There are many things about moving interstate in Australia that can catch you unawares.
As with any big change, careful preparation is key to a smooth transition.
Here are eight factors that people won’t usually tell you about making an interstate move in Australia.
You may have moved to a new house once or twice before but executing an interstate move is an entirely different affair.
Not only do you need to organise the packing, loading and cleaning out of your old home, but you will also have to organise new schools for the children, a new job for yourself and navigate a new city from scratch.
Here are eight tips to help you prepare for an interstate move.
#1: Outsource any jobs that you can
Outsourcing almost always makes things much easier, and when you’re making a big move this kind of help can make all the difference.
Whether it’s hiring a team of cleaners for the house that you’re moving into (or out of), hiring a gardening service to ensure lawns and mowed and mulch has been laid, or simply organizing a grocery delivery service.
All these small jobs take time, so outsourcing them – even just temporarily – can give you back the time to settle into your new location.
If you work full time or are otherwise far too busy to pack your belongings efficiently, save yourself the stress by hiring a team to do it for you.
Professional packers will come to your home armed with all the boxes, masking tape and bubble wrap you could conceive of.
They will carefully wrap and pack up every item in your home, keeping a thorough inventory of precisely what goes into what box so you can easily find things on the other end of the move.
#2: Packing is best done slowly
If you’re not planning to hire professional packers, make sure you take an organized approach to packing.
Don’t wait until your move date looms on the horizon, primarily if you work full time or have kids.
When you pack in a hurry, you’re more likely to shove things in random boxes and spend months trying to find them once you get to your new home.
You’ll also be more likely to pack inefficiently and suffer damages to your possessions.
Don’t wait until the last month of your move to begin packing.
Start well in advance to give yourself plenty of time to organise, sort, throw things away and label all your boxes meticulously.
#3: You’ll miss the familiarity of your neighbourhood
When you’ve lived somewhere for a long time, you know where to find everything you need and who to call for help with when you need it.
When you move interstate, you start again.
You might have made the major decisions about where you will work and where to send the kids to school, but you might not have thought about the more minor, everyday things that make our lives easy.
- Where is the local hardware store?
- Where is the nearest doctor?
- Who is your local handyperson?
- Where is the grocery store?
- Where can you find good take-away food?
- How often do busses and trains run, and can they take you where you need to go?
These might seem like small, insignificant questions, and you may think you’ll figure them out when you get there.
But planning ahead by doing some research will help you settle in much faster and make you feel at home.
#4: It’s easier to find your forever home once you’re in the area
This may seem counterintuitive, but unless you’re really familiar with your new neighbourhood, it’s easier to find your forever home once you’re already living in the area.
That way, you give yourself some time to get to know the more desirable parts of town and you can figure out a location that best suits you and your family.
Moving again is probably the last thing that you want to think about after moving interstate, but it’s a good idea to consider renting for a couple of months while you get to know the area.
In that time, you can hire a local real estate agent and work with them to find the perfect home.
If you already have a house in mind, ensure that you hire a property conveyancer local to the property that you are buying.
A local conveyancer will be familiar with property legislation in your area, a factor that will make the sale process more straightforward and efficient.
#5: Organize your paperwork
Not only do you have to remember where to find the birth certificates for enrolment records at your children’s new schools, but when you are moving interstate, you need to keep track of any real estate contracts, new employment contracts… the list goes on.
It can end up feeling as though your paperwork has legs of its own if you aren’t careful about keeping everything organised.
Make your job easier by keeping all your important documents in one box, categorizing for convenience if you’re feeling especially organised.
Oh, and don’t forget which box it is in!
#6: You need a new driver’s licence
Yes, you need a new driver’s license for the state you are moving to.
Submit your request as soon as possible, so that you don’t find yourself relying on public transport while you wait.
#7: Don’t leave the finishing touches until the end
Just when you thought you’d done it all, there is a myriad of little things you still need to do to make your move complete.
Start these processes as early as possible to avoid a headache when you get there.
- Organise your internet to be connected before the day you move in;
- Make a list of anyone that will require your new address and contact them to register your change of address;
- Arrange for your mail to be redirected; and
- Don’t pay bills in two places — transfer over your utilities ahead of time.
#8: Moving interstate is a costly affair
You might be prepared for the moving costs, but you’ll find many little expenses pop up.
There’s no getting around it – an interstate move is expensive.
In general, you can expect to pay anywhere between $2,500 and $6,000 for your move, not to mention the costs associated with finding somewhere new to live.
The best thing you can do is start saving early, so you’re not left short of cash.
Moving interstate will undoubtedly be one of the most stressful experiences you will go through in your life.
In fact, some psychologists say relocation can be as stressful as a divorce.
Start the process as far in advance as you can – ideally at least three months before you move.
With so many things to consider, it’s best to take your time, plan every stage carefully and call in help when you need it.
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