How to Move Interstate – The complete guide to master your move

Just secured a fantastic new job in a different part of the country? Or maybe you're craving a change of scenery, always up for an adventure. Moving interstate is no small task, but we're here to guide you and your family through to master your move.

13 min read

How to Move Interstate – The complete guide to master your move

Key takeaways

  • Understand your reasons for moving, it's important to clearly understand why you are moving interstate, as this influences many aspects of the planning process.
  • Remember to engage in thorough planning before your move, which includes researching your new state, financial planning, and understanding job markets and housing costs.
  • Prioritise researching educational options and setting up healthcare in your new state, especially if you have children.
  • When preparing for the move, take an systematic approach, this involves sorting and decluttering belongings, organising essential documents, and choosing the right moving company.
  • On moving day, adopt efficient packing strategies and maintain good communication and coordination with movers on the moving day.
  • After the interstate move, you can focus on setting up essentials like utilities and services, registering for medical and educational facilities, and updating personal identification and legal documents.
  • Once you have time to settle, don't forget to take time to adjust to the new environment, build local networks, and explore your new community with your family.

Imagine this: you’ve landed that dream job, but it’s in another state. The excitement is quickly replaced with a myriad of questions. How will I handle the employment gaps during the move? How will my family member adapt to the new school? Is it about time to start packing? All these questions can start to feel overwhelming. Fear not, we’ve got you covered with our guide on how to move interstate, you can rest easy knowing help is on the way. Let’s take a deep breath and dive in.

This comprehensive guide is designed to equip you with all the necessary details for your interstate move. From financial planning to selecting the right moving company, we’ve left no stone unturned. We’ll assist you in crafting an early moving plan, so you can concentrate on the crux of the matter - embarking on your new life in a new state with seamless interstate moves and interstate moving services.

Every move is unique, and your reasons for moving interstate are just as unique. Whether it’s for a job, family, or just the need for a change, understanding your reasons for moving is the first step towards a successful move. So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and let’s get started. It’s a good idea to have a notebook or a digital tool to jot down notes as you go along.

Pre-move planning

Now that you’re ready to embark on this exciting journey, let’s start with some pre-move planning. Like any big project, moving interstate requires careful planning. You wouldn’t set off on a long distance road trip without a map, right? The same applies to moving. Your move is a journey, and you need a roadmap to guide you. From choosing the right moving company to finalising a moving date, every step has its importance.

Getting to know your new state

Prior to immersing yourself in packing, it’s imperative to familiarise yourself with your new state. After all, you’ll be calling this place home soon! Take the time to research the following aspects of your new location:

  • Climate
  • Culture
  • Laws
  • Lifestyle

Will you need to invest in a new winter wardrobe? Are there unique local laws you should be aware of? What is the local culture like? By understanding these aspects, you can adapt more smoothly to your new environment.

Another important step in getting to know your new state is researching job markets and housing costs. This is particularly important if you’re moving for reasons other than a job transfer. Check out resources such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, to get a grasp of the job market in your new state. Additionally, understanding the cost of living will help you budget for your move and set realistic expectations for your new lifestyle.

Financial planning for your move

Let’s address the unavoidable topic - finances. Moving interstate can be costly, but with careful planning and budgeting, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Start by setting a moving budget. This includes not only the obvious costs like hiring a moving company and renting a moving truck but also hidden costs like packing supplies, connection fees, and more.

As with any major purchase, it’s important to shop around. Don’t just settle for the first moving company you find. Get quotes from various moving companies and compare their services and prices. Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Look for a balance between cost and quality. Also, don’t forget to budget for hidden costs like additional services and possible overcharges.

Educational and health considerations

Having grasped the financial aspects of moving, it’s now time to focus on two equally consequential matters - education and health. If you have children, researching educational options in your new state is a must. Investigate local schools, their academic calendars, and extracurricular activities. This will help ease your children’s transition and ensure they continue their education smoothly.

When it comes to health, it’s vital to set up medical care in your new state. This includes finding a local medical clinic, transferring medical records, and understanding healthcare options in your new state. Remember, your health and the health of your family should always be a top priority.

Preparing for the move

Having completed the planning phase, it’s now time to take action. Preparing for the move can be a daunting task, but with our moving interstate checklist, you’ll stay organised and on top of things.

From decluttering your belongings to organising essential documents, we’ll guide you through each step of the entire moving process to ensure your moving day goes off without a hitch.

Sorting and decluttering belongings

The first step in preparing for the move is sorting and decluttering your belongings. It might be tempting to pack up everything and sort it out at the other end, but we promise, taking the time to declutter before the move will save you time, stress, and even money.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Categorise your belongings into what to keep, sell, donate, or discard.
  2. Pack and label your belongings accordingly.
  3. Sell or donate the items you no longer need.
  4. Dispose of any items that are no longer usable.

Not only will this make packing and unpacking easier, but it can also help reduce the cost of your move.

