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Moving Tips

Eight weeks before you leave your present address

  • Remove unnecessary items from your attic, basement,storage shed, etc. Use things you can't move, such as frozen foods and cleaning supplies.

  • Obtain information about your new community.

  • Secure a floor plan of your new residence and decide what household items you want to keep.

  • Start a possessions inventory.

  • Solicit estimates from at least three moving companies.

  • Call your homeowners insurance agent to find out to what degree your move is covered.

  • Create a file for documenting all moving papers and receipts.

  • Arrange to transfer your children's school records.

Six weeks before you leave your present address

  • Contact the IRS and/or your CPA for tax-deductible information.

  • Evaluate your possessions inventory. Can you donate anything? Do you need it all?

  • Notify your friends, relatives, professionals, creditors, subscriptions, etc.

  • Subscribe to a local paper in your new community and familiarize yourself with local government, community and social news and activities.

  • Begin the off-site storage process (if applicable).

  • Locate high-quality health-care professionals and hospitals in your new location.

  • Complete post-office change of address cards for the following: banks; charge cards; religious organizations; doctors/dentist; relatives and friends; income tax bureau/Social Security Administration/union; insurance broker/lawyer/CPA/ stockbroker; magazines; post office; and schools.

  • Clean your closets.

  • Hold a moving/garage sale or donate items to charities.

  • Choose a mover. Contact your mover to make arrangements and inquire about insurance coverage.

  • If relocating due to a job, contact your employer to see what costs, if any, they will cover.

Four weeks before you leave your present address

  • Start packing!

  • Send furniture, drapes and carpets for repair/cleaning as needed.

  • Gather auto licensing and registration documents, medical, dental and school records, birth certificates, wills, deeds, stock and other financial documentation, etc.

  • Contact gas, electric, oil, water, telephone, cable TV and trash collection companies for service disconnect /connect at your old and new addresses. Also ask for final readings.

  • Request refunds on unused homeowner's insurance, security deposit with landlord, and prepaid cable/internet service.

  • Notify your gardener, snow removal service and pool service (if applicable).

  • Contact insurance companies (auto, homeowner's, medical and life) to arrange for coverage in your new home.

Three weeks before you leave your present address

  • Make your travel plans.

  • Arrange to close current bank accounts and open accounts in your new locale (if necessary).

  • Notify your state's motor vehicle bureau of your new address.

  • Arrange for childcare on moving day.

Two weeks before you leave your present address

  • Arrange special transport for your pets and plants.

  • Service your car for the trip.

  • Contact your moving company and review arrangements for your move.

One week before you leave your present address

  • Prepare detailed directions and an itinerary with emergency numbers for your moving company.

  • Settle outstanding bills with local retailers. Pick up dry cleaning, and return library books and rented videotapes.

  • Take pets to the veterinarian and get copies of their records.

  • Drain gas and oil from power equipment.

  • Give away plants not being moved.

  • Cancel newspaper delivery.

  • Buy two-weeks worth of medication and have your prescriptions forwarded to your new pharmacy.

  • Buy traveler's checks.

  • Make arrangements to pay for your move.

Two to three days before you leave your present address

  • If you're not doing it yourself, have your mover pack.

  • Defrost refrigerators and freezers.

  • Consider gathering all valuables and giving them to family or friends to hold until the move is completed.

  • Disconnect all major appliances.

  • Contact your moving company for any updates.

  • Pack first-night items and a survival kit. Keep them in separate boxes in your car. First night items may include: sheets, towels, toiletries, phone, alarm clock, change of clothes and flashlight.

  • Mover's survival kit may include: scissors, utility knife, coffee cups, instant coffee/tea or a coffee maker, water and soft drinks, snacks, paper plates, plastic utensils, paper towels, toilet paper, soap, pencils and paper, local phone book, masking and/or duct tape, trash bags, shelf liner and aspirin or ibuprofen.

Moving day

  • Be home to answer any questions your mover may have.

  • Record all utility meter readings (gas, electric and water).

  • Stay until your movers are finished.

  • Complete information on the bill and carefully read the document and the inventory sheet before signing it.

  • Keep your copies of the bill and inventory until your possessions are delivered, the charges are paid and any claims are settled.

  • Take one final look around to see if you forgot anything.

  • Give movers the directions to your new home, and an emergency number where you can be reached during the move.

At destination

  • Unpack first-night items and mover's survival kit.

  • Be at the destination to welcome the movers and be on hand to answer any questions.

  • After the job is completed, pay what is owed. The driver is obligated by law (a federal requirement for interstate moves) to collect payment upon delivery.

  • Scrutinize the unloading of your items and account for each one on your inventory sheet. Check promptly and carefully for any damaged or missing items.

  • Place moving and other important documents in a safe place.

  • Go to the post office and collect held mail.

Ready to take the next step?

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