A Checklist For Your Move

6-8 Weeks

  • Organize your plan to handle the details.
  • Decide what to move to the new residence. Donate, sell or dispose of the remainder.
  • Collect appropriate moving and packing supplies.
  • Be sure boxes close and are strong enough to hold intended contents.
  • Keep packing tape, labels and markers in multiple locations.
  • Create a floor plan of the new location and plan location of furniture.
  • Request information on your new community from the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Make any travel arrangements with flexibility in mind.
  • Keep receipts for moving related expenses for tax deductions. Contact your accountant for the appropriate IRS forms.
  • Finalize real estate and rental needs.
  • Transfer your medical, property, fire and auto insurance policies to new address.
  • Keep medical and dental records safe and accessible including prescription, vaccination and eyeglass records.
  • Plan on taking important documents, such as wills, stock certificates and one of a kind treasures (jewelry, coin collection, photos) with you personally.

4-5 Weeks

  • Contact your Post Office for change of address forms to share with Family & friends.
  • Notify the following of your address change:
    • Utility companies – telephone, trash, cable, water, electrical, gas, internet, cell providers
    • Insurance companies
    • Banks and financial institutions
    • Creditors: Credit cards, revolving credit, car loans
    • Local government agencies, Federal agencies, the IRS
    • Health providers: doctors, dentists, eye care facility, veterinarian, pharmacy
    • Schools
    • Subscriptions: magazines, book club, CD/DVD club, newspapers
    • Travel/Auto club
    • Church
  • Make a list of items that you will transport personally and what the movers will handle.
  • Decide who will do most of the packing.
  • Get your kids involved in packing and planning their own rooms if you have children.

3 Weeks

  • Notify moving company if there are changes in move dates, if you need more accessories or special services (piano moving), packing and unpacking changes or changing items in your shipment.
  • Make your final decision on moving your car – driving it yourself or having it hauled by the carrier.
  • Consider giving your plants to friends or a charity if you are moving a long distance. Some state laws prohibit transferring plants.
  • Make transportation arrangements for your pets. Check for the need of health certificates and rabies inoculations.
  • Return any borrowed items including library books.
  • Collect items being repaired, stored or cleaned (clothing, furs, shoes, etc.)

2 Weeks

  • Transfer all prescriptions to a drugstore in your new city.
  • Contact your bank to find out how to transfer your accounts.
  • Clear your safety deposit boxes.
  • Dissemble and disconnect your computer system. Back up all of your files on a disk or online. Consider taking your backup files with you.
  • Clean and clear your closets, attic, garage and storage areas of belongings you will move.
  • Dispose of hazardous items that cannot be shipped.
  • Tape and seal all cleaning fluids that are non-toxic, non-flammable in plastic bags.
  • Drain lawn mowers, snow blowers, power tools of all the oil and gasoline to ensure safe transport.
  • Schedule appliance disconnection and preparation with service provider.
  • Call moving agent regarding storage options if needed.
  • Inform gas, electric, cable and phone companies of the move, have the service transferred the day after the move and make arrangements to reconnect at your new address on your moving day.
  • Have your car serviced if you will travel by car.

1 Week

  • Make sure to mark items you’ll transport yourself so the movers won’t take them.
  • Check to make sure you haven’t overlooked anything.
  • Mark boxes with “Do Not Load”, “Fragile” or “Load Last” stickers.
  • Empty, defrost and clean refrigerator and freezer, clean your stove/oven at least 24 hours before moving. Baking soda can help get rid of any odors.
  • Pack items you’ll need while you are in transit. Pack suitcases and confirm any travel arrangements.
  • Arrange payment for your van line. Contact them to know approved methods of payment.

1 Day Before Moving

  • Pack a box of necessities you’ll need as soon as you arrive at your new home including non-aerosol cleaning supplies, disposable plates, cups and flatware, light tools, snacks, bathroom items and trash bags.
  • Either take this box with you or have the movers load it last and unload first.
  • Make sure all services have been done before you sign for them.
  • Defrost and thoroughly clean and dry your refrigerator.

Moving Day

  • Be on hand when the driver arrives and throughout the day for questions or make arrangements for someone knowledgeable to direct the movers.
  • Accompany the driver during inventory. Check the condition of goods as they are loaded.
  • Make a final tour of your home to make sure nothing was overlooked.
  • Sign the bill of lading and check to be sure the new address is correct.
  • Lock all doors and windows, turn off all switches and make sure new owners or landlord has your keys and garage door openers.

Moving In Day

  • Arrive at your home a day ahead of time, if possible, to make sure utilities are connected and to plan placement of major items in your home.
  • Be on hand to pay the driver with cash, certified check or money order prior to your goods being unloaded.

Other Useful Tips

Fun Ways To Bring Closure

  • Round up everyone to take a drive around to your favorite spots. Take photos or video, have a picnic, remember the best times in each place.
  • Host your own going away party inviting friends, neighbors, colleagues, former teachers and encourage your kids to invite friends, too.
  • Take one last walk through the house together. Take a photo of the family in front of the house or in a special spot. Be sure to take a picture of everyone in front of the new house after you arrive as well.
  • Herd everyone away in one motion as it’s best to not linger….it’s time to move on.
  • Make plans to visit again before a year has gone by to see old friends and to bring a finality to the move.