Once you’ve sorted your belongings, it’s time to measure your furniture. This will help you determine if your current furniture will fit in your new home. If a piece of furniture is too large or doesn’t suit your new home’s style, consider selling or donating it. After all, starting fresh in a new state might be the perfect opportunity to refresh your home décor!

Organising documents and essentials

Next on the list is organising your essential documents. You’ll want to keep important documents like birth certificates, passports, financial records, and insurance policies in a clearly labelled box or folder. These should be kept with you during the move for easy access. Additionally, it’s a good idea to digitize all moving documents such as receipts, quotes, records, inventory, and condition reports. This will not only keep you organised but also ensure you have all the necessary documents at your fingertips.

Last but not least, prepare an overnight essentials bag. This should include:

  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Toiletries
  • A first aid kit
  • Snacks
  • Medications
  • Chargers
  • Important personal belongings

It’s also a good idea to include a separate container for valuables and keys to the new home. This bag should be kept with you during the move for easy access to essentials.

Selecting the right moving company

Having packed everything, the next step is to select the appropriate moving company. This is a crucial step in the moving process. You’ll be entrusting your belongings to this company, so it’s important to choose a reputable and trustworthy removalist. Find a mover offers valuable comparison and selection tools to help you make the right choice.

When selecting a moving company, be sure to check their reputation and reviews. Independent customer reviews on various online platforms, along with personal recommendations, can provide valuable insights into the reliability and reputation of interstate movers. Additionally, it’s important to understand the moving company’s policies, including their payment process, accepted payment methods, and their policy on liability and protection.

Moving day

The much-anticipated day has finally arrived! It’s likely a blend of thrill and anxiety is surging within you. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. From following a last-minute checklist to coordinating with movers, we’ll guide you through each step to ensure your moving day goes smoothly.

Packing strategies for the long distance moves

Packing for a long distance move requires a different approach than a local move. You’ll need to utilise space-saving techniques like rolling clothes instead of folding and using vacuum bags for bulky items. This will not only save space but also make unpacking easier at the other end.

Another important packing strategy is to use packing cubes. These handy tools can keep your clothes compact and organised, which speeds up both packing and unpacking. Don’t forget to label each box with its contents and the room it belongs to. This will make unpacking a breeze!

Systematic packing approach

When it comes to packing, a systematic approach is key. Here are some tips to help you:

  1. Start packing early and break down the process into manageable steps.
  2. Start with areas that are less frequently used to minimise disruption to your daily routine.
  3. Label each box clearly with its contents and the room it belongs to. This will make unpacking at the other end much easier.

Pack all the boxes carefully, following these steps:

  1. Place heavier items at the bottom for stability.
  2. Mix heavy and light items to ensure each box is manageable and secure for stacking and carrying.
  3. Remember, no box should be too heavy to lift.

Protecting valuables and fragile items

Moving interstate means your belongings will be in transit for a longer period of time. This makes protecting your valuables and fragile items even more important. Use bubble wrap and clean white butcher’s paper to wrap delicate items. This will prevent soiling and provide extra cushioning during transit.

When packing fragile items like vases and glasses, follow these steps to ensure their safety:

  1. Wrap each item individually and reinforce thin or delicate parts with additional cushioning.
  2. Use dividers within boxes for organising fragile items.
  3. Fill all empty spaces with bubble wrap or packing paper to minimize movement and prevent potential damage during transit.

By following these steps and using the right packing materials, including packing tape, you can pack your fragile items securely.

Communication and coordination with movers

Communication and coordination with your moving company are essential to ensure everyone one involved is on the same page, which ultimately results in a successful move. Here are some things to consider:

  • Make sure you understand their policies on liability and protection.
  • Inquire if they utilise subcontractors.
  • Ask if they can provide references or testimonials from past clients.

This will give you peace of mind knowing your belongings are in good hands.

Maintain open lines of communication with your moving company. If there are any changes or unique requirements, communicate these as soon as possible to avoid any misunderstandings on moving day. Also, coordinate logistics and guide the movers on packing the truck, ensuring that all your belongings are loaded and secured properly with the help of their moving services.

Settling into your new state

You’ve successfully reached your new home - kudos! Now, the fun part begins. It’s time to unpack and start creating a space that feels like home.

Make sure you have the necessities

Before you start unpacking, make sure you have all the necessities set up. This includes utilities like electricity, gas, and water. Start the process of setting up utilities early to prevent moving into a new home without essential services.

Remember to disconnect existing connections at your old home and set up new ones at your new home. Also, record meter readings at both properties on moving day. This will ensure you’re only billed for the utilities you’ve used.

Transferring utilities and services

Transferring utilities and services is another important step in settling into your new state. Here are some things to consider:

  • Verify utilities for reconnection such as electricity, gas, water, and waste management services.
  • Verify non-essentials like cable and internet.
  • Make sure all utilities at the new home are activated prior to your arrival.

This will ensure a comfortable first night stay in your new home.

If you’re moving to a new city or state where your current utility services do not operate, you’ll need to research local utility providers and set up new utility services. Remember, the comfort of your new home largely depends on these utilities, so make sure this task is high on your priority list.

