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Meld’s guide to moving back home

Hadi Ismanto

Tue Aug 20 2013

YOU’VE finished your degree and decided to head back home for good. What now? Hadi Ismanto shares his tips for what you need to do before you leave. 

Just like moving to a new city, moving out and leaving for good is a hard and tedious process. Often it’s actually harder than settling into a new country ever was. Why? Think about it. You came with two suitcases, but now you’re pretty sure those suitcases won’t be able to fit all your stuff. And that’s just one of the challenges you have to face before peacefully leaving this city.

With that in mind, we’ve prepared a checklist to help you stay organised and make sure nothing gets left behind when you leave Melbourne.

Report your departure to your embassy

While each embassy has its own procedures for assisting you here in Melbourne, generally, you have to let them know when you are leaving for good.  Not only is this for database purposes, but also serves as a precaution in case anything should happen to you.

By reporting your departure from Melbourne, you can make things easier for yourself when you return to your home country and save confusion over your state of citizenship. This is especially important if you would like to apply for government documents like your ID card.

Clear away unwanted items

There is no reason why you should bring that cheap yet huge sofa that you got from IKEA home. Give it as a gift, donate it, sell it or throw it away.

If you have the luxury of time, advertise and sell your unwanted stuff on sites like eBay, Gumtree or your own personal Facebook page for a reasonable price.

As for the stuff that has no resale value, donate it to churches, temples or other charity organisations. If you have no idea where to go, the safest bet is the Salvation Army’s Salvos Store Donation. With 210 outlets and a collection service, doing good doesn’t get any more convenient.

Book a student ticket

As mentioned earlier, you’ll probably need more than two suitcases and way more than the allocated 20-30kg luggage limit offered by most airlines. But fret not. There are plenty of airlines like Garuda Indonesia and Singapore Airlines that offer extra luggage allowances or discount for students who are leaving Australia for good. It’s a good idea to call them up and ask before booking your flight.

Pay any final bills

If you’ve been living in a rental property, there’s a high chance you’ve been paying your electricity and water bills, along with a lot of other regular bills, like the ones for your mobile phone and internet.

Before you leave for good, it’s essential that you notify these service providers so you won’t have to pay an unnecessary amount of money. Make a checklist of your service providers and spend an hour or two contacting each of them to notify and at the same time, request your final bill.

And don’t forget to close your bank account and pay any last fees.

Notify property managers and clean your property

Make sure you clean your apartment really well before you leave. Photo Jason Lander

You’ll need a clean apartment to get your bond back. Photo Jason Lander.

One of the most important things to do before you leave is inform your property manager of your intention to vacate the premises. Ask them for the vacating procedures. You should discuss which forms need to be filled in, whether the apartment needs to be cleaned by a professional cleaner and what procedures you need to follow to get your bond back.

Complete your final tax obligations

If you’ve held a part-time or casual job during your stay in Melbourne, make sure you get your tax organised before you leave. Even if your departure falls outside of Tax Time (June-October), you can still lodge a tax return and get your tax refund. You might also be eligible to collect any superannuation you’ve made in Australia, which is nice bit of bonus money to spend when you get home!

Finish your Melbourne bucket list

Market Lane Coffee. Image: >littleyiye< via Flickr.

Market Lane Coffee. Image: >littleyiye< via Flickr.

Knowing that you’re spending these last few moments in Melbourne, you should go out and do all the things you know you’ll miss – be it visiting that favourite Thai restaurant or stopping at St Kilda beach for a swim and some fantastic local coffee.

Appreciate people

No one can argue that the best thing about a city is not the food, the sights or even the coffee – it’s the people. Your classmates who have been with you for the past couple of years, your church-mates who have supported you when you’re feeling down and your colleagues who have always been willing to help you when you needed it. They’re the ones who have made your stay in Melbourne memorable and before you go your separate ways, you should take some time to appreciate them.

Giving gifts are optional, but you should at least organise a final catch-up session with them. Whether you’re going for a grand farewell party or a simple dinner with each group of friends, take some time to show them your appreciation and try to stay connected even when you don’t see one another physically anymore.

Have we missed anything? What would you do before you leave for good? Share in the comment box below!