Two Months Before You Move
- Create a “moving file” to keep track of everything—all your estimates, your receipts, an inventory of all the items you’re moving, and other important information.
Plan your move and get cost estimates
- See if your employer will provide moving expense benefits. This is an often overlooked benefit.
- Research storage facilities if needed.
- Go through every room of your house and decide what you’d like to keep and what you can get rid of or donate to charity. Think about whether any items will require special packing or extra insurance coverage.
- Consider and plan a moving or garage sale.
- Check homeowners insurance policies to see if moving is covered. Be sure your new home is protected by transferring fire, theft and other personal property insurance.
- Organize school records.
- Go to your children’s school and arrange to transfer their school records to their new school district.
- Start collecting written estimates from moving companies.
- Budget for moving expenses.
- Start researching your new community.
- Arrange to have veterinarian records transferred.
- Gather copies of legal and financial records.
- If moving from an apartment, notify the landlord and request the apartment deposit back.
7 Weeks Before You Move
- Start compiling medical, dental, shot and prescription records and schedule their transfer. Be sure to get a copy for yourself. When speaking with doctors and dentists, ask for referrals. They may recommend a colleague near your new home.
- Get copies of your renewable prescriptions.
- Notify your insurance agent about your move. Provide your new address and see what changes you need to make to your new policy.
- Transfer bank accounts, and ask your local credit bureau to transfer your records to your new city.
- Contact health clubs, organization, and groups to cancel or transfer memberships.
- Arrange for cable/satellite TV disconnection and relocation.
- Arrange connection of utilities in new home. Your local service provider can help you with phone, internet, cable or satellite service for your new home.
- Donate, sell, or trash the items that you will not be moving.
- Get copies of any other records needed (veterinary, accounting etc.)
- Acquire packing materials (boxes, tape, stuffing/padding, markers, etc.)
- Make any home repairs that you have committed to making
- Return library books and other things you’ve borrowed, checked-out and rented.
- Get things you’ve lent out, and items at the dry-cleaners, lay-away, cold storage, safety deposit box, etc.
- Arrange to discontinue utilities and delivery services.
Use it or lose it
- Start using up things that you don’t want to move, like frozen or perishable foods and cleaning supplies. Plan to discard or use up most food items before the move; perishables cannot be transported.
- Recycle your empty containers. Most communities provide convenient recycling drop-off locations.
- Dispose of, use up, or give away flammables such as gasoline, ammunition, fireworks, matches, cleaning fluids, paint, propane, bottled gas; or aerosols, acids, corrosives, poisons and caustic drain cleaners, etc. Start using up food and other items such as bleach, and aerosols you have stored so there is less to move.
- Drain gasoline and oil from small gasoline powered equipment.
- Plan how you will arrange furniture in the new place. Draw up a floor plan or sketch of your new home, and indicate placement of furnishings. It makes moving in much easier. Check room dimensions at your new home and make sure larger pieces of furniture will fit through the door. Measure furniture and doorways to determine if larger pieces will fit through the door.
- Reconfirm travel reservations.
- Set aside maps, games, snacks, flashlight and other items you’ll take in your car.
- Gather medicines and important papers for the car trip.
- Drain water from all garden hoses.
- Start packing suitcases.
6 Weeks Before Your Move
- Plan how you will move valuables and difficult to replace items (certified mail, or carry them with you).
- Begin purging your home. Separate items into those you will keep, donate or discard.
- Confirm all moving details and that you have necessary paperwork
- Make a schedule or action plan for the day of the move
- Prepare for the moving expenses (moving, food, lodging)
- Call your insurance agent to see what changes you need to make to your new policy.
5 Weeks Before Your Move
- Order boxes and moving supplies.
- Begin packing items you don’t use often.
- Clearly label each box with its contents and the room it is destined for.
- Pinpoint your move date.
- File a change of address with the Postal Service, or ask them to hold your mail at the post office in your new city. You must fill out a change-of-address form for each person receiving mail at your address.
- Order boxes and other supplies such as tape, Bubble Wrap, and permanent markers. Don’t forget to order specialty containers, such as dish barrels or wardrobe boxes.
One Month Before
- Finalize moving method and make necessary arrangements
- Choose your mover and confirm the arrangements.
- Select a company and get written confirmation of your moving date, costs, and other details.
- Start packing the things that you use most infrequently, such as the waffle iron and croquet set. While packing, note items of special value that might require additional insurance from your moving company. Make sure to declare, in writing, any items valued over $100 per pound, such as a computer.
- Begin packing non-essential items
- Create an inventory list of items and box contents, including serial numbers of major items – use this as an opportunity to update your home inventory
- Clearly label and number each box with its contents and the room it’s destined for. This will help you to keep an inventory of your belongings. Pack and label “essentials” boxes of items you’ll need right away.
- Label boxes by room and contents
- Separate valuable items to transport yourself – label as DO NOT MOVE
- Keep a box out for storing pieces, parts and essential tools that you will want to keep with you on move day – label as PARTS / DO NOT MOVE
- File a change of address with the post office. Go to your local post office and fill out a change-of-address form, or do it online at usps.gov. But in case there are stragglers, it’s always wise to ask a close neighbor to look out for mail after you’ve moved. Check in with him or her two weeks after the move, and again two weeks after that.
- Forward medical records.
- Arrange for medical records to be sent to any new health-care providers or obtain copies of them yourself. Ask for referrals.
4 Weeks Before Your Move
Schedule disconnection/connection of utilities at old and new locations:
- Cell Phone
- Trash Collection
- Request pet’s records from the veterinarian.
- Notify magazines to which you subscribe.
- Make travel arrangements for your pets.
- Put copies of pet medical and immunization records in your move file.
- Hold a garage sale.
- Check and clear tax assessments.
3 Weeks Before Your Move
- Plan how to transport your plants.
- Arrange to have major appliances serviced before you move them.
- Take your car to a garage, and ask the mechanic to consider what services might be needed if you’re moving to a new climate. Take your vehicle(s) to be serviced and tuned-up, especially if you are traveling very far.
2 Weeks Before Your Move
Schedule the cancellation of services for your old place:
- Newspaper Housecleaning
- Water Delivery
Notify these professional services and accounts of your move:
- Financial Planner
- Brokerage Firms
- Health Insurance Provider
- Insurance Agent
- Auto Finance Company
- Bank/Credit Union/Finance Companies
- Credit Card Companies
- Health Club
- Home care service providers (lawn, exterminator, snow removal etc.)
- Laundry service
- Employer’s Human Resources Departments
- Monthly memberships (Nexflix, book of the month, etc.)
- Pharmacy Store/Gas Charge Accounts
Notify these government offices of your move:
- City/County Tax Assessor
- State Vehicle Registration
- Social Security Administration
- State/Federal Tax Bureau (IRS) Veterans Administration
- Confirm travel arrangements for pets and family.
- Confirm parking for your moving trailer or moving container. Obtain permits if needed.
- Plan meals for the last weeks to use up your food.
- Assemble a folder of important info about your house for the next home owner.
- Plan to take the day off for moving day. Notify your office that you plan to supervise the move and therefore need the day off.
- Clean out your safe-deposit box.
- If you’ll be changing banks, remove the contents of your safe-deposit box and put them in the safe box that you’ll take with you on moving day.
- Add items such as jewelry and important files to a safe box that you’ll personally transport to your new home. Make sure to put the mover’s estimate in this box. You’ll need it for reference on moving day.
- Empty out your safe deposit box, secure those items for safe travel.
- Contact the moving company and reconfirm your arrangements.
1 Week Before Your Move
- Continue packing and clean as you go.
- Pack items separately that you will need right away at your new place.
- Review your moving plans with your moving company.
- Contact your bank or credit card company if you are planning to pay for your move by debit or credit card.
- Print two copies of your bill of lading (BOL) to keep in your move file.
- Notify friends and family of your new address and phone number.
- Pack an essentials box to keep with you during the move.
- Drain water hoses and waterbeds.
- Empty and defrost refrigerator at least 24 hours before the move.
