Moving Interstate: Tips For Saving Money, Time And Stress

We can’t promise you a stress-free move (they’re about as common as a sober Christmas). But we can offer some pretty handy moving interstate tips for saving money, time and stress.

5 Weeks to Go

Box Of Stuff

Everything will go smoothly if you leave it to the day before you move, right? Yeah, no. Unless you want a nightmarish moving experience, it’s in your best interest to start your preparations early. Getting on top of the below items 5 weeks ahead of moving day will help you save time, stress, and even money.

  • Packing Supplies – Get your hands on some moving boxes and packing supplies to keep your stuff in one piece on moving day. Bubble-wrap is a must for mirrors and other fragile items (just keep the bubble-wrap out of sight until packing day arrives – unless you want all your bubbles to burst too soon).
  • Declutter – More stuff means more time and effort spent packing, and removalists will charge more based on how much stuff you’ve got. Even if you’re moving everything yourself, more stuff means more trips between houses, and more money spent on fuel. Be ruthless and cull your clutter to make your move that little bit easier. You could even make some extra cash by selling your excess stuff online or holding a garage sale.
  • Removalists – Ask several removalist companies for a quote early on so you’ll have plenty of time to compare. Be sure to read reviews as well, though – blindly choosing the cheapest option might save you money, but it won’t save you stress if the company ends up doing a bad job. If you have your own transport lined up, just bribe your mates to help you out with the packing (a carton of beer is acceptable Australian currency).
  • Scope Out the Neighbourhood – The first few weeks in an unfamiliar locale can be tough. If you have time, try to visit your new neighbourhood a month or so before moving day so you can discover where all the essential facilities are. You might even introduce yourself to your new neighbours if you’re into that kind of thing. (Bonus tip: If your future home is too far away to justify this ‘reconnaissance trip’, at least use Google Maps to identify the nearest hospital, police station, shopping centre, and other key places).

2-3 Weeks to Go

Newspaper On Grass

Notify All Relevant Authorities

Unless you’re some sort of spy, going off the grid isn’t a good idea when moving interstate. Make sure to cover these bases:

  • Post Office – Arrange to have all mail forwarded to your new address (or you’ll be very disappointed when your unicorn meat doesn’t show up after your next online shopping spree).
  • Insurance – Transfer your insurance to your new address.
  • Transport – Update your driver’s licence and vehicle registration to reflect your new address. Fees may apply.
  • Schools – Inform your kids’ school(s) of the move and enrol them in new school(s).
  • Gas – Arrange to have your meter read and have the account relocated to your new address, or arrange connection in your name.

Tell People Now

Don’t wait until after you’ve moved to tell people you’re changing your address. Because you will be busy unpacking for weeks, so you could forget to inform someone important. And that could score you a 1-way ticket to Stress City.

People and organisations that might need to know you’re moving include:

  • Banks
  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Vet
  • The electoral office
  • Insurance providers
  • Gyms and clubs.

Cancel Deliveries

If you’re still getting milk or newspapers delivered, you’ll need to update your home address or update yourself into the 21st century.

1 Week to Go

Carpet Cleaner

  • Telephone and Internet – Organise to have your existing services disconnected, and arrange connection at your new address.
  • Start Packing – Start with the stuff you don’t frequently need, like spare sheets, books, DVDs, and seasonal items. On moving day, the only things left to pack should be things you used the night before (like your toothbrush) and things you need during the trip (like a set of clothes and your kid’s Nintendo 3DS).
  • Prepare Furniture and Whitegoods – This is when you’ll want to start preparing your furniture and appliances for the move. From taking apart bed frames to defrosting the freezer, you don’t want to leave these time-consuming jobs to the last minute.
  • TripleCheck Your Moving Day – You know what’s worse than spending your entire day moving home and travelling across the border to your new home? Arriving to find you’re not able to move in yet and having to book a hotel last-minute. No thanks. Ring your real estate agent or landlord one last time to confirm the date (if they don’t want excessive phone calls from nervous movers, they’re in the wrong business).

On Moving Day

Walking Through Empty House

  • House Keys – Return old house keys and collect new ones. Have spares cut if required (locking the kids outside is frowned upon).
  • Electricity – Call before 2pm to have the electricity in your new home connected, and allow 2 days for disconnection in your old home. A fee usually applies for after-hours connection.
  • Keep the Essentials on Hand – Make sure you have a bag on hand with all the essentials you’ll need in the first day or so. This might include toiletries, pyjamas, snacks, and some of the kids’ favourite toys.
  • Do a Final Walk-Through – Be sure to do a thorough check in every cupboard and drawer of your old house to ensure you haven’t forgotten anything.

Specific Moving Interstate Tips

Couple New House

Because each state in Australia is so different, it can sometimes feel like you’ve moved to the other side of the world. Keep these differences (like time zones, climate and schooling) in mind when you make the move to a new state.

