It’s really never too soon to begin planning for a move, and veteran movers have found that a comprehensive timetable and checklist is the best strategy to ensure a smooth relocation. It’s also a great way to involve the entire family in the move and to spread some of the responsibilities to each person, including your children.
You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as items are checked off. Moreover, as the weeks roll by, your checklist will help ensure that nothing has been overlooked or omitted from your planning and that alone will go a long way toward relieving some of your anxiety.
Eight Weeks Before Your Move
- Contact your mover to make arrangements for moving day.
- Remove items from your attic, basement, storage shed, etc.
- Start to use up things you can’t move, such as frozen foods and cleaning supplies.
- Contact the chamber of commerce or visitor’s and tourism bureaus in your new community for information on your new city.
Six Weeks Before Your Move
- If you’re moving at an employer’s request, verify what expenses and responsibilities are theirs and which are yours.
- Contact the IRS and/or your accountant for information on what moving expenses may be tax-deductible.
- Begin to inventory and evaluate your possessions. What can be sold or donated to a charitable organization? What haven’t you used within the last year?
- Make a list of everyone you need to notify about your move: friends, professionals, creditors, subscriptions, etc.
- Obtain a mail subscription to the local paper in your new community to familiarize yourself with local government, community, and social news and activities.
- Locate all motor vehicle registration and licensing documents.
- If some of your goods are to be stored, make the necessary arrangements now. (Your relocation consultant should be able to help.)
- Contact schools, doctors, dentists, lawyers and accountants and obtain copies of your personal records. Ask for referrals where possible.
Four Weeks Before Your Move
- Submit a Change of Address form to the post office.
- Arrange special transportation for your pets and plants.
- Contact utility and related companies (gas, electric, oil, water, telephone, cable TV, and trash collection) for service disconnect/connect at your old and new addresses. However, remember to keep phone and utilities connected at your current home throughout moving day.
- Contact insurance companies (auto, homeowner’s or renter’s, medical, and life) to arrange for coverage in your new home.
- If you’re packing yourself, purchase packing boxes from your local mover. Pack items that you won’t be needing in the next month.
- Plan a garage sale to sell unneeded items or arrange to donate them to charity.
Three Weeks Before Your Move
- Make travel arrangements and reservations for your moving trip. However, don’t make plane reservations for the same day that you’re moving out. House closings are often delayed, and other unexpected situations often arise.
- Collect important papers (insurance, will, deeds, stock, etc.).
- Arrange to close accounts at your local bank and open accounts in your new locale.
Two Weeks Before Your Move
- Have your car checked and serviced for the trip. Also, make sure that your automobile is prepared (filled with the necessary antifreeze/coolant, for example) for the type of weather conditions you’ll be traveling in.
- If you’re moving out of or into a building with elevators, contact the building management to schedule use of the elevators.
- Contact your relocation consultant to review and confirm all arrangements for your move.
One Week Before Your Move
- Settle any outstanding bills with local merchants.
- Don’t forget to withdraw the contents of your safety deposit box, pick up any dry cleaning, return library books and rented videotapes, etc.
- Take pets to the veterinarian for any needed immunizations. Get copies of pets’ veterinary records.
- Drain gas and oil from power equipment (lawn mowers, snow blowers, etc.).
- Give away plants not being moved.
- Prepare specific directions to your new home for your moving company. (Include your itinerary, emergency numbers, etc.)
Two Days Before Your Move
- Defrost your freezer and refrigerator. Block doors open so they can’t accidentally close on pets or children.
- Have your major appliances disconnected and prepared for the move. (Again, your relocation consultant can help with arrangements for a third party to provide these services.)
- Pack a box of personal items that will be needed immediately at your new home. Have this box loaded last or carry it with you in your car.
- Organize and set aside those things that you’re taking with you so that they don’t get loaded on the van in error.
- Contact your relocation consultant to confirm arrival time of the moving van, as well as to notify them of any last minute details.
- Make sure that someone is at home to answer the van foreman’s questions.
- Record all utility meter readings (gas, electric, water).
- Read your bill of lading and inventory carefully before you sign them. Keep these — and all related papers — in a safe location until all charges have been paid and all claims, if any, have been settled.