Before you relocate
Most people don't move often enough to become well practiced at it. That's why this "To Do"-list is so important. Follow it and accomplish most of what you need to in preparing for your move.
Ninety days prior to moving
Preparing for your move this far in advance may seem unnecessary, but some things should be done as soon as possible. Here are a few:
- If commercial transportation (plane, rental car, bus), hotel or temporary living quarters figure into your moving plans, make the reservations as soon as possible. Have you ever tried to make a plane reservation to a popular destination during peak season? Don't risk this happening to you and your family unless you want the experience of flying "stand-by." OK, if you're moving to Anchorage in February, you might not have to worry--but don't take the chance. Make important reservations early.
- Will the family pooch sit on your lap during your move, or will you have to arrange transportation for him or her?
- If you're going to use a commercial moving company, find one now and get a written estimate. You won't be pressed for time and you'll make your best deal.
- Create a budget for the next three months and include the cost of moving.
- If your just moving across town, or only need short-term rental of a truck, dolly, storage unit, etc., try to secure them now, or determine the earliest date you can reserve them. Note that date in your daybook.
Thirty days prior to moving
- Remember those reservations you made sixty days ago? Confirm them.
- Go to the post office and grab as many "Address Change Notification" cards as you think you'll need--then grab a few more. (Your taxes helped pay for them and you'll probably need extras.) Send one to everyone you know or with whom you do business. Here's a short list of possible recipients:
- Financial institutions: banks, brokerage companies, companies managing your retirement accounts created with previous employers, etc.
- Credit card companies
- Doctors, dentists, attorneys, insurance providers
- State and Federal agencies from which you receive income
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Companies you might pay annually, such as you Internet service provider (ISP), pager, etc.
- If you use a software program to compute your income taxes, it will contain the required, "Change of Address" form, so don't bother calling the IRS for one. If you pay a tax preparer, they'll have the form.
- Go to your local "U-Drive" and purchase boxes, tape, marking pens, box-cutters, bubble-wrap, styrofoam peanuts, rope, etc. Ask U-Drive if you can return any unopened or unused materials--if you can, get more than you think you'll need. Keep your receipt and take good care of the supplies until you use them.
- If you're driving, plan your driving route.
- Purchase or have handy a briefcase or satchel to exclusively contain your moving-related paperwork. Items to keep in it include:
- All receipts associated with your move. Many expenses may be tax-deductible.
- Travel route
- Maps of your new neighborhood
- Transportation tickets
- Hotel information and reservation confirmation numbers.
- Any documents you think you'll want handy.
- This list!
Two weeks prior to moving
- Remember those reservations you made seventy-five days ago and confirmed two weeks ago? Confirm them again.
- You may be using professional movers who will help pack your household items. Whatever the case, there are some things you'll want to pack yourself. Items to consider include:
- Irreplaceable items such as, jewelry, coin collection, heirlooms, high school yearbook, favorite coffee mug, etc.
- Legal, medical, insurance, financial documents, etc.
- Start packing all those boxes you have. Keep related items together and clearly mark the contents of all boxes. Identify boxes containing fragile items. Pack heavy items in small boxes; lighter items in larger boxes. Keep all boxes easily accessible. Don't tape them shut yet.
- Contact utility, local and long-distance telephone, cable TV and trash companies and inform them of your move. Contact these types of companies at your new location and let them know when to activate them at your new address.
- Recruit additional moving-day help if necessary.
- Arrange to close or transfer your bank accounts if necessary.
One week prior to moving
- Empty your safety deposit box.
- You've been packing boxes for a week. Some boxes you go back to for things you need, some you haven't looked into since you packed them a week ago. Tape shut the boxes you haven't looked into since you packed them.
One day prior to moving
- Go to the bank and get cash.
- Today is the day to finish packing. Seal all boxes. Return to U-Drive all the unused packing materials and boxes.
- Have a day-bag containing your toiletries, medications, first-aid kit, change of clothes, etc. This may be a good place to keep your purse or wallet, itinerary, travel tickets, extra glasses, book, etc. This will double as your carry-on bag if you're flying.
- Conduct a maintenance inspection of your car. Check tire pressure, battery, radiator, oil and other fluids, fill the gas tank.
- Pick up the rental truck.
- Confirm casual help, movers, etc. you'll be using on moving day.
- If you have children, pack a bag of games and extra batteries for their electronic games.
- Congratulate yourself on a difficult job well done!