There’s so much to do (and remember!) when you’re moving. Between choosing movers, packing, shutting off your utilities, notifying people of your new address, etc., it’s easy for a few things to slip between the cracks.
To help you make a smooth transition to your new home, we’ve compiled a list of the eight things people tend to forget (or don’t realize!) when they’re moving. Along with our Guam moving checklist, this run-down will help you eliminate any last-minute surprises or post-move “oops” moments.
We’ll start with two items that are critical for individuals and families moving to Guam.
#1: Leave These Items Out of Your Guam Shipment
If you’re joining us on the beautiful island of Guam, hafa adai and welcome! We know you’ll enjoy the warm hospitality that’s an integral part of our local Chamorro culture.
To ensure that welcome is also extended by the Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency, there are a few things you should leave out of your household goods shipment to Guam. Some are obvious (like illicit drugs and explosives). However, a few items are less obvious—especially if you’ve never lived on Guam before—including:
- Live plants, flowers, vegetables, and fruits
- Milk, meat, and meat products
These are all prohibited from entrance to Guam, along with a few other items.
If you have any questions about what you can bring with you, talk to your moving company or contact the Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency. Asking up front can help avoid challenges when clearing into Guam—and lessen the chance that your shipment will be held for inspection.
If you’re moving to Guam, there’s one other item you might not be aware of.
#2: If You’re Bringing a Dog or Cat, It’s Important to Start the Process as Early as Possible
Because Guam is a rabies-free island, there’s a strict set of procedures to follow for bringing your dog or cat to Guam.
While many people are aware of the overall process, some don’t realize that it can take a few weeks of tests, paperwork, and back-and-forth with your veterinarian to get it all done. If you don’t secure the necessary clearances, you might be looking at a 120-day commercial quarantine for your pet.
Your best bet? Start the process of processing your pet’s paperwork as soon as you know you’re moving to Guam.
By the way, you’ll have four options when bringing your pets to Guam:
A Full 120-Day Commercial Quarantine
If your pet is not arriving from an exempt area and if your pet fails to pass or complete the Rabies Antibody Test for Pet Export (FAVN) testing, as well as the other requirements, then your pet will have to complete 120 days of commercial quarantine.
If your pet has completed all of the requirements and has a rabies FAVN titer of at least 0.5 I.U., then your pet will have to spend only as many days in commercial quarantine as required to reach 120 total days since the FAVN blood sample reached the laboratory.
Home Quarantine on Guam
If your pet is coming from the United States or an overseas United States military installation, has completed all other requirements and has a rabies FAVN titer of at least 1.0 I.U. then your pet may qualify for home quarantine until 120 total days have elapsed since the FAVN blood sample reached the laboratory.
Exempt From Quarantine
If your pet is coming from an exempt country such as Japan or Australia—and has been there for at least 120 days—then your pet may not be required to go through the quarantine process.
You can review all the procedures on the Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency website.
Remember: The sooner you get started, the better!
Tip from the Pros: Moving with Pets
Some pets can get really stressed on Moving Day. Watching strangers remove items from their familiar surroundings can be confusing for pets, and the flurry of activity may simply leave them unsettled. If you can drop your pet at day care for the day—or with a friend—you might be able to save your furry friend from some anxiety.
Now that we’ve gotten the two arriving-in-Guam scenarios out of the way, let’s talk about a few other items that apply whether you’re moving to or from Guam.
#3: Make Sure Your Scuba Tanks Are Purged
Guam has some incredible scuba diving opportunities. The crystal-clear water surrounding the island makes for excellent visibility, and the diversity of marine life under the surface means some spectacular viewing opportunities.
For that reason, a number of people move to or from Guam with all of their dive gear—including scuba tanks.
Yes, you can ship scuba tanks with the rest of your household goods. However, the tanks need to be fully purged prior to shipment so they travel empty. The easiest way to get this done is to take your tanks to a local dive shop. They can help you prep them for proper shipment.
#4: Locate Any “Hidden” Items You’ve Stashed
Many of us have our own, unique little rituals for hiding things around the house in case of an emergency:
- Some people like to conceal a little reserve of cash under a loose floorboard or in the freezer.
- Others might stash an heirloom necklace way in back of a closet to keep it safe—just in case.
- Still others might hide a spare key under a rock somewhere.
If you’re the kind of person who’s squirreled a few things away at your current home, make sure you collect everything before you move—or risk turning over your emergency cash stash to the new owner of your house!
#5: Pick Up Your Dry Cleaning
You know that classic phrase: Out of sight, out of mind. That’s why some people forget to pick up their dry cleaning before they move out of town. If you’ve dropped any items at your local dry cleaner or laundromat, make sure to pick them up before you pack!
Otherwise, they might miss getting into your household goods shipment, which means you’ll have to deal with them later. (Or you might forget them entirely!)
And while you’re in the car to collect some of your far-flung possessions, it might be a good opportunity to drop a few off, too.
#6: Return Anything That’s Not Yours
Moving offers you an excellent opportunity to go through the items in your house—all of them. In the process, you’ll probably come across a few things that aren’t yours.
Some will be things you’ve legitimately borrowed, like library books or that sweatshirt your friend lent you. Others may be items you didn’t even know you had, like belongings people left at your house. (If you have kids, the probability is high that you’ll stumble on clothes or toys that don’t belong to your family!)
Keep an eye out for these items, and make sure to return them to their proper owners long before Moving Day.
Tip from the Pros: Moving with Kids
If you have younger children, make sure you don’t accidentally pack that one toy, blanket, or other comforting item your child may crave during the transition. Relocations can be tough on kids. Don’t be surprised if that stuffed animal you thought your child had outgrown suddenly becomes a prized item once again. While you’re packing, help your child set aside a few favorites to travel with you during the move. These familiar touchpoints can offer kids some comfort while relocating to a new home.
#7: Set Aside Important Medications & Medical Supplies
If you’re shipping your household goods to or from Guam, you’ll be without your belongings for a few weeks. Before you pack your whole medicine cabinet, think ahead. Pull out an extended supply of any medications or medical supplies you use regularly, like diabetic test strips. Set aside enough to get you through until your shipment arrives—plus a little extra cushion, just in case.
By planning ahead, you’ll feel confident that you have everything you need to stay healthy during your transition to your new home. (No emergency calls to your doctor or pharmacy necessary!)
#8: Start Getting Creative with Your Pantry
A lot of people think about winnowing down the contents of their refrigerators and freezers before they move. However, some people forget about all those non-perishables hiding in their pantries. Once you’re about 30 days out from your move, it’s time to start your meal planning in earnest to make use of what you’ve got on hand.
Tip: If you have non-perishables you don’t think you’ll be able finish, ask your moving company if they work with Move for Hunger. DeWitt Guam partners with this non-profit to donate leftover food to local food banks on Guam to assist local families on the island.
When You’re Moving, All the Details Matter
A big relocation requires you to manage a number of moving parts—some big and some small. This list will help you remember a number of those smaller things, some of which can make a big difference. By keeping these items on your radar, you’ll be well on your way to a smooth transition to your new home.
Need some help managing the details of your Guam move? We’ve helped thousands of individuals and families make a safe, easy, and affordable move both to and from Guam. Get started with a complimentary quote from one of our Tamuning-based team members today.