Use this handy checklist to get organized long before you move.
At Least One Month Before The Move
- Clean out your closets, attic, basement, cupboards, toy chests, and bookshelves.
- Discard anything you don't want or need.
- Consider having a tag or garage sale.
- Donate unwanted items to charitable organizations (i.e. hospitals, nursing homes, day care centers, libraries, and thrift shops). Obtain receipts for tax purposes.
- Evaluate whether to ship your appliances. Consider age, size and color. If your stove, refrigerator, washer, or dryer won't match or fit in your new home, consider selling them. For example, don't move a gas stove or dryer into an all electric house. Also, consider selling chandeliers and ceiling fans with your home unless you have a special or sentimental reason for taking them along.
- Make a complete inventory of items to be moved.
- Decide if you will move all your plants or just your favorites.
- Use up your frozen foods. They CAN NOT be safely shipped. It is also advisable to reduce your supply of canned goods.
- Notify the security-company, lawn or snow removal services or any other regular services or your vacating date.
- Check your saving and checking accounts. Plan for transfer of deposits so you won't lose interest. Your bank can be used as a credit reference.
- Arrange to collect any advance deposits or security deposits on utilities or rentals.
- Check your homeowners insurance. Any prepaid balance may be applied to your new residence. Be sure to coordinate with your insurance carrier so you new residence is covered immediately.
- Check on club membership fees. The money may be refunded or, if allowed, you might consider transferring or selling the membership to a friend.
- Check with your veterinarian regarding any travel preparation needed for your pets.
- Check you employer's policy on pet transportation coverage.
- Register children for school; transfer all necessary school records.
- Plan shipment date to occur after closing on your new home.
At Least Two Weeks Before The Move
- Contact telephone, electric, gas, and water companies to confirm specific date on which to discontinue services.
- Advise utility companies in your new location when to start new services. (Waiting for service to begin can often result in costly hotel and meal expenses.)
- Check new driver's license and auto registration requirements.
- Advise newspaper carrier and trash service to discontinue services.
- Be sure to clean out school or gymnasium lockers.
- Ask your present physicians(s) and dentist for referrals in the new location.
- Transfer medical records and get copies of prescriptions. If members of the family have any ongoing medical or dental treatment programs, arrange for the payments to be pro-rated with the professional in your new area.
- Transfer insurance records. Verify that all your policies provide adequate coverage for your new location.
- Arrange for the transfer of valuables. Check contents of your safe deposit box.
- DO NOT SHIP any valuables (such as jewelry, insurance policies, legal documents, currency stamp and coin collections) with the moving company. Either carry them with you or send the by insured or certified mail.
- DO NOT SHIP combustible or flammable items. These include oil-based paints, bleach, cleaning and lighting fluids, matches, and ammunition. All aerosol cans (including hair sprays, shaving creams, deodorants, household cleaners, insecticides, tarnish removers and car cleaners) should be eliminated from the shipment. Use up or discard these items.
One Week Before The Move
- Keep a detailed record and receipts of your moving expenses for income tax purposes. This includes transportation, lodging, meals, etc.
- Drain gas and oil from lawn mowers, chain saws, snow blowers, etc. Gas grills and kerosene heaters must be empty. Cars and motorcycles should have only 1/4 tank of gas.
- Remove snow and ice from sidewalks, driveways and steps.
- Check to make sure you didn't leave anything at the dry cleaners.
- Put linens and pillows in the dresser drawers to have handy for making up your beds the first night in your new home.
- Place draperies lengthwise on hangers and hang in closet. The movers will place them in wardrobe cartons.
- Prepare a "ready box" with all the necessary medications and first aid supplies.
- Prepare the children for the move and trip by providing them with a "ready box" with their own special treasures. Include toys and games and snacks for your trip.
- Defrost and clean your refrigerator and freezer at least 24 hours in advance of the move.
- Keep your telephone connected through your moving day.
Day Before The Move
- The packing crew usually arrives the day before the van is loaded. Be sure someone is on site to supervise the packing.
- Pack any valuables you intend to take with you.
- Make sure fragile items receive special attention. Label each carton with the contents and location in the new home.
- Gather keys to the house and arrange to leave them with the new owners, your real estate agent, landlord or a trusted neighbor.
- Notify police if your home will be unoccupied after you leave.
- Notify a close friend or relative of your itinerary in case of emergency.
Day Of Move Out
- Check the mover's inventory to be sure that you agree with the mover's judgment on the condition of your household goods. Take photographs if there is a dispute.
Make sure you get a copy of the inventory.
- Load items you are taking with you on the trip, including luggage.
- Search every room before the van leaves.
- Check the Bill of Lading for completeness before you sign it. Retain a copy for your records.
- Record the van driver's name and give him contact numbers at the destination. Confirm directions to the new residence with your driver.
- Turn off the water heater. Set the thermostat at 55 degrees.
Day Of Move In
- Get to your new home before the movers. There could be a waiting charge if you are late.
- Contact the utility companies to verify start dates.
- Check appliances, furnace and hot water heater. Contact a repair service if something is not working.
- Check the condition of each carton and household item's as they are unloaded.
- List all missing or damaged items on the inventory form.
- Since you will probably do some unpacking after the movers leave, make a note on the inventory form "subject to inspection for loss or concealed damage".
- Ask mail carrier if he or she is holding any mail for your arrival.
After You Are Settled
- Obtain necessary licenses; drivers, dog, etc.
- Register car at new address (usually there is a penalty if you wait to long).
- Contact newspapers, dairy, etc., for home delivery.
- Register to vote.