Tips for Posting season.

For defence families across the globe, posting season is upon us. We are either awaiting posting orders for moves in December / January or preparing to move in June / July. Posting season is notoriously stressful for the whole family.

2020 will be different but many processes remain the same and these are my key items and tips for a Domestic Posting (Australian Focused).

One you receive the Posting Order, your mind will be consumed by the next location – schools, work, doctors, housing, hopefully this little post will help you with some trips to make the removal side a little easier.

Application for Relocation (AFR) and Removal Inventory

Complete ASAP. The AFR can be completed online or in paper format and forms the basis for your relocation. It will cover all family members, your planned travel, housing considerations, temporary accommodation considerations, pets, preferred uplift dates and special considerations. The AFT is particularly used to calculate allowances, travel times and family composition and special considerations. Once completed you will be appointed a Case Manager who will oversee your relocation and get the process started.


Be specific! A very time-consuming exercise but after 22 years and 15 moves I can guarantee this is a must! Model numbers, serial numbers, costs, year, take photos, label boxes in sharpie (all over). Why? This is a whole other story but imagine, 2003 new baby, new city and furniture truck stolen fully loaded with your complete household goods.

Prepack Preparedness

Organise your items as much as possible. Ensure you have items that need to travel with you (important documents, uniforms if needed, medical records) clearly marked and in a separate location. This will help ensure no items are mistakenly packed. One option is an empty cupboard that you can clearly label.

Ensure your garbage is not in packing range – we have all heard stories or been on the receiving end of unpacking and finding a stinking box full of garbage.

House Cleaning & Preparedness 

With standards having changed over the last 10 years, the move out process in Australia is streamlined and much easier to attain without dreading the ‘white-glove’ inspection. Some steps to make it easier:-

In the weeks leading up to removal:-

  • weed garden beds and generally tidy.
  • if you have dogs, make sure the grass is inspection worthy, this can be a costly and time-consuming task if returfing is needed (we’ve been there)
  • dismantle garden toys/trampolines/swing set.
  • wipe walls, clean window tracks and glass doors.
  • give the bathroom a really deep clean, this will make the cleaning in between much easier.
  • clean the oven. The oven is one of the main cleaning areas where families are charged or required to clean again before the final inspection. If you are able, don’t use in the final weeks or if you do, refrain from cooking roast pork and ensure you wipe out after use. 
  • remove marks from cement if applicable.
  • remove paintings, photos etc from walls.
  • change blown light bulbs, clean light fittings and remove any cobwebs from the ceilings.
  • wipe and clean ceiling fans and blinds.
  • clean BBQ
  • Pantry, freezer and fridges. Start winding down items, shop less and use what you have. Make some interesting meals, donate what you won’t use.
  • Schedule utilities to be disconnected and arrange to have mail redirected. 
  • Change contact details with relevant companies (bank, private health, subscriptions etc)

Week of removal:-

  • remove pesky weeds that may have resurfaced.
  • mow the grass
  • wipe down kitchen cupboards
  • wipe out fridge and freezer in preparedness to be turned off for the removal. If possible, empty and turn off two days before removal to ensure they are clean and dry. Try hanging some fresh teabags in both to attract moisture.
  • pack luggage
  • If your household goods are going into storage for a time, I would suggest not using your washing machine and dishwasher during the last week. I know it sounds crazy, but the longer they have to dry out, the better. If items are going to be removed and delivered in a short space of time, you can hold off a little longer. Visit the laundromat or borrow a neighbours/friends washing machine to get last-minute washing down (towels etc).
  • Day before, vacuum and mop floors.

Day of Prepack

  • Pack your car/trailer etc to make sure all personal items that will be travelling with you are secure.
  • Float around ensuring items are being packed carefully.
  • Once pre-pack has finished (you can do this room by room), wipe out cupboards, clean bathrooms, wipe mirrors.
  • keep vacuum or a broom out until the last possible minute or borrow one from neighbours/friends to enable you to clean the floors one last time.
  • Make sure the packers have enough cold drinks and provide something to eat (if you wish).

Uplift Day – my favourite day in the whole process

  • As boxes and furniture is removed, give a quick wipe, sweep.
  • pick up pet poo if you have pets in the yard.
  • wipe any marks that have been made during removals off the walls/floors.
  • Have cold drinks on hand for the removalists and provide lunch if you wish.

Final Inspection

These can be super quick and sometimes they can be painful. Noting that you will have had a pre-vacating inspection several weeks earlier, you will be aware of any charges that you main incur. These can include, oven not being cleaned sufficiently, lawn and garden care. The more prepared you have been in the weeks leading up to the removal, the easier this will be.

Lock up and enjoy the next posting.

I’d love to know any tips and tricks that you have to help:)

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