Eight weeks before you leave your present address
- Remove unnecessary items from your attic, basement, storage shed, etc. 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 homeowner's 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 before you leave your present address
- 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 healthcare 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 before you leave your present address
- 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 before you leave your present address
- 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 before you leave your present address
- 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 before you leave your present address
- 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 before you leave your present address
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.