Your international move marks the start of an exciting new period in your life. Whether you’re moving for work or for pleasure, your move gives you the unique chance to immerse yourself in a different culture. You’ll have experiences you couldn’t have anywhere else, make new friends you couldn’t live without, and enjoy new sights and foods that will enrich your life.
Even with the excitement that accompanies an international move, most people feel a sense of anxiety about one thing: culture shock. If you’ve never visited the country you’re about to make your new home, it’s hard to know how you’ll react to the new environment. Will you like the food, or will it make you sick? If you can’t speak the language fluently, how will you get around? If you have kids, how will they adjust to the change?
All of these worries are natural, and you’re not alone in having them. Luckily, there are multiple ways to successfully cope with culture shock. Read our blog below to learn about what culture shock entails, how to prepare yourself for it, and how to overcome it.
In most cases, culture shock is inevitable. You might think that you and your family are prepared for your new home’s culture; you’ve read multiple guidebooks, watched movies, and cooked traditional foods. But there’s nothing quite like landing in a new country, stepping off the plane, and seeing, smelling, and hearing the commotion of your new home to make you feel disoriented anew.
The good news is that the more you know about culture shock, the better prepared you’ll be to deal with it. Here are the typical cultural shock phase an international traveler goes through:
- Honeymoon: Initially, as with most new experiences, you feel a sense of euphoria and excitement. Everything about your new home seems wonderful, and you’re happy to be here.
- Distress: Soon, you start to feel isolated in your new country. The cultural differences and new experiences that excited you before only make you feel more removed from the people around you.
- Re-integration: You become frustrated with your new condition. You might start to reject the differences you see in your new country and idealize life back home.
- Autonomy: After the anger and frustration wear off, you start to enjoy life in your new home again. You can start to appreciate the differences and embrace new experiences.
- Independence: At last, you feel confident in your new home. You can successfully navigate most aspects of your new life. At this point, you truly feel at home.
As you experience each of these phases (or as you notice them in your children), try not to judge yourself, even when you feel angry and frustrated. Remember, these feelings are natural; everyone who’s lived internationally has experienced them as well. You’ll eventually overcome them and see this country as home—you simply have to work through the other phases to reach that point.
While it’s good to know that your culture shock will eventually wear off, it can be hard to deal with in the meantime. Here are some tips to follow as you work through the five phases to reach independence in your new country:
- Take time for yourself. If you’re feeling anxious and insecure, play relaxing music, meditate, exercise, or participate in one of your favorite hobbies, like reading.
- Find similar people. Chances are, others from your home country have relocated to the area. There could be a nearby organization, school, or society with people who can relate to your situation.
- Focus on the familiar. When you’re overwhelmed by difference, it’s okay to take a step back. A reliable moving company should have safely transported your possessions to your new home; spend some time with an item that makes you feel at home, like your favorite movie.
- Embrace new experiences. Even though culture shock can make you feel shy, try to force yourself outside your comfort zone as least once a day. You’ll feel empowered as you do so.
With these tips, you’re sure to make your international move a success. Check out the other articles on our blog for more tips on how to improve your next move.
Wheaton World Wide Moving is known for it’s interstate delivery of household goods and providing moving services throughout the United States. A potentially lesser-known fact is that Wheaton World Wide agents also put their equipment and resources to good use helping their local communities. For example, Preferred Moving & Storage and Claeys Brothers Moving & Storage both have brought together their resources to help their local Girl Scout troops store and deliver the famous Girl Scout Cookies.
Preferred Moving & Storage – Harrison Township, Mich.
Preferred Moving & Storage stored 60,000 cookies in their warehouse up until February when they made personal, home deliveries to the Girl Scouts who sold three hundred or more cases of cookies. Preferred also stocks cupboard sites, which are various home or council locations for the Girl Scouts to pick up additional cookies as needed.
From Feb. 12-14, Preferred delivered approximately 40,000 cases of cookies to various malls, schools and churches where the troop leaders pick them up from trailers. The 7,000 remaining cases are stored at Preferred Moving & Storage to be restocked at cupboard sites every Wednesday for the next four-to-five weeks. At the conclusion of the sale, Preferred will move the remaining cookies from the cupboard locations and take them to the Girl Scout headquarters.
Claeys Brothers Moving & Storage – Sioux City, Iowa
This is the third year Claey’s Moving & Storage has helped out the Siouxland Girl Scout troops. They work with 97 troops in the Sioux City and surrounding areas, which covers 120 miles. In one day, Claeys Brothers Moving & Storage hands out 15,000 cases of cookies, which requires 18 helpers to load and deliver the cookies. Claey’s takes pride in donating their labor to help the Girl Scouts. Claey’s Brothers also stores 23,000 cases for 30 days.
