Moving to a foreign country is probably one of the most difficult organizing challenges that you can face, especially when you are in a time crunch to get there before the school year begins. Since this is to be a temporary move for you and your family, packing the essentials is the priority.  Below, find some areas of your families life to focus on as you prepare for the move.:

1.  FAMILY FILING SYSTEM:  Your family filing system.  This will be key to keeping track of your important documents like passports, visas, social security cards etc..  Wendy, I know you file everything electronically, so a back up of your electronic records is important.  Be sure to have a scanner and a computer at your new location so you can continue to retain the most essential documents for your family.  Scanning essential family recipes, entering important phone numbers and other data into your electronic database will allow you to pack less and have quick access to important information at home.

2.  BANKING:  Setting up your banking accounts and ensuring ease of access to your money while you are abroad is important.  Remember anything can be replaced or re-bought that you forget to ship or pack,  but without easy access to foreign currency, credit cards and cash it will be much harder to get what you need quickly.

3.  CARETAKER FOR CT HOME:  Having a person that you trust to maintain your current residence while your gone is important.  Create a list of current household service vendors, make copies of keys, list important family contacts as well as a schedule of maintenance for the caretaker to follow throughout the year to take the burden off of you while you are gone.

4.  PREPPING YOUR NEW LIVING SPACE:  Surely you have a location picked out by now for your family to reside while you are abroad.  Understand the amenities that the new home will provide, what storage space you will have, what activities and resources and retailers are near by.  This will help you be more educated about what you will actually need to pack for the new location.

5. CLOTHING:  Clothing for a family of six can be more expensive to replace if your are not smart about packing for the seasons.  Research weather conditions for London year round and decide what year round essentials will make up each family members wardrobe.  Also consider whether sporting equipment for the kids will be necessary at their new school, or if skiiing and snowsuit apparel will be a necessary item for your families planned activities while abroad.  Anything you can leave behind that will be non-essential will save money and space.

Also, I wanted to add a link to a blog devoted to preparing for a move to London.  Hopefully you will find some other great ideas at this site.

http://moove2london.co.uk/wordpress/2009/12/14/packing-tips-for-moving/

Kristin Mastromarino is a professional organizer and the owner of Livable Solutions Professional Organizing and The Organized Lifestyle online retail store.  E-mail her your organizing questions at Kristin@livablesolutions.com.

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