New Location top 10 TO DO’s
Moving often has to be one of the biggest drawbacks, challenges, whatever word you like to use of #militarylife (unless of course your current neighbours argue loudly and then make-up LOUDLY, in which case #bringitON).
Here is a well-curated list of the lesser-known things you should probably do when posting into a new location. You no doubt have the obvious covered like connecting the electricity and re-directing your mail but here are some others that may not have crossed your mind.
1. Start making a list of everything that doesn’t work in your new service residence.
From lights to garage doors to leaking taps, service residences are notorious for their “quirks”. Make a list, check it twice and then get onto DHA to sort it all out.
Pro tip: Be sure to tell DHA if any of these property faults result in the property not being completely secure e.g door not closing properly because they will prioritise 😉
2. Make sure you have a spare key stored somewhere that isn’t inside your house
Or get a spare key cut if spares aren’t provided. The reason is that DHA may not have a spare and so a locksmith will be required to change all your locks. Many service residencies have lockboxes that DHA specifically says you should not use. I won’t tell them if you don’t or you could always get your own fake rock lockbox thingy and hope you remember where you put the fake rock lockbox thingy in the garden.
3. Change your address on your driver’s license tout suite
You only have a certain amount of days to get it done before receiving a fine:
14 days for NSW, VIC, SA, NT, ACT and Tasmania
21 days for WA
Looks like we are all preferencing WA, am I right?
4. Keep the following items on hand:
Eucalyptus oil because your removalists will sticker FLIPPING EVERYTHING and the only thing that effectively removes the sticky residue is…you guessed it.
Carpet stain remover and “Magic eraser” squares because #pets #men #kids.
Your partner’s PM KEYS for when you need to call DHA for maintenance requests.
Wine because we are military spouses for Pete’s sake. Do we need another reason?
Pro tip: I have it on good authority that most service residences are painted using Dulux Hog Bristle Quarter paint colour. DHA must have got a special deal or something for bulk buying #itgrowsonyou. Head to your local Bunnings and get yourself a pot to patch up those holes created by your pets doing zoomies at full speed or adorable offspring opening doors into walls.
5. Sign up for your new location’s DMFS (formerly DCO) newsletter, local Forcenet group and local Facebook group
Otherwise, you won’t know what is going on or the best place to caffeinate in your local area. You could figure out the best hair salon, dentist, GP, babysitter and house cleaning service through trial and error or you could just ask someone who’s walked in your shoes. Be brave, hit post!
6. Scope out where the nearest charity drop off is
There aren’t many benefits to moving every few years but one of them is that you get to de-clutter your life of stuff every couple of years. When you arrive at your new location, there will no doubt be boxes of stuff that don’t even need to be unpacked. They can go straight to the nearest Salvos. Start with the boxes that still have address stickers from 3 postings ago.
7. Find your Village
It really does take a village to raise a family (fur family or human) and with your partner away all the damn time, this whole military partner lifestyle will be so much easier if you prioritise finding your village. Join a playgroup, a tennis club, a gym or a book club. No, you won’t have time for these things after uprooting your whole life but it’s worth making the time so that you can fast-track finding friends. Trust me, it’s a game-changer. At the very least you need an in location emergency contact! But hey if you aren’t ready for face to face interaction yet you can always come along to the MWL online catchups held twice a month. Sign up to the MWL newsletter here (scroll to the bottom of the page) to find out when the next online catchup is on.
8. Check the immunisation schedule for your little people
Immunisation schedules are different from state to state. Surprise! Another joy of moving.
9. Book an expensive restaurant
And tell your partner they’re paying because by this point you’re tired, over it and deserve a night out of the house to explore your new location. What did you sign up for? Don’t worry, the move and all it entails will be a distant memory in 6 months or so until you get orders to post out and then it starts all over again #tiredalready!
10. Make your own list
Add to this list any of your own “first things” because while you may think that the “joys” of moving are permanently etched into your psyche, you are juggling eleventy billion other things and you will forget.