Packing for Australia: 5 Best Time-saving Hacks

Last updated on February 1st, 2024

You wont find these on any other checklist!

It can often feel like you have a good amount of time before you leave for Australia. You are waiting for the visa and the move date seems in the distance. 

Then boom!

You find yourself wondering where the time went.  

Moving to a new country can be daunting, especially if you’re short on time. There are so many things to do when you move to a new country, and it’s hard to know where to start. 

So we’ve put together five of our best time-saving hacks for moving to Australia. These hacks are best accomplished with the three things I learned in my years of moving around the world:

  • Keep lists
  • Chip away and do something each day
  • Do early on what you can, otherwise, you will have to stress through it later on

Packing for Australia Hacks

Sort and declutter

Do this early on–very early on – especially in garages, attics and other rooms you might not use regularly.  Although garages, sheds and attics might seem like the last place to sort, that is exactly the place you might have stored something that the Australian Border Force won’t allow in

Yes, I speak from personal experience. My son had built a cute nativity set out of twigs and leaves, the perfect item to store in the attic until Border Force calls and charges me $280 for the pleasure of de-contaminating it!

Boxes are your friend for the next few months prior to moving. Label them:

  • Donations – who can you pass items along to?
  • Rubbish & Recycling You would be amazed by how much you hoard and how little space your rubbish bin can take! Start early and fill that bin every week.  Google where your local recycling or rubbish dumps are too.  This can help ease space in your bin and the landfill.
  • Pack If you are sending airfreight and sea-freight, segregate them and get them out of your way early on. If you have a dining room, it seems mostly out of the way to put airfreight there. It is a good idea to give the children a box for their “favourites”. I used to also let my children decorate this box. It brought smiles to everyone along the removals track.
  • Returns – Which friend lent you a book that you need to return? A parking disc you promised to leave for someone else? These all sit in the returns box! Return them weekly, trust me you do not want to have to drive around endlessly later on. Piling them all together gives you the opportunity to stack this task along with other errands and you will get through the pile quicker.
  • Organise post and payments – If you are still receiving paper bills, then get out a shoebox and start storing the bills in there so you have them handy when you come to cancel accounts and close them. If you are receiving e-bills then create a folder in your emails for ACCOUNTS TO CLOSE. While you are in your emails, start unsubscribing from all those emails you will no longer need in Australia.

Download helpful apps

Evernote, Google Docs or other planning, and prioritising apps are what you need the most. Highly organised people have numbered each of their boxes and have the numbers and contents of the box listed on the planning app.

You can also use the app to also save important contacts you might need during a transition such as hotels, transfers, immigration agents and others.

Other apps you may need include:

  • Your airline app – with notifications ON, so you are updated on any delays.
  • Banking apps for both the country you are leaving and in Australia
  • WIFI map search and weather are also good to have handy

Measure everything

Those who know me, know that I am very proud of you if you reduce your load to just a  20’ container or less! Still, you will be surprised how many items you forget that you have.

So measure your furniture – or at least make a list of what you have in each room. This will be handy, especially if you are downsizing in Australia and are not sure that the dining table will fit horizontally or if the height of the bed frame will get through the front door, or sit under a window.  

Measuring furniture and drawing a plan for each room is a great job for children.

Get removalist quotes in advance

This is more a money-saving hack than time-saving!  

Removalists bump up their prices when the demand is higher and you are desperate to move on a specific date in the near future.  By having your inspections and booking them in advance, they will still be hungry for your business and they know you are not desperate, which makes sense. 

There is another reason I recommend doing this early: you have time to get three quotes and compare them carefully. Look back on my blog How To Save Money On Your Furniture Removals for more tips on this. You know how I don’t like anyone wasting money.

Get childcare and pet care

Trust me! It is only fun having the children around for about the first hour on moving day. It’s all happy and exciting to see the truck arrive. The first furniture being wrapped up like presents, then, after that it is all a drain on your brain. For pets, not even the first hour is fun. 

I highly recommend, despite your early thoughts that it will be ok (It won’t!) to arrange out-of-house care for children and pets. The removalists will be asking questions, the children are asking questions, the phone is ringing, hunger pains are groaning…

While we’re talking about hunger, removalists always start in the kitchen. Hide the kettle from them and your packed lunch.

Oh and lastly, while we are talking about the kitchen – do remember to take out the trash, I have had a client receive their wrapped dustbin along with 4-month-old rubbish inside!

Happy packing!

Personnel Relocations simplifies the process of relocation to make it comfortable and hassle-free at an affordable price. With excellent care and the right guidance, Personnel Relocations can help you make the right start in Australia. 

We understand that every relocation is different and each one has different goals. To contribute to your settling in Australia, we have alliances with experts such as relocation mentors, life coaches, cross-culture trainers, baby equipment hire, business communication specialists, local and international furniture removals, interior designers, decluttering, unpacking and setting up trades services who can help with specific needs.

It is not unusual for Personnel Relocations to handle the full suite of relocation needs, all from just one call.


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