Your move may be simple or complex, depending on your situation, including how much you own, how far you’re moving, and how many people are moving with you. In any case, it’s a good idea to start with a thorough moving checklist that covers all the possible bases, including important time frames.
Six Weeks Before Moving Checklist
- Decide what needs to be moved, donated, sold and discarded.
- If applicable, check with your employer to find out what moving expenses they will pay. Become familiar with the relocation policy and the benefits provided.
- Set aside items that you would like to include in a garage sale, decide on the date and time, write and schedule the advertisement.
- Set aside items that you are planning to donate to a charity. Contact the charity to schedule pick-up time and be sure to save the receipt for tax purposes.
- Create a general inventory of what you are planning to move and select a mover. Get cartons and packing materials so that you begin packing some things as your time allows, unless you will have someone packing for you. Make arrangements with mover for payment of services, once you arrive at your destination.
- Contact insurance agent and provide information necessary to transfer or cancel insurance coverage.
- Return anything that you may have borrowed and retrieve anything you might have lent out.
Four Weeks Before Moving Checklist
- Notify all magazines, credit card companies, newspaper, etc. of change of address. Arrange for delivery of the newspaper in your new location, if desired.
- Contact utility companies for refunds of deposit, determine turn-off date as well as arrange for utility services in the new location with appropriate turn-on times.
- Service power mowers, boats, etc. that are to be moved. Drain all gas/oil to prevent fire in moving van.
- Check with doctors and dentist for references in your new community and get copies of all family records and prescriptions.
- Obtain pet and immunization records from veterinarians
- Get children’s school records.
- Check freezer and plan to use of food over next 2-3 weeks.
- Make arrangements for television, computer and similar equipment hook-up at your new home so that they will be readily available to you upon move in.
- Decide a plan for how to transport jewelry and other valuables. Rent a safe deposit box or find another safe place to prevent loss before and even during the move.
- Give away or arrange for transportation of house plants (most moving companies will not move plants, especially in winter). Plants also can be sold at a garage sale or given as thank you gifts.
- Set aside any pamphlets, operating information, guarantees or warranties that relate to items in your home. It would even be helpful to provide a list for the new owners as to how to operate different systems in the home, if this information has not previously been communicated.
- Schedule house cleaning and/or other home services for the day following your move-out.
- Make travel and/or lodging arrangements for the day after loading.
- Create a diagram of where furniture is to be placed in each room so that the driver won’t need your help and the delivery process will be much smoother.
One Week Before Moving Checklist
- Transfer or close checking and savings accounts. Arrange for cashier’s check or money order to pay moving company on arrival to new community.
- Have automobile serviced for trip.
- Go to your local Post Office to obtain a change-of-address kit or go to wwwmoversguide.com to complete change of address forms online.
- Check all furniture for dents and scratches and create a list of these.
- A complete inventory must be created including all items, boxes, etc. that are included in your move. This is typically accomplished by your mover, but you must have a list of your own against which to make a comparison of their records on the final day. Suggestion: keep your own inventory sheets, use a separate list for each room in the new house and use a permanent marker to put a unique number on every box like 3K for 3rd box in kitchen - make sure you and your driver compare each others' lists before he leaves.
- Disconnect computers, stereos, VCR’s, etc. or make provisions for assistance with this task. Be sure to package all cords and remote controls in a safe place.
- Dispose of all combustibles and spray cans (spray cans can explode or burn). Items that cannot/should not be moved with the mover include items of value (i.e., jewelry, legal documents, etc.), flammable items, combustible items, aerosol cans, hazardous materials, gasoline, plants, ammunition and explosives.
- Pack a carton of sheets, towels, etc. so that you will not have to rummage through boxes for these items when you first arrive at your new home.
- Separate cartons, luggage and other items you need for personal travel or plan to take with you and clearly mark them as DO NOT PACK.
- Organize at least one room in the house for packers and movers to work freely.
- Cancel all newspapers, lawn service, pool service, etc.
- Review the entire list to make certain that you haven’t overlooked anything. Check and double-check everything you have done before it’s too late.
Moving Day Checklist
- Someone will need to be at the house the entire day, as last-minute decisions must be made by you and inventory must be overseen. Don’t leave until after the movers have gone.
- Hire a sitter or send the kids to a friend’s house for the day.
- Prepare a carton with essentials you will need immediately upon arrival at your new home (e.g., toilet paper, cleaning materials, tools, coffee and pot, soap, paper towels and plates, etc.) and mark the carton UNLOAD ME FIRST.
- Point out fragile or precious items to the movers and the driver.
- Go through each room and area of the house and be sure that everything has been removed.
- Clean out your refrigerator, wash and dry the interior and exterior and leave a deodorizer to keep it fresh-smelling. Unplug it if necessary.
- Approve and sign Bill of Lading; if possible accompany driver to the weigh station.
- Double check with driver to make certain moving company records show the proper delivery address for your new house. Verify the scheduled delivery date, too.
- In addition to exchanging cellphones numbers with the driver also provide a list of, ,where you can be reached in the local area and at each location you plan to visit until and including the day your shipment will arrive.
- Disconnect all utilities and advise the Realtor who sold or is selling your house.
- Lock all doors and windows. Advise your Realtor and neighbors that the house is empty.
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