At some point I stopped counting, but I would imagine if I hadn’t then this post would be called Moving to Australia: Part 23. If you haven’t read any of the other entries in this series and you’re serious about moving to Australia, you can start at the beginning which is called An Idea.
If you are one of the lucky people and you’ve booked your ticket to come to the lucky country, then you will also need to book some removal men. I have touched on this subject before but not in the sort of depth that it deserves.
So what do you bring with you? There are two approaches.
The first is when you convince yourself that Australia is a very long way away, some of your stuff is getting a bit old anyway and it would be far easier to dump some of it, have a garage sale, try to sell some of your things with the house or give some of it away to family and friends. This way your removal expenses will be a little cheaper and you won’t have so much stuff to pack and unpack.
Then, all you need to do when you get to Australia is by some more stuff.
Or the second way is to take everything.
The beauty of the second system is there is nothing to decide, you are going to take the lot! There are some exceptions and I’ll come to those in a moment, but as for fridges, TVs, settees, beds, tables and chairs etc, it’s all going with you.
Anything that is likely to need specialist treatment over in Australia in order to get past AQIS, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. Primarily they do not like anything that has been in the garden or more particularly close to the soil.
So forget your lawnmower, garden tools and all of your garden furniture, especially if it is made out of wood. But you don’t have to exclude everything. We had a chiminea and a round metal table with four metal chairs that were both wedding presents. So we didn’t want to leave those behind. We also had several large garden pots some of which cost £40 or £50 apparently. Yes, I was shocked too!
The answer was to borrow one of those jet wash machines and hook it up with some detergent and give these goods a thorough power spray. You are then requested to declare these items and explain the cleaning procedure that you have been through. All the items we cleaned this way came through customs without any problems. Well almost.
Australian customs picked out one of the garden pots, and then one pair of grey striped sneakers, one pair of blue/black hiking boots and a deck chair. We could either pay $176 to have them all treated before their release or we could give customs permission to destroy them.
We decided to let them ditch the shoes but we paid for the garden pot and the deck chair.
We were advised by somebody not to bring our television out as it wouldn’t work and it didn’t! But it only costs around $50 to buy a set top box to get it up and running again. But I probably wouldn’t bring the video or DVD recorder. They will not tune in to Australian TV stations.
That said, your DVD players will be fine and although your VHS video recorder will not record, it will still be able to play any tapes you already have. So take that into consideration.
Walk in wardrobes are quite common in most Australian homes so you may want to leave your stand-alone wardrobe behind. Having said that, we bought ours with us and it has come in very handy.
Any other exceptions? Yes, the kitchen sink and your car.
The Removal Company
We chose Pickford’s after getting several quotes. All the prices we received were quite similar so we went with Pickford’s because at the least we had heard of them. We had no regrets making that decision. Personally, I thought they did an excellent job!
The paperwork can be a bit of a pain, so the best thing to do with that is give it to the wife! (Well, I got away with it).
They did all the packing for us and when they turned up they were like locusts! About five of them stormed into our house and everything began to disappear into boxes at lightning speed. Be sure to set aside everything you want to take on the aeroplane (don’t forget you get a double baggage allowance) before they arrive, otherwise it will be in the box and taped up before you can say “have you seen my….?”
We had a 40 foot container……….
…………..because we were told all of our stuff wouldn’t fit on a 20 footer. When it was loaded up it was about three quarters full. We had 239 “items” of which just over 200 were boxes and the rest were goods in bubble wrap.
The total cost door to door was £5,458.00 and we chose to pay an additional £652.84 for insurance. Some items did get damaged but true to their word, the insurance paid out. Not only did they pay out, but they paid us the cost of a new replacement for each damaged item. We had to jump through a few hoops to get it, (getting written quotations, filling in lots of forms and providing photographs) but there was really no more hassle than that.
So for a little more than £6,100 we had bought everything with us. So I prefer the “bring everything” approach. It’s easier and cheaper to unpack what you already own than it is to go out shopping for lots of new gear.