Claeys doesn’t just help with cookies, they also store and deliver peanuts and candy for the Girl Scouts.
Have you ever been driving around one of the mainland states and seen a car with license plates from Hawaii? You may have wondered “How did that car get here?” or “How much does it cost to ship your car from Hawaii?”
For people moving to or from Hawaii, moving their vehicles when they relocate is a major consideration-and a big expense. Auto shipping rates to the 50th state start around $1,000 for West Coast residents and increase to $2,500 or more for people living farther east.
You don’t have to be moving across an ocean to wonder about the best way to get your car from your old house to your new one.
Most people face questions about how to transport their vehicle during a move. To simplify the decision for you, in this blog we cover the pros and cons of all the major auto moving options.
For many people who are moving, this is the obvious and easy solution for getting their car to their new home. The movers pack a van with your stuff and head to your new house, and you take off in the same direction in your own car.
If you’re driving yourself, you’ll want to plan your trip and budget for it. You should estimate how much you’ll spend on these typical road trip expenses:
Pre-trip vehicle checkup. Don’t skip this! It costs you more up-front, but it could save you a lot of time, money, and stress by preventing your car from breaking down in unfamiliar territory.
Gas. Calculate your car’s average highway gas mileage and the distance from your old house to your new one. You should also look up current gas prices in major cities along the way, since they can vary widely.
Food. If your new home is more than a few hours away from your current one, you’ll most likely eat on the road. Plan to stop every 3-4 hours for a snack or a larger meal.
Lodging. Extra-long moving trips could cover several days, so book hotel rooms along your route in advance.
Do you need to move multiple vehicles? You might be able to tow one car behind another.
Plus, both vehicles might have a few of your extra belongings stashed inside, which adds extra weight.
You have two main options for vehicle towing trailers:
A tow dolly. This type of vehicle trailer lifts a car’s two front wheels off the road. Tow dollies are usually less expensive. They work well for small- to medium-sized front-wheel drive cars.
A car carrier. This type of trailer sits under the entire car and uses its own wheels. It’s a more reliable option for long distance moves.
Maybe driving to your new house isn’t a possibility. You might need to be in your new city right away or dread the thought of driving cross-country with young kids and feisty pets. In that case, you should investigate the other car-moving options below.
This is the main alternative for people who choose not to drive their cars when they move. You can shop around for quotes or talk to your local Wheaton agents about rates for shipping your car.
Before you call for quotes, you need to gather information that will help each company give you a more precise estimate. Figure out the approximate weight of your car, the distance between the starting point and destination, and the dates you plan on moving in and out. You should also ask your car insurance agent whether your policy protects your car in transit.
When you call for quotes, be sure to ask:
What the pick-up and drop-off options are. Shipping companies may offer to pick your car up at your house and deliver it right to your new front door. This is more convenient, but it likely costs more, too. Alternatively, you may have to take your car to a terminal and pick it up from a different terminal.
Whether shipping is open or enclosed. A car-shipping company may move your vehicle on an open-air truck, like those you’ve seen carrying multiple cars to dealerships. You might be able to select an enclosed truck, which gives your car better protection from weather and road hazards. But, enclosed car shipping costs about 60% more.
What the company’s insurance policy is. Even with a reputable company, your car might meet problems on the road that cause damage. That’s why you should ask about this, regardless of the protection your personal auto insurance policy offers.
If your move is only temporary, storing your vehicle may be a better option than moving it with you. People find this option feasible when they face military deployment or a short-term relocation overseas for work.
Call local storage facilities and ask about their rates and amenities for long-term vehicle storage. You don’t need anything fancy, but you’ll want a secure location where your car won’t be vulnerable to theft, exposed to the elements, or likely to sustain damage.
If none of the above options appeal to you, you can always sell your car. This is usually a last resort, but it can be a good choice in certain situations. Maybe your car is old and unreliable. Perhaps you’re planning on buying a new car soon anyway. You might even be worried about tougher emissions and safety standards in another state. In those cases, selling your car might give you the least hassle.
Now that you’ve seen all your options, it’s time to decide what you’ll do with your car when you move. Consider your situation and choose whatever works best. You may have to compare pricing on several options (for example, driving versus shipping).
Once you decide, call a moving company to help you move everything else.
You just got word from the boss that you’re moving in four months. What’s more, you’ll need to look for a smaller home to keep your budget on track. Uh-oh. What do you do with all your stuff?
You’ve just faced a conundrum that’s common to anyone downsizing. Sounds like a yard sale is in your future. If you’ve ever gone to a successful yard sale, you may already have a few ideas in mind for your own.