Registering for medical and educational facilities

Once you’re settled in your new home, it’s time to register for medical and educational facilities. If you have children, researching and registering for schools is a top priority. This includes preparing necessary documents such as:

  • school records
  • recommendation letters
  • medical records
  • information on textbooks and extracurricular activities
  • scheduling a walkthrough of the school if possible

In terms of healthcare, finding and registering with a local medical clinic should be at the top your to-do list. This includes transferring medical records to maintain continuity of healthcare. Remember, your health and the health of your family should always be a top priority.

Post-move adjustments

Once the chaos of moving day has subsided, it’s time to adapt to your new environment. This includes adjusting to the new environment, building a new network, and reflecting on the move. Bear in mind, change is an inevitable part of life and it’s perfectly fine to take your time to adapt, especially if you have young members of the family who may not fully understand why they are moving in the first place.

Building local networks

Relocating to a new state entails establishing fresh social and professional connections. This can feel daunting at first, but with a little effort, you can start to feel a sense of belonging. Start by reconnecting with old friends, colleagues, or relatives in the new city. They can provide advice and support as you navigate your new surroundings.

Another great way to build your local network is by:

  • Joining local groups on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Attending local community meetings
  • Enrolling in classes of interest
  • Joining local sports leagues

These activities not only help you meet new people, but they also help you immerse yourself in the local culture.

Navigating legal and administrative transitions

Moving interstate also involves navigating some legal and administrative transitions. This includes notifying the Electoral Office, updating your driver’s license, and communicating your change of address to essential organisations. These tasks may seem tedious, but they are essential for a smooth transition to your new state.

Another important step is establishing a legal domicile for tax purposes. If your residency status changes during the income year, make sure you indicate this on your tax return to be taxed at resident rates. These tasks may not be at the forefront, but taking the time to navigate these legal and administrative transitions will ensure you don’t end up with a surprise fine in the mail for not voting in your previous state of residence.

Updating personal identification

One of the first things you’ll need to do after moving interstate is updating your personal identification. This includes obtaining a new driver’s license and updating vehicle registration. You’ll need to visit Vicroads in Victoria or in NSW Government in New South Wales or the local government  equivalent in the state you have moved to and comply with specific requirements, including providing proof of residency and any identification papers.

Remember, severe penalties apply for driving a vehicle without proper license or registration. So, it’s important to update your license and vehicle registration as soon as possible after moving. Also, make sure important documents like passports are up-to-date ahead of the moving process. This will save you from a lot of stress down the line.

Establishing legal residency

Finally, you’ll need to establish legal residency in your new state. If you are not an Australian resident, this involves meeting certain residency tests for tax purposes. For example, the resides test is the primary test of tax residency; if you live in Australia, you are an Australian resident for tax purposes without needing to apply any other residency tests.

In addition to the resides test, there are additional tests to determine tax residency. These include the domicile test and the 183-day test. It’s important to understand these tests and how they apply to you. If your residency status changes during the income year, make sure you indicate this on your tax return. This will ensure you’re taxed at resident rates and claim the pro-rata tax-free threshold corresponding to your residency duration.

Discovering local gems

Having settled in comfortably, it’s now time to venture out and explore your new surroundings. Discovering local gems like parks, shops, and community centres can help you feel more at home in your new state. Take the time to familiarise yourself with your surroundings, and don’t be afraid to ask locals for recommendations.

Setting out with the family on weekly neighbourhood discovery quests can help turn an unfamiliar place into a beloved community. Try out local cafes, visit unique markets, and explore hidden scenic areas. Engaging with your new community will not only help you settle in quicker, but it will also enrich your life with new experiences and friendships. So, get out there and start exploring!

Final thoughts

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this guide, from pre-move planning to post-move adjustments. Moving interstate can be a scary experience with lots of uncertainties, but with careful planning and organisation, it can be a smooth and even enjoyable process. Remember, every move is a new adventure and a chance to start a new chapter. So, embrace the change, explore your new surroundings, and make the most of your new beginning. Let’s make your next interstate move, an exciting but also enjoyable experience and one you can look back on and say. I mastered it.


On moving day, make sure to follow a last-minute checklist, coordinate with your movers, and keep an overnight essentials bag on hand. This will help ensure a smoother moving process for you.

How do I transfer utilities when moving interstate?

Start the process early, disconnect existing connections at your old home, set up new ones at your new home, and be aware of any connection fees. This will help ensure a smooth transition when moving interstate.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, you can move interstate in Australia by enlisting the services of experienced interstate removalists and making use of a relocation checklist to ensure a smooth move. Whether it's for work, education, lifestyle, family, or better community support, it's a common practice in Australia.
Start packing early, categorise your belongings, and use space-saving techniques like rolling clothes and using vacuum bags to make your interstate move more organised and efficient.
To choose the right moving company, compare quotes and services using platforms like and check the company's reputation and reviews.

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