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  • Moving
  • 27th Apr 2023

A guide to moving interstate

When it comes to relocating to a new state, there are a lot of moving parts that you need to consider. Packing belongings in advance, organising your general affairs, and doing research on your new home are just some of the components that make up the mammoth of an interstate move. In the spirit of a positive and well-organised move, we’ve created a helpful 10-point checklist to ensure that your move is stress-free and as smooth as possible. 

1. Get organised 

Organising a move will take time and preparation, so it’s important to start planning your move well in advance, to help avoid any unwanted stress.  
We recommend organising your documents and who you’ll have to contact in the lead-up to your move. To help you with this, we’ve created a guide that outlines who to notify when you’re moving house. 
Additionally, we strongly recommend that you should create an emergency fund plan at least 3-6 months out from your move. Creating a financial buffer will help you tackle any unforeseen financial costs that may arise throughout the process. This can include extra accommodation, insurance, and any unexpected cleaning or removal fees.

2. Interstate travel plans

There are a few considerations that need to be made when deciding on the best way for you and your family to travel to your new home. We’ve listed a few scenarios to help you get started. 

  • What might be the most cost-effective travel option?  
  • Do you have small children?
    If so, what might be the most comfortable travel option for you and your family? 
  • Is your new home close enough to drive?
    If you are moving long distances (e.g., from Adelaide to Queensland), it could take you over a day to drive. Will you be able to drive this distance, particularly if you are travelling with your family? 
  • Can you pre-emptively book a flight or train to your destination? 
  • Do you need to take your car to your new address?
    You could explore interstate car transport services, which will pick up and drop off your car around the CBD, so you don’t need to worry about making the drive yourself. 
  • Do you have pets?
    Will they be able to travel in the same vehicle as your family? If so, will you need to make extra stops along the way to accommodate their bathroom needs? If not, will you need to organise for them to be transported by a professional company? 
  • Will you need temporary accommodation?
    Depending on the mode of transport you choose and the length of the trip, will you need to book accommodation before, during, or after traveling? 
  • Can you get help from friends or family members?
    Many hands make light work – and the more friends and family members you can get to help may help you to save money on removalists, but can also help speed up the process.  

3. Find the right removalist 

Moving to a different state can be quite expensive, so it’s important to make sure that you’ve done your due diligence when looking for the right removalist. Here are some questions and considerations to help you shop around for the right company. 

  • Does the company offer free, no-obligation quotes? 
  • Ask about all the fees and potential costs involved in the move. How are they calculated? 
  • Ask the company if they offer moving and furniture insurance. What are their rates? 
  • What packages and offerings are available? 
  • How do they handle fragile or lost items? 
  • Do they offer boxing services and shipping prior to the move? 
  • Do they give a guarantee on the delivery date? 

Once you’ve gone through this process and compared quotes with the companies you’ve contacted, you can decide which one will best suit you and your belongings.

It’s also a good idea to build a good rapport with your removalist, as it can go a long way to ensuring a smooth move. 

4. Research your new neighbourhood

We recommend doing research on the area and council your new home will be in. Not only will it build familiarity, but it will also help you think about what you need to organise once you settle in.  
A new state can mean new laws (licenses, addresses, and number plate changes), new people (co-workers, surrounding neighbours, and area locals), new shopping centres and parks (retail and grocery shops, as well as local parks and tracks), and educational facilities (university, primary and secondary schools in the area.) 

5. Inventory is key for moving interstate

To make your packing as seamless as possible, we recommend keeping an inventory of all the items in your home. This can be done in three easy steps. 

  1. Go through each room one by one and remove any items that will not be coming with you. Decluttering will help to make sure that you’re not overpacking and will allow you to make an inventory list free of unnecessary items. For the items you want to remove, you can either choose to throw them away, recycle them, or donate them to a charity. 
  2. For your inventory checklist, you will need to create a list that details each item (or group of items) in that specific room. Once you have your boxes, you can create an individual list that details the contents of each box, so you know how to stack them. 
  3. Once you’ve marked each box and ticked off everything in that room, you can move to the next room.

6. Start packing 

Packing can be a mammoth task. Though if you have your inventory lists ready to go and you know where each item will be going - then you’re already halfway there. To get a head start, we’ve made our Ultimate Guide to Moving Home, which details the important steps you need to take before you leave.

7. Transfer your utilities 

Sometimes, we get caught up in the process of packing and organising a move, that we completely forget what happens after we finally move in.  

Making sure that you’ve transferred your utilities to your new address will help relieve a lot of stress and provide you with the ability to use your services once you’ve unpacked. We’ve created a short comprehensive guide to show you how to transfer your utilities.

8. Final checks 

Once all your household items have been packed, you’ll need to do a final sweep of your property. Check that all your windows and doors are locked, main switches are turned off and ensure that your home is clean and ready for future use. If you’re renting you may have to do some extra rental checks set out by your landlord so you can have your bond paid back.

9. Travel light 

Once all your household items have been packed, you’ll need to do a final sweep of your property. Check that all your windows and doors are locked, main switches are turned off, and ensure that your home is clean and ready for future use. If you’re renting you may have to do some extra rental checks set out by your landlord so you can have your bond paid back. 

10. Settle in 

Arguably the most important point on this checklist – is settling into your new home.  

The hard part is finally done. Your lights are on, the gas is working, and your essentials are all unpacked. It’s time to take a well-deserved shower and get some rest. 


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