Moving can be a difficult time for everybody involved, and it’s easy to have so much going on that you don’t know where to start. Hopefully, this checklist can help ensure that you don’t miss any of the important things, and that your move is a smooth and (relatively) enjoyable experience:
8 weeks before moving:
It’s time to choose a moving company! Make sure you shop around and find one that can give you the best deal and has a good reputation.
- Make contact with your moving company. Set a date for a visual inspection and quote. Make sure you show them every single items that is going to be moved so that the estimate they give you is as accurate as possible.
- Discuss whether you want to pack your belongings yourself, or whether you’re happy for the mover to take care of this.
- If your employer is paying for the move, become familiar with their moving policy and establish what services the mover will perform.
- Ensure that you are familiar with your mover’s liability and insurance policies, so that you know where you stand if something goes wrong. Make sure you ask any questions you may have at this stage.
- Sign the moving documents only when you are sure you understand every section. Keep the contact details of the representative in charge of your move handy.
4 to 6 weeks before moving:
This is a good time to start notifying people that your address is changing.
- Notify your friends and family; an email or Facebook message is all that is required
- Notify the post office and set up a redirection order for your mail
- Notify all utility providers, such as gas, electric, water, telephone, cable, internet, trash, and sewerage companies
- Notify professional services such as your doctor and other health professionals, your accountant, lawyer and all insurance companies (such as auto, health, and others)
- Notify your personal services such as your pharmacist, dry cleaner, lawn and garden service, bank, credit union, loan provider and other financial institutions
- Notify any magazines, newsletters, journals or newspapers you subscribe to, and any other memberships you have such as to a gym or health club
- Notify the relevant government services including the DMV, social security administration, state and federal tax authorities as well as the city or county tax assessor, and the veterans administration if applicable.
3 to 4 weeks before moving:
- Start to use up your supply of canned food, and most of your frozen meals. Try not to buy too many more frozen foods or canned goods from this time until moving day.
- Have a garage sale or auction unwanted items online (using a site such as ebay) to clean up and make a little extra cash.
- Donate unwanted items to your local charity store. Keep your donation receipts as tax deductions.
2 to 3 weeks before moving:
Time to start preparing your home!
- Dispose of any flammables or dangerous goods carefully and properly.
- Make an appointment with a service technician to organize the shipping of your major household appliances.
- Organize a time to have your utilities disconnected.
- Have you rugs and curtains cleaned professionally. When they are returned to you wrapped up – leave them like this until you are ready to transport them.
- Make sure you have antiques and precious items professionally valued for insurance purposes.
- Don’t clean upholstered furniture before moving, as you don’t want it to be damp during the move due to the chance of mold or mildew building up.
With the moving company:
- Be sure to notify your agent if you add or remove items from the initial list you had supplied them with.
- Confirm the moving details, such as where things are being picked up and dropped off, what is being moved, and how many movers will be present.
With your family:
- Don’t be afraid to get sentimental; visit places that were important to you, and have a going away party with the friends and family members you are leaving
- If you’re driving to your new home, make sure your car is serviced and ready for the journey
- Take lots of photos to remember your old house fondly
1 week before moving:
- Time to decide what to do with your house plants. Many moving companies won’t take them, and if you are moving interstate you will have to check that you are actually allowed to bring certain species in. If you can’t take them, consider donating them to a hospital, giving them away to friends or relatives, or selling them in a garage sale.
- Prepare your pets for the move! Take them to the vet for a check up and ensure you have a health certificate and proof of rabies inoculations, as most states require these.
The day before you move:
- Prepare everything for moving, and clearly mark any fragile boxes or items.
- Unplug all electronic appliances 24 hours before moving so that they can reach room temperature by the time it is time to move them.
- Do a final check of all cupboards, closets, shelves, drawers and anywhere else that items may have been accidentally left.
The day of the move:
Leaving your old home:
- Remain on the property until loading is complete, so that you can be sure nothing is missed or left behind.
- Sign all the relevant paperwork, first ensuring that you thoroughly understand what you are signing.
- It may sound obvious, but double check that the driver knows where to go – you want your belongings to turn up at the right house!
- Ensure that the water is shut off, all light switches are off, the furnace is shut off and all utilities are arranged to be disconnected.
- Don’t forget to say one last goodbye to your old house, and also surrender your keys.
Arriving at your new home:
- Be available to accept the delivery and ensure everything is present.
- Check your belongings as they are unloaded, especially those that are fragile or valuable.
- Have a floor plan of your new home by the door so that the movers understand where each piece of furniture is supposed to go.
- Carefully collect all your moving documents together and place them in a folder to be kept in a safe place. You may need them for tax purposes, or just for your own personal records.