Moving can be stressful. The preparation before and after requires time and energy. But with proper planning it can be less taxing. Putting a plan together weeks in advance of the big event will help tremendously.
60 DAYS BEFORE THE MOVE:
1. Research and weigh the pros & cons of hiring a mover VS rallying friends and doing it yourself.
3. Confirm availability of both the moving company and friends/family for your desired move time. Keep in mind that Spring, Summer & Fall are popular and busy times to move so planning ahead will eliminate any surprises.
4. Whether choosing to hire a company or rent a truck, get all the details upfront: hidden or any added costs, liability, insurance coverage, actual availability, etc. Before signing an agreement thoroughly read through it.
5. Sort through your closets, drawers, cupboards, etc. to get rid of worn or unused items. If something is in decent shape, donate it. It will make someone less fortunate happy, reduce what you have to pack & moving cost + donations are tax deductible.
6. If you are traveling long distances, secure your travel plans (including the transportation of any cars).
7. If you are traveling with a pet, get all the details about what will be required to safely accommodate your pet.
8. Request from the Vet your pet’s records and schedule any last minute exams needed.
9. Request the medical records of everyone in the family.
10. If you have children, inform their schools of the intended move & request their school records.
11. Research schools and confirm the requirements for enrollment. In more competitive areas where seating may be limited you may want to start your research a little earlier.
Tip: Change can be difficult and especially unsettling for children. Involve them with the process from the beginning. It can be something simple as looking at pics of potential new homes to buying packing supplies to allow them to pack their treasured belongings.
45 DAYS BEFORE THE MOVE:
1. Secure all important documents (medical, school & pet records; warranties; insurance papers; W2s, Tax Return; paystubs; moving agreement; memberships; revolving monthly bill statements; IDs; etc). Do not ship these items. The day of the move you want to carry them with you. Plus you may need some of these items to support your rental application.
2. Avoid shopping for household goods & food. Use what you have.
3. Buy packing supplies (boxes, containers, tape, bubble wrap, twine, scissors, etc.). Look for wardrobe boxes which have a bar running across & makes packing your hanged clothes very easy.
4. Start packing things you won’t need immediately. Be sure to label each box (on ALL if its sides) identifying the contents & the room they belong to. For i.e., Kitchen/Dishes/FRAGILE/Heavy. For extra visibility color code your boxes by room. Use bubble wrap or towels when packing fragile items.
5. Room-by-room, make a detailed list of the items you are packing. Note any visible damages. Especially create a list of valuables. Pictures in addition to your list are a great way to take full inventory.
Tip: Take a pic of the back of your electronics to help you easily re-connect them.
30 DAYS BEFORE THE MOVE:
1. Finalize your real estate needs, moving & travel plans.
2. If you are looking to rent with a pet, confirm in writing that your pet will be allowed in your new home.
3. Alert your current utility, cable, alarm companies, car insurance & any other companies that provide you with service of your intended move. Obtain written confirmation from each company of their understood date to terminate your services.
4. Arrange for services to be turned on at your new home.
5. Service your car.
6. If renting a truck, measure your furniture & estimate the number & size of your boxes to ensure that you rent a large enough truck.
7. If moving out of state with a car, contact the DMV in your new town for registration & plate information.
8. Pack a travel bag with a change of clothes for the day after your move & sleepwear. Include toiletries, towels¸ bedding, shower curtain, etc.
9. Pack a first night box/suitcase with flash light, batteries, tape, box cutter, light bulb, phone chargers, tape, twine, disposable gloves, SEALED cleaning supplies, paper towels, toilet paper, water, disposable cups, plates, cutlery, cork screw, your favorite bottle of wine, small snacks, etc.
10. As each day passes, pack more things that won’t be needed immediately.
11. Pile up boxes along the wall with space to walk around.
TIP: Use a clear bin for those items you will need to get to right away.
WEEKS BEFORE THE MOVE:
1. Two to three weeks before the move, change your address with the post office, creditors, banks, subscriptions, social security office, IRS, alumni organizations, etc.
2. Check with your dry cleaner to ensure that nothing is being left behind.
3. Pack & label some more. You should be just about done.
4. If you have children, pack a box of their favorite toys &/or books to help keep them entertained that first night.*
5. If you have a pet, pack a box with their leash, favorite toy, bed, medicine, small supply of food, etc.*
6. One week before the big day confirm your moving arrangements & travel plans.
*This box may need to remain open & off to the side until the very last day.
Tip: Remove the caps of your toiletries, cover the openings with saran wrap, reseal & store in zip lock bags.
THE DAY BEFORE THE BIG DAY:
- Secure your bag with the important documents, overnight travel bag, any medicines, first night box, special toy box &/or pet box.
- Keep your inventory list in a safe & handy spot.
- Stock up on water & light snacks for your movers.
- Have cash handy for tips & any incidentals.
- Have extra packing material on hand (boxes, tape, bubble wrap, twine, box cutter, etc).
- Have garbage & recycle bags handy.
- Empty out your cupboards, pantry & fridge of any leftover food.
- Wipe down & broom sweep throughout the home you are moving out of (whether renting or selling, a good practice so there is no reason to be charged a cleaning fee.
- Have a form of payment for the movers ready.
- Walk through each room & check every closet to make sure you haven’t left anything behind.
Tip: For future reference, safely store the name & contact information of your current landlord. This type of information is often required on a rental application and you may not remember or know how to locate it years later.
THE DAY OF THE MOVE:
1. First take a deep breath. You’ve been planning for this move for weeks.
2. Secure the kids and/or any pets.
3. Make sure your document bag, travel bag, medicine bag, first night box, toy &/or pet box are secure on the side and won’t be mixed in with the rest of your items.
4. Doing it yourself?
- Don’t over exert yourself.
- Pace yourself.
- Move things step by step.
- Know your limitations.
- Have someone help you pick up that extra heavy thing.
5. Hired a mover? … walk through with them cross referencing your inventory sheet as they create a log of your items. Obtain & safely store a copy of their report.
6. Keep hydrated.
7. Once the place is empty, walk through one last time to make sure nothing was left behind including any garbage.
8. Take pictures of the empty space (from floor to ceiling, include doors, fixtures & windows) to ensure your landlord can’t charge for any damages against your security deposit. It’s recommended that you do a final walk-thru with the owner or Management Company to ensure there are no surprises. Get a copy of their report and safely store it for future reference.
Tip: Place an extra cotton pad or ball into your powder cosmetics to keep them from breaking.
WHEN YOU GET TO YOUR NEW HOME:
1. While it is still empty, take pictures throughout. Especially any scratches or damages that may raise an issue. This is especially a good practice if you are renting. If you find damage, notify your landlord so that you are not charged for the damage in the future.
2. Wipe down your kitchen & bath room.
3. Stock your fridge with water.
4. Unpack your first night, toy &/or pet box + any medicines.
5. Unpack your travel bag.
6. Tuck away in a safe place your important document bag.
7. If you have children, set them up first. Moving and change can especially be difficult for the little ones. Get them involved with unpacking & organizing their room. Connect their TV & open their special toy box to keep them busy & entertained.
8. Create a safe sectioned off space for your pet.
9. Set up your bed.
10. Don’t overdo it on your first night. Remember to pace yourself.
11. Keep hydrated.
12. Order in & open that bottle of wine you packed.
13. Kick back & enjoy your new home.
14. Tomorrow you can unpack some more.