Planning a Move to Australia – A Moving Checklist Before You Call Your International Moving Company

So you are emigrating to Australia , you have your visas sorted out its time to call in the international moving companies, right? Not quite so fast.  First I’d suggest you sit down, take a big breath, and think about all putting together a comprehensive check list, believe me if you don’t do it before you start you will really, really regret it later on. Timing is critical in order to make a move to Australia smooth. Australia is a long way away your household contents that you dispatch with your moving company are going to take a lot longer to arrive than the 24 hours or so on a plane that will see you arrive down under. So that’s one of your first big decisions: whether you want to live without your household effects at home or at the other end? Even if you are planning on buying a home, most people will rent first, and most rentals in Australia are unfurnished – so that’s a big consideration.

Next, and again before you start your list of long distance moving companies, the next critical question is, what do you want them to move? If someone is paying your removal expenses, it might as well be everything. But if you are paying yourself, then its time to get very, very focussed on what is worth spending thousands of dollars shipping across the Pacific.  I’d start with electrical items: if you live somewhere that the voltage is different from Australia’s 220V – I wouldn’t bother shipping any electrical items that can’t manage dual voltage (most laptops can). Even if you do have the right voltage, the plugs will need to be changed – that at least is fairly minor.  Clothing is also a huge amount of volumn (most international moves are quoted on volume not weight) –  if you are moving to a very different climate, than you may find that most of clothes won’t really be used. If you are moving to Perth, you don’t need winter coats, gloves, hats and boots. You probably won’t even need a jumper until you acclimatize after a couple of years!

Furniture is also a consideration. Australian houses tend to be large and open plan, if you furniture is designed for a small dwelling, it may, frankly, not really work. Although your bedroom suites may be OK, you really might want to consider whether shipping lounge and dining room furniture is a priority, especially as Australian houses rarely have a separate dining area.  He’s a word to the wise: Australia has very strong sunlight – the UV will fade anything red particularly badly. It might be kinder to sell a nice red couch, before it fades to a nasty pink in a year or two.

There are some items you just cannot have shipped, they are too dangerous. This includes most household and garden chemicals, in fact liquids of any kind. Any item which is contaminated with dirt or vegetation ie your lawn mower, will need to be decontaminated – it might less trouble just to sell or dispose of your gardening tools and buy new ones on arrival.

Tips on moving to Australia rarely start with the advice to cull your possessions – but I do really believe you can save yourself a lot of money on international shipping companies, but simply cutting out 50% of your possessions before you move. And if you sell the surplus you will make a bit of cash on the side as well.