Moving Tips

Moving Tips

Before leaving your present home:

Eight Weeks:

  • Remove unnecessary items from your attic, basement, storage shed, etc. If you haven’t used it in 1 year, donate it, or discard it. 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:

  • 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 

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.