Pre Departure To-Do List

 

Being the overly organised person that I am, I can never seem to hold back from putting together a well-structured To-Do List. It’s such a simple way to make yourself feel productive, and you’re much less likely to find yourself chasing your own tail in the days leading up to your departure date.

I think there’s definitely a strong correlation between the length of this to-do list and my level of insanity.

I’ve was mentally assembling this list over several months, so putting it on “paper” and setting due dates made me feel much more organised and confident, and made the trip seem more ‘real’.

I was adjusting it on a weekly basis and kept adding to it as I went, to keep me motivated, on track and excited about the end goal

*TIPS:

  • Add a ‘Completed’ column to tick off the items as you go, and a ‘Budget’ column to estimate how much each task is likely cost so that you can factor it into your budget.
  • Catalogue your to-do list by week or month. This sets some realistic deadlines, and helps you feel more organised and in control.

T – 5 Months

  • Book Flights (scary moment)
  • Book market stalls to sell belongings
  • Ensure phone is unlocked and will work in the UK
  • Organise storage for essential personal belongings which can’t be sold (such as photos or letters)

T – 4 Months

  • Purchase UK Text Book (to read up on my field of work in the UK & familiarise myself with the differences)
  • Organise and prepare car for sale
  • Get familiar with London suburbs & maps

T – 3 Months

  • Advertise car for sale
  • Start preparing Resume for the UK
  • Create a Rental CV including written landlord’s reference
  • Book transit accommodation (if making any stops along the way)

T – 2 Months

  • Hold first market stall to sell non-essential belongings
  • Purchase Bank AC & NIN Starter kit
  • Sell car
  • Unregister from Australian Electoral list
  • Get storage quotes for placing big furniture items in long-term storage
  • Notify landlord about ending rental contract
  • Research transit location (e.g. Singapore) and gather a list of places to visit
  • Start changing mailing address on all Australian accounts who send mail, and select ’email only’ where possible

T – 1 Month

Some other to-do tasks that I haven’t included for myself, but may be relevant to you include:

We all lead different lives and have different needs, so my list will vary to yours. However, it’s a great way to get your mind ticking and thinking about what you need to do to get yourself organised.

Happy planning!

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43 Responses

  1. Gemma Cullen-Chambers says:

    Any tips on packing?!

  2. This is great!!! So many things to do when planning for London!! I seriously CAN NOT WAIT!!!!!! eeeeeeeee!!!! So freakin excited!!!! I have many plans, and Harrods is on my TOP LIST! As well as Selfridge and Co, Forbes and Mason and hopefully can do a tour of Buckinham Palace….. I have a feeling when I go there I will not want to come back to Australia. LOVE your posts!!!! <3 Keep up the good work! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!

  3. Kira says:

    Thanks so much for all this info! this is by far the most helpful website for my big Aus to Eng move! Perfect!
    Thanks so much! I feel so much more at ease about everything!

  4. Jess says:

    I just want to mirror what Lucilla ^ above asked. I’m moving over in March and struggling with the concept of packing only 30 kilos. Would love to know what you did, and what you would change now knowing what you do. Also – I would love a post on clothes. London weather is so different to Sydney weather I’d love to know your tips on what to buy / bring, your must have items, etc.

    • Hey Jess,
      Totally understand, I found it really hard to pack but 2 years on there’s nothing that I wish I had taken with me, which is a good sign.
      I took bare minimals and things I used every day – basic clothes (REALLY basic, no more than 1 of anything other than underwear), make up, hair straightener, phone & laptop. I bought my bathroom, kitchen and bedroom things on arrival, including things like pyjamas, nail polish, hair dryer and face washers which are all relatively cheap to buy. Then I went a little shopping crazy for a new wardrobe 🙂
      Save all your winter shopping for when you arrive as it’s much too bulky and won’t be warm enough!
      Good luck with the planning & let me know how the move goes!
      x

  5. Lucilla says:

    Hi!

    First of all, this website is AMAZING! It is getting me so excited for my own move to London! I was just wondering if you have any tips for deciding what to use the 30kg luggage allowance for. I like the idea of starting fresh, but don’t want to waste money on things I already have. Any suggestions for the bare minimum clothes/shoes/electronics to bring and which things are cheaper (and funner) to buy over there?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Lucilla,
      So happy you like the website & really sorry for not replying sooner, my notifications have been playing up!
      It’s a really tough balance for packing. Take the things that you use and wear everyday – make-up, essential clothes, etc., but avoid the occasional items and also things that can be easily replaced for a small cost – e.g. Hairdryer, kitchen things. Packing was definitely one of the hardest parts of moving, I ended up sending over two small boxes with some shoes and extra clothes too!
      Keep all your winter shopping for London, especially coat and winter shoes!
      Good luck 🙂 x

  6. Jessica says:

    Hey there =)

    Your website is most informative and helpful. Just wanted to ask you a question regarding pre-departure….
    I plan on closing all but one of my Australian bank accounts, and this will be one that has no monthly account fees. Problem is, this is not the account that I provided my “proof of funds” through when I applied for my visa. Do you think it will cause an issue when I go through customs/immigration on arrival in the UK? I am super paranoid that tit may look dodgy to them.

