Relocating to Australia

One thing I do have experience of is moving and I seem to have done it way too many times.

So we wanted to give you some top tips for relocating to Australia and especially to Brisbane, that we have picked up along the way.

Even as a child in England we moved a few times and this only continued when I grew up, from the days of packing everything myself into black bin liners and throwing it into the back of my little grey Renault 5 ( ahh I loved that car 🙂 ) Through to the massive international moves with packers and movers and massive shipping containers, with air freight as well . I truly do seem to accumulate an awful lot of stuff !!

If you are now sitting at home contemplating a huge transition even the idea can be overwhelming where do you even start ….. and throw some kiddies into the mix and woho a chaos party waiting to happen. Take a deep breath its going to be ok ! honestly it is 🙂

First massive tip ….

. Sit down with a large bar of chocolate a big cup of coffee and a massive note book , yep not a pad a note BOOK !! we have a journey to plan and get the charger for your laptop or notebook as we are going to be here a while 🙂


If Brisbane is your destination then here is a guide to all of the suburbs we have to help you get started.  If you need some help with the schools in Brisbane check out our  blogs on high schools, primary schools and  kindys   , and also some of the special needs schools we have here You may also need to think about rental properties for when you first arrive so here are some tips on house rental when you 1st arrive.

Now we can think about the actual move no matter where to 🙂

First things first, you’ll need to find your selves a moving company , if you are being relocated by a company then they will often take care of this for you . but if you are moving independently this can be a huge cost you will need to budget for and will impact how much of your stuff you bring with you. As with so many things get several quotes and check carefully what they are including in the package they offer .

Once you have the removalist’s lined up , you will need to start thinking about the practicalities of this move

. A few weeks before the big move start having a massive clear out . I suggest 4 staging posts for your stuff and be ruthless ! 🙂

Keep -this is for everything you know that will definitely be coming with you

Donate – some charity shops will come and do a pick up so give your local ones a call and see what their policy is

Sell  – yep time for that garage sale or if you can’t face that, try putting things up for sale on gumtree which is really easy

Trash – if it doesn’t fit any other choices then throw it ! there is no point in paying to move this with you !


It can be a lot easier doing this without your kiddos around, as if like mine, things will instantly become their favourite even if it hasn’t seen the light of day for years . If this isn’t possible then just get them involved and they can make some decisions themselves, this is where a garage sale or selling via gumtree or such like, can be an incentive as with some pocket money in their wallet they will have some pennies to chose something new, for their new room . 🙂

This is an great opportunity to go through the house and have a really good clean out ! Now if you are coming from the UK to Brisbane then the power voltage is the same and you may consider bringing some electrical items with you as you can just change the plug .

If coming from the USA or anywhere where the voltage is not 240watts, then you won’t be able to use electrical things here. You can buy voltage converters but these can be costly and large, so you will need to decide if it is more cost effective to sell your items before coming, and  then buy new, or not .

. Make sure you pick up all your medical records, immunisation history ( especially important for kids and school ) dental records and any xrays you have had taken. You may have to give your practitioner a few weeks warning that you need all these, so allow that time .

. If you are moving with a pet make sure you start the process for their move as well 🙂 we’ve got you covered with our pet moving blog

. Pick up school reports and any state exam results they have taken, such as Naplan here in Australia or SSAT’s in the USA

. Also pack all important documents into suitcases as these are not things to leave in a container which will take months to come, you will need items such as birth certificates, marriage licences etc to obtain new documents and register for medicare, drivers licences etc here in Australia. So make sure they come with you on the plane.

. Contact all utility companies to let them know when you will be moving so you get you’re final bills and cut off dates.

. Redirect all post as well as change all your online addresses.

.  If you use prescription medication, make sure you fill your script before you move, so you don’t have to find a Dr within the 1st few days

. If you have shipping container that will take a few weeks/months to arrive, then any air freight you have will be invaluable ! I have made the kids favourite things a priority for airfreight, such as a their own duvet cover, favourite toys, anything that will make their new bedroom feel familiar as quickly as possible . Another top tip for airfreight is a couple of kitchen items, as whenever we have arrived at our temporary accommodation I have never found a sharp knife, in even the best equipped kitchen. So I now pack a couple of my “can’t live without items” . I have often found the air freight takes me a while to pack, as its usually pretty weight restricted, so there can be quite a lot of decision making as to what comes with us now, and what we see in a few months.

. If you have young kids when moving, get them excited about where you are going, look it up on a map or a globe. do some online searching about some cool places you can visit when you get there. Check out some of our other tips for relocating with kids here

. There will be tears ! yep no way around that saying goodbye is hard on you, your kids and your friends and family, you are saying goodbye to. We have had some awesome farewell parties ( take lots of photos of all those precious people )

. Clear your fridge and freezer out at the beginning of your last week, your neighbours will love all your donations of out of date tins found right at the back of your cupboards 😉 It’s going to be a week of takeout but thats OK 🙂

. Moving day, be prepared if you have removalists coming in, stand back !!! ……. these guys will pack everything, yep even a full rubbish bin was carefully packed and brought all the way across the ocean . So stand back and let them go for it, just be very clear about what is going with you on the plane and put orange tap around it if you need to !

. Provide lots of coffee, tea,cold drinks and food !!

. Get someone to help you clean the house at the end if you can, as you’ll be pretty tired !

. Take one last look as you close the page on this chapter, shed a few tears. Now face onwards to the next adventure and all thats in store for you as the next chapter starts 🙂


The Joy Girls xx







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  • Moving to another country can be such a hassle and there’s so much that can go wrong – it is important to leave a lot of time for these things to happen. I established my very own relocation services company, Elite Executive Services, after i made the big move from the UK to Australia – to try and help things go a lot more smoothly for people and hopefully take away some of the stress.

    A recent United Nations report reveals 1.27 million Brits have relocated Down Under. That’s one in four of the total number of Britons who have permanently left our shores!

    • Hey Kathy
      Thats awesome you started your own relocation service, as yes it can be very overwhelming, this huge move overseas. But so worth it when we actually get here. x

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