The key to a successful and smooth move is careful planning. There are a number of steps you can take, starting roughly two months prior to your move until moving day, in order to make sure you have all your bases covered and help eliminate unneeded stress. The use of the following checklist will help you to avoid overloading your schedule or mind, and may even save you some money.
Two Months Prior:
- Obtain estimates from at least three professional moving companies. If you are going to do it yourself, obtain rental truck pricing.
- After you've received estimates and made your decision, coordinate and book the services early, especially if you're planning your move around a holiday week/weekend.
- Decide which furniture and household goods you'll be moving and what needs to be disposed of or sold. If you decide to dispose of something you plan on replacing after your move, make sure to make a note so you'll remember the item.
- If you're moving to a new city, it may be a good idea to contact the local Chamber of Commerce for a new residence packet. Your real estate agent may also be an excellent resource for helpful move related information.
Six Weeks Prior:
- Take an inventory of all your possessions besides furniture, such as kitchenware, decorative items, electronics, apparel, etc.
- Complete a change of address form through the post office (this can easily be done online).
- Notify any organizations, credit card companies, and subscription services of your address change.
- Obtain copies of all medical, dental, legal, accounting, and veterinarian records.
- If children are changing schools, arrange for transfer of educational records.
- Itemize moving-related costs and review with your mover, including packing, loading, special charges, and insurance.
One Month Prior:
- Make arrangements for packing your belongings. If you're using professional movers, schedule for packing to take place a day or two before the move. If you’re handling packing on your own, purchase adequate boxes, packing materials and tape.
- Arrange for short-term or long-term storage if needed.
- Make travel arrangements for pets, including getting necessary medical records, immunizations, and medications.
Three Weeks Prior:
- Begin packing items you won't need immediately or that are destined for storage.
- Contact utility companies on both ends of the move to order termination and activation of services to correspond with your occupancy date.
- Confirm travel arrangements for family and pets.
Two Weeks Prior:
- Terminate newspaper and other delivery services.
- If necessary, arrange to open new bank accounts and set-up local services in your new neighborhood.
One Week Prior:
- Gather important papers, records, and valuables for protected shipment to your new home or safe deposit box.
- Obtain any prescription medications needed for the next few weeks.
Day Before Moving Day:
- Defrost refrigerator/freezer and dispose of or give away all perishable food.
- Keep a box marked "Last Box Packed/First Box Unpacked" for tools, flashlights, first aid kit, etc. On moving day, this should be the last box placed on the truck.
- Pack items you plan on carrying with you such as valuables, financial records, personal papers, etc.
- Give the movers a telephone number and address so they can easily reach you if necessary.