    Thanks doll,
    Jessica

    • Hi Jessica,
      So sorry for not replying sooner, I’ve just realised my notifications have been playing up!
      If the qu is still relevant, I think you’ll be fine with your account. If you’re not doing anything dodgy then you have nothing to worry about, so long as you can prove that you have the minimum funds and have documents to show closure of previous account, just in case (even if you can just access them online), then it should be all fine! 🙂
      x

  7. Rose Matthias says:

    Hi,

    So happy I have stumbled across your website. I have recently made the big decision to leave my life behind in Sydney and move to London in 9 months!! Little while off now but like you I want to try and be super organised, it helps with my impatience!

  8. Jemma says:

    I’m planning on moving to London from Perth sometime next year and was getting sick of looking around on different websites for information but stumbled across your blog and it’s answered all my questions! Thankyou 🙂 definitely a fave now! x

  9. Jemma says:

    I’m planning on moving to London from Perth sometime next year and was getting sick of looking around on different websites for information but stumbled across your blog and it’s answered all my questions! Thankyou 🙂 definitely a fave now! x

  10. Jasmine says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for all the useful info. Just on the note of health care, I am an Australian who also has a European passport which I will be using to live in London. Will I still be eligible for free health care? It’s so confusing!

  11. Hey there,
    It depends if you’re after a contract or a pre-paid?
    If your main concern is getting a phone number, I would get a pre-paid one first so you have a number, then it’s super easy to transfer your phone number over here when you change plans/contracts, even from one pre-paid to another.
    x

  12. Hey there 🙂

    Just wondering is it possible to get a sim card and UK phone number with T mobile before I leave Aus, or do I get it when I arrive?

    Thank you! x

  13. Ganny says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say thanks very much for all your helpful info on this site! I’m moving from Sydney to London soon, and it’s very helpful to get insights from a fellow Aussie who’s moved over 🙂

  14. Ganny says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say thanks very much for all your helpful info on this site! I’m moving from Sydney to London soon, and it’s very helpful to get insights from a fellow Aussie who’s moved over 🙂

  15. fiona says:

    Hey London Girl,
    Thanks so much for this list, I am moving to London in April and funnily enough my original list is very similar to yours, now I know I’m on the right path.
    I am really confused as to how the NHS works? Do I register when I arrive? Does NHS get you free visits to the GP, does a check up and clean cost or is that covered under NHS? Help

    • Hey Fiona,
      You’re welcome – you must be on the right track 😉 Let me know if there’s anything major that I’m missing from my list and I’ll be sure to add it in.
      NHS is a funny one – it’s very similar to Australia (is this where you’re from?)
      GP visits are completely free and so are some dentists, however most decent dentists are private so you’ll need to pay.
      It’s quite an interesting topic actually so I may put together all the information and make a new page on it, I’ll keep you updated!
      x

      • fiona says:

        Hey LG,
        Yep from Sydney Aus. That would be wonderful would love to get my head around it. The only thing i have understood so far on the topic is to register with a GP in your area and thats the one you go to all the time?? Another topic is Forex. I plan on keeping one aus bank account open (my commonwealth account) iv applied for a Barclays bank account on arrival and will finalise that procedure when I arrive. Is that all I will need? A few people keep telling me about the 28Degrees travel card… what are your thoughts?
        Fee
        xx

  16. fiona says:

    Hey London Girl,
    Thanks so much for this list, I am moving to London in April and funnily enough my original list is very similar to yours, now I know I’m on the right path.
    I am really confused as to how the NHS works? Do I register when I arrive? Does NHS get you free visits to the GP, does a check up and clean cost or is that covered under NHS? Help

    • Hey Fiona,
      You’re welcome – you must be on the right track 😉 Let me know if there’s anything major that I’m missing from my list and I’ll be sure to add it in.
      NHS is a funny one – it’s very similar to Australia (is this where you’re from?)
      GP visits are completely free and so are some dentists, however most decent dentists are private so you’ll need to pay.
      It’s quite an interesting topic actually so I may put together all the information and make a new page on it, I’ll keep you updated!
      x

      • fiona says:

        Hey LG,
        Yep from Sydney Aus. That would be wonderful would love to get my head around it. The only thing i have understood so far on the topic is to register with a GP in your area and thats the one you go to all the time?? Another topic is Forex. I plan on keeping one aus bank account open (my commonwealth account) iv applied for a Barclays bank account on arrival and will finalise that procedure when I arrive. Is that all I will need? A few people keep telling me about the 28Degrees travel card… what are your thoughts?
        Fee
        xx

