If you have been living in the UK and are re-locating back to Australia you need to put some serious thought and planning into packing for your move back home, including what to take with you, and what arrangements to make to ensure that your belongings reach your destination safely. You may think that because you have already made the move one way, the return will be really easy, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
There are several things that you will need to give a lot of thought to, including whether it is cheaper to replace or transport items and what customs considerations you need to be aware of. It’s important that you give yourself plenty of time to make the right decisions.
Doing your research
As soon as you know that you are going to be moving back to Australia you need to start researching your options, so that you can make informed decisions, and start preparing for your move. The Australian Government provides excellent online resources which can help to answer most of your questions in detail. We have put together some useful tips as an easy to use guide on some of the things you need to consider when you are packing to return to Australia.
What should you take with you?
There is no hard and fast rule as to what you might want to take with you when you move back to Australia but you do need to remember that it’s space not weight which is going to be your main consideration. The more container space that you fill, the more it is going to cost for the transportation. You may want to think long and hard about whether you really want to spend a fortune transporting furniture that is old, and which is probably going to need to be replaced soon anyway.
There are certain goods which you are not permitted to take with you, such as live plants, seeds and nuts and items that contain CFCs. It’s also important to remember that Australian customs will pay special attention to items that have come into contact with soil, or with food products, or that are created from animal or plant products, such as wood. It’s worth taking a look at the advice from the Australian Department of Agriculture. Certainly, garden items, such as lawn mowers and tools should generally be left behind, as should any decorative household items which are adorned with items such as feathers.
What should you remember when packing?
Don’t forget that if you are going to opt for the more affordable sea freight option you will need to allow plenty of time for your belongings to reach Australia. International removal companies normally estimate that this takes approximately 8-10 weeks. This may seem like a long time, and air freight is approximately three times quicker, but it’s also approximately eight times more expensive, and is usually only practical if you are travelling really light.
So you need to start packing early, and you need to make sure that you pack so that your belongings stand the best chance of gaining efficient entry into Australia. Here are some dos and don’ts.
- Make sure that everything is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
- Check that no wooden items show any signs of insect infestation.
- Securely wrap any sharp or breakable items.
- Mark each box with an individual number and list of contents.
- Compile a detailed list of each box and its contents (this is required by the Australian authorities).
- Pack all items that may be of biosecurity concern to the authorities together.
- Pack any opened food items.
- Pack items made from animal products that have not been through a manufacturing process (these can be expensive to treat when they arrive in Australia).
- Use second hand boxes that have already been in contact with organic substances.
- Use sawdust or shavings when packing.
It’s worth finding a reputable removals company as they can often help with packing, and quarantine advice. You should check that insurance is included in any charges as it is better to be safe when you remember that your possessions are being transported a long distance on unpredictable seas.
Just because Australia is your home country does not mean that it’s really straightforward to move back there. You need to ensure that you plan and execute your packing in plenty of time and with consideration for the Australian government’s requirements on unaccompanied goods arriving in the country. If you carry out your packing effectively, and acquire efficient removal services, you will make the move back home a lot easier.
Olly Sampson co-owns Bee Moved a commercial and domestic removals company based in Brighton.