Checklists can be tedious and overwhelming…but, for a big task like moving, you’re going to want one! Here are some ideas, tips and tricks that we have for a less stressful and more enjoyable move.
Two Months Before:
Start investigating moving companies. The best idea is to pick a few top companies and request an on-site estimate. You want to make sure that your estimate is in writing from the company you choose and has a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number on it.
2. Sort & Get Rid Of
Go through every room of your house and decide what you want to keep, and what you don’t need anymore. Do NOT pack things that you know you’re not going to keep. We recommend donating your clean items that you don’t need anymore (get a receipt for your taxes). Also, consider any items in your house that may need special packaging or extra insurance coverage- make a note of those items.
3. Take Measurements
Check room dimensions at your new home. If you know some of your furniture won’t fit, try selling or donating it. If possible, try to decide if larger items will fit out your doorways. If you know you have large items that may be difficult to fit out the doorway, make sure you mention this to the moving company right away.
4. Create a Moving Binder
A lot of people skip this step. But, we recommend it to keep everything organized. Use a binder to keep track of everything during your move- every estimate, your receipts and an inventory of all the items you’re moving.
5. Organize School Records (if you have children)
Go to your children’s school and arrange for their records to be transferred to the new school district.
Six Weeks Before
1. Order Supplies
Order boxes, packing tape, permanent markers and bubble wrap. Don’t forget to order special containers for items like clothing. You can even order colored stickers to keep everything simple. For example: every red sticker=kitchen, every orange sticker=master bedroom, etc…
2. Start Using Up Supplies
Use up perishable food items that you won’t be moving. Also, consider using up cleaning supplies that are hazardous to pack.
One Month Before:
1. Confirm Arrangements With Mover
Make sure you confirm your move date, costs and other details with your mover of choice.
2. Begin Packing
Start by packing items you don’t use often. This may be some kitchen supplies (the griddle or blender) or decorations. While packing, make note of items that have a higher value (over $100). Note this to your mover in writing & save a copy for your records. Make sure to wrap every item in bubble wrap.
Clearly label each box with a number, and write what is inside the box. This is where the sticker idea also comes into place! We recommend writing the room the items will be going to (kitchen, master bedroom, living room, etc.…). This also keeps an inventory of your items. If there are fragile items in one of the boxes, write this large and bold on the outside. Make sure you pack a box of essential items for things you will need right away.
4. Separate Valuables
If you have special jewelry or paperwork, pack a personal box that you will take with you- consider taking a safe with you.
5. Do a Change of Address
Go to your local post office and fill out a change-of-address form. You can also go to USPS and fill it out online.
6. Notify Important Parties
Alert the following of your move:
- Post Office
- Veteran’s Administration
- Social Security
- Pension Plan
- Draft Board
- Health & Hospital Insurance
- Vehicle Registration
- Driver’s License
- Newspapers & Magazines
- Banks & Financial Companies
- Credit Cards & Charge Accounts
- Stock Broker
- Housecleaning Services
- Doctor, Dentist, Optometrist, Chiropracter
- Electric, Gas, Garbage, Internet, Telephone & Cable Services
- Appliance Service
- Water Treatment
- Landscaper & Snow Removal
Two Weeks Before:
1. Tune Up
Take your car to a garage and ask the mechanic to consider different services if you’re moving to a new climate.
2. Remove Contents From Safe-Deposit Box
Place in the safe you are taking with you.
3. Contact the Moving Company
Re-confirm all moving arrangements.
One Week Before:
1. Refill Prescriptions
Stock up on prescriptions you’ll need during the next couple of weeks.
2. Pack Your Suitcases
Aim to finish your general packing a few days before the actual move-out date. Pack a suitcase for everyone in the family with essential items, clothes for a few days, and any valuables you don’t want on the moving truck- place valuables in the safe you’re taking with you.
A Few Days Before:
1. Defrost the Freezer
Only if your refrigerator is moving with you! Make sure that it is cleaned out and defrosted at LEAST 24 hours before moving day.
2. Plan the Payment
If not arranged prior, make sure you know whether you are paying your mover with a credit card, a cashier’s check, or cash. Remember to tip the moving company if they’ve done a good job (10, 15 or 20%). If your move is especially difficult, tip each mover up to $100 and make sure to provide refreshments. – Of course, this is all personal preference.
Make sure that the moving truck that shows up matches the company you hired. The USDOT number on the side of the truck should match the USDOT number on your contract. Scams are possible.
2. Take Inventory
Before the movers leave your house, sign the bill of inventory and keep a copy for your records. Put in your moving binder!
For any questions you may have, please feel free to reach out to our team.
Sandy Erickson Team of Keller Williams Realty