Careful preparation and organization will make the move go smoothly. First take care of the details that do not require disrupting the household and that often get left until later. Getting the small tasks out of the way will help to make the mental and physical work ahead less hectic.
Two months prior to Moving Day
- Get estimates from moving companies if you will use a mover.
- Get costs from at least two truck rental companies if you will move yourself.
- Choose a mover or truck rental company.
- Create a floor plan of your new home for furniture and appliance placement.
- Make an inventory of your household goods and begin to remove clutter starting with the basement, attic, garage, and other storage areas.
- Start a file for all your moving paperwork, include all estimates, receipts, etc.Many expenses are tax deductible.
- Arrange to transfer school records.
- Arrange to close bank and other local accounts and/or have them transferred to your new address.
- Notify any direct deposit or withdrawal sources of the change so you will not miss income or payment periods.
- Coordinate your moving date with your employer(s) if necessary.
Six weeks prior to Moving Day
- Visit the Post Office and get a Moving Kit. In it you’ll find post cards to send to all publications, credit card companies, banks, insurance companies, etc. Send a card to each business from which you receive mailings and bills.
- Send notes announcing your move (be sure to note your actual moving date and address)to your friends and family members.
- Subscribe to the paper in your new hometown to learn more about your new community.
- Make arrangements for storage if necessary.
- Ask your doctor, dentist, veterinarian or insurance provider for referrals and obtain all medical records.
- Notify state and federal tax authorities, Social Security, Board of Elections and other government agencies you have contact with.Call 800-829-3676 to get an IRS change of address form.
- Have antiques, pieces of art, and other valuables appraised.
- Begin cleaning out closets, storage areas, children’s toy chests, garden and hobby paraphernalia, and the garage.
- Begin using foods and cleaning supplies that cannot be moved.
Four weeks prior to Moving Day
- Contact all utilities and service providers to stop service at your old home and start service at your new home. Be sure to stop it the day after you leave and start it the day before you arrive.
- If you are moving yourself, reserve a rental truck.
- If you are moving yourself, recruit help for moving day.
- If you are packing yourself, obtain packing materials – boxes, tape, wrapping paper, marking pens, rope, etc. Do not use masking tape or duct tape. They will not stick well to cardboard.
- Start packing items you won’t need until after you arrive at the new house. Carefully wrap and pack your most fragile items first and store them for moving day. Next, pack your least essential items such as extra linens, garden tools, workshop equipment, bake ware, pots and pans, etc. Be sure to label the contents of each box and where it will go in the new house.
- Arrange for cleaning and repair of furniture, drapes, and carpeting.
- Arrange for special transportation of your pets and plants if necessary.
- Check with your insurance company to see how your possessions are covered during transit.
- Make any travel arrangements necessary for your move. Plan your route if you are driving. Arrange for temporary accommodations if there will be a short waiting period between leaving your old home and moving into your new one.
- Check to see if you need any moving permits.
- Plan your moving sale to dispose of any items that you will not take with you.
Three weeks prior to Moving Day
- Dispose of items that cannot be moved, such as inflammable liquids.
- Prepare auto registration for transfer if you are moving to another state.
- If you are moving in or out of an apartment, arrange for use of the elevator.
- Make child-care arrangements for moving day.
- Hold your moving sale to dispose of any items that you will not take with you.
Two weeks prior to Moving Day
- Get rid of anything not sold at your moving sale.
- Service your car in preparation for the move.
- Return any borrowed items (including library books) and retrieve any loaned items.
- Take animals to vet for immunization if necessary.
- Transfer prescriptions and be sure you have an adequate supply of medications on hand.
- Assemble a file folder to leave for the new owner of your home. Include such things as garage door opener, sprinkler key, manufacturer’s guides for appliances, heating and air conditioning, pool and spa equipment, etc.
- Gather important personal documents such as wills, stocks, bonds, birth certificates, etc, in one place, such as an unused suitcase or briefcase for personal transport by you.
Two to Three Days Prior to Moving Day
- Drain your waterbed. Defrost refrigerator and freezer, propping doors open.
- Let movers pack your belongings unless it’s a do-it-yourself move.
- Disconnect and prepare major appliances for move.
- Set aside anything that will travel in your car so it will not be loaded on the truck.
- Pack a box of items that will be needed first at the new house. Clearly mark this box “Load Last.”
- Obtain cash or traveler’s checks for the trip and pay the movers.
- Confirm arrival time of your moving van.
- If moving yourself, dismantle beds and other large furniture.
One day prior to Moving Day
- Transfer your bank accounts.
- Close your safe-deposit box.
- Settle any bills with local businesses.
- Drain power equipment of oil and gas.
- Drain water hoses.
- Find new homes for plants that will not be moved.
- Confirm any travel reservations.
- If using a mover, be sure someone is at the old house to answer questions.
- Note all utility meter readings.
- Read your bill of lading and inventory carefully before signing. Keep this paperwork in a safe place.
- Fill a cooler with drinks and snacks for the day.
- Empty and clean the refrigerator.
- Do a final walk-through after all boxes and furniture have been removed to ensure that cabinets, closets and drawers have been emptied.
- Leave your forwarding address for the new owners so they can send you any mail received at your old address.
- Place the garage door opener, sprinkler key, manufacturer’s guides for appliances, heating and air conditioning, pool and spa equipment, etc., on the kitchen counter where the new residents will easily find them.
- Again, be on hand to answer any questions.
- Check your belongings carefully and note on the inventory any damaged items.
- On an interstate move, be prepared to pay the driver before your possessions are unloaded.
- Supervise unloading and unpacking. Be prepared to pay your mover with cash, certified check, or traveler’s checks unless other arrangements have been made in advance.
After The Move
- If you have moved to another state contact the Department of Motor Vehicles and get a new drivers license.
- Contact the local Board of Election and register to vote.
- Notify any sender of mail that is forwarded from your old address of your new address.
- Find out when the trash is collected and if there are any recycling regulations.
- If you moved out of the area, pick a local insurance agent and transfer your policies.
- Scout your new neighborhood for shopping and services. Locate the hospital, fire station, doctor’s offices, police station, schools, library, etc.
- If you moved out of the area, select your new medical providers and give them your medical records.
- Check the local Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Center, Government websites and media websites for information on cultural events, community activities, recreation facilities, etc.
- Moving can be a very stressful or even traumatic experience. Be aware of the effects of the move on your family and pets.