However, every great yard sale has one thing in common: a good plan. Here are a few strategies to help you sell your extra belongings, collect a decent profit, and fit all the most important items in your new home after the move.
Take the Time to Craft Your Plan
Anyone who’s moving relatively soon has a lot to manage. You have to search for a home in your new area. You need to sell your current place. You have to figure out what you’re going to keep, what you should throw away, and what items are best to sell at your yard sale.
Ideally, you need a few months to plan for a successful yard sale. Of course, if you need to hold the sale soon so you can artfully stage your home for the realtor, you may have less time.
The main thing is to get started and devote some real thought to the process, not just carry out a few boxes of junk to the curb and slap a few price tags on them. Create a step-by-step checklist that you know you can follow. If you don’t want to make one yourself, search online for a printable list.
Also, don’t forget to ask your HOA or landlord for permission and yard-sale guidelines. You may need a permit from your city, as well.
Set Aside a Collection Zone
Allocate a zone in your basement or garage for the items you know you want to sell. If you’re on the fence about any items, do a little research online to find out how similar items are selling on classified boards or auction websites.
To help you decide, browse the following list of items that tend to sell well:
- Working appliances
- Audio-visual items (camcorders, DVD players, and so forth)
- Safe, working baby equipment or furniture (don’t sell it if it’s not up to code)
- Books, LPs, DVDs, and CDs
- Furniture and lamps
- Sheet music and instruments
- Kitchen supplies
- Gardening supplies and tools
- Bicycles and scooters
- Toys and games
- Re-potted plants or seedlings you can’t take with you
- Area rugs
- Sporting equipment
If time is of the essence, you may be able to sell higher-ticket items online before the yard sale. Everything else can wait.
Fix a Fair Price
If you’re like most homeowners, you probably think your stuff is worth more than buyers do. If you’re in doubt, ask a friend who lives in your area to help you decide. Don’t try to influence them first by suggesting your ideal price.
The reason this is helpful is because it distances you emotionally from each item and makes the pricing more objective.
In the end, it’s a good rule of thumb to charge 20-30 percent of the original price. If you purchased a sofa for $400, then, you can probably ask between $80 and $120 for it if it’s still in great shape. Charge less if your item really shows its age.
It’s also a mistake to price your sale items too low, though. You need to leave a little room for bargain hunters to haggle prices with you. If you have a bunch of less-desirable items to sell, consider selling them in a package deal; for example, 20 books for $5 bucks.
Once you’ve decided on prices, keep an inventory book so you know exactly what you have at any time.
Pick a Date, Watch the Weather-or Move It Indoors
If you want to hold your yard sale just before you move in the spring, pay attention to the date. It rarely pays to hold your sale on a holiday weekend such as Memorial Day, for example. Take stock of the weekends when you may have less competition, if possible.
If you’re short on time and need to hold your yard sale earlier in the season, you may want to make an event of it by installing outdoor heaters for the event. Buyers who were deprived of yard sales during the winter months may be anxious to get out there and nab great buys.
If the weather looks too foreboding to hold a traditional yard sale, consider moving yours indoors. If it’s too crowded inside your garage, think about arranging part of your hoard inside your living room.
If you go indoors, recruit friends or family members to keep an eye on your no-entry areas. Also, keep a nearby bathroom available and stocked with supplies so buyers will linger even when nature calls.
Now that you know a few sure-fire strategies for a successful yard sale at any time of year, you’ll be ready for any challenge that lies ahead-even fitting your belongings in a smaller home! Here’s wishing you great yard sale success.
Wheaton World Wide Moving takes Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank to Houston for Tissue Donation Event
Wheaton World Wide Moving interstate agent, Crown Moving & Storage, loaded blood sampling machines and various medical equipment for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank (KTB) at the IU Simon Cancer Center in downtown Indianapolis. The items are being transported to Houston for a tissue donation event taking place on Saturday, Feb. 28.
KTB is the only known biobank in the world that collects healthy breast tissue for breast cancer research. The focus of the KTB is education, knowledge and prevention. The goal of the KTB is to figure out how to stop breast cancer before it begins, and to encourage development of targeted treatment for particular types of breast cancer which have no such therapy as of now. By distributing normal tissue for research, the KTB is able to accelerate research for the causes and prevention of breast cancer. To better understand the evolution of the disease, it is necessary to compare abnormal, cancerous tissue against normal, healthy tissue.
The Komen Tissue Bank is hosting the event in Houston at the Baylor McNair Campus, 7200 Cambridge, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28. They have partnered with the Baylor College of Medicine, Pink Ribbons and the Houston Komen affiliate.
