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The Pre-Move Checklist

Pre-Move Checklist - Moving Checklist

6 to 8 weeks before moving:

  • Contact a moving company and tell them the dates you plan to move. Set up a date for an agent to come over and survey your goods. Unless you're given a binding moving estimate, the cost can vary, depending on the actual weight of items and any extra services.
  • Decide if you are going to pack for yourself or have the movers do it.
  • Draw a floor plan of your new house. This will help you decide which furniture stays and which furniture will go.
  • Establish credit in your new city. Arrange for a transfer of bank account funds and the contents of your safety deposit box.
  • Check personal insurance policies to see whether moving is covered. Transfer fire, theft and other personal property insurance to ensure coverage at your new home.
  • Gather information on prescriptions. Get current phone numbers and addresses of your doctor and dentist.
  • Transfer or resign from organizations and associations.
  • Arrange to transfer school records and secure transcripts from the local school district you are leaving. Get copies of your records from doctors, dentists, accountants, etc.
  • Start collecting suitable containers and packing materials if you plan to do the packing yourself.
  • Start to use up things that can't be moved, such as frozen foods, canned goods and flammable household aerosol cleaners. Buy only what you will use before moving.

4 to 6 weeks before the move

  • Prepare a list of friends, relatives, business firms and others who need to be notified of your move.
  • Plan to cancel all utilities.
  • Pick up all dry cleaning and anything left at the tailor or shoe repair shop.
  • Set a date to cancel the newspaper.
  • Consider having a garage sale to dispose of unwanted clothes or furniture.

Alert the post office that you will be moving. If you don't yet know your permanent address, the post office can hold your mail for you. Send out change-of-address cards. First-class mail is forwarded free of charge for one year; newspapers and magazines are forwarded for 60 days.

2 to 3 weeks before the move

  • Help your children host their own "going-away" party.
  • Hold an open house or informal dinner for friends to say goodbye. Keep it simple.
  • Take your car in to have it checked for the upcoming road trip.
  • Transfer all prescriptions to your new pharmacy.
  • Have rugs and draperies cleaned and keep them in bags until the movers arrive.
  • Take pets to the veterinarian. Most states require health certificates and rabies inoculations.
  • Collect all items being repaired, cleaned or placed in a self-storage facility.
  • Return library books and anything else you may have borrowed.
  • Assemble packing materials:
  • Boxes
  • Felt-tip markers
  • Large self-stick labels
  • Newspapers
  • Utility knife
  • Packing peanuts or bubble wrap
  • Packing tape
  • Furniture pads
  • Dolly
  • Scissors

3 days before the move

  • Pack suitcases for the trip to your new house. Put in extra clothes for emergencies.
  • Pack an "Instant Aid" box containing things you'll need upon arrival: sponges, paper towels, dish soap, paper plates, plastic knives, forks and spoons, toothