Follow the tips in this article to help your move go as smoothly as possible. The article is arranged somewhat like a checklist to ensure that all tasks are completed in the proper time frame.
Six to Eight Weeks before Moving
If you’re thinking about hiring professional movers, allow sufficient time to research and compare prices. Rates can vary greatly from company to company, so discuss options with several to find the best deal. Sometimes, however, cheapest may not be best. Check consumer reports and the Better Business Bureau before signing a contract.
If you are not interested in hiring professional movers, you should still talk to your friends and family early to ensure that they will be available to help on moving day. And you will likely need to rent a moving truck at least. Plan all of this now to ensure availability.
Take Only What You Need
Do not move items you do not need. Go through the closets, attic, basement, and garage and locate items to be sold, donated, or thrown away. The less you move, the cheaper your move will be. If you do not use it frequently, you may not need it.
Make a meal plan to use up all perishable food if you are moving far away.
Take Inventory of Your Valuables
Make a list of valuables and irreplaceable items, such as antiques, jewelry, photos, and important documents. Designate a bag so you can carry small items with you. If you choose to ship large items, choose certified mail and purchase insurance.
Plan ahead and do not forget any details. Ensure that you send medical and school records to your new physician and children’s school. Discuss options with your bank to see if you can transfer to another branch or if you need to close your accounts. Notify all applicable parties, including online accounts of your new address. Transfer or cancel all subscriptions. Make arrangements with the utility companies to have your utilities shut off at your old home and turned on at your new. Make arrangements for child and pet care on moving day. Decide how to move your vehicles. Make all necessary travel arrangements, including booking hotels and plane tickets. Have your car serviced. If you are moving to a new state, ensure your pets meet entry requirements and that you have ownership papers and up-to-date immunization records.
Five Weeks before Moving
Get a Head Start on Packing
Gather packing supplies as early as you can. Ask stores for leftover boxes. Ask friends to save newspaper. Start packing items you don’t use frequently, such as decorations, and kitchen supplies.
One Month before Moving
Contact the United States Postal Service and complete a “Change of Address” form and request mail forwarding service to begin once you can access your new mail box. Follow-up with your utility companies to request refunds of any deposits you may be entitled to.
Tie Up Loose Ends in the Community
Pick up any items you have out for repair or cleaning and anything you have let friends borrow. Return library books and any items you have borrowed from friends. Empty safety deposit boxes, and cancel your P.O. box.
Close your last bank account if you haven’t already, but make sure you have money for the trip and all moving expenses, including tip money for the movers.
Finish packing. Empty and defrost the refrigerator and freezer. Fill any last-minute prescriptions you may need. Set aside bags with clothing, personal items, and essentials for the trip, one for each household member.