Whether you hire a moving company or decide to do the job yourself, there are some things that may be useful to consider before you start the moving process:
- Set your moving date and get in touch with moving companies well ahead of time for non-binding offers.
- Do you plan to have photos taken or house viewings, and thus need some things out of the way? Ensure safe storage of furniture and household artefacts until the actual move takes place.
- Will you be packing all or part of the household items yourself? You can contact the moving company to secure packing materials.
- If you have pets, how will they be transported?
- Where should the moving van park? Will it be necessary to reserve a parking place?
- Report relocation to the Norwegian Tax Administration/ National Registry, the post office and others (i.e. your bank, insurance company and the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund).
- Notify new and old school/kindergarten.
- Redirect newspapers and magazines.
- Are you moving out of the municipality? Change your general practitioner.
- Are you keeping track of all keys and key copies?
- Do you have any assets in need of storage, cleaning or repair?
Selecting the moving company
There are several good, long-term and serious moving companies. Unfortunately, there are also some that are only looking to make a profit, and these can quickly create a lot of trouble for you as a customer. Before selecting a company, make sure you do a background check of your options.
There are different ways to conduct background checks:
- Ensure that the company is registered in the Brønnøysund Register Centre.
- Browse the company’s history on proff.no to ensure it is financially stable.
- Check if the company is member of a trade association. Most, but not all, serious companies are members of either the Norwegian Association of Movers or the Norwegian Logistics and Freight Association.
Be extra careful if you receive offers from a company not passing the check points as there are companies in the moving industry that operate with the aim to merely earn some quick cash. When choosing a moving company, a customer should feel confident that all belongings will be handled properly. The communication flow should also be good and maintained throughout the process. There is a lot that needs to fall into place in a moving process, which makes communication and trust key elements. By choosing a long-term moving company, you are more likely to encounter a problem- and worry-free moving process.
If you are considering hiring a moving company, the Norwegian Consumer Council has this advice:
- "Contact multiple companies to get different quotation options.
- Do not accept offers from anyone but those companies you have obtained prices from.
- Request a fixed price if the assignment is straight forward.
- Never agree to pay large advances.
- Be specific when defining the extent, value and nature of the relocation load when the offers are being obtained.
- Decide if you will do the packing yourself and inquire about the price of package materials from the company (often cheaper than in stores).
- Require an insurance certificate from the moving company and check its coverage and deductibles.
- Check what your household contents insurance covers, as a basis for valuation and avoiding double insurance.
- Sign an additional insurance for particularly valuable or fragile items (NOK 25.000 is the standard for valuable items)
- Complain of damages and faults as soon as possible and remember the deadline of three weeks."
- Use the correct packaging materials - Boxes make the process much easier and protect your belongings.
- Ensure that the bottom of the boxes is correctly folded and/or taped.
- Fill up the boxes – less space in the boxes ensures less movement and intact packaging during transportation. You can add more things as you go along or even use wrapping paper as fillers.
- Avoid using oversized boxes for heavier things, such as books. Keep in mind that the box needs to be carried at one point, and testing this as you fill the box could be wise.
- Mark the boxes clearly on the outside, preferably on the top and on the side.
- Use enough paper. By using wrapping paper, you avoid printing ink on your belongings that may come from other material, such as newpaper.
- Add layered clothing in boxes to avoid wrinkling.
- Clothes on hangers - Pull a large plastic bag over the hanger, create a hole in the bottom of the bag and pull the hook through. Consider a wardrobe box for your most delicate fabrics.
- Stoneware and glass require extra care. Put a thick fabric at the bottom of the box and always place the heaviest items on the bottom. Use sufficient wrapping paper in between items to avoid friction and impact.
- Dinnerware should be packed with paper in between each item and placed sideways. Plates are easier destroyed when stacked.
- You can place stem glass with the stem facing upwards.
Passport, visa and permits
- Ensure that your passport is valid at least 3 months beyond the anticipated stay abroad. There must also be sufficient pages for new stamps/permits. Some countries require an electronic passport. Accompanying children need their own passports. Apply well ahead of time if you need a new passport.
- Do you need a visa, residence/work permit or arrange other official matters? The receiving Norwegian embassy in the country will be able to provide information (regjeringen.no). A good place to start is the UDI’s travel information site (landsider.no). If you are moving to a European country, you may find some useful information on the EURAXESS-portal (ec.europa.eu). Remember that in many cases there may be requirements for translation (of documents), medical examination, health certificate, vaccinations and so on.
- Contact the tax office where you live to clarify how your stay abroad will affect your taxes.
- Norway has tax treaties with a number of countries to prevent double taxation (regjeringen.no).
- Make sure that the tax office is informed of the dates of your departure and return.
- Norwegian employers collect tax deduction cards each month from the tax office, and will automatically obtain a new one for stays abroad.
- If you rent out your home in Norway, grants for, or reimbursement of, residential expenses abroad will be taxable.
Notice of relocation
- The National Registry must be notified of relocation from Norway if you are staying abroad for at least six months and no one in the family will remain at your Norwegian residence (skatteetaten.no).
- If you continue to use a payroll account in Norway, you should consider getting an international credit card. Contact your bank.
- Consider whether someone will be given authorization to make bank transfers, deposits and so on.
- Check if your Norwegian licence is valid abroad or if you will need to obtain an international one (vegvesen.no).
Social security and pension
- Health insurance, pension and insurance in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund and benefits schemes for parents are all linked to a membership in the National Insurance Scheme. Before you leave, you should therefore clarify if you will still be covered during your stay abroad or if you can apply for voluntary membership.
- It could be useful to bring NAV forms with you abroad.
- If you retain your membership in the National Insurance Scheme, you will be earning pension points while abroad. If you do not retain the membership, you do not earn any insurance or pension benefits abroad. This may have consequences later on, e.g. in connection with retirement, disability pension and survivor's pension. Investigate whether you earn pension in the country you are moving to and look into the possibilities of private savings.
- Read up on work and stay abroad (nav.no), health rights when abroad (helfo.no) and social security and health insurance (euraxess.no).
- For further clarifications you should contact NAV International (nav.no).
Change of address
- Inform your private, official and business related contacts of your new address abroad and duration of stay (i.e. local tax and NAV office, the army, insurance company, and housing association).
- Remember to cancel subscriptions and memberships that will not be retained while you are abroad – such as phone, electricity, newspapers, magazines, and organization membership.
- The post office offers services to private persons for temporary forwarding of mail (posten.no). Forwarding abroad can take time and is not free. Consider if mail should be forwarded to family, neighbours or perhaps an employer. They could inform you of important mail received.
- If you part with your Norwegian residence, you must decide which assets to bring and which to keep in storage. Investigate whether the employer covers moving / storage expenses and possibly under what conditions. Get an overview of the transport time of the moving goods and possibly import / export restrictions (toll.no). It is always recommended to sign a transportation insurance.
Your house is almost empty and the moving van about to leave. Have you remembered everything?
- Check the loft, basement and cabinets for forgotten items
- Place toiletries, coffee maker and other essentials needed when packing / unpacking in a separate box to be added last in the moving van.
- Have all keys been brought or handed over?
- Are all windows closed?
- Is the heater on to ensure frost protection?
- Have you read the electricity and water meters?
- Have you completed our "Before Moving" list?