Preparing for Your Move
Moving is a stressful time with so much to do and so much to think about. To make the process as easy as possible, below is timeline to help you through the process:
Two months before your move:
- Prepare a rough budget or estimate of the cost of your move so you can determine if you will need financial assistance to take care of expenses. This can include house-hunting trips, pet care, tolls, utilities, and housing deposits. Keep accurate records of all expenses, as most are tax detectible.
- Call movers for estimates. Ask for, and check, references on their service. Some months are busier for moving than others, so it is important to start checking on this early.
- Once you have chosen a mover, discuss costs, packing, timing and insurance.
- Make a list of your belongings. Sell, donate or give away anything you do not need or want.
One month before your move:
- Visit your bank or lending institution and advise them of your moving plans. They can offer recommendations on setting up accounts at a new financial institution where you will be moving. This will be of immense help in transferring your accounts. See if they have a bank in the new city you will be living in. You may need to cancel your bank account and open up new accounts at your new local banks.
- Notify your doctor and dentist of your move so you can have medical records and prescriptions transferred. Ask them for medical referrals in your new community.
- Determine which school(s) your children will attend so school records can be transferred.
- Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles and Drivers License for change of address.
- Notify insurance companies of your move. Transfer insurance on your house and possessions to ensure coverage of your new home.
- Close charge accounts you will not be using in your new community.
- Ask for a transfer of your credit bureau files.
- Send change of address to your post office.
- Send change of address cards to friends, magazines and creditors.
- Notify your place of worship.
- Cancel local deliveries such as newspapers.
- Contact utility companies for disconnection and any refunds you might be entitled to by your electricity, gas, water/sewer, trash, and telephone, cable TV, and internet providers. If you drive through a toll and you won’t need that anymore, you can cancel that service as well.
- If you have pets, arrange for their boarding during your pre-move and for shipping, if necessary, when you move.
- Contact your veterinarian for your pet records. Have shots updated and any necessary treatment done before your move.
- Call the county office where you are moving to so you know what specific requirements the county has for pets.
- If you can't board your pets during your move, lock them in a room that nobody has access too. We have seen pets get scared from the move and hide in the weirdest places. Sometimes they hide so good our homeowners can't find their pets anymore and they leave without them. I have seen pets go under the kitchen cabinets and almost get packed up in moving boxes.
Two weeks before your move
- Empty your safety deposit box.
- Pack the items you will be moving yourself. This might include important papers and items of sentimental value.
- Clean out the refrigerator and cabinets. Fix meals that use up food you do not want to move.
- Have your car(s) serviced for the trip.
- Get a babysitter for when the movers are in your home.
- Plan a furniture layout for the movers, showing where things should be in your new home.
- Make hotel reservations if you are traveling for more than one day or in case you have to wait for the movers to arrive.
- Pack anything the movers will not be packing for you.
- If your home has not sold yet, make maintenance and security arrangements with your real estate agent. Make sure you keep your utilities on or winterize the pipes.
- Plan a thorough cleaning of your house, including carpets and draperies.
- Check with local tax assessors to make sure your tax records are in order.
- If your home will be vacant for some time, arrange for snow removal and/or lawn care, and notify police.
- Take a local phone directory with you.
- Notify someone of your travel route and schedule.
Final days before your move
- Plan a survival package in case you have to wait for the movers.
- Paper plates, plastic eating utensils, towels, soap, toilet paper, bedding, items to occupy children’s time, snacks, new house keys.
- Pack clothes for the trip.
- Empty gasoline from lawn mower and discard any cleaning fluids that are flammable. The movers will not allow them to be packed.
- Label boxes you will need right away.
- Get a cashier’s check for the movers and traveler’s checks for your trip to cover any expenses you might have until your new accounts are available.
- Defrost and dry your refrigerator and freezer.
- Have appliances disconnected.
- Give the movers your new telephone number or a location where they can reach you.
On Moving day
- Take pets to kennel so they are not stressed and will not be in the way or keep locked in a room where the movers should not have access to. I’ve seen cats run out of the house on moving day because they are so scared and then get lost. I’ve had other cats get scared and find a cubby hole to hide and the owners leave the cat behind not knowing it was in the house still.
- Take small children to babysitter.
- Plan to have someone at the house to direct the movers when they arrive.
- Make a final inspection of your old home and make sure all doors and windows are locked and lights are turned off.
- Take valuable documents, jewelry, and money with you.
- Cancel utilities and trash service right after closing (Sellers)
- Cancel your Homeowners Insurance (Sellers)
When you arrive at your new home
- Arrange for someone to be at your new home when the moving van arrives.
- Direct the movers, but do not get in their way.
- Make sure all appliances are functioning and that electricity and gas are operating properly.
- Inspect everything before you sign your moving receipt and find out how many days you have to submit a claim for any possible damages.