Your Moving Professionals

FAQs at Interstate Vanlines Australia

It’s understandable that, unless you have moved many times, you will have questions and we are only too happy to provide answers. Here we have compiled the questions most frequently asked and the answers.

Interstate Vanlines takes seriously our duty of care with your items, but some of your possessions may warrant a little bit of extra protection. Delicate items may need to be specially wrapped by us, in which case the ‘we break it, we fix it’ guarantee applies. Outside of this, you may weigh up the costs and benefits of purchasing special removals insurance such as

What payments do you accept?

We accept Bank Personal or Transfer Deposits, Credit Cards (with a written authority to deduct) and Cash.  Cheques and Amex are not accepted methods of payment, sorry.

How long will it take to move me?

Unfortunately, we can only give a ballpark, because every move is so different – different access (stairs, lifts, distance to the truck), different amounts of items to be moved, distance between locations, and general move preparedness. If you need a more precise estimate, Interstate Vanlines is more than happy to discuss this with you … Just Give us a Call.

What insurance do you provide?

Interstate Vanlines only works with removalists who have confirmed they maintain a minimum Transit Insurance, which covers loss or damage to your property resulting from fire, flood, overturning or collision while in the truck, up to the value of $50,000. Interstate Vanlines do not insure your property under any circumstances, including damage that may occur during loading, unloading, or transit.

Do you have a recommended Moving Checklist?

The first things you need for moving are:

  • Standard Boxes – Use proper packing boxes (available from Self-Storage Facilities) which are strong enough to stack high; best to use even sizes (Book Cartons & Standard (T/Chest) Cartons are the most common); mark all cartons on side of box with (a) FRAGILE or TOP LOAD if goods delicate or ARROWS on each side if carton is to kept/packed one way up, (b) surname & destination suburb, (c) room to be placed in at destination, (d) outline of contents and place a coloured dot on side of anything that is to be loaded last so it is unloaded first.
  • Thick Marking Pens – help to identify cartons quickly; buy multiples – they tend to run out just when you have opportunity to pack and the shop isn’t open!
  • Bubble Wrap – great to wrap around larger items like pictures, mirrors, photos, ornaments, clocks, glass tops, lamps as well as smaller items.
  • Butcher’s Paper (or newspaper if you don’t mind washing the print off when you unpack)
  • Tissue Paper (Acid Free) to wrap Sterling Silver, Ivory, Pewter items and face Oil Paintings
  • Packing tape and scissors or save your sanity and invest in a Packing Tape Dispenser to save yourself loads of time.
  • Tape Measure

Handy Hints:

  • You may be able to scrounge or buy used cartons from people who have recently moved, a used carton dealer or your local Storage facility – just make sure they still retain their shape.
  • Buy more cartons thank you think you need, provided they are returnable for refund, so you don’t run out when the store is closed.
  • Other boxes you may need some of include Standard or Extendable 2-Piece Picture Cartons, Archive Boxes, Wine Cartons, Port-a-Robes, Linen Cartons, TV Box (If you haven’t kept your original, buy at a Storage Facility or go to electrical store & ask for a discarded one.).
  • Fill cartons but don’t bulge them & seal well with tape. If goods will be in storage seal ALL edges as well as flaps top and bottom.  Tape the bottom first to prevent contents from falling out.
  • When packing crockery, stack vertically (on their edges) after running a strip of bubble wrap between up to 6 plates at a time and wrapping that bundle in packing paper.
  • When packing glasses or stemware, stand them upright and use clean rags, washers or bubble wrap to stuff glassware to prevent implosion. Fill boxes to capacity but do not overfill boxes.
  • Line bottom, top and sides of cartons containing breakables (crockery, glassware, ornaments) with linen to save packaging materials and fill all gaps with butcher’s paper or rags. Ensure breakables are wrapped in bubble wrap or otherwise well protected from touching in transit.
  • Put heavier items like books or canned food in smaller boxes.  For larger boxes, put heavier items on the bottom and lighter ones on top to prevent damage.
  • Plastic crates may seem cheap but tend to crack the crate underneath with vibrations in transit so need to bubble wrap every second one, then it is cheaper to buy cartons which will be saleable once you have unpacked them.
  • Have rugs and draperies cleaned before moving and leave them in wrappings for the move.
  • Pack medicines in a leak proof container.
  • Keep a Book Carton size Box, specially marked uniquely, to keep all things required on moving day or delivery day in (house & car keys, leases/condition reports, phone numbers, flight tickets, purse/wallet, pen, notebook, last minute checklist, cheque book, mobile phones, etc.).
  • Keep enough sets of clothing aside/unpacked for 3 days before leaving and for 3 days after arriving; and pack the rest. This will free your washing machine & dryer for cleaning and drying out to move and free your time to pack instead of washing, folding or ironing.
  • To enable your kitchen to be packed, make up a “Picnic Set” to keep aside for your crockery, cutlery, simple cooking utensils & condiments needs & use the BBQ or Electric Frypan for your last week.
  • Carry all valuables (Stamp or Coin collections, bullion, cash) with you – never pack them for general transit.
  • Thoroughly vacate and clean out a ‘stacking area’ (a room or half a garage) so it is cleaned before you stack packed goods and then won’t need to be done on uplift day.
  • Pack audio-video equipment in their original boxes where possible. Label cables (before removing them) and tighten transit screws. If removing screws, tape them to the objects they are removed from.
  • It is noteworthy to not transport a ‘warm’ TV – so no TV watching on moving day!
  • The movers generally carry ‘Mattress Covers’ for common size mattresses. Alternately purchase them yourself, to have ready for the movers to put on, from your local Storage facility or go “Op-Shopping” for old quilt covers or fitted sheets to keep mattresses and ensemble bases clean.
  • Packing can appear to be an insurmountable task when viewed from the perspective of the entire house. Packing one room at a time, and staying with that room until it is fully packed, has the effect of dividing the overall task into several smaller and more manageable tasks. This approach works well for people packing last minute and makes it possible to set realistic goals, i.e. pack the dining room today, the kitchen tomorrow, etc.  However the approach for a longer term of packing or gradual packing would be to pack first whatever you will not need to use – ornaments, books, photos, pictures, mirrors, excess shoes, handbags, drawer contents, excess/out of season clothing into suitcases, lamps, excess tools and sporting/leisure equipment, empty plant pots, forward household supplies – keep the linen out as you’ll need it!