To donate, you need to schedule an appointment and must meet the following requirements:
- Are a female over the age of 18
- Are not taking blood thinners (not including aspirin)
- Do not have breast implants
Since 2008, Wheaton World Wide Moving has transported and set up blood sampling equipment for tissue collection events throughout the country. With breast cancer affecting so many people all over the country, Wheaton World Wide Moving is proud to assist with a small part of the KTB’s mission to accelerate the eventual cure for breast cancer.
To learn more about Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank, please visit http://komentissuebank.iu.edu/
Below are some pictures from loading at the KTB in downtown Indianapolis.
Before Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Fred Couples, Ernie Els and many other well-known golfers take the course for the Northern Trust Open today, Wheaton World Wide Moving agent Heritage 21st Century Movers hit the course early, preparing the Riviera Country Club for the big tournament this week.
For the 17th consecutive year, Heritage 21st Century Movers sent a nine-man crew and two tractor trailers to the Pacific Palisades, California course and relocated approximately 30,000 – 40,000 lbs. of goods for the tournament. Relocated items included tables, chairs, multiple pianos, locker room furnishings, lobby décor and much more.
“The Northern Trust Open event is one of our favorite events of the year,” said Carol Thomas, owner of Heritage 21st Century Movers. “We gather friends, family and customers and all get together at this beautiful site to cheer for our favorites.”
Opened in 1926, the Rivera Country Club is recognized as one of the best courses on the PGA Tour. Perhaps the most famous hole on the course is the 10th hole. The 315 yard par-4 hole challenges players to decide whether to challenge the narrow angled green guarded by bunkers or to lay up down the left side of the fairway.
Riviera Country Club and Northern Trust Open fun facts:
- 7,279 yards, par 71
- No. 3 rated golf course by PGA TOUR professionals
- Course record is 61
- Hosted the Northern Trust Open 47 times
- This will be the 42nd year the tournament is held at the Riviera Country Club
- The Northern Trust Open is a supporter of City of Hope – A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
Since we are all feeling the love on this Valentine’s Day, we are looking at what makes Wheaton World Wide Moving a preferred interstate van line. Receiving feedback via our survey, the Customer Experience Report (CXR), speaking to customers on a daily basis and analyzing the journeys our customers make during every step of the move process reveals to us what customers believe sets us apart from our competition.
Four in ten customers pick Wheaton World Wide Moving because they have used us before and had a positive experience, or they have been recommended by someone they know and trust to hire Wheaton for their move. This is our largest segment of customers and this percentage has increased significantly over the last several years, so our customer loyalty is ever growing.
Olimpia, a recent customer said in their CXR, “I have moved with Wheaton four times and have always had a very good experience.”
Steven, another recent customer said, “There were a lot of other companies which were lower on price, however I made this decision to go with Wheaton again based on how my move from Pennsylvania to California was handled in 1995. This move was handled equally as well.”
Carrol and Shannon said, “We have moved five times in our married life of 45 years, and this was probably the best service overall ever! Everyone went over and above their job description. Very appreciated!”
Our drivers are the heart and soul of every move. Not only do drivers spend weeks driving around the country with household goods, they also help coordinate the helpers and communicate with the corporate office about scheduling.
Customers consistently rate our drivers with high marks. More than nine in ten customers indicate in their survey that they would choose to have their exact same Wheaton driver move them again for their next move!
“Joe Lewis was our driver during pickup and delivery. He is absolutely a fantastic leader,” said Jerry and Kathy in Wake Forest, N.C.
Theresa raved about her driver, “Robert was the best. He did an awesome job and was a very pleasant, outstanding driver and worker. He deserves a raise, great experience.”
Miriam also complimented her driver, “I am very pleased with Wheaton, especially the driver. He did an excellent job. He was very professional and a very good communicator. I would use Wheaton again.”
One of the first interactions the consumer has with the van line is through our salespeople. Our salespeople are known for the professional attitudes, yet friendly, family-like demeanor. This is another leverageable strength of Wheaton’s. Approximately nine in ten customers have very favorable perceptions of our salespeople’s courtesy and professional service. This service promotes trust and confidence in our customers that Wheaton can reliably and effectively handle their moves.
Customer feedback and statistical analysis of our survey data reveal communication is biggest driver in shaping customer perceptions of Wheaton. Communication and great customer service makes the difference between a good move and a great move. Since proactive and accurate information is so important to our customers, we are constantly reviewing our processes to improve our communication with them.
Our goal is to exceed expectations with every move. With that goal in mind, we are constantly reviewing the customer experience through the CXR and other feedback mechanisms platforms for ways to improve the process and make it as stress-free as possible.
