CC November Masthead
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HerTravel: Tips for moving overseas

Kim-Ling Richardson

It’s a known fact that Canberra has something of a transient population.

Between the public service, university, military and international communities here, many Canberrans face the prospect of moving in and out of our wonderful territory regularly. Last year, my husband and I were faced with the huge task of moving overseas. Thankfully, we had a lot of help from family and friends. But sometimes you need a bit of outside help, so if you’re leaving Canberra (even just for a little while) are a few helpful hints for the big move.

House-sitting

We did a bit of research in getting a house sitter to look after our place and pets while we were away.

The great thing about a house sitter is that they will treat your place like ‘home’ and look after it under your established terms.

It’s perfect if you have pets or don’t want to go through the hassle of rental agreements and moving your stuff into storage. This is especially helpful if you are going away for only a short period.

Whilst you won’t be paid rent, you can rest assured that your home and pets will be looked after and treated with care. Aussie House Sitters is a helpful site that helps connect homeowners with potential sitters. One of he highlights is that its free to list your place and search for a house sitter that fits your needs.

Storage

Storage is not a cheap exercise, especially if you have a lot of furniture and items. We found that there are plenty of storage companies in Canberra, but due to the cost (and admittedly, our apathy), we decided on leaving it in our place and look into the housesitting option.

We also stored some valuables with family and loaned our car to a friend (who happily paid for registration and insurance in exchange for using the it). If you can, try to store items between family and friends or offload unwanted items on Gumtree.

If you still need storage options, places like Store-Ezy, National Storage and Storage King have various warehouses around Canberra with prices listed online.

Removalists

It’s important to know that whatever you decide to take with you are in good hands. When we moved from Brisbane to Canberra, we used Kent Removals & Storage. We were happy with the service, and, of all the items transported, only one glass was broken. They also do overseas moves, which is good to know for those facing an international relocation.

For local and interstate removalists also check out Mitchell Family Removals or White Knight. Both these companies provide packing boxes and assistance.

End-of-Lease Cleaning

Forget the packing and jetlag, end-of-lease cleaning is probably the most painful part of moving (at least for us it was!). Thankfully, you don’t have to get your own hands dirty as there are plenty of cleaners in Canberra, specialising in end-of-lease cleaning.

We opted to do it ourselves, but Revitalise Cleaning was one of the cleaning companies most recommended to us.

Staying in Touch

Once you’ve sorted out everything else and have packed, make sure you have Skype set up on your smartphone and/or computer. It is the cheapest way to stay in touch with family and friends back home whilst you are abroad. If you ever feel homesick, seeing familiar faces can be the best medicine!

We also took advantage of smartphone apps such as WhatsApp and Viber (which provide free messaging and phone calls over an internet connection).

In Europe, WhatsApp is actually THE form of communication, and most mobile phone plans now offer heavy data plans as opposed to phone credit, simply because everyone messages over WhatsApp.

Moving anywhere can be a daunting task and hopefully these tips will ease any nervous anticipation towards a big move.

Once the fiddly items are crossed off the checklist, you can start to research and look forward to your next destination. Whether you are moving for work or to start a new and exciting chapter, embrace the change and we wish you good luck!

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Kim-Ling Richardson

From her first overseas trip at only 6 years of age, Kim-Ling has had an evolving wanderlust and has often dreamt of travelling the world. In 2014, she decided to bite the bullet, leave her massive shoe collection behind and embark on a whirlwind adventure to Spain as an English teacher. A self-confessed ‘hispanophile’ she and her husband lived in a small village north of Córdoba and spent every spare minute travelling through Spain and Europe. Believing that the world is her oyster, Kim-Ling is determined to make travel blogging her career (unless Professional Shoe Collector or Chocolate Taster become viable career choices). More about the Author

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