- Fill any prescriptions you will need during the move.
- Refill prescriptions.
- Stock up on prescriptions you’ll need during the next couple of weeks.
- Pack your suitcases.
- Aim to finish your general packing a few days before your moving date. Then pack suitcases for everyone in the family with enough clothes to wear for a few days.
A Few Days Before You Move
- Continue cleaning the house as you are packing.
- Make sure essential tools are handy (screwdrivers, wrench, pliers, tape, etc)
- Pack a bag for water bottles, pen/paper, snacks, documents, and essentials
- Set aside boxes/items that you are moving yourself (make sure you’ll have room)
- Remove bedding and take apart beds
- Go early to pick up the truck if you rented one
- Walk through the empty place to check for things left behind – look behind doors
- Leave your contact info for new residents to forward mail
- Take inventory before movers leave, sign bill of lading
- Make sure your movers have the correct new address
- Lock the windows and doors, turn off the lights
- Use a padlock to lock up a rented truck
- Defrost, empty and clean the refrigerator and freezer. If your refrigerator is moving with you, make sure to empty, clean, and defrost it at least 24 hours before moving day. Defrost, clean and dry refrigerator and chest freezer.
Find useful things for your children to do and involve them when possible.
Double-check the details
- Reconfirm the moving company’s arrival time and other specifics and make sure you have prepared exact, written directions to your new home for the staff. Include contact information, such as your cell phone number.
- Plan for the payment.
- If you haven’t already arranged to pay your mover with a credit card, get a money order, cashier’s check, or cash for payment and tip. If the staff has done a good job, 10 to 15 percent of the total fee is a good tip. If your move was especially difficult, you might tip each mover up to $100. Don’t forget that refreshments are always appreciated.
Provide important contacts with your new address:
- Family & Friends
- Local Businesses
- Cancel automated payment plans and local accounts/memberships if necessary
- Make sure that the moving truck that shows up is from the company you hired: The USDOT number painted on its side should match the number on the estimate you were given. Scams are not unheard-of.
- Take inventory.
- Before the movers leave, sign the bill of lading/inventory list and keep a copy.
- Finish packing all suitcases.
- Be available to answer questions and to sign the Bill of Lading. Confirm your delivery date, new address and the phone number where you can be reached.
- Make final check of every room and storage area.
- Make sure windows and doors are locked, keys are transferred and lights are out.
- Be familiar with packing and loading tips and personally supervise hired labor.
- Place carpet, floor and door frame protectors throughout your home.
- Load goods in a pre-designated order, saving cleaning supplies, toiletries and other items you may need first in special boxes to be loaded last, unloaded first.
- Check every room and closet one last time to make sure nothing is left behind.
- Leave a note with your new address so that future residents can forward stray mail.
- It’s a good idea to be at your new home a day ahead of the van so you can make sure utilities are connected, and plan placement of major items in your home.
- Find someone to help watch small children on move day
- Begin to pack your suitcases with clothes and personal items for the trip
- Make sure your prescriptions are filled
- Check your furniture for damages – note damages on your inventory
- Take furniture apart if necessary (desks, shelves, etc.)
- Make sure all paperwork for the old and new place is complete
- If traveling far, notify credit card company to prevent automated deactivation
Moving In Checklist
- Clean your new home, make sure everything is in working condition and make any repairs before your moving truck arrives.
- Pick up any mail being held at the local post office
- Unload your items and begin organizing your new home.
After the Move Checklist
- Keep all receipts and documents in your move file and store it in an easy-to-remember location.
- Get a new driver’s license and automobile tags, register to vote, etc.
- Contact the local paper for a new subscription.
- Verify utilities are working – especially power, water, heating, and cooling
- Perform an initial inspection, note all damages, take photographs if needed
- Clean the kitchen and vacuum as needed (especially where furniture will be going)
- Direct movers/helpers where to put things
- Offer drinks and snacks, especially if the helpers are volunteers
- Assemble beds with bedding
- Begin unpacking, starting with kitchen, bathroom and other essentials
Enjoy your new home!
- Even with a long to-do list, moving doesn’t have to be stressful!