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Pack up your troubles: practical tips for shipping your belongings to Oz

Getting packed up will always take longer than you anticipate. You should set aside plenty time to plan the logistics of your move and to decide exactly what you really do need to take with you and what you can leave behind or sell off.

I was emigrating to Brisbane. As I wanted to keep my property in Edinburgh, I decided to rent it out three months before I left; this meant that I began the packing process well in advance. My personal belongings were boxed up and sent to my parents, and I moved in with a friend for my final three months in Scotland.

My tips for packing are to make a list of all the things you need and decide what you can take with you on the flight and what you can wait for.

I chose to ship my belongings from door to door which took three months. This was the most straightforward way to ship my boxes, rather than picking them up at the port. They only additional cost to the shipping cost was the Customs cost, around $125, which I paid on my boxes’ arrival in Brisbane. As you pack your boxes, make sure any breakable items are well wrapped, and label everything in detail as the shipping company will require this. I shipped my mountain bike and had it fully dismantled and well packed. It travelled very well and I got it built back up and serviced when it arrived.

Be prepared to feel very emotional when your boxes are delivered! This was something I had not considered. I was excited to see my things but it was nevertheless strange to see these familiar belongings from my old home in this new environment.

Be sure to research the weather and what you will really need, thereby saving on shipping costs. Do you really need the racks of heavy woollen jumpers? I did not ship any furniture or electrical goods as these were left in the flat as part of the rental arrangements. If you are not planning on renting your old property, then it’s a good idea to sell off your electrical goods before you go; you can easily pick up these items once you move into your new property in Australia.

Always remember to write lists of what you packed in your boxes, and ensure you have plenty of paper and foam to protect your items. One item which did not ship well was my beloved printer; it arrived very discoloured and has not been the same after its adventure.

A bit of careful planning beforehand will help to take some of the stress out of the big move. I can’t guarantee you a stress-free time of it, but sorting out the logistics in advance will allow you more head-space to focus on more fundamental matters, like saying goodbye to friends and family.


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