a pre-move checklist

Being the overly organised person that I am, I can never seem to hold back from putting together a well-structured to-do list. It’s a simple method to make yourself feel productive and also conveniently doubles as a great way to avoid chasing your tail and experiencing those mini freak outs when you’re laying in bed trying to get to sleep in the days leading up to your departure date.


This was my list but could easily be transferred to suit your own unique move and time scale. I was adjusting it on a weekly basis and kept on adding to it as I went along.  It definitely kept me motivated, on track and excited about the end goal.  


Have a plan 

I'm not saying plan your future out day by day, minute by minute … but I did find it extremely useful to put pen to paper and visualise what was in store for me and how I could potentially minimise the probability of unwanted event clouds from filling my life sky (aka running out of money) and raining on my parade. And anyway, there’s ample amounts of rain in England without these unnecessary brain storms.


Catalogue your to-do-list by week or month. This sets more realistic deadlines and helps you feel more prepared. My plan will obviously look different to yours, yours will look different from the next person’s and so on. But there’s the essentials that all of us will have to do, regardless of where we are moving, how long we have to plan the move and the length of time we’re planning on being abroad. Mine involved selling my belongings, packing up my room, visa appointments, plane flights, budgets and lists of what I’d need to sort out once I was in the UK. I also researched potential places for residing, whether I would need a car, public transport and also making a list of all the places I wanted to go during my time overseas.


Add columns

More specifically, a ‘completed’ column to tick off them items as you go and a ‘budget’ column to estimate how much each task is likely to cost. These checklist additions will make you feel more productive and feel a little less stressed about funds.


Start early!

I cannot stress this enough … early planning is the key to (slightly more) seamless transitioning. Start researching, selling, planning and packing as soon as possible! I started putting my things in boxes, going to markets to sell my stuff, setting up garage sales and posting items on Facebook as soon as I knew I was leaving for England … and even then I feel like that wasn’t enough time. I still had a number of boxes of unwanted clothes, accessories and knick knacks when I left. Initially I kept these items in storage at my family home but then I decided that it was best to give most of it away to charity (… after my sister had a rummage through them of course) and start fresh!

Here’s what my to-do list looked like … and in a perfect universe I probably would have had more time to do everything but then again #yololife and #hustle because I only had two months to make the move.


  • Book flights (a scary and surreal moment!)

  • Research and book market stalls to sell belongings

  • Set up garage sales on weekends and advertise on Facebook/social media

  • Organise storage of essential belongings which can’t be sold (e.g photos or letters)

  • Organise and prepare car for sale

  • Advertise car for sale

  • Research life in the UK, cars, houses, where I was going to work etc…


  • Sell car (luckily for me, my sister brought my car and this obviously negated a lot of the stress associated with the selling and transferring of my car)

  • Continue to sell belongings at market stalls and online

  • Unregister from the Australia Electoral list

  • Notify Australian accounts that you’re moving overseas (e.g bank accounts) and redirect bank statements to email or online

  • Print resume and make copies of essential documents (passport, birth certificate, drivers licence) and also save these documents online or on a USB so you can easily access them if you need them! You never know when you’ll need them and not having them readily available often delays essential activities (e.g. like getting a bank account or licence)


  • Organise tax return

  • Close all but one bank account

  • Get written landlord referrals and work referrals

  • Book accommodation in the UK

  • Organise transport to the accommodation

  • Think or someone you know in the UK/place you’re moving and make contact with them. Often it is the case that you need an address in a country (especially in the UK) to set up a bank account or other accounts/services. Your first letter will be sent to this address so it also important that you first trust this person enough to have this confidential information and, secondly, can find a way of collecting this letter or other documents from them/their residence.

Like I said, this will be different to yours and you may need to factor in extra things if you already live out of home (like cancelling utilities, organising furniture removalists and such).  However, having a checklist helped me immensely and seeing my pre-leave list will hopefully help get your brain clogs get turning so you too can feel organised and ready too.


Happy planning!


Nat xx