Moving interstate Checklist - Image showing people playing with moving boxes and preparing for their interstate move

Moving Interstate Checklist: What to Do Before, During, and After the Move

Moving house anywhere in Australia can be rather disruptive at the best of times. And if you’re completely uprooting yourself and family to move interstate to a different city under a different state government?

Well, that’s just upped the ante! You need to know what to do when moving interstate, so here’s a moving interstate checklist of things to consider before, during, and after your big move.

Things to Do Before the Move

It’s no secret that preparation is key to a stress-free relocation – and it’s never too early to start planning for your move and creating your moving-interstate-in-Australia checklist.

Months from your move date, you might think you know exactly what to do when moving interstate. But then, you might realise as the big move approaches that you haven’t even gotten to creating a checklist before moving out of state. Then the stress would just build up from there.

And when you’re stressed, you’re bound to forget something or remember it too late unless you plan well ahead. So, make sure you do these things months or weeks before your move:

    1. Create a folder for your interstate move on Google Drive. Then, as you go along with your planning and identify the tasks you need to accomplish stage by stage, you can create subfolders to keep your relocation files neatly organised. Don’t forget to be descriptive in naming files to avoid confusion.
    2. Document and file everything. Spend an afternoon sorting all the receipts, quotes, and records you think you need and upload them to your Google Drive folder. With the paper records, take a photo using your phone and upload those as well.
    3. Start creating your moving house interstate checklist. Using Google Docs, make a timeline list for moving out of state of important dates in a shared document so you can keep adding to it as you go. Make a spreadsheet of everything big you need to move and then a second one with everything you need to sell or give away.
    4. Come up with a realistic budget. Decide on what you can afford to move and what you can afford to sell. Remember that volume shipping is relatively cheap, especially when you factor in the hassle of having to organise deliveries of stuff you really need and could have just brought with you.
    5. Get moving quotes from at least two or three shipping estimates from reputable interstate movers. Make sure you include packing costs and DIY discounts, door-to-door delivery, insurance, and any special items that might incur extra costs, like pianos or other big and oddly shaped items. Get an in-home or livestream video estimate from your movers to ensure everyone’s on the same page and you get a detailed quote.
    6. Read the fine print. Closely read the contract before you sign – you should clearly understand what is being offered and what is not. If you need more specific insurance coverage for those precious items, cheap storage at the other end for a specific amount of time, or the freedom to add extra packing cases as needed, now’s the time to nail it all down.
    7. Declutter, donate, bin, sell. Using that spreadsheet list of things to keep, donate, bin or sell. Start with the things you won’t miss too much and put items for sale on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, and even eBay – you never know what offers might come in. You can start high then go lower the next week. And if it comes down to it, giving stuff away for free on that last weekend means you don’t have to move it onto the sidewalk. It’s up to you when you let your activewear, the car, fridge, and washing machine go unless you’re taking them with you, in which case no worries!
    8. Change your details. Post office address redirects, banking and credit accounts, insurance contracts, local, state, and federal government services (myGov is very handy), community group newsletters, gym memberships – the list goes on. Disentangling yourself from your current address will take time, and you will need to make sure your internet, electricity, and gas utilities are due to be turned off the day after you move out. And, likewise, your new home will need new providers the day you move in – good thing it’s all there in your moving plan! Check out our change of address checklist.
    9. Start shopping for packing and moving supplies. This is an important item you need to tick off your checklist for moving interstate in Australia. You can start collecting or buying sturdy boxes you can use later for packing your stuff. Other items you’ll need include packing tape, box cutters, scissors, permanent markers, packing tissue or old newspapers, bubble wrap and packing peanuts.
    10. Get all essential documents together. If you have kids, this would be a good time to get copies of their school transcript of records. Better yet, arrange for a direct inter-school transfer of all documents required. Other documents you need to get a hold of would be your current family medical records. You should also get your pets to the vet for a complete medical check-up. Ensure all immunisation records of your dogs and/or cats are updated.
    11. Back up your computer files. Here, you can also use Google Drive to back up all your files, as well as separate hard drives. This way, whether you’ll be keeping your PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone with you on moving day, you can stress a lot less in case something gets lost or broken. After all, your files are backed up and safe in the cloud and your hard drives.
    12. Enrol your kids in the new school and kindergarten. If you have children, you want to make sure to enrol them in the new school or kindergarten early enough. Ask the new public school for an enrolment form and submit it along with all the necessary documents. Following the application, the school will either send you a letter offering your child a place or explaining why their school doesn’t have a place available. Find info regarding school enrolment here for each state: Western AustraliaVictoriaNew South WalesQueenslandSouth AustraliaNorthern TerritoryAustralian Capital TerritoryTasmania
    13. Start packing. It’s up to you whether packing by room will be one of your strategies on how to move interstate. Just make sure you start packing items you only use seasonally, and then move on to the rest. To make things more organised, colour-code the boxes. For example, glue on red-coloured paper or use red ink to indicate items that belong to the kitchen. You can use other colours for other sections of your home, such as the living room, individual bedrooms, etc. As much as possible, start packing 6 to 8 weeks prior to your move date to avoid rushing through the process.

