Preparing for International Moves from Nairobi

International Moving Checklist

International Moving from Nairobi can be a thrilling yet overwhelming experience. The key to a successful relocation lies in meticulous planning and organization. To help you navigate this complex process, here’s an extensive checklist to guide you through each step of your move.

1. Pick an International Moving Company

Choosing the right moving company is crucial for a smooth transition:

  • Research Options: Start by researching reputable international moving companies. Look for those with extensive experience and positive reviews. Companies like AGS Movers Kenya, Crown Relocations, and Santa Fe Relocation Services are well-regarded for their professionalism and comprehensive services.
  • Read Reviews: Check online reviews on platforms like Trustpilot, and seek recommendations from friends, colleagues, or expatriate communities. Personal testimonials can provide valuable insights into the reliability and quality of service.
  • Schedule Your In-Home Estimate: Contact several moving companies to schedule an in-home estimate. This allows the movers to assess the volume of your belongings and provide a detailed, accurate quote. Be sure to ask about any additional fees or charges that might apply.
  • Understand Services: Ensure the international moving company offers a full range of services, including packing, shipping, customs clearance, and delivery to your new home. Some companies also offer insurance, which can provide peace of mind in case of damage or loss during transit.

2. Start Saving Money

International relocations can be expensive, so it’s essential to start saving early:

  • Create a Budget: Develop a detailed budget that includes all potential expenses, such as shipping costs, travel, temporary accommodation, insurance, and any customs duties. This will give you a clear picture of the total cost.
  • Save Early: Start saving as soon as you decide to move. Set aside a specific amount each month to ensure you have enough funds to cover all expenses. Consider cutting back on non-essential spending to boost your savings.
  • Seek Discounts: Ask your moving company if they offer any discounts or special rates for international relocations. Additionally, look for travel deals and discounts on temporary housing to reduce costs.

3. Get All Your Documents in Order

Having all the necessary documentation in place is critical for a seamless move:

  • Passports and Visas: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned move date. Apply for any necessary visas well in advance, as processing times can vary. This may include work visas, student visas, or residency permits.
  • Work Permits: If you’re relocating for work, obtain the necessary work permits or employment authorization before leaving. Your employer may assist with this process, but it’s essential to follow up and ensure everything is in order.
  • Medical Records: Collect all medical and dental records for you and your family. This includes vaccination records, prescriptions, and any ongoing treatment plans. It’s also a good idea to have a final check-up with your healthcare providers before leaving.
  • School Records: If you have children, obtain their school records, including transcripts and letters of recommendation. This will facilitate their enrollment in a new school and ensure a smooth academic transition.

4. Notify Government Agencies and Others

Keep relevant parties informed about your move to avoid complications:

  • Government Agencies: Notify the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), and other relevant government agencies about your relocation. This will ensure that your records are updated and you avoid any legal or financial issues.
  • Banking Institutions: Inform your bank and other financial institutions of your move. Update your contact information and discuss any changes that might be necessary for your accounts, such as closing local accounts or opening new ones abroad.
  • Utilities and Services: Cancel or transfer your utilities, internet, and other services. Settle any outstanding bills before you leave to avoid penalties or disruptions. Also, consider setting up forwarding services for your mail.

5. Line Up Your Travel Schedule

Organizing your travel plans is a key part of your move:

  • Book Flights: Purchase your airline tickets well in advance to secure the best rates and seat availability. Consider flexible tickets in case of any unexpected changes to your schedule.
  • Accommodation: Arrange temporary accommodation in your new city if needed. Research options like serviced apartments, Airbnb, or short-term rentals that offer comfort and flexibility during your initial days.
  • Transport to the Airport: Plan your transport to the airport in Nairobi. Ensure you have enough time to manage any last-minute tasks or traffic delays. Hiring a reliable taxi service or using an airport shuttle can be convenient.

6. Prepare to Settle into Your New Home

Make your transition smoother by preparing for your arrival in your new country:

  • Housing: Confirm your housing arrangements. If you’re renting, ensure your lease is finalized, and if you’re buying, make sure all paperwork is complete. It’s wise to have a backup plan in case of any last-minute issues.
  • Utilities Setup: Arrange for the setup of utilities like electricity, water, and internet in your new home before you arrive. Contact local service providers to ensure these services are activated upon your arrival.
  • Familiarize Yourself: Research the local area, including nearby schools, hospitals, grocery stores, and public transport options. Understanding your new neighborhood will help you settle in quickly and feel more at home.

7. Start Packing and Downsizing

Packing efficiently and reducing your belongings can save time and money:

  • Declutter: Sort through your possessions and decide what to keep, sell, donate, or dispose of. Focus on items that are essential or have sentimental value. Decluttering can significantly reduce your moving volume and costs.
  • Organize Packing: Start packing non-essential items well in advance. Use sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape to protect your belongings. Label boxes clearly with their contents and the room they belong to, making unpacking easier.
  • Hire Professional Packers: Consider hiring professional packers offered by your moving company. They have the expertise to pack items securely and efficiently, reducing the risk of damage during transit.
  • Shipping Essentials: Pack a separate bag with essentials you’ll need during your journey and the first few days in your new home, such as clothing, toiletries, important documents, and any medications. This ensures you have access to necessary items without having to unpack immediately.


Moving internationally from Nairobi requires thorough preparation and organization. By following this detailed checklist, you can ensure a smoother transition and reduce the stress associated with such a significant change. Remember, the key to a successful move lies in planning ahead, staying organized, and being proactive in managing your finances and logistics. With these steps in place, you’ll be well on your way to a successful international relocation and a new chapter in your life.

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