Ever moved 3 states in 3 years while pregnant or raising young children? 

I have and here’s my journey and what I've learnt.

For the first 27 years of my life I lived in the one city. My parents still live in the same house I was born in. Besides lots of overseas and interstate travel, I had lived in the comfort zone of Perth my whole life. That was until my Hubby got a job with the government which meant we needed to move to Darwin. At 2 months pregnant we did the drive, yes, a road trip. We drove up to the top of WA, across and up to Darwin in 4 days, camping on the side of the road. Luckily Hubby had already been in Darwin and set up most of our beautiful 3 bedroom apartment in the city. The hard work was done but at this stage we didn't have any children or extra items to move, just our things.

That first week in Darwin was an emotional roller coaster and that might have also been a tad to do with the hormone party that was happening, but getting use to the climate in Darwin is one thing. Leaving all your family, friends and fabulous job when you’re about to have your first child is another. After that first week I fell in love with Darwin and I still miss it to this day. It’s one of those places you either love or hate.

So we were in Darwin for around 18 months before we moved down to Brisbane with our then 9 month old daughter (now 26 months old). We chose to fly ourselves and have all our belongings packed up into those big shipping containers. It is very tricky trying to pack and clean a house with no family or close friends for help or support. One of us had to take care of our daughter while the other was organising the house. While still in Darwin we made sure our temporary accommodation was in walking distance from the place we were leaving.

When we arrived in Brisbane it was a 30 minute drive to our house from our temporary accommodation, which we had in the city. We chose to be in the city because that way we could explore Brisbane a bit more before we settled in the suburbs.

For some reason, moving into this house was very time consuming. We had gone from a 3 bedroom flat to a small 4 bedroom house and yet it was hard to unpack so things were more or less thrown in were ever they could go. In the end I just didn't want to look at it anymore, I just wanted the boxes gone. It was a rude shock to see how much stuff we had that we didn't need or use! We stayed in Brisbane for 1 year where our son was later born (he’s now 6 months old) and then moved to Sydney where we are now.

So if our move from Darwin to Brisbane was difficult, what was it going to be like with two children under the age of two?? We needed a plan of attack! We called on my parents for their help. They flew over the day before we were to move into our new house. They minded the kids for us while, once again, we rushed to unpack the millions of boxes in front of us. I have to say, if my parents didn't help us we might still be unpacking now 4 months down the track!

There are pro’s and con’s with moving around, as there is with everything. The good thing about relocating is you get to experience a new place, go exploring, meet new people and learn the value of your ‘old’ friends. The hard thing is leaving those friends you make along the way. I wouldn't change a thing, but we are hoping we will stay in Sydney for another two years at least!

My moving tips:

  • Try and be organised. Prepare as much as you can before you move, that way it’s not as stressful and you feel more confident when you arrive.
  •  Arrange for your electricity and gas to be turned on the day you get the keys to your new place.
  • Get your mail redirected (I recommended doing it for 6 months as there is always somewhere you forget to update your address).
  • Try and organise your employment or study before you move so you’re not left stranded for too long.
  • Search and find groups online or in the community in your area that relate to you. You will meet people and get out and about. That way you won’t feel so isolated in the beginning and these people can tell you where to go, what to do and pass on tips and info.
  •  Look on Google Maps and find out where everything is located around you. Supermarket, Library, Schools anything you might need.
  • Have enough money behind you for all those extra moving costs. Bond, connection fees, in case you don’t have a job lined up straight away, new clothes for climate change or new job/roll etc.
  •  Do a big sort of all your belongings and throw out or donate everything you don’t use, want or need. This will make things so much easier when you unpack!
  •  If you have children and you have someone who is able to mind them for you during the day, do it! It will make life so much easier.
  • Be prepared for your kids to be unsettled and not sleep through the night. They may not like seeing their things packed up or they could be getting use to their new environment. If they are young they usually don’t fully understand what’s going on and can sense the stress in mum and dad. *There is lots of helpful professional advice out there about moving for children.
  • Try and have a plan as to what’s going where before all your belongings arrive. If you have a floor plan of the house, make notes with your partner all over it so you can tell the delivery person what goes where.
  • Enjoy some takeaway food and hopefully a few drinks to celebrate your new beginning!

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0 # Sam 2014-05-01 20:24
Great tips!
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