Moving Interstate to Queensland

  • Time Zone – Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), UTC +10.
  • Climate – The climate varies depending on where you’re located in Queensland. For example, Northern Queensland is hot, humid, and prone to tropical cyclones in summer, and warm and dry in winter. Meanwhile, South-East Queensland is warm and humid in summer, and cold and dry in winter.
  • Schooling – In Queensland, the schooling structure consists of preparatory or ‘Prep’ (child must be 5 years old by June 30th in the year they enrol), Primary School (Grades 1-6) and High School (Grades 7-12). Prep is not compulsory, but a child must be enrolled for Year 1 in the year they will turn 6 by June 30th. By law, schooling is required for all children from the age of 6 years and 6 months.

Moving Interstate to New South Wales

  • Time Zone – Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), UTC +10, with the exception of Broken Hill, which follows Australian Central Standard Time (ACST).
  • Daylight Savings – Clocks are moved forward one hour from 2am on the first Sunday in October until 2am on the first Sunday in April. This helps to give an extra hour of daylight to the day during the warmer months.
  • Climate – This changes from location to location; however, the largest part of the state (west of the Great Dividing Range) is considered arid to semi-arid, with very hot summers and very cold winters. You can expect higher levels of humidity and rainfall in the coastal areas.
  • Schooling – In NSW, the schooling structure consists of Kindergarten (child must be 5 years old by July 31st in the year they enrol), Primary School (Years 1-6) and High School (Years 7-12). School is compulsory for all children from the age of 6.

Moving Interstate to Victoria

  • Time Zone – Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), UTC +10.
  • Daylight Savings – Observed in Victoria as in NSW.
  • Climate – Victoria is home to semi-arid temperate and hot summers in the north-west, and a temperate and cool climate along the coast. The centre of the state experiences a cooler, mountain climate.
  • Schooling – In Victoria, the schooling structure consists of preparatory or Prep Year (child must be 5 years old by April 30th in the year they enrol), Primary School (Years 1-6) and High School (Years 7-12). Schooling is a legal requirement for all children from the age of 6.

Moving Interstate to the Northern Territory

  • Time Zone – Australian Central Standard Time (ACST), UTC +9.5.
  • Climate – The Northern Territory has 2 distinct climate zones. The northern end has a tropical, humid climate with 2 seasons, the wet (October-April) and dry season (May-September). The central region is semi-arid, seeing little rainfall from October to March.
  • Schooling – In the NT, the schooling structure consists of Kindergarten (child must be 5 years old by April 30th in the year they enrol), Primary Years (Transition – Year 6), Middle Years (7-9) and Senior Years (10-12). Kindergarten is not compulsory. By law, school is compulsory from the age of 6, and children must turn 6 before June 30th in the year they are enrolled.

Moving Interstate to Western Australia

  • Time Zone – Australian Western Standard Time (AWST), UTC +8.
  • Climate – The state’s capital, Perth, is the sunniest capital city in Australia. You can expect an average summer temperature of 29°C, and an average winter temperature of 12°C.
  • Schooling – In WA, the schooling structure consists of Kindergarten or Pre-Primary, (child must be 5 years old by June 30th in the year they enrol), Primary School (Years 1-6), and Secondary School (Years 7-12). School is compulsory from the beginning of the year a child turns 6 years and 6 months old. It has also been made compulsory for children in WA to enrol in Kindergarten or Pre-Primary.

Moving Interstate to South Australia

  • Time Zone – Australian Central Standard Time (ACST), UTC +9.5.
  • Daylight Savings – Observed.
  • Climate – SA has a Mediterranean-like climate, offering hot, dry summers and mild winters. The northern deserts of SA are especially prone to hot, dry weather during summer, regularly reaching 40 degrees.
  • Schooling – In SA, the schooling structure consists of Kindergarten or Preschool, (child must be 5 years old before May 1st in the year they enrol), Primary School (Years 1-6), and Secondary School (Years 7-12). It is compulsory for a child to be enrolled in school by their 6th It is also compulsory for all children to begin school on the first day of term 1.

Moving Interstate to Tasmania

  • Time Zone – Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), UTC +10.
  • Daylight Savings – Observed.
  • Climate – The climate in Tasmania is generally cool and temperate. Unlike some parts of the mainland, where it almost always feels like summer, Tasmanians are treated to 4 proper seasons each year. Make sure to pack both singlets and jackets.
  • Schooling – Tasmania is unique from the other states because it has a 3-step schooling system. Preparatory is taken in the year a child will turn 6, followed by 7 years of Primary School. High school goes from Year 7 to 10, but students must attend a ‘college’ to undertake Years 11 and 12.

Let’s face it: moving is a mega pain in the ass, and you’ll take any help you can get. Check out these 10 tips to make moving easier for even more ways to make your interstate move as smooth as Barry White’s voice.


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