Preparing for a Move Tips and Guide
8 Weeks before Moving
- Call several movers for estimates. Remember, on site
moving estimates are always more accurate.
- Be sure to get references from all prospective movers.
- Calculate possible expenses you will incur when moving
to determine if you will need financial assistance. (e.g.
pet care, hotel costs, home deposit)
- Once you've chosen your mover, discuss costs, packing,
timing, and insurance.
- Create a "move file" to store important information
and collect receipts for moving-related expenses.
- Ask the Internal Revenue Service for information about
tax deductions on moving
expenses and what receipts you'll need to keep.
7 Weeks before Moving
- Prepare an inventory of everything you own. Divide this
inventory into three separate categories: items to be handled
by the mover, items to be handled by yourself, and items
to be left behind.
- Stock certificates, wills and other one-of-a-kind items
(jewelry, photos and home videos) are difficult or impossible
to replace. Plan to carry them with you instead of packing
- Two good ways to rid yourself of items no longer needed:
(1) host a garage sale or (2) donate to charities. These
two techniques can help you to raise a little cash or serve
as a tax deduction.
- Arrange for disposal of items not sold or donated.
- Contact your insurance agent to transfer property, fire,
auto and medical insurance.
- Organize dental and medical records, be sure to include
prescriptions, eyeglass specifications and vaccination records.
- Inquire about changes that you may occur in your auto
licensing and insurance when moving.
- Notify your children's school(s). Make arrangement for
records to be forwarded to the new school district.
6 Weeks before Moving
- Contact any clubs or organizations you are associated
with for information on transferring, selling, or ending
- Start becoming acclimated to your new community. Familiarize
yourself with your new shopping districts, location of hospitals,
police and fire departments. Contact the Chamber of Commerce
or Visitor's Bureau to request information on schools, parks
and recreation, community calendars and maps.
5 Weeks before Moving
- Start including your children in the process. Make it
exciting and fun by having your kids do some of their own
packing and labeling.
- If you plan to do any part of the packing, start collecting
suitable containers and packing materials.
- If no longer required, cancel local deliveries.
- If you have pets, call your new township to determine
if there are any specific requirements for pet ownership.
In addition, obtain and transfer veterinarian records.
- Register your children in their new schools.
4 Weeks before Moving
- Contact building management to inquire about scheduling
your move date and time. Certain buildings may have date
and or time restrictions as to when moving can be done.
Remember to keep this in mind when planning to move, especially
if you are doing your own packing. If you cannot finish
packing or your move in the day and time allotted to you,
can accumulate unforeseen costs.
- Contact your moving company to schedule your move date.
It is always easier to change your move date than to reschedule
at the last minute.
- Fill out a US
Postal change of address form.
- Close any local charge accounts.
- Make airline and hotel reservations (if necessary).
- Notify insurance companies of your move. Transfer all
insurance on your home and possessions.
- Contact utilities for disconnection or transfer and possible
refunds. Since you will want to have your utilities (electric,
gas, phone, etc.) still connected on moving day, arrange
to have them disconnected from your present home after your
3 Weeks before Moving
- If necessary arrange for a baby-sitter to watch your
children on moving day. You may need someone to keep your
children occupied and make sure they remain safe during
the busy loading process.
- While you are sorting through your belongings, remember
to return library books and anything else you have borrowed.
Also remember to collect all items that are being cleaned,
stored or repaired (clothing, shoes, furs, watches, etc.).
2 Weeks Before Moving
- Call ahead to have utilities connected at your new home.
- Make final packing decisions. Start packing items you
don't use often.
- Clean and clear your home, including closets, basements
- Call your bank to find out how to transfer your bank
- Each year many people move without clearing their safety
deposit boxes. Don't be one of them.
- You should carry valuables with you. If you've hidden
any valuables around the house, be sure to collect them
before leaving. Some state laws prohibit the moving of house
plants. Consider giving your plants to a friend or local
- Plan meals that will use up the food in your freezer.
- Have your automobile serviced if you're traveling by
- Transfer all current prescriptions to a drugstore in
your new town.
