Planning Makes Moving Perfect

There’s much to do when planning for a move. The good news? Everything doesn’t have to happen at the same time. We recommend breaking down your tasks into manageable chunks before your moving date:

Pre-Move Checklist

Two Months Before

Get quotes for your move.

Most experts recommend getting at least three estimates from moving companies. It’s important to
get written – and binding – quotes.

Dedicate money for the move.

Many movers make the mistake of putting all their money into finding a new place or buying new
furniture for the new home or apartment. Be sure you’re setting money aside for the move itself.

Set up a move file.

Whether it’s electronic, paper, or both, create a place to keep track of information you’ll need
for your move, including moving quotes, receipts, leases and other rental documents or purchase
papers – pre-approvals, contracts, etc.

Learn about your new community.

Learn about schools, shopping, entertainment and more for a variety of sources. Crime stats also
can be useful if you haven’t decided on a location yet.

Gather your records.

These include complete medical records for you and family members, including shot and prescription
records. Don’t forget to include dental records, plus you’ll need to contact your vet for pet
medical records. All of this takes more time than you think. Ask for referrals for your new

Talk to your insurance agent.

Both auto and home/renters insurance premiums could change after your move.

Six Weeks Before

More records.

If you have children, secure copies of their school records. Again, this takes time.

Evaluate your possessions.

Don’t move anything you don’t use. Get rid of unneeded items through yard sales or consign them.
You should also consider donating items to charity – you likely can receive a tax deduction.

Check your food.

Start cleaning out your freezer and pantry. Plan means around what you already have instead of
buying more food.

Clean up your supplies.

Again, you don’t want to – and in some cases can’t – move certain cleaning products, including
bleach and aerosol products. Use them up before you leave. It’s much easier to buy new products in
your new location.

Don’t get boxed in.

Nail down a supply of boxes. Sure, you can buy them from movers or container stores. But you may be
able to secure free boxes from your local Alcoholic Beverage Control or grocery store or other

Get on the schedule.

You got your quotes earlier. Now evaluate which is right for you and schedule your move. Don’t wait
– truck availability can get dicey the closer you are to your date, particularly if it’s during
prime moving season. Remember to discuss liability coverage, packing, loading, delivery, and claims

Four Weeks Before

Time to pack.

If you’re moving in summer, pack your winter clothing and shoes. Or vice versa. At any rate, start
to box up stuff you don’t regularly use. Remember, some items cannot be moved – check your mover’s
non-allowables list.

Get powered up.

Contact utilities in your old and new location. This could include electricity, gas, water, sewer
and trash pick-up companies. In addition, consider transferring or perhaps contracting for new
internet and television service.

Mail delivery.

File a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service. Avoid a trip to the post office by doing it
online – it’ll cost just over $1.

Rover and out.

Decide how you’ll get your pets from the old to the new location.

Two Weeks Before

Take care of the car.

Get your automobile serviced so you don’t have to find a new mechanic immediately after moving.
Again, ask for a referral.

More address changes.

Let your bank, credit card companies and others know that you’ll soon have a new address. Others
that need to know: The IRS, your state motor vehicles organization and local tax assessors.

Two Weeks Before

Talk it over.

Most moving companies now assign you a moving consultant. Go over details of the move one last time
with yours.

For your records.

Print at least two copies of your Bill of Lading – the official record of your deal with the mover
– for your files.

Friends and family.

Let them know of your new address.

Be prepared.

Fill any prescriptions you’ll need to tide you over during the move. Pack a box of stuff you’ll
need during the move – snacks, first-aid supplies, etc. Drain gas and oil from your law mover,
heaters, etc. Consider getting cash and/or travelers checks for expenses during the actual move.

The big un-freeze.

Empty and defrost your refrigerator and freezer at least 24 hours before moving day. This will
require some meal planning for the final days you’re in the old place; whatever perishables you
don’t use, you’ll have to throw away. The same goes for your pantry: Who wants to transport three
cans of black olives, two pouches of tuna and a jar of sundried tomatoes across the state?

Pack your boxes.

Pack by room and label boxes carefully. You’ll probably want to set your kitchen and bedrooms up
soon after the move, and this will help immensely. Have everything ready when the movers –
professional or amateur – get there.

Moving Day Checklist

Day of the Move

Protect the old place.

Yeah, you’re moving out, but you don’t want it to be damaged. Put down carpet, floor and door frame
protectors throughout the home.

Stay out of the way.

If you’re using professional movers, they know what they’re doing. They will pack your stuff in a
way that makes sense.

Not using pros?

Then you’ll want to pack large appliances – washers, dryers, refrigerators – first, then pack your
labeled boxes by room, finishing with the kitchen and master bedroom. Those are the rooms most
people want to set up first after a move.

Check it again.

Go through every room and closet in the old place to make sure you didn’t forget anything. Lock all
doors and windows.

Make a clean getaway.

No, you don’t want to clean the old place. But you need to, if for no other reason than you won’t
feel guilty when you …

Leave a note with your address.

Ask the new residents to forward any mail that makes it past your change-of-address request.

Save your receipts.

Remember, your moving expenses could be tax-deductible. But you’ll – of course – need receipts for

Before unloading:

Check out the new home again to make sure everything is in good working order. This is much easier
while it’s empty. Find the fuse box and the main water valve.

Make a clean start, too.

Do it before anything is unloaded. Because you’ll never have this opportunity again.

Keep an eye on things.

Stay out of the way, but check furniture and appliances (if professionals are moving you) for
scratches and dings as they’re brought into the house. Contact the moving company immediately if you
see anything. (If you’re depending on friends for the move, you might have to turn the other way to
any minor damage.)

First Week After the Move

Finish the job.

Chances are you didn’t finish unpacking every box on moving day. Keep at it every day until you do.

Change the locks.

You never know how many keys to your new home are in circulation. Unless you change the locks.

About your driver’s license.

Most states give you 10 days, and some allow you to do it online. But there may be a trip to the
DMV in your future.

Switch your voter registration.

Do it now to make sure you can participate in the next election. Some states allow you to do this
when you change your address with the DMV.

Make insurance a premium.

If you didn’t do this pre-move, let your auto insurer know you’ve moved. Otherwise, you run the
risk of voiding your coverage.

Be friendly.

Meet the neighbors. They can be invaluable as you settle in and afterward.

Fill in what’s missing.

Now that you’re moved in and finished unpacking, decide whether you need new furniture, artwork,
etc., to make the place “yours.”

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