn’t like the kitchen. Even if you need to renovate the countertops, most homeowners get 85% return on the investment.
If you want to increase your chances to sell your home, consider updating the paint, countertops, and cabinets in your kitchen. Use neutral colors so buyers have a blank canvas to envision their style in this space. If you have wiggle room in your budget, update appliances to give your kitchen a polished finish.
Once you have prepared your home to sell, take a moment to walk through the home as if it you were touring it for the first time.
This will help give you an idea of areas you can improve and add finished touches to the project.
Moving to another country is an intimidating process. Of course, it’s also exciting; you’ll soon experience a new country and everything that comes with it-the people, language, food, and culture. You relish the idea of your new life. But you secretly worry about how the international move will affect you.
If you have never flown internationally before, then your biggest concern is the flight overseas. What documents will you need at the airport? What should you pack in your carry-on bag? Do you need to dress in a particular way for international flights?
International flights needn’t be stressful and daunting. With these tips and tricks, you can survive-even thrive-during your trip.
You know that you need your passport, plane ticket, and even a visa to travel outside of the country. Plane tickets and passports don’t require too much thought. But did you know that visas are some of the trickiest travelling documents to obtain? Make sure you allow plenty of time to secure your visa before travel day.
Once you acquire the appropriate travel documents, place them together in one location at home. Use paperclips or a folder to store them. By keeping your essential travel documents together, you guard against their loss.
When you pack your purse, briefcase, or carry-on bag, transfer your documents to an easy-access location. You might use the front pocket of your duffel bag, middle pocket of your purse, or the top pocket of your briefcase. By so doing, you avoid fuss or panic at the airport.
What to Bring (and How to Organize Your Bag)
Pack one or two sets of spare clothes in the bottom of your carry-on. Include extra socks and undergarments just in case something happens to your checked luggage.
Also, bring a book, magazine, or crossword puzzle for entertainment. Lay these items on top of your
clothing for easy access. If you have a tablet device, put it in a front or side pocket.
If you own a neck pillow or sleeping mask, stick this in your bag as well. On a long flight, you need to sleep on the plane, so place the aforementioned items in side pockets of your bag. Such comfort aids will help you sleep more restfully during your travels.
Don’t forget toiletries and medication. Pack a small bottle of ibuprofen or Tylenol for headaches. Bring travel-sized deodorant, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and roll-on perfume or cologne to freshen up throughout your flight. Place these items in a small bag. Pack your toiletry bag last so that you can grab it conveniently anytime.
And of course, you’ll need snacks and an empty water bottle that you can refill often.
Clothing for Comfort (How to Dress for Your Flight)
Lastly, you’ll want to dress as comfortable as possible for your flight. Sweats, yoga pants, and T-shirts sound perfect for long flights. After all, it’s easier to relax and feel less constricted in casual attire. If you prefer to dress down, go for it! You’ll feel cozy throughout your entire flight.
At the same time, most travelers feel travel-worn when they get off the plane. If you dress ‘up’, but still casual, it may improve your morale when you land. You never know what will happen as you leave the airport. You may want to sightsee a bit or go grab a bite to eat. In this instance, yoga pants might be a little too casual for your new locale.
Instead, consider wearing a comfy pair of jeans, T-shirt, light jacket or cardigan, and slip-on shoes. Bring a big scarf or extra jacket with you to stay warm on the plane.
Apply these tips as you prepare for your international flight and for a smoother international move.
No one wants to make packing or unpacking more unpleasant than it already is, but many people make this mistake unintentionally. If you’re packing up all your belongings, you might make matters harder than they need to be.
Use these tips to know what ditch and how to do it for a move around the corner or across the country.
Decide What to Eliminate
You might cling to some things because you’re sure they’ll come in handy someday or they have some sort of sentimental meaning. While assigning value to your belongings is personal, use these guidelines to help you decide what not to keep.
Clothes you don’t wear take up space and could be with someone who really loves them. If you’re planning far enough in advance, hang all your clothes with the hangers facing inward. As you use an item, flip the hanger. This gives you a quick reference that shows what you never wear.
Keep special books or collector’s edition DVDs, but switch everything else to digital copies. Schools, libraries, or neighborhood friends might appreciate the extra books and movies. If you are especially committed to physical discs, invest in a disc binder.
Makeup and extra toiletries
Don’t insist on taking that clunky stash of extra soaps and shampoos along with you. These items are often easy and inexpensive to replace. When it comes to makeup, keep the essentials and toss any expired or duplicate products.
Extra sheets, blankets, and towels take up a lot of space for little pay off. In reality, you likely don’t need backup towels anyway.
Toss all your kitchen utensils in a container. When you need different items, pull them out and put them away in your drawers.
After a few weeks, see what’s still in the container. Aside from seasonal items, you can likely live without the rest.
Encourage your children to donate what they don’t play with anymore. You’ll eliminate bulky and unnecessary toys, and also teach them to share their blessings with others.
Decide How to Eliminate
Once you’ve sorted what to leave behind, you have a few methods to actually discard the items.
If you have some nice things you want to pair with a good owner, consider hosting a decluttering event.
Mark items for sale with a specific, bright-colored sticker. Invite friends over and give each person a certain color. Everyone can mark items with their color and a price.
You can also invite your friends over for a one-sided clothing swap. Have some people over to look through your closet and accessories. Your clothes and jewelry will go to a grateful new owner and you’ll have less things to move. Events like these don’t require you to set up or price items.
When you use online classifieds, be sure to include clear images and complete descriptions like size, dimensions, and wear. You’ll save yourself from long email exchanges.
Keep the items you list online in your garage. You’ll avoid letting strangers inside your home and make it easy for buyers to pick up larger items.
If you choose to try to sell first, take whatever is left to a donation center. Consider giving to an organization you’re passionate about. You can also try a service like Freecycle. Freecycle allows people to post items they’re willing to give away for free. This is a good option for things some people might consider trash, like hangers, paper towel rolls, or chicken wire.
Packing and unpacking are the worst parts of moving for most people. Cluttered and haphazardly organized boxes overwhelm and discourage even the bravest movers. Reduce your stress and trips between the house and moving van. Use these tips to move fewer things and settle into your new home sooner.