- Dispose of flammable items such as fireworks, cleaning
fluids, matches, acids, chemistry sets, aerosol cans, paint,
ammunition and poisons such as weed killer.
- Drain all the oil and gasoline from your lawn mower and
power tools to ensure safe transportation. Refer to your
owner's manual for specific instructions.
1 Week Before Moving
- This is your week to tie up loose ends. Check back through
this guide to make sure you haven't overlooked anything.
- Your moving company should have provided you with various
labels for your goods. These can include "Do Not Load",
"Load First", "Load Last", and "Fragile".
Take special care to label your goods appropriately.
- Pack your suitcases and confirm your families travel
arrangements (flights, hotel, rental cars, etc.). Try to
keep your plans as flexible as possible in the event of
an unexpected change of schedule.
- Make sure your moving agent knows the address and phone
number where you can be reached if your are not going directly
into your new home.
- At least one day before moving, empty defrost and clean
your refrigerator and freezer. If necessary prepare your
stove to be moved. Try using baking soda to get rid of any
- Prepare a "Trip Kit" for moving day. This kit
can contain items such as snacks, beverages and games for
the kids to keep them occupied during the move. If your
are stopping overnight be sure to pack items such as toothbrushes
and other essentials you'll need while your belongings are
- Strip your beds, and make sure the bedding goes into
a "Load Last" box.
- Make sure to be on hand when the movers arrive. It's
important that an adult be authorized to take your place
if you are unable to be present at any time while the movers
are there. Let the agent know to whom you have given this
authority. Be sure that your chosen representative knows
exactly what to do. Remember - this person may be asked
to sign documents obligating you to charges.
- Confirm the delivery date and time at your new address.
Write directions to your new home for the van operator,
provide the new phone number, and include phone numbers
where you can be reached in transit. Make sure to take along
the destination agent's name, address and telephone number.
- Always try to spend as much time with the mover as possible.
If you have special instructions, like what to load first
and last make sure it is explained to your mover. Communicate
well with the movers. If you choose to have your mover handle
your valuables or other fragile goods, tell the mover in
- When the van operator arrives, review all details and
paperwork. Accompany the driver as he or she inspects and
tags each piece of furniture with an identifying number.
These numbers, along with a detailed description of your
goods and their condition at the time of loading, will appear
on the inventory.
- It is your responsibility to see that all of your goods
are loaded, so remain on the premises until loading is completed.
To insure that nothing gets left behind always do a final
inspection of the premises. Do not sign any releases without
completing this inspection.
- If you get to the destination before the mover, be patient.
They might have encountered traffic or some other type of
- Since you'll probably want to clean before the furniture
is unloaded, make sure your vacuum is packed last, so it
can be unloaded first.
- The van operator will contact you or the destination
agent 24 hours prior to the expected arrival time. This
allows time to locate you and arrange for unloading. If
for some reason you cannot be reached, it is then your responsibility
to contact the destination agent.
- Be sure you're there when the movers arrive. Plan to
stay around while they unload in case they have any questions.
If you cannot be there personally, be sure to authorize
an adult to be your representative to accept delivery and
pay the charges for you. Inform the destination agent of
your chosen representative's name. Your representative will
be asked to note any change in the condition of your goods
noted on the inventory at the time of loading, and to note
any items missing at the time of delivery.
- Have payment on hand for your moving charges. Unless
other billing arrangements were made in advance, payment
is required upon delivery in cash, traveler's checks, money
order or cashier's check. Most of the time Personal checks
are not accepted.
- Check to make sure the utilities have been connected,
and follow up on any delays.
- Make sure your phone is connected. Ideally, you should
have the Phone Company hook it up the day before "Move-In
- Confine your pets to an out-of-the-way room to help keep
them from running away or becoming agitated by all of the
- It's a good idea to review your floor plan so you can
tell the movers where to place your furniture and appliances.
Plan to be available to direct them as they unload. To prevent
possible damage, televisions, stereos, computers, other
electronic equipment and major appliances should not be
used for 24 hours after delivery, allowing them time to
adjust to room temperature.
A More Complete Listing of Things to Do Before A Move
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