Moving to San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico

San Miguel de Allende, GTO, is a place where people go to experience the richness of culture Mexico has to offer. With old Spanish colonial architecture, a steady 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and beautiful country and mountainous landscape, it is no wonder why many are making the move to San Miguel de Allende (SMA). SMA has some of the best restaurants with renowned chefs that bring not only the taste, but the true art of worldwide culinary to life.  Great restaurants coupled with the emerging movement of true Farm-to-Table dining has elevated the way visitors and residents interact with food and culture. This area of Mexico has seen a substantial amount of growth due to its nestled location that allows for equestrian and country living, mixed with the quaintness of old colonial Mexico. SMA is never short of festivities, as it hosts an array of celebrations for cultural holidays. Weddings are also in high demand in SMA due to its beautiful churches, some adorned in the Spanish style and some in Gothic stone-workings. It is safe to say that there is never a shortage of celebrations and cultural experiences in the majestic city of San Miguel. 

Planning Your Move

For many that are considering moving to SMA or are already in the process of making the change, relocating precious goods can be an ocean of uncertainty and stress. The planning of every detail from VISAS to the sale/purchase of your home(s) and the task of packing and moving, is enough to drain one and overtake one's time. The key word, PLANNING, is what makes the difference between great or late! If you or someone you know is about to make the move, a recommended 6 months of pre-move planning is advised. That includes everything from finding an experienced mover, to choosing your final goods to be moved, to Visa formalities, to sorting and packing. However, don't be alarmed if you or someone you know hasn't gotten a 6 month head start. A 3 month turnaround isn't impossible, it simply means that you may not get your desired pickup or delivery date with the mover of your choice. Stay within the 6-4 month "pre-planning" timeline and you'll be happier you did. 

Thinning Out

It's time to consider putting your house on a diet! One thing to consider when moving internationally is choosing the household goods that are important to you. Doing this will allow you to thin out what you absolutely must have and what you can easily replace. Moving internationally does increase the cost for services rendered because of the complexities and logistics involved. For this reason, it is important that one can justify transporting their goods to the point where 2 simple questions can be answered: "Are my goods worth more than the expense of moving them?", "Will my cost to replace certain (or all) of my goods exceed or mirror my cost of moving?" Those two questions can be the clarity one needs to either move their goods or replace them in Mexico. One thing less considered when purchasing items in Mexico, is the cost of delivery. Delivery is seldom free and usually replacing furniture and appliances will mean travelling to multiple cities to acquire them. 


Once furniture and belongings have been thinned out, inventorying your goods and furniture is the next step. The best format to create an inventory list of your furniture and goods is in a Word document. You may be tempted to use an excel sheet, however this isn't a format acceptable by customs. A Word document is easy enough to organize and equally easy to edit. Be vague on your labeling but detailed for your records. A great system to employ is assigning numbers to your boxes and relating that number to your detailed list. Also, if you employ a number system, use blocks within your numerations to delegate for certain rooms. 

When Your Goods Cross Borders

A particular thing about moving your goods across borders, that will most likely have your nerves up and active, will be the time elapsed. The logistics of moving nationally and internationally is not only arduous but also lengthy. This applies even if your cargo is being shipped with a dedicated truck. Take for example the time it takes to just cross customs, which is about 3-4 days on average. This is due to the fickle formalities and documentation that a carrier has to have in place, otherwise they face a long process of customs officials opening and rummaging through all goods. Length of travel is where the bulk of time elapses, because drivers are required by the Department of Transportation to have adequate rest periods between drives/shifts. Most important in expecting your goods is to be patient and request for updates from the carrier. A true white-glove moving carrier will/can provide you with milestone updates and pictures. 

The Delivery Is Your Beginning

Finally your goods are at your new home and your adventure, both as a new resident and unpacking, begins. Very important to keep in mind is to take your time with unpacking. Most stress in unpacking and moving comes when it is done too quickly because your goods pile up, as well as your packing material. It can be quite chaotic to not only put away your goods, but to walk through your rooms. A good rule of thumb is to ask your mover if they recycle boxes and/or material. This will free up a lot of your extra work of disposing of "trash", but simultaneously help the environment. Give yourself ample enough time to go room by room or work from priority to the "storage" pile. 

Above all have fun and make it fun. Moving doesn't have to be stressful if it is professionally done and planned. When moving nationally or internationally, the age old saying "you get what you pay for" is especially true. The cheapest price doesn't always mean it's the best deal when moving internationally. Because of the miles your goods will traverse and the amount of stages they will pass through, a seasoned professional will always be your best choice. 


-Luis Ortiz Jr