Nobody ever said moving was simple! Sure, you’re excited about getting to your new destination, but packing up to get there is a drudge. So, the best anyone can hope for is to make it as stress-free as possible. Experts agree that the best way to achieve that is through organization, a good plan, a workable timeline and the right supplies. Even so, it won’t be a cakewalk – just a whole lot easier. We hope this comprehensive list will help.
6 WEEKS BEFORE MOVING
Make moving arrangements and travel plans. See Moving Guide for information about choosing a mover.
Evaluate your belongings room by room looking for things you want to donate, toss or sell.
Begin using items that can’t make the move with you – such as frozen and perishable foods.
Make a list of people who must be notified of your move – family, friends, subscriptions, creditors, etc.
If relocating as part of your employment, check with your employer to determine what expenses they will cover.
Label an envelope “moving receipts” and save all expenses that might qualify for tax exemptions or reimbursement.
4 WEEKS BEFORE MOVING
Arrange the transfer of all your records: legal, school, personal insurance, medical, dental, prescriptions, pet healthcare and immunizations, etc.
Check homeowner’s insurance policies to see if your move is covered. Contact insurance agent to transfer/cancel insurance coverage. Be sure that your new home is protected by transferring fire, theft, and other personal property insurance.
If moving from an apartment, notify landlord and request apartment deposit back.
If not using mover’s packing service, purchase or assemble all moving supplies and begin packing items that you won’t need immediately.
Have a moving sale and donate all other unwanted items, saving charitable receipts for tax records.
Give away or arrange for transportation of house plants (movers generally will not move plants).
3 WEEKS BEFORE MOVE
Arrange to have major appliances serviced before you move them (if specified in contract to go with seller).
Check and clear tax assessments.
Properly dispose of combustibles, aerosols, flammables, ammunition, or bottled gas (these items cannot make the move with you).
Review any needs you may have for your pet.
2 WEEKS BEFORE MOVE
If necessary, set up a bank account at your new location, and switch automatic payments and deposits.
Don’t forget belongings at other locations – empty safe deposit boxes, storage units and lockers, collect dry cleaning, etc.
If possible, you may wish to open a safe deposit box in new location to ensure that important items/records are safe.
Make sure your car is in good working order if you are making a long road trip to your new location.
Confirm all moving arrangements/travel plans.
Notify utilities and service providers of turn-off date – electric, gas, water, cable, satellite, phone, internet – and request refunds of deposits where applicable.
Cancel all newspapers and magazines, pool or lawn care service, gym memberships, other clubs or associations, and arrange for transfer where applicable.
Complete change of address forms and give to Post Office. Also, notify insurance companies (life, health, property), local financial institutions and credit unions (where you have deposit accounts, loans, or stock), Internal Revenue Service and/or other government agencies.
Arrange services/connections in your new location.
Draw a floor plan of your new home indicating desired placement of furniture –this will make arrival much more productive.
1 WEEK BEFORE MOVE
Confirm with moving company method of payment, and make sure that proper steps have taken place to pay movers in order to complete your move.
Settle any outstanding bills with local merchants.
Be sure to return all borrowed items – movie rentals, library books, etc.
Drain water hoses.
Disassemble items such as swing sets, trampolines, exercise equipment, etc.
Double check inaccessible or rarely used areas such as attic, storage shed, etc. for items.
2-3 DAYS BEFORE MOVE
Assemble your “Survival Kit” – a 30-day supply of medications, important papers/documents, mover contact information, other important contact numbers, bathroom and clothing requirements, valuables, and any other essential necessities for you, your children and/or pets. Maintain possession of this kit/suitcase throughout your move.
If using mover’s packing service, plan to remain at the house throughout the packing process. Be available to answer questions and advise movers of items that are fragile or need special attention.
Defrost your freezer and refrigerator.
Finish all personal packing.
Confirm utilities at new location.
Clear all walkways.
Plan to remain at the house throughout the moving/loading process. Be available to answer questions and advise movers of items that are fragile or need special attention.
Make sure driver/moving company has all your contact information in case of problems.
To avoid confusion with other boxes, load all boxes/suitcases (Survival Kit) that need to stay in your possession and will be needed immediately upon arrival. Also take in your car – maps, snacks, first aid kit, cell phone charger, and emergency road equipment.
Load the vacuum/broom last to clean floors as a courtesy to new buyers/tenants.
If you’re moving more than a few miles, you should have enough cash or credit to cover travel, food, transportation and lodging.
If moving with children, make sure that each has a favorite toy or toys, blankets, games, music and other goods.
Have address books readily available in case you need help.
If you have a laptop computer with WiFi capabilities, make sure it is easily accessible during your trip to pick up business and personal e-mail.
Take final tour of home before moving truck drives away.