*Source: Wheaton World Wide Moving, Customer Experience Report, Quarter 4 2014
For many renters, their security deposit is a lifeline. It can help pay for the first month’s rent on their next apartment, cover moving costs, or compensate for the fees associated with opening new utility accounts. Unfortunately, 26% of renters have lost their security deposit at least once. Of those renters, 36% received no explanation as to why their landlord didn’t return their deposit.
Don’t let an unreturned security deposit cause you financial hardship. Use these 10 renting practices to retain your future deposits.
Before You Move In
Adequate preparation is one of the most important parts of maintaining your security deposit. You can’t avoid mistakes, or outright scams, unless you spot them first.
1. Do Your Research
If you haven’t fully researched your obligations and rights, you’ll have more difficulty preventing justified security deposit deductions. Before you choose an apartment, or at least before you move in, research the following legalities:
- Your new lease. Read through your lease carefully and question any unclear provisions.
- Your rights as a tenant. These vary by state, so if you move to a new area, don’t assume you have the same rights as you did in your last apartment.
2. Discover What Your Landlord Expects from You
Your lease may not cover every possible situation. Talk to your landlord about his or her expectations of you as a tenant. You can even begin the conversation by mentioning your goal to get your whole deposit back. Here are some questions you may need to ask:
- Who has the responsibility to maintain the lawn and landscaping?
- Which repairs does the maintenance team take care of and which repairs are your responsibility?
- Who will shovel snow, deice sidewalks, etc.?
While You Live at the Property
Aside from the obvious precautionary measures, like keeping track of your kids and pets, use these three practices to protect your financial investment.
3. Document Any Issues with the Property
When you move in, most landlords supply you with paperwork for documenting the property’s condition. In addition to filling out the forms in specific detail, go through the following checklist:
- Take pictures of any damage, including stains, scratches, and warping
- Test all appliances to ensure they work properly
Send the forms and pictures to your landlord in a traceable way, like email, so you’re ready if any disputes arise.
4. Get Written Permission for Every Change You Make
Whether you want to give the entire apartment a new coat of paint or just hang some pictures, get written permission for the renovation if it isn’t explicitly provided for in your lease. Some landlords take the cost of returning the apartment to its pre-move in state out of security deposits so ask about that specifically.
5. Report All Repairs to Maintenance, Even if You Handle Them Yourself
No matter who has the responsibility for a repair, report it to the relevant maintenance company. You don’t have to tell them every time you replace a light bulb, but you should document anything bigger should.
When You’re Moving Out
There’s a lot to keep track of before you move. But, if you want to get your whole security deposit back, make these measures a priority.
Ask your landlord to walk through the property with you at least a week before your move out date. That way you can take note of any issues that your landlord could deduct from your deposit and compensate for them.
7. Comply with All Move-Out Obligations
Moving out can require as much paperwork as moving in. The process will vary from property to property, but these elements are common:
- Clean the property thoroughly. Check out these 13 cleaning hacks to make every inch of your apartment shine.
- Even if you move out on the last day of your rental agreement, give your landlord official notice at least two weeks beforehand.
If You Don’t Get the Correct Amount Back After You Move
Even after you’ve done everything right, your landlord may deduct funds from your deposit. If you think your landlord charged you unfairly, take the following three steps to handle the situation.
8. Request an Itemized List of the Charges
In most states, if your landlord doesn’t give you a list documenting all charges, it violates your renter’s rights. Request a list of all charges with exact amounts. If possible, ask for photographs of any claimed damages.
9. Put All Your Communication in Writing
In the worst case scenario, you will need to provide evidence that you were overcharged and records of all your communication with your landlord. Email is ideal for this since it maintains a thread you, your landlord, and any legal representation can review.
If you send letters, keep a copy for yourself as well.
Always stay polite and precise when communicating with your landlord. As angry or frustrated as you may feel, civility looks better and will get you farther than rudeness.
10. Make Sure Your Complaints Are Known
In many cases, simply making a fuss can get you a portion of your deposit back. If you were charged unfairly, your landlord probably wants you to keep quiet more than to keep the nominal fee. If the problem does not resolve satisfactorily within a month of your move out, notify the following people:
- Legal representation. Even if you don’t hire a lawyer, CCing a lawyer into an email conversation can encourage your landlord to handle the matter more efficiently.
- The public. If you feel your landlord cheated you, post online reviews about the property company so that no one else has to suffer the same financial hardship.
- Your landlord’s boss. This may be a manager or the owner of the property management firm.
Adopt these practices to give yourself the best possible chance of recovering your fully security deposit.