It’s posting season, which is one of the most stressful and dreaded seasons for Defence families. First round posting orders typically come out from July with second round in September, with moves typically occurring between December and early February. The duration of posting season is as long as many deployments and neither are a picnic.
For most, Partners takes on most of the planning from house hunting, to researching of the gaining location, hands-on organizing from utilities to school enrolments, pet care or pre-packing, house preparedness, and every other admin task or loose end that comes with posting.
Meanwhile, service members take charge of the Defence-specific aspects including returning losing unit equipment and gaining unit administration.
One thing that is guaranteed in posting season is that even the most seasoned of posters, never knows what posting season will have in store for them.
That said, there is overwhelm you can well and truly avoid. Read on for some overwhelm removal tips.
What you must pre-pack is clothes and personal toiletries. Although speak to any Defence Partner and they will tell you to pack any personal, sentimental, irreplaceable or heirloom items, and personal documents that you NEED to keep in your possession when posting. Find the complete documents checklist here.
When it comes to clothes, start by packing the out of season clothes.
Overall, I try to streamline the process as much as possible. I pre-pack our clothes, personal documents, computers, photo frames and some of my nicer home decor. With our photo frames and home decor, I wrap them with my own bubble wrap but leave them in a corner for the removalists to box up.
I also pre-pack our first night box. Find my first night box checklist here.
When it comes to removals, they tell you to let the removalists pack for insurance. My pro tip is just don’t seal the boxes and ask the removalists to verify the contents and packing of the box, therefore you didn’t pre-pack anything. Alternatively – and only if you want to double handle this – you can pack and stack some boxes in advance and then on the morning of pre-pack just remove the items to the floor next to the box for removalists to repack.
This is something I don’t recommend doing before the posting order is received. Once you have the posting order, you can research the gaining location from DHA suburbs, to employment opportunities, medical providers, education providers and bucket list items. To help with the latter, Military Life x THP posting locations bucket lists are being developed.
Start with what you don’t need to take with you. A good declutter will not only lessen pre-pack and uplift time but also it will save you mental clutter and overwhelm at the other end.
To declutter, I start with an assessment of what’s not working in my rooms, as they currently are, then what won’t work for the new floor plan, and anything we’re replacing that we won’t take with us. If you get into the habit of frequently sorting and organising your rooms, you’ll find way less need to declutter with each posting.
Write a list of the supplies you need to keep on hand and not have uplifted. Then organize where you’ll store these during pre-pack and uplift. Murphy’s law says if you leave them in a corner or in sight at all, the movers pack them. I either pop them in the car or at the neighbours before the movers arrive.
Other things to organize include utilities disconnection and reconnection, postal redirection, membership programs and subscription updates.
Decluttering makes completing or updating the inventory quicker and easier too!
Inventory means listing the furniture items in each room for what they are, i.e. large bookcase, 4m long straight lounge with large 1m x 1m ottoman. Then estimate the number of boxes the other items like décor, books and trinkets will occupy when packed up.
Before uplift, take pictures of everything from the different angles you can and video things like electricals while working. If it has a serial number photograph it. I tackle this job one room an evening and then back up my phone photos to the cloud.
Toll will send out a surveyor after your inventory and before your move to confirm the volume of items and size or number of removal containers needed.
You will receive confirmation of who your removalists are from your Toll case manager. You receive a posting kit of a few boxes, usually a few tea chest sized boxes, cartons and 2 port-a-robes (*insufficient I know*).
You can collect boxes from the community ahead of uplift to complete your uplift. Once removalists are assigned, you can also call them before pre-pack or uplift and arrange to pick up boxes from their depot. You only need to do this for what you are pre-packing. Leave the rest of the packing to them!
Removalists Are Due
Removalists will generally be with you between 1-3 days. The first thing they’ll do is what they term pre-pack, which is boxing everything up. Each box receives an inventory sticker with your surname, suburb and box number.
Each box number is listed alongside the room it originates from, which can help at downlift for easily directing movers to rooms.
The removal from losing location occurs the next day or two after pre-pack. Generally, boxes will be left in the rooms they belonged to during pre-pack, so you can add further room name (i.e. living, dining) or colour coded stickers on boxes to further assist with room allocation at downlift.
That’s it, the nuts and bolts or basics of the removal.