For tens of thousands of people every year, making Aliyah is a dream come true. Making sure it continues to feel like a dream, on the other hand, can sometimes be tricky business. With so many things to plan, and so much that can happen unplanned, the more help and tips that you can take in the smoother the transition will be.
With this in mind, we have teamed up with Rebekah Saltzman, CEO of www.balaganbegone.com - a wonderful company that provides Olim with relocation, organization and time-management services. We asked Rebekah for her top 5 practical tips to help Olim with their move.
Tip 1 - Stream of Consciousness
Start to lay out all the tasks that need to get done. Things like, selling your home, new purchases, choosing a shipper, organizing your documents for aliyah (especially things that need to be notarized - like if you use a mail forwarding service), and other general things that will need to get done before you go.
Be aware that some things are best left until after you arrive in Israel. These items, should still be on your list, but should be listed for post-aliyah. In my experience these are things like, purchasing appliances, finding a place to live, heading to government offices etc...
Tip 2 - Make it Simple for the Movers
Before your movers come, it is important to purge whatever you don't want to take with you to Israel. Furthermore, be sure to move all the things that you plan to take with you on the flight, and the things you do not want the movers to pack (things you may be selling or giving away) in to an area of the house that the movers do not have access to (e.g. a bedroom they will not be packing up). Since you will most likely have a team of movers helping you, and you cannot watch each of them all the time, this will ensure that things you don't want to be shipped will not get shipped.
Tip 3 - Be Prepared for Unpacking!
Make sure you have similar items together so that unpacking on the other end is a breeze. Make sure all winter items are together, all the rain gear is together (not that you might need these things as often when in Israel!), all the kitchen items, Pesach stuff, etc. This way you won't waste your time unpacking boxes you don't need right away.
BONUS: I like to give each room a different color tape. I make the kitchen yellow, a girls room pink, a boys room blue. I hand the worker in the kitchen the yellow roll, the one in a girls room a pink one etc, I tell them to put a piece of tape across each box. When you arrive in Israel, you don't really know what language your moving crew will speak. I put a piece of colored tape on the correct room and the movers can match the tape to the box!
Tip 4 - Packing for the flight
It is a great idea to place all essential documents in a note book in your carry on luggage. I like using a portfolio style notebook, or a thin binder with plastic sleeves.
For a family for example, I organize the documents as follows: Marriage certificate, copies of letters needed for Aliyah, a page for each person's birth certificate, all other essential documents that are hard to replace (Deeds to homes or cars, essential medical records, divorce documents, etc). I place the portfolio in a mesh zipper bag (http://amzn.to/2sWPigy) where the passports also live. When we got to Israel, this went directly into our safe. It also came with us to all the government offices, and stored all our new paper work!
Tip 5 - Pace Yourself
Once you arrive, don't try to do more than one thing a day. Heading to Bituach Leumi or Misrad Hapanim can take a lot out of you and the waits can be long. Plan to do one thing each day. If you have small children, I advise getting a babysitter in advance, to either go with you or to look after the kids for the first few days after your arrival. The babysitter will be a bonus as well because they will most likely have local knowledge, like best places to take kids to play or eat.
Download The Free Guide
In order to help you map out and plan properly, we have created a guide that enables you to see all the different moving parts of aliyah in one place.
You can download it from our website - its free! - www.balaganbegone.com/aliyahplanning
Wishing you much 'hatzlacha' and zero 'balagan' with your Aliyah !