Organizing and preparing your move is essential for a less stressful and successful move and will prevent you from overlooking any items.
Things to do 6 to 8 weeks before your move:
- Make a moving checklist: Be sure to list everything that needs to be done before, and after, your move. Include in this list what needs to be moved and what needs to go to storage. Also, list what items are to be handled by you and what is to be handled by the mover. At this time, also decide what you do not need and dispose of it or consider a garage sale if time allows.
- Decide on a moving company: Get several quotes and check references. Once a decision is made, discuss ALL costs involved, packing, timing and other necessary details. Also, many moving expenses are tax deductible so keep a file with receipts and any other important information.
- Get familiar with your new community: Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to find information on schools, parks, community programs, libraries, etc. Locate hospital, fire department, police station, post office, veterinarian, doctor, dentist, etc.
- Gather important information such as: Medical records, prescriptions, vaccination records, veterinary records, and insurance documents and keep them in a safe place.
- Go to your post office and pickup a free Moving Information Packet: This will include the “Change of Address Form” along with who to contact with your new address and information (utilities, trash company, water, internet provider, insurance companies, cable/satellite company, banks, etc.) It also contains other useful information as well as coupons for you to use.
Things to do 4 to 5 weeks before you move:
- Start to collect moving and packing supplies if you are going to do some of the packing yourself. (Newspapers, bubble wrap, shipping tape, boxes, etc.) These items can be purchased from your storage facility.
- Make arrangements for transportation of pets, if needed. Contact your new city office to see if there are certain requirements for owning pets in your new town. You will probably need your veterinarian records as well.
- If you have children: Register them at their new school and have them with you so they may see the new school they will be attending. Also, include them in the whole moving process by letting them pack their own things such as toys and other items from their room or by giving them small things to be in charge of during the move. This may also be a good time to arrange a baby-sitter for the moving day. This way, they will be safe during the loading and unloading process.
- Arrange for disconnection with your utility companies (electric, gas, water, phone, etc.) after your move out date and also arrange to have your utilities connected to your new home.
Things to do 2 to 4 weeks before you move:
- Start packing:
- Pack the things you won’t currently need and determine which items will go to your storage unit and which items will go to your new home.
- Consider taking your valuables with you and not putting them in the moving truck/van.
- Remember to double check basements, attics, closets, and garages.
- If you will be traveling with your car, remember to have it checked before you leave.
- Be sure to dispose of properly, any inflammable items such as cleaning fluids, fireworks, matches, acids, and other possibly hazardous items.
- House plants.
- There are some states that do not allow houseplants to be moved. Check with your City Office to make sure. If not, they can be given to friends, family or certain local charities.
Things to do 1 week before you move:
- Moving company:
- Make sure they know the correct address and phone number of your new home.
- Provide them with an alternate phone number just in case.
- If possible, provide them with an address and phone number to contact you until you get to your new home.
- Labeling boxes and other items for loading:
- Make sure your items are clearly labeled: “fragile”, “load first”, “this side up”, “do not tip”, “do not load”, etc.
- Empty, defrost, and clean your refrigerator at least one day prior to moving.
- Go to your bank and empty out your safety deposit box.
- Back up important files on your computer and disassemble it. Carefully pack the components into a box and clearly label it “computer”. Be sure to avoid extreme temperatures.
- Pack a box with the things you will need immediately once you arrive at your new house. Include; snacks, water, disposable plates, cups, paper towels, toilet paper, trash bags, tape, flashlight, batteries, phone, inexpensive rugs or carpet protection.
- Be sure to make alternate plans in case of delays. Keep any items you will need while the rest of your belongings are being moved. Also confirm any travel arrangements.
- Remember to check thoroughly all of your closets, drawers, shelves, attic, and garage to make sure nothing is left behind.
- Stay there throughout the loading process to make sure nothing is forgotten. Inspect the whole premises.
- Turn off all switches and lock all windows and doors.
- Appoint someone to direct the movers. Make sure the driver has, in writing, your name and phone number. Remember to take with you the destination agent’s name, address and confirmation number. There is a chance that you will arrive before your movers do, so be patient.
- Be sure to sign the bill of lading and make sure your information on it is correct.
Move In Day and Beyond
- Make sure to check everything for signs of damage as it is unloaded. Also, make sure there are no missing items.
- Check to see that your utilities are connected and working.
- Plan out where you want to put the major items in your new home.
- Carry traveler’s checks or cash to make quick payments.
- Make sure to change your driver’s license (if moving to a new state) as well as other legal papers