Organization is the key to a hassle-free move and this is the time to start getting the details of your move.

2 Weeks to countdown

Decide what’s going with you to your new home. If you decide to dispose of items that you don’t need you should either donate them to a charity or consider having a garage sale or ‘home auction’. Contact a local charity or pick a date at least two weeks before moving date for the garage sale. Advertise the garage sale locally.

Start collecting suitable moving and packing supplies if you plan to do your own packing. You can purchase all these materials from a moving supply company. Getting boxes from other sources may create some difficulties when packed in the van. These boxes may be unusual sizes and they may not be strong enough to prevent damages to items packed inside.

Think about your new home layout and start thinking about where you’ll place the furniture. Create a floor plan of your new home that will prevent the stress of making decisions when your furniture arrives at your new home.

All travel arrangements (hotel, flights, car rental, etc.) for your family should be made at this time. Try to keep your plan flexible as possible to accommodate any schedule changes or delays.

Finalise all real estate and rental needs.

Contact your insurance agent to transfer medical, property, fire and auto insurance.

If you’re in for a long-distance haul, all medical and dental records should be stored to be safe and easily accessible. Be sure to include prescription, vaccination records and eyeglass specifications.

10 Days to countdown

Contact the Post Office for the Change of Address form to advise of your move.
Inform all your debtors / creditors of your new postal details.

Organize your move by deciding and making lists of what items you will not transport, what items your van line agent will move and what items you will move yourself.

Make a decision on who will do most of the packing or all the packing. It is a good idea that you let the moving company do most of the packing. They know the best methods for keeping items safe; that’s what they do for a living.

Get your kids involved with the moving process. Let them do some packing and suggest a layout for their new room. Make it fun and exciting for them to move.

1 Week to countdown

Notify your agent if there are any changes in the dates of your move. If you will need any additional accessorial service such as piano moving, packing and unpacking, storage you should inform the moving company for pricing information. Also inform them if you add or subtract items from your planned shipment.

Make transportation arrangements for your pets. Take your pets to your veterinarian to ensure proper up to date health certificates and rabies inoculations.

Return any borrowed items such as library books. Also collect all items that are being repaired stored or cleaned (clothing, shoes etc).

4 Days to countdown

Transfer all prescriptions to a pharmacy in your new city. Call your bank to find out how to transfer your accounts. Clear all your safety deposits boxes.

Disassemble and disconnect your computer system before your move. Back up all your computer files on a disk. Consider taking all back up files disks with you in the car. Exposure to extreme temperatures can damage your software.

Make final packing decisions. Clean and clear your home.

Dispose of items that represent a hazard and are not allowed to be shipped.

Tape and seal all cleaning fluids that are non-toxic, non-flammable in plastic bags.

Drain your lawn mower, power tools of all the oil and gasoline to ensure safe transportation.

If you need to store anything call your moving company about storage options available.

Inform municipal and telephone services of your move. Arrange to have them disconnected from your present home the day after your scheduled moving day. Sign up for services at your new address and connect them on your moving in day.

2 Days to countdown

Make sure to mark which items you’ll take yourself, so the movers won’t take them or have any questions.

Make sure you haven’t overlooked anything in the house.

Mark your boxes to be shipped with “Fragile”, “Do Not Load”, “Load Last” stickers.
Empty, defrost and clean your refrigerator, freezer and clean your stove, all at least 24 hours before moving to let them air out. Try using baking soda to get rid of any odours.

Prepare items you will need while your goods are in transit. Pack your suitcases and confirm travel arrangements for you and your family. Try to keep plans as flexible as possible in the event of unexpected delay or schedule change.

Make sure your agent knows the address and phone number your new home. You should also provide an address and phone number of where you can be reached until you will get to your new home.

1 Day to countdown

Pack a box of things you’ll need as soon as you arrive at your new home. (This might include non-aerosol cleaning supplies, disposable plates and cups, light tools, snacks, bathroom items, rubbish bags and TOILET ROLLS!)

Take this box with you or have the driver load it last and unload first. This is usually the day packing is done.

Make sure all packing services have been performed before you sign for them.

Defrost, thoroughly clean and dry refrigerator.

Ta Da – It’s time to move!

Be on hand when the driver arrives and throughout the loading process. (If you won’t be there, make sure someone will be there to direct the movers. Make sure the driver has in writing the name and phone number of that person.)

Accompany the driver during inventory. Check on the condition of your goods as they are loaded.

Make a final tour of your home. See that nothing is overlooked.

Sign the bill of loading and make sure your new address and phone number are correct.
Lock all windows and doors, and turn off all switches.