Moving interstate can quickly turn into a nightmare without the benefit of thorough planning and preparation. Planning carefully will truly help alleviate the chaos having your life packaged into cardboard boxes can become! Australia is full of beautiful cities, so wherever you’re moving to, you can be assured of exciting times ahead. However, before you move, there are many things you can do in advance to ensure you experience the smoothest transition possible.
First of all, get to know the city well before you commit to a lease/purchase of a new property, and when choosing a home, make sure you consider your needs carefully, such as proximity to public transport, schools, shops and other community services. Selecting the wrong location based on price point can be counterintuitive in the long run – especially if you are forced into additional expenditure because you live further away from service necessities than is practical. If you can’t physically scope out potential addresses and the suburbs they are in, comprehensive internet searches can go a long way in helping you profile an area. Google street view searches can provide a good way to get the ‘feel’ of the neighborhood, and map searches/directions queries can calculate the distance of shops, stations, learning centres and the like with ease. Make a ‘wish list’ of things you require in your new area, and rank the items in order of non-negotiables descending down to desirables. This will help you know when you can compromise for a property versus a deal-breaker situation.
Make sure you organise services like power, gas and electricity to be connected prior to the date of your move – trying to unpack in the dark or excessive heat/cold is not a pleasant experience! Also, don’t forget to forward your mail several days earlier than you intend to move so you don’t miss items already in the delivery network reaching you.
Start to stockpile old newspapers, bubble-wrap and tissue-paper, collect cardboard boxes in various sizes and try to obtain some old sheets/blankets in the weeks prior to your move. It’s also a good idea to go through your possessions and have a clean-out of unused/unwanted items – donate these to charity, have a garage sale or sell them off on Ebay – this will help streamline your move down to essentials.
Commence packing early. Don’t leave it until moving day to start putting things in boxes – this is a surefire recipe for disaster! Take inventory of the things that are coming with you that don’t get used every day. Try to empty out at least one room in your home to use as storage for pre-packed items. Make sure you tape closed the base of boxes as well as the tops. When packing breakables, make sure you fill cavities up with tissue paper/bubble wrap or newspaper as well as wrapping the exterior carefully, when packing into boxes, fill empty spaces up with more padding to restrict movement and make sure handles or other protrusions face inwards so there is less likelihood of breakage. Label the destination room on the outside of boxes (e.g. “kitchen”) in large letters using a permanent marker. Also indicate if contents are ‘fragile’ and ‘right way up’. It’s also helpful to include list of contents inside the box, on top of wrapped items so that you can locate things quickly at the other end of your move. Make sure you distribute the weighty items evenly amongst several boxes – you don’t want to pack a box no one can lift, or risk the contents breaking out of the bottom!
Hire the services of a professional removalist company well in advance of your desired date of departure. This will ensure you can shop around for the best rates and providers, as well as making sure you can secure your required date. If you can move during the week it is often possible to obtain cheaper deals, as weekends are peak times for removals. The other advantage of this is you can obtain advice regarding the packing of unusual items, purchase additional packing materials and get your moving insurance in order; and ultimately allow yourself time to budget for the total cost of your move. You should also advise the removalists about any very heavy/large items you require to be moved at this stage, so that the company can allocate adequate staff to your job.
A few days before your move, stop watering any plants you intend to take in order to keep their weight down. Make sure you have emptied drawers in heavy storage units, and have non-marking tape or ties in order to keep the drawers shut while lifting. Make sure the access to your property is cleared and safe for large items to pass through (e.g. no low tree branches across driveways that could damage items, no tripping hazards, and arrange alternative car-parking for your vehicle on the day of the move). Make sure you do not intend to transport any prohibited items with the removalist company – the list of prohibited items includes things like oils, petrol, paints, varnish, kerosene, weed killers and matches – you will need to make alternative arrangements for these things and others like them. If in doubt, contact your removalists and check their policies.
It’s clear to see that if you follow the advice outlined above your move can go as smoothly as possible and be a pleasant experience rather than a never-ending nightmare! A fresh start can be a thrilling experience, so don’t get bogged down by the details. Plan and prepare thoroughly and enjoy the reward of having of a stress-free transition to your new home.