5 April 2022

Stress-free interstate migration

Emma McLaren
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Migrating interstate is a big move that can be stressful if you don't plan it well. But it's possible to have stress-free interstate migration if you plan ahead.

Read on to find out everything you need to know to plan your interstate move, including:

  • Interstate transport options for all your possessions

  • The benefits of using professional interstate removalists

  • Moving interstate costs

  • A moving interstate checklist

Interstate transport options for all your possessions

Your three main options for moving yourself and everything you have interstate are road, rail and air. Each option has its pros and cons in terms of cost, speed and practicality. Let's look at each one in turn.

Road

Road transport includes driving yourself using your own vehicle or hiring a truck or using the services of an interstate removalist to move all your possessions for you.

Pros

  • Easy and convenient to organise.

  • Affordable, especially if you share space on the removalist truck with other people moving their possessions interstate.

Cons

  • Slower than air transport.

  • Time-consuming and tiring if you do the driving yourself.

Rail

Moving interstate by rail involves hiring one or two large containers for all your possessions (depending on how many belongings you have). The containers are transported by truck to an interstate freight train service, transported by rail, and then picked up by another truck at the other end.

Pros

  • Cheaper than air transport.

  • Suitable for transporting large items (like vehicles).

  • Good for 'long haul' moves (e.g. Sydney to Perth)

Cons

  • Slower than air transport.

  • If you're moving to a more isolated interstate area, there may not be rail infrastructure near where you are moving.

Air

Moving interstate by air is an expensive way to proceed. Although costly, it will be the quickest way to move interstate if timing is important.

Pros

  • The fastest option to move interstate.

  • Allows you to settle into your new home more quickly.

Cons

  • Very expensive.

  • It is more tricky to organise transporting all your possessions by air than organising a routine passenger flight. You'll need to book well in advance.

Which transport option is best?

The best transport option will depend on your individual needs and goals for your interstate move. You might use a combination of options. For example, using road or rail transport for your possessions, while you and your family catch a plane.

You should take out appropriate insurance cover for your possessions, Whichever option you choose. Even with the best intentions and when using professional services, damage can happen to your possessions during any move.

The benefits of using professional interstate removalists

Using a professional moving service costs money, but it comes with plenty of benefits, including:

  • Saving you time and hassle

Packing and unpacking all of your stuff can be very time-consuming, especially if you have a large family.

  • Providing a professional service

Moving large items in and out of homes can be very tricky, frustrating, and potentially damaging to allows, etc. Professional removalists move homes for a living. They know how to do it efficiently and safely.

  • Providing a total service (if required)

Removalist services can offer a complete service in addition to transport. This complete service can include providing boxes, packing and unpacking your belongings, and storing them for a time if necessary.

  • Giving you service options (if you want to save some money)

You can save money if you can provide your own packing material, and you pack and unpack yourself as much as possible. If you do, make sure you use good quality boxes, and be careful how you pack your items, especially items that can break. Use plenty of soft padding inside the boxes that contain valuable items, and tape them all up securely.

Moving interstate costs

Five main factors affect the cost of an interstate move:

  1. How many possessions do you need to move (the more you have, the higher the cost).

  2. Whether you are packing yourself or not (it will cost more if the moving company does your packing for you).

  3. How far you are moving (the further you're moving, the higher the cost for the same method of transport).

  4. The type of transport you use (as mentioned earlier, road is the cheapest option, followed by rail. Air is by far the most expensive).

Costs for moving interstate can start from as little as $1,300 if you self-pack minimal possessions and use road transport for a relatively short distance (e.g. between Sydney and Melbourne or Brisbane).

However, costs will increase significantly the more possessions you have, if you don't pack yourself, and the further you travel, even if you use the cheapest transport option (road). For example, moving a large family home via road from Melbourne to Perth when a professional removalist does all the packing could cost you $12,000 or more.

Moving interstate checklist

Moving interstate will require you to update or change many of the same things as when you move within your own State (and potentially more).

Below is a handy checklist you can use to help make your interstate move as smooth as possible.

  • New school enrolments for your kids if you have them.

If you want to get your child into a private school when you move interstate, organise their enrolment as soon as you know you will be moving. Many popular private schools have waiting lists.

  • Change your address and organise an Australia Post redirect service.

Make sure you change your address with all key organisations you deal with regularly. You should also change your address on the electoral roll. Redirecting your address via Australia Post will help you catch any organisation you may miss.

  • Cancel and arrange utility services to match your moving out and moving in dates.

This includes services like electricity, gas, internet and Pay TV at both your old and new addresses.

  • Update your vehicle and licence registration to reflect your new address.

This will make life easier for you and help you avoid a potential fine. Many states require you to do it within 14 days of moving.

  • Register your dog or cat (if you have one) with your new local council.

Again, this will help you avoid a potential fine. You should also update your pet's microchip to reflect your new address if it ever gets lost.

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