1 Month + Before the Move
* Review your relocation package if you have one, and determine what expenses will be paid by your company.
* Start a log of moving expense receipts (some may be tax deductible).
* Get written estimates from moving companies, including their written commitment of pickup and delivery dates. Get references. Check the limits of insurance they offer, and if it covers replacement cost. Purchase additional insurance if necessary.
* Arrange for storage facility, if you plan to store any contents. Again, check insurance.
* Arrange transport service for pets or automobiles if needed.
* Contact your bank and arrange transfer of your accounts; order checks with new address; clean out your safety deposit box.
* Submit change-of-address forms to the post office; mail postcards to friends & creditors.
* Give day-care center proper notice of withdrawal.
* Contact schools and arrange for transfer of student records.
* Contact your doctors for medical records and possible referrals to new physicians.
* Change your insurance policies on property, auto and medical.
* Organize all important documents in a fire-safe box. Some things you want to include are school records, home purchase/sale papers, will, marriage/divorce papers, pet documents, financial records, stock certificates, social security cards, birth certificates, and passports.
* Give notice of resignation to any clubs, organizations or volunteer activities you belong to.
* Cancel newspaper subscriptions.
* Arrange for hotels, rental cars or temporary housing as needed.
2 Weeks Before the Move
* Take a ruthless walk-through to determine what you really want to take.
* Tag the rest of it and hold a garage sale; or call a charity for pick-up.
* Clean out club, gym and school lockers; pick up all dry cleaning.
* Arrange for the disconnection or changeover of utilities.
* Have measurements taken of the rooms in your new residence and use floor plans to determine where everything will go.
* Begin packing less-used items. Number and label each box, and keep an inventory. For more valuable information, see our packing tips.
* Retrieve and return all borrowed items from neighbors & friends; return library books.
* Clean out the cupboards & plan remaining meals so you can pack what you don’t need, and don’t buy any more perishables than you have to.
1 Week Before the Move
* Make an inventory list of all items going with you personally. Keep valuable and irreplaceable items such as jewelry and heirlooms with you, not movers.
* Confirm arrangements and dates with moving & storage companies.
* Confirm arrangements with auto & pet transportation companies.
* Confirm hotel, rental car or temporary housing accommodations.
* Clean out and defrost the deep freezer.
* Disassemble furniture or others items.
* Be sure to check yard and sheds for all items to pack.
* Inform all friends & relatives of your forwarding address. If your phone service won’t be instantaneous, arrange for a temporary voice mailbox; some long distance providers such as Sprint and MCI offer 1-800 voice mail numbers.
* Take pictures of furniture or get fabric samples for anything you will want to reference for color or decorating before your goods are delivered to your new home.
* Set aside a box of cleaning supplies and the vacuum cleaner.
* Begin making a “Survival Box” for the move. This should include paper, pens, stamps, envelopes, cellophane & heavy duty tape, scissors, tape measure, paper cups, ziplock bags, paper plates & towels, plastic utensils, facial & toilet tissue, instant coffee or tea, cream/sugar, soap, moist towelettes, aspirin, bandaids, can opener, bottled water, travel alarm, flashlight, small tools kit, trash bags, snacks or drinks, children’s games, address book, spare car keys, phone books for the city you are leaving and your destination.
1-2 Days Before the Move
* Clean and defrost refrigerator and freezer.
* Purchase traveler’s checks for trip expenses.
* Reconcile and close bank accounts, unless you will be using another branch of the same bank.
* Conclude financial matters relating to the sale or lease of your home.
* Movers or your family should complete packing of all household goods for the move. Make sure are boxes are clearly marked.
* Confirm delivery address, directions and delivery date with the movers.
* Carefully supervise the move. Make sure boxes are clearly marked and your instructions are understood.
* Clean the home and check entire grounds before leaving.
* Check thermostat and make sure temperature is set appropriately. Make sure all windows and doors are closed and locked, and all appliances are turned off. Leave forwarding address, garage door openers and any keys, if agreed to, for the new owners or renters.
* If your home is going to be vacant when you leave, make sure a relative, neighbor or real estate agent has the keys and how to contact you. Also, notify your insurance agent and police department that the home will be empty.
* Check to make sure all utilities are on and working properly.
* Let family members or friends know you have arrived safely. Check in with your employer and real estate agent to confirm itineraries.
* Supervise moving crew on location of furniture and boxes. Begin unpacking necessary basics first – basic kitchen utensils, bath toiletries, etc.
* Give the kids a job to do – let them start on their rooms. Usually, the kitchen and the kids rooms are the best to set up first, as it helps them feel at home.
* Go over the Bill of Lading from the moving company very carefully before signing; check for damaged items first, as this is usually binding once signed.
* Label each box with the room it belongs to and its contents.
* Drain all fluids from power & yard tools so they won’t leak. Dispose of all corrosive & volatile chemicals such as oil, antifreeze and gasoline.
* After cleaning refrigerator, allow the door to remain open for a while to decrease the humidity in the appliance. Place a piece of coal or a layer of baking soda inside to prevent mildew and musty smells.
* Pack a safe or fireproof box with important records such as birth & marriage certificates. medical records, school records, passports, pet records, credit card & banking records, tax returns, etc.
* Use strong, clean containers and twine or packing tape.
* Try not to exceed 50 pounds in each packed container.
* Place heavier items on bottom and lighter items on top.
* Protect finished surfaces with paper to avoid mars and scratches.
* Use plenty of padding (clean crumpled paper, bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts) to cushion contents. Recycle materials after move if possible.
* Pack containers tightly to avoid shifting.
* Fragile items should be packed with extra care in their own compartmentalized boxes.
* Wrap electric items individually before packing and cushion them well
* Make certain all liquids and foodstuffs are in sealed containers.
* Don’t overload chests and dressers with clothing and linen items. This could cause furniture joints to separate and collapse.
* Do not wrap lamp shades in newspaper; the ink can rub off and stain them. Wrap them in sheets or towels.
* Once you vacate your property, any fixtures or items left behind become the property of the new owner. Make an extra “final check” sweep.
* Have a master inventory list of all boxes and their contents, according to room.
* If you’ve hired a moving company, let them pack mirrors, furniture and pictures to prevent rubbing and possible breakage.