Planning your move

Ease your move to Beijing. Create a to-do list and stick it on your fridge. Here's what to consider:


New: The most important part of your move. Here's how you find a home in Beijing.
Old: Contact a broker to rent or sell. If your home's going to be unoccupied for long periods, ensure someone is maintaining it for you. If you rent your home, ensure you've given notice, scheduled a hand-over day and repaired any damage.


There are waiting lists at many international schools in Beijing so it's very important that you register your children early.

  • Review Beijing's international schools and kindergartens. We'll schedule school meetings and integrate visits into your house inspection program.
  • Notify the school and kindergarten, and get transcripts.
  • Prepare for farewells.


  • Ensure you have full international medical coverage, including evacuation.
  • Check whether they have a direct billing arrangement with any hospitals or clinics in Beijing.


  • Consult your doctor about necessary vaccinations.
  • Contact a Beijing [hospital or clinic] to enquire about medical services and availability of any prescriptions you may need. Let us know and we'll drop by a hospital or clinic during your house inspection program.
  • Get copies of your kids' and your own medical and vaccination records


  • Moving your household items to Beijing takes between 4-8 weeks depending on origin. Start getting quotes 4 weeks before your actual move. Costs are calculated from the volume of goods and where they are being sent to. The mover will come to your house to estimate the volume of goods you'd like to move. You'll need to identify which items you're moving to Beijing, and which items you're going to store.
  • Moving services include, packing and removal, freight, customs clearance, delivery to your new home and unpacking.

When comparing quotes, check scope of services including storage charges and insurance coverage.


  • Consult a specialist pet transporter to learn about the required vaccinations.
  • Email copies of all vaccinations to the pet transporter well before you leave and ask them to verify that your documents are OK. You'll then have time to get everything in order.
  • Ask about the procedures to get your pet back to your home country from China.


Have at least 16 passport sized photos for each member of your family. You'll need these for your residence permit, school and club membership.


Schedule cancellation of water, gas, electricity and heating accounts.

Telephones & Internet

Schedule cancellation of telephone and internet accounts.


New: Although some expats buy a car in Beijing, many lease a car and driver. Some make do with the subway and taxis for transportation.
Old: If you're not selling your car, make sure someone runs the engine once a month.

  • Give at least 1 months' notice to your driver or car leasing company.
  • Write a recommendation letter for your driver and post an ad for him on notice boards and forums. Tell us about him too as we may be able to introduce him to a new employer.


  • Notify your bank, stockbroker, insurance, tax authority of your new address.
  • As soon as you've selected your home, we'll email you the postal address in both English and Chinese.
  • Best to receive all mail at your office address as easier to arrange forwarding when you leave.

Sell or Donate

Any thing you don't need? Save on moving or storage costs. Have a garage sale or donate it to charity.

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