We have FINALLY made the big move from Canberra to Coolum Beach, Sunshine Coast. Here are six things I’ve learnt about moving interstate with kids, though some of these tips apply to everyone.
1. Start Early
Start culling and packing early – like yesterday was too late kinda early.
It takes forever to go through all the cupboards, the ‘just in case items’, bookshelves, back shed, etc, especially if you are like us and have lived in the same place for eight years, culminating regardless of all the purges you have done. It’s also super overwhelming and pretty impossible when the kids are at your feet and putting back every broken crayon or craft masterpiece you are trying to get rid of.
I ended up setting aside time every single weekend for organising making it bearable.
Selling our home was the perfect thing as it forced us to have everything sorted long before we moved. It also allowed for rounds of culling – what I mean by this is after the auction we went through the boxes we had packed away in the garage to stage the home. We then decided if we truly needed or wanted something previously packed, or donated it instead.
The week before leaving we had packed all our clothes and were living out of suitcases which worked out great. I also packed away the entire kitchen down to a couple of drawers. This allowed me to clean all the insides of the cupboards ahead of time, making the last morning’s cleaning super easy (also gave the kids a sponge bath the night before heading off because I was super over cleaning that tub!).
2. Shop around for removalists
I didn’t know how mega expensive moving was! It is crazy!! But you can save big money (I’m talking thousands) by shopping around for removalist companies. You can also save big time if you agree to a quiet period date. We saved over $1000 by agreeing to a Friday close to Christmas.
Many people end up hiring a truck and doing it themselves, but a shipping container was the right (and cheapest) solution for us. If you go the shopping container route remember they charge by the container, so make sure you’re confident all your belongings can fit into just one. Otherwise you will be up for a massive fee just to ship a couch in a second container.
3. The drive
We ended up driving for two days for our journey from Canberra to the Sunshine Coast. Some things I recommend:
- if able to, make room for an adult to sit in the back for all the snack bitch, breaking up fights, picking up dummies and soothing toddlers to sleep duties.
- time driving around naps and sleep times if you have young kids.
- Leo cannot watch shows when in the car without being car sick, so stock up on your phone plenty of your kid’s favourite music. ABC Listen does a great series on ‘why does…’ science questions. I also tried audio books but the kids didn’t seem too keen, probably would work better when older.
- Pick some nice places to stop. We like stopping over in Port Macquarie for the night, and the Macadamia Castle near Byron Bay is a great place to stretch the legs and entertain the kids.
- The second day always sucks more than the first. Kids are OVER IT so keep this in mind and plan accordingly.
4. Selecting the right schools and childcare centres
A big factor in choosing where to live was the quality of the local public schools, as you have to live in the right catchment area to be eligible.
It was a tricky decision but these tactics helped:
- asking on Facebook community pages on experiences with different schools. Many people wrote back with honest feedback and were super lovely offering to have play dates when we arrived.
- reviewing creditable websites such as to ensure childcare centres and Kindys were meeting and exceeding requirements.
- asking teachers! I find teachers the BEST resource when analysing different schools. They know who is who in the zoo, tell you the pros and cons and where the best principals are. Many teachers offered to their opinions when asked and also listed the schools to stay away from.
- seeing with your own eyes and following your gut. I flew up and checked out a number of schools and kindys/preschools and my gut was totally aligned with the feedback from the above mentioned sources.
5. Facebook is your friend
I cannot overstate this enough! I’ve discovered soo much local info and made connections though FB. On my second day up here I posted in the Sunshine Coast branch of a women in biz group stating I was looking for work and my background. This resulted in tonnes of leads and securing work within 24 hours! I’ve also already have had some coffee dates with some fabulous women all from this one post. Moral of the story – the young kids may think FB is totally uncool but I think it is rad and worth hanging out on.
6. Do something everyday to remind you of why you moved
It has only been just over two weeks since we moved but I have had moments of missing home and self doubt. The kids have been FULL ON and my anxiety has manifested in mild insomnia and some conversion shakes. But I made a promise to do something in these moments that reminds me of why I wanted to live here – which usually means heading to the beach. My mind is refocused and I go into full gratitude mode when enjoying this paradise. So much so, that I’m thinking of starting a #loveflocklovessunnycoast series where I feature all the cool places and happenings up here. Is that something you Lovelies would be interested in??
Have you ever moved interstate? What did you learn from it? Leave a comment and let me know!