Moving Down South: The Ultimate Checklist
A popular choice with those seeking a sea or a tree change, the south west of Australia has it all. The spectacular scenery, temperate climate, slower paced lifestyle, community focus and booming employment market are just some of the many reasons that more people from Perth are moving down south.
The bigger cities and towns like Bunbury, Busselton and Margaret River are some of the more favoured destinations in the south west; not only for the job opportunities but for the variety of landscapes in their vicinity too. One minute you could be surfing a world famous break, and the next sitting down to a 5-star meal and glass of wine at a renowned vineyard.
If you are one of the lucky ones who has made the decision to move down south, don’t forget to cross these things off the list before you get in the truck.
Declutter and streamline your belongings
Packing up and moving things you don’t want or need anymore is superfluous. If you haven’t used it in a long time, the chances of you missing it after the move are very low. Plus, when you are shifting your belongings a fair distance, space on the truck becomes even more valuable than before. Use the process of packing up to help you declutter so that you are only bringing the important things with you on your new journey in the south west.
Below are additional things you might need to organise while packing your home:
- Collect packing boxes
- Start decluttering your home
- Dispose of dangerous goods
- Use a packing and moving service
- Book pet transport if needed
- Arrange secure storage if needed
- Arrange a bond clean
Research your new community and find groups to join
Before you make the move south, consider signing up to different groups and clubs in your new town to help make your integration into the community seamless. Find out who the local sports teams are, check to see if there are any hobby clubs about, or find a local charity that you can get involved in. Joining a group in your new community immediately puts your face out there, and it opens you up to making new connections from the get go.
Other ways of making connections in your new community include:
- Sign up to the local council newsletter
- Research local charities
- Join online communities and social media groups in your new area
Call and set up utility services at your new destination
Stay one step ahead by setting up your utility services at your new address well before you leave Perth. Some utilities can take days to be activated and you don’t want to be caught out. After a 2-plus hour drive from Perth to your new south west destination, a hot mug of tea, hot shower and working lights are luxuries you don’t want to be missing.
While you are getting everything sorted for the new house, don’t forget to start wrapping up the services at your old house too. Most utility companies offer a relocation service, but they aren’t always free.
Disconnect and connect all utilities, cancel bills, such as:
File a change of address
It is a mammoth task trying to remember all the businesses you have to register your change of address with, so the easiest option is to pay for a mail redirect with Australia Post. Having all your mail redirected at the post office for a period gives you the chance to keep tabs on what mail is coming in, and change addresses on anything you may have missed initially. Mail can be redirected for 1, 3, 6 or 12 months and the service is priced accordingly.
Service providers you might be using include:
- Banks and Superannuation funds
- GP and medical practitioners
- Australian Taxation Office
- Electoral Commission
- Kids’ school, clubs and associations
- Newspaper and Magazine subscriptions
- Online shopping websites
Pack an essentials box
Unpacking at your new destination can be a long and arduous task, meaning things can sometimes be left in boxes for days after arrival. It is ok, we have all done it.
If you have an inkling unpacking is going to take a while (which it might once you have driven a few hours south), pack an ‘essentials’ box or two to help you get through. Fill it with the things you will most need when you arrive – a few changes of clothes each, some bathroom amenities, bedding, a kettle, some and some staple kitchen supplies. At least you will have everything you most need on hand and ready to go.
Make a list of things to explore when you get there
It may be slower and more spacious than Perth, but there is still so much to do in the south west. Whether you take up residence somewhere like Bunbury or Busselton or you head for Nannup or Dardanup in the hills, the towns and the surrounding areas are full of fun activities to get stuck in to. Before hitting your new destination, do some research into what the area has to offer so you are a full bottle on it when you arrive. Camping, fishing, wine tasting or surfing – you will have weekend activities planned for months to come!
Gordon Crawford is the figure behind The Moving Man, a family operated removalist located in Perth with more than 30 years of experience in moving people’s homes from Perth city to anywhere in WA, including to rural towns in the South West.