*Updated September 2023
As if things weren’t already hectic enough, the start of the new year also marks peak posting season. If you’re anything like us, you’re probably tired just thinking about it.
Whether it’s your first move as a Defence family, or your 15th, there’s always something to do which can help make your up- or downlift smoother and less stressful.
Here are some posting season hacks from our team to help smooth the way. With 56 moves (and counting) between us as Defence families, we know what we’re talking about!
1. Meet your new best friend
There is a heap of available and accessible information about relocations as a Defence family. The Toll Transitions website will be your new best friend. Download the Defence Relocation Guide and refer to it frequently. The ADF pay and conditions manual (PACMAN) is an equally important source of information as Toll administers policy in accordance with PACMAN.
2. Use your connections
Manage your entire posting through PostingConnect, a Defence platform supporting ADF members and their families through domestic postings that include a removal. The ADF member must sign up and add a nominee (partner or other family member) who can access the platform and complete tasks. A huge benefit of using PostingConnect is that all relocation services are all accessible from the site, so only one log in required to access Toll and DHA services.
3. Think of the (fur) children
If you have pets, make sure to look into relocation arrangements and costs for them (including quarantine requirements, if applicable) early in the process. Read the section on pet relocation allowances in PACMAN.
4. Do your homework
Do your research ahead of time to reduce the anxiety of moving to a new area. Reach out to any family and friends in the new area – search Facebook for the Defence community and/or local area family groups. This can be a good starting point for recommendations on child care providers, medical practitioners, utility providers, or seeing what events/activities are being held to connect with the Defence community.
5. Downsize, donate, declutter
Use the lead-up time to your move to fully declutter your existing home so you’re only taking items you want to keep. Donate, gift, and use hard rubbish in the weeks before the pack. If you can afford it, use your move as an opportunity to upgrade or downsize items like beds, fridges or TVs.
Did you know?
While you can’t take your gas bottles as part of your removal, you can swap them at Bunnings for a voucher and exchange for a new one once you reach your new location?
6. Make a quick buck on Marketplace
If you have the time, you can also make some quick cash on Facebook Marketplace by selling unwanted items. Price your items to sell, not to make a profit. This may mean selling off unwanted things like fridges or bookshelves for cheap. The goal isn’t necessarily to recover the costs of purchasing your items, but to move them on quickly.
7. Stick with it
Use different-coloured stickers as part of your own pre-packing to identify which room the boxed items will need to be placed at your new place. For example, all red for the kitchen, all green for the master bedroom, etc. Keep a note of this system for downlift day, so you have it on hand and can direct the removals team.
8. Keep your essentials together
Start a stash of important items like TV remotes, anchor bolts, the keys to your antique sideboard, a kettle, plastic cups and some coffee/tea bags, dry snacks, etc in an easily-identifiable box. This will be your priority box for the day of the move. Other handy items include Hex and Allen keys to put things together, screwdrivers, a knife or box cutter, toilet paper and linens for the first night.
9. Zip it!
While you’re at it with the essentials, think about all the small things that could easily get thrown out with paper at the other end. Place items like bolts, lugs, screws, washers etc into zip lock bags and label, label, label.
10. Be present
It may sound fairly obvious, but try to be at your new residence on downlift day. One of our team members once had to be in another state on downlift day and engaged the professional team to unpack and set up the new service residence for her…and couldn’t find things for months.
11. Be clear on responsibilities
Check with your removals case manager on team responsibilities while packing and unpacking. If your removals team takes an item like a standard bed apart for the move, it is their responsibility to reassemble it in your new residence. However, they are not responsible for cots or bunk-beds or non-standard beds (with electronic lifting devices, etc).
12.Empty your fridge
Triple check there is nothing left in your fridge or freezer. Place a roll of plain white toilet paper into the fridge and freezer to absorb moisture and keep mold at bay. According to our contacts, it’s fairly common for families to accidentally leave food/meat/fish in their fridges.
13. Get your gear
If you want (or need) to do a quick clean after the removalists have gone, remember to set aside any cleaning products, rubbish bags, vacuum, etc you may need. If you’re going to be there a while, make sure you also have a drink bottle for yourself, a small snack for a burst of energy, and Bluetooth speakers or headphones to play some housework hits.
14. Check your dates
If you’re in the same town and go to look at your new place prior to the date you get the keys, remember that it may not yet have had a final house clean or yard tidy. If that happens, please wait, and if you are not happy with the state of the house or yard on the day you move in, then let Defence Housing Australia know ASAP.
15. Orange you glad we suggested this?
Grab a little bottle of orange oil from the supermarkets to remove sticky labels from wooden furniture or glass. It is excellent at removing sticky residue, smells great, and is gentle on your furniture.
16. Keep your friends close and your removal team closer
While they are being paid to do a good job, in the experience of our team, putting out some leftover cold soft drinks, offering a few snacks or even doing a coffee run can really boost the moral of the moving team. This can spell a smoother move for you and often one that is quicker too.
17. Food, glorious food!
The last thing you want to think about the day of or after downlift is grocery shopping. Treat yourself to one last take away meal the night of downlift to settle into your new home and give the fridge a day to settle and chill. Think about organising groceries at your new location in advance of the move for click and collect or delivery in the days following downlift.
18. Hide and Seek
If you don’t want it packed, then make sure its well out of the way and ALL removalists are informed. Some of our team like to use one of the bathrooms with a big DO NOT PACK sign on the door for all the items needed at the temporary accommodation or that they want to take with them. Another even safer option if you are driving to your new location is to put all of your gear into your car. Also ensure all items belonging to the house are safe e.g. aircon remotes, doorbell plugs and the like because in our experience… packer gonna pack!
All the best with your next posting!
If you have had issues with your move which you have not been able to resolve with your case manager, please contact us.