There’s much to do when planning for a move. The good news? Everything doesn’t have to happen at the same time. Here at GoodCall®, we recommend breaking down your tasks into manageable chunks before your moving date:
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 location.
- 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 retailers.
- 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 procedures.
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 about $1.
- Rover and out. Decide how you’ll get your pets from the old to the new location.
- Plan for the snake – plant. Or the Dieeffenbachia or bamboo or whatever houseplant might need to go to the new place.
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.
One Week 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.
- 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.
- Check it again. Examine every room and closet to make sure you didn’t forget anything.
- Save your receipts. Remember, your moving expenses could be tax-deductible. But you’ll – of course – need receipts for everything.