Step #8: Plan Your Move
lt’s a given that moving is stressful. However, if you cross off the items on the following checklist as you go, your advance planning may pay off with a welcome reduction in stress levels.
Here’s the moving checklist you’ll need to prepare for your move:
8 Weeks Out
- Get organized: Set aside a folder or file where you can put all your move-related paperwork. Dedicate a notebook as your moving notebook for all your notes.
- Start sorting: Decide what to keep, discard or donate. If you’re moving to a smaller place, be aggressive in your decision making.
- Research moving companies: Go online to check for moving companies with positive reviews. Ask friends and family if they have any references for moving companies. Take a week or two to research ? you’re not in rush mode quite yet.
7 Weeks Out
- Get supplies: Buy packing materials – boxes, tape, markers and bubble wrap.
- Plan a garage sale: As you go through your possessions, you’ll find things you don’t want to move. It’s a perfect time to lighten your load. In the process, you’ll make a few bucks at the garage sale to spend on moving expenses.
6 Weeks Out
- Notify schools: If you have kids, tell the staff at their schools of the impending move. Get copies of their school records and check into the enrollment process at the schools near your new residence.
- Medical records: Check with your doctor to get copies of your family’s medical records.
5 Weeks Out
- Book a moving company: Thanks to your research, you are ready to pick your movers. Pick a company you feel confident with and confirm the date, time, and details of your move.
4 Weeks Out
- Start packing non-essentials: Begin boxing up the things you won’t need right away. Make sure to label the boxes.
- Notify utilities: Start the process of closing out utility service at your current place and getting utilities set up at your new residence.
- Notify your landlord: If you’re moving from a rental, let your landlord know. Find out when you can have your security deposit returned.
3 Weeks Out
- Strategize your food situation: Use up food items that you don’t want to move. Plan ahead to have nothing left in your freezer by your move date. Same goes for your pantry – make a plan to consume anything that’s already open.
- Pets and plants: Make arrangements to get your animals and plants to your new home.
- Change your address: Complete a change of address form on the USPS website. Notify banks and credit cards of your new address.
- Transfer insurance: If your current home is covered, check with your agent to transfer the policy to your new home.
- Take care of your car: Have your car serviced, especially if you’re embarking on a long-distance move. Check with your car insurance company about transferring your policy.
2 Weeks Out
- Pack with a vengeance: Now’s the time to start boxing up most everything left in your home. Again, make sure to label everything to ensure a smooth transition at your new place.
- Coordinate your valuables: If you have jewelry, heirlooms or other valuable items, sequester them from the main move. You don’t want valuable items mixed up with your other packed items. Keep them in a safe place so you can transport them yourself.
- Make a clean move: If your new place needs a thorough cleaning, make arrangements to have it scrubbed before you arrive.
- At your disposal: Properly dispose of any items that can’t be moved such as cleaning materials, propane, or paint.
1 Week Out
- Confirm and confirm again: Check in with your mover to confirm the time and date of the move.
- Pack an essential kit: Prepare a suitcase with items you will need right away at your new place. Take it with you. Don’t load it on the truck.
1 Day Before
- Keep important documents handy: Make sure to have any documents related to the move at the ready.
- Defrost and clear: Clean out your empty fridge and freezer. Check your cupboards and pantry for any open food items.
- Work with your movers: Help your movers by identifying fragile or large items right away. Be there when the movers load your items onto the truck. You’ll be responsible for verifying that they loaded everything, so it’s vital that you’re there to coordinate and answer questions. Sign the bill of lading when you’re satisfied that everything is accounted for.
- One final sweep: Before the movers pull away, do a final check of your home to make sure nothing was left behind.