Ways To Meet People After Moving

  1. People with kids at home find it easier to strike up a friendship with other parents while sitting in the stands during a baseball game or at a dance at school. Sign your kids up in their chosen activities right away or get them involved in new hobbies or sports they may enjoy.
  2. Subscribe to the local newspaper. It helps you know what’s going on, where you might want to avoid, and what issues are at play in the community. The advertising will give you a start in discovering local shopping, businesses and restaurants.
  3. Join the PTA or volunteer at school. The school social activities are an additional bonus for play-dates for the kids and for knowing you’ve been able to contribute.
  4. Visit the library, community center or recreation department. These can be a terrific way to connect with people with the same interests.
  5. Stop by the Chamber of Commerce or City Hall. There will be plenty of information on businesses. You’ll also find out about annual activities and local organizations.
  6. Get a map and drive. It helps get the lay of the land and learn more about your new community. Stopping at a nearby park could be a way to meet new friends all around.
  7. Visit groups and clubs. Whether it’s Scouts, 4-H or a church group, there are plenty of activities available. Try to discard preconceived notions and check them all out. Pleasant surprises are the best surprises!
  8. Just go out and meet your neighbors. If you can tell that they are home, you could just knock on the door and introduce yourself. It’s okay to make the first move.

Packing Specifics

  1. Start early. It always takes longer than you think. You’ll be more organized and not be in a frantic rush.
  2. Think thin. Go through your belongings and decide what you really want to keep. Every pound of belongings costs money to transport. Plan to go through everything at least twice with time between sessions. You’ll be able to think differently with each sort and discard more than you thought you might. Sort to keep, recycle, donate and toss.
  3. Label everything. And don’t just make the box for the room it will be placed. Be specific about the contents so you can find things at the other end. Don’t overuse “miscellaneous” or there’ll be several boxes with no idea of the contents.
  4. One at a time. Stay organized and pack one room fully, then move on to the next. That will keep the items for each room in the boxes you would expect to find them.
  5. Gang box. Put smaller items in small boxes and put smaller boxes in bigger boxes. Small boxes can be more easily lost, forgotten or damaged.
  6. Take it with you. Any personal financial information and important papers should be taken with you or shipped to you by family or a friend after you move. Identity theft is one reason, but it’s also difficult to replace important documents, recreating bank statements or passports.
  7. Include the closing papers from the home you just sold in the documents you take personally. Those will be needed at the closing for your new home.
  8. Value valuables. Most moving companies would prefer you not ship your highly valuable items, such as jewelry, artwork and collectibles. If you must ship them, you’ll need expanded moving insurance through the carrier or your own insurance company.
  9. Essentials. Always have a box for the basic essentials you’ll need as you move into your new place. Remember: Last on, first off. Make sure the box is well marked and delivered to a specified place. Recommendations? Towels, soap, toilet paper, coffee and coffee maker, drinking cups, eating utensils, paper plates and bowls, basic cooking pans, paper towels, pliers, hammer, screw drivers, flashlight, light bulbs, telephone, snacks, pens and notepad.
  10. Dresser drawers. Reserve one dresser drawer for each bedroom for sheets and bedding. That way you’ll find them quickly for each family member.
  11. Inventory. Make a list of every box that goes into the moving van and keep it with you. Have someone mark the boxes and items as they come off the truck. This is critical if your belongings will be in storage before they are delivered. Otherwise it could be months before you realize that a box is missing.
  12. Think outside the box. For things that will be stored in the attic, garage or closets at the next home, purchase inexpensive plastic bins. They will save you purchasing extra moving boxes, but also keep you from unpacking and repacking in your new home. Also, for stuffed animals, towels and other soft items, large trash bags are much cheaper than moving boxes.
  13. Keep your old phone book. You may need to call back to some businesses in your former town.
  14. Remember the fridge. After it’s cleaned and dried, put a handful of fresh coffee, baking soda or charcoal in a sock or nylon stocking inside to keep the interior smelling fresh.
  15. Packing plates. Plates travel best when on end vertically rather than flat.
  16. Unscrew bulbs. Remove bulbs before packing lamps.
  17. Help your pets relax. Keep the pets calmer by taking them out of the chaos on moving day. They’ll be much happier on their travels if not already panicked.
  18. Be nice to your plants. Help keep plants from being damaged by the weather. They can’t go on a moving truck so many may not be able to make the trip. Otherwise, keep leaves away from the windows so they don’t scorch or freeze, enclose them in plastic while carrying them through cold beyond their capacity to endure or give them away before you go.
  19. Give the computer a break. Allow it to acclimate itself to room temperature in the new place before plugging it in.
  20. Enjoy the help. Leave the rest to the professionals or some of it to your friends if you are going on this adventure alone. Try to sit back and relax, looking forward to new opportunities and adventures that are a part of any move.