Tick All These Boxes During the Move

When we say during the move, we’re referring to the last 1 or 2 days leading up to your moving date.

By this time, you would probably be done with the ‘before’ section of your moving states checklist in Australia. So you’re now almost all set to go, the movers have confirmed tomorrow morning, and you’ve got a mobile phone number to call the crew if need be. Just check to make sure you’ve covered everything in the plan so far.

Cross the following items off the ‘during’ section of your checklist before moving out of state:

  1. Clean your fridge. Ensure you have ample time to completely defrost and clean your refrigerator and freezer about 24 hours before your moving schedule. Get rid of perishable items or leftovers that can get ruined during the move.
  2. Survey and clean all empty rooms. Clean up or have the cleaners do this task for you to ensure you leave behind a neat and orderly house. Also, make sure you clean as you go when the removalists come and clear out the rest of the rooms.
  3. Double check all boxes. Ensure all boxes are labelled appropriately. If you find any stray boxes, label those accordingly. Keep a tally of all the boxes and crates.
  4. Pack up your essential items and overnight bag. Put your hygiene kit together and those of other family members. Assign everyone their own bags. Include a change of clothes (or more), pillows and a blanket for each family member, as well as snacks, water bottles, pet food and accessories, and other necessities. Also, make sure you have your own bag for keeping your valuables, including the keys to your new home.
  5. Prepare some on-the-road entertainment. If you’re moving with kids and pets, let your kids take one or two of their favourite games and toys. Bring some for your pets, too.
  6. Go over your moving day checklist. You still have a few hours to finish last-minute tasks, so get those over and done with to avoid stressing over them tomorrow.
  7. Get enough sleep. Try to get a good night’s sleep by going to bed as early as possible. This way, you’ll be up early with the focus and energy to face moving day.

Then, on the day of the move itself…

  1. Wear comfortable clothes. Casual, comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely are your best bet. Put on sturdy but comfy shoes with anti-slip soles. Don’t wear jewellery or accessories as these can interfere with your movements or get lost along the way.
  2. Designate people to take charge of the kids and pets. Keep them safe and out of the movers’ way.
  3. Supervise the removalists. Once the movers arrive, be there to show them around your old home and give them whatever special instructions you may have so they can do their job efficiently. Make sure you provide them some snacks, beverages and access to a bathroom.
  4. Conduct a final walkthrough. To ensure nothing and no one is left behind, and that you lock everything up, do one final sweep of your old home. Ensure the water and gas supplies and electricity are turned off before you go.

Now, it’s time to lock up, say goodbye, and catch that Uber to the airport or hit the motorway heading for the border crossing.

After the Move – The More Enjoyable Part

Welcome to your new home – you’re in, but your move isn’t quite finished yet. Once you get to your new place:

  1. Check all your utilities are on before your mobile phone battery dies. Open your new place and check the water, electricity and gas supplies. You should also check if your internet connection is ready.
  2. Once your movers have offloaded, you can start unpacking. However, make sure your itemised checklist from your old house is ready. Also, check everything off the list provided by the movers earlier and the new one the last crew just gave you. They will want to leave for the next job. But you can take your time to make sure you’re happy that all the crates and boxes are there and nothing’s been misplaced or mangled on the way. You can thank the movers once you’re done.
  3. Check to see if all the large white goods, stove, oven, dishwasher, washing machine, etc. are all working and haven’t been damaged in transit. Do this as soon as possible for all your electrical appliances and any other big-ticket items. Then go through everything else to make sure it’s all in good order before your shipping insurance policy lapses.
  4. Air out your new place. Open the windows and doors to ventilate your new home. Make sure your gate is secure or someone is supervising before allowing your kids and pets to explore your new home.
  5. Collect all your receipts, contracts, and other documentation and file these somewhere safe. Who knows, your accountant might even be able to claim some of the costs back on your next tax return. Now you’re ready to start the long process of making a new life in a new town – best of luck!

If you’re moving interstate between Perth and Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, or Perth and Brisbane, Relocations WA has over 55 years of experience in the interstate relocation business and can guarantee you a stress-free move.

Call us today and talk to one of our relocation experts for a free quote tailored to your specific needs.

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