        • Hey Fee,
          Yep, you have to register with one in the area you live, and that’s the only one you can go to. There are also walk-in clinics around for emergencies, and hospitals of course.
          With forex, I also have my Aus account open that I still use when needed. If you plan on travelling first then a travel card is very useful, otherwise I just used my normal NAB card here for the first week until my UK account was all set up and my money was transferred from Aus, which was simple enough and didn’t get charged too many fees.
          x

  17. Amy says:

    Hey London girl,

    Thanks so much for writing such a helpful list! 🙂
    A friend and I are moving to London in May this year and feeling very unorganised..

    Was wondering how you felt about 1st Contact? I called them today and enquired about the kickstart package but not 100% convinced its worth the money.

    We were hoping they could help secure a place to live but they seem to have short term hostel type accommodation only and the job assistance didn’t sound too promising!

    Would love to hear your thoughts 🙂

    xoxo

    • Hi Amy, I’m glad you’re finding the list helpful!
      May is still some time off so now is the perfect time to start getting organised 🙂
      I used the Kickstart package purely for the hassle-free bank account setup. I didn’t use anything else from the package. My sister moved to London and tried to set up her bank account on her own, and it took over a month. However, I know HSBC have a special account for internationals (those who don’t have proof of UK address, job, British passport, or recommendation letter etc), with a small monthly fee.
      I highly recommend Lloyds bank though, as the online banking is much easier. All other banks here require a physical little calculator that you need to carry around, which gives you a unique pin each time you want to login to your online banking. Very strange.
      So it is basically just a time saver, so it’s completely up to you if you want to spend the extra, and I guess it depends on how quickly you intend to find paid work too!
      x

  18. Amy says:

    Hey London girl,

    Thanks so much for writing such a helpful list! 🙂
    A friend and I are moving to London in May this year and feeling very unorganised..

    Was wondering how you felt about 1st Contact? I called them today and enquired about the kickstart package but not 100% convinced its worth the money.

    We were hoping they could help secure a place to live but they seem to have short term hostel type accommodation only and the job assistance didn’t sound too promising!

    Would love to hear your thoughts 🙂

    xoxo

    • Hi Amy, I’m glad you’re finding the list helpful!
      May is still some time off so now is the perfect time to start getting organised 🙂
      I used the Kickstart package purely for the hassle-free bank account setup. I didn’t use anything else from the package. My sister moved to London and tried to set up her bank account on her own, and it took over a month. However, I know HSBC have a special account for internationals (those who don’t have proof of UK address, job, British passport, or recommendation letter etc), with a small monthly fee.
      I highly recommend Lloyds bank though, as the online banking is much easier. All other banks here require a physical little calculator that you need to carry around, which gives you a unique pin each time you want to login to your online banking. Very strange.
      So it is basically just a time saver, so it’s completely up to you if you want to spend the extra, and I guess it depends on how quickly you intend to find paid work too!
      x

  19. Martin says:

    Why waste money living in London when you can save rent in birmingham..

    Btw anyone who moves to London is a fool with all their high prices. Unless you can afford it

  20. Martin says:

    Why waste money living in London when you can save rent in birmingham..

    Btw anyone who moves to London is a fool with all their high prices. Unless you can afford it

  21. Jules says:

    Hey London Girl,

    I’m wondering about travel insurance for the move to London. I know the there is an agreement between Australia and UK for medical but did you still get annual travel insurance?

    Thanks

    • Hi Jules,
      No I didn’t get travel insurance. Unless you plan on traveling around Europe when you arrive, then I wouldn’t bother with insurance, as you are medically covered here. The NHS is completely free, similar to Medicare, and you can get all hospital, ambulance, GP, and NHS dentist services for free.
      If you’re worried about losing your belongings then I guess that’s another thing – but you can always get renters insurance etc, just like in Australia.
      Hope that helps!

  22. Tonito says:

    Tip with regards to UK sim card: Some operators offer sim cards for free (O2, Orange, T-Mobile)

    • Thanks for the tip Tonito! Do you know which operators have the best/worst reputations? In Australia there’s a couple known for terrible reception & poor customer service, and others which are great but expensive. I wonder if it’s a similar scenario in London/UK?!

  23. Tonito says:

    Tip with regards to UK sim card: Some operators offer sim cards for free (O2, Orange, T-Mobile)

    • Thanks for the tip Tonito! Do you know which operators have the best/worst reputations? In Australia there’s a couple known for terrible reception & poor customer service, and others which are great but expensive. I wonder if it’s a similar scenario in London/UK?!

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