If we assume that buying a property abroad is the number one stress factor then moving abroad surely comes a very close second. There are many ways that you can reduce this tension and upheaval in advance simply by carefully researching what is available to help you make that move to Spain stress free. and also to prepare you for any likely problems. Perhaps much of the information here is in truth quite practical yet it is surprising just how many times here at SpainCostaTropical we are asked to assist - and usually at the last moment. Hence I have produced this checklist to guide you.
Moving to Spain is not a choice easily made, and as I have explained in previous articles - life here moves at a much slower pace. Partly due to the weather and in part because of the Andalucian pace of life. Nevertheless if you are prepared to go the full course then the more prepared you are the better you will enjoy your new home and the Spanish way of living. In an earlier item we looked at the process of home staging and how this could benefit you in de-cluttering, packing and preparing to move to Spain; and now by reverse extension, the following checklist can also help to make planning your move that much easier.
What to bring… and what not to bring. Once you have decided what items you are bringing to Spain then you need to list those you will not and how you can sell them to help to contribute to your costs. Do remember that electrical equipment, sockets and TV systems operate here in Spain on different supply ratings and reception codes and this may mean that your new television simply won't work. Also think about the climate you are moving to; and whether the antique oak dining table of your grandparents will suffer in the heat and humidity of the Costa's.
Removals. Having decided what to take and what to leave then you can start to contact various removal and haulage companies to quote for the work. Do not forget to ask how your goods will be transported, are they insured, well packaged, secured, accompanied as a 'sole load', or will they be part of greater consignment and freighted. It's also very sensible to ask a local company based in the area to which you are moving – they may be smaller but will certainly be more flexible and hands-on with the advantage of knowing far more about the local area and ease of access. Often I hear of clients who have moved to Spain but the driver is unable to reach the property because the transport is too large for the track to their property, they do not have the equipment to reach the fourth floor terrace of your apartment, or again, in many cases, they can not reach your new home because the village street is too narrow or pedestrianised. The outcome is that at the last minute you are passed extra charges for additional vehicle or equipment hire and supplementary labour charges.
Organise. A good friend of mine who recently moved to La Herradura tells me that the best thing she ever did was to list every item in every box duly packed and numbered. This meant that when they arrived it was easy to refer to the list in order to find any essential items as opposed to opening everything at once and living with a mountain of partially opened cartons and boxes for weeks on end. While it does take time to set up the record, it is well worthwhile when you arrive at your new home, and, according to my friend, focuses your mind completely on just exactly how much to bring. Great for 'de-cluttering'! Recent removal studies suggest that, despite any clearing out process prior to moving, generally, householders still leave between 10 and 15 per cent of their packages un-opened, un-used and un-needed!
Timing. The date of your removal can be equally important in determining the smooth running of a stress free re-location. Winter weather and road conditions in northern Europe are very different to those in southern Spain. So too for that matter are the summer months when it appears that half of Europe's population descends to the Costas - making driving conditions even more tense. It is also very wise to check the local calendar and ensure that you do not arrive at your destination in the centre of a local festival or fair that may effectively obstruct what would normally be easy access to your new home. Or, even consider investing in a GPS for your car.
Pets. If you are bringing pets to Spain then do make sure that they are inoculated with the appropriate vaccinations, that they are chipped and that their passports and travel documents too are up to date. In most cases a certificate will be required from your vet. For the most up to date regulations contact DEFRA.
Documentation. Check your passport, travel and vehicle documents are all up to date. Arrange, if required, insurance to cover travel, goods in transit, health, personal accident and liability and carry copies of such documentation with you. Ensure you have advised your change of address to all relevant institutions and companies such as banks, building societies, pension companies, insurers, your tax office and power suppliers etc. Cancel, or amend, your TV licence and any now redundant subscriptions. Ensure you have some ready cash (Euros) for the journey. And finally…..please check that all loaned items including library books and DVD rentals for example are returned!
If you are looking to compare services when obtaining quotations to move your furniture to Spain and the Costa Tropical in particular then simply make a quick search through the websites – relocating to Spain – for example will offer a great variety of services and specialists that deal with specific regions such as Barcelona, Costa Brava, the Canaries and the Costa del Sol. And if you need to find van hire in Spain then simply go to the (yellow pages website in Spain) www.paginasamarillas.es and search for alquiler furgonetas to list companies available in your nearest town and province. In Motril, Almuñecar’s nearest town there are 4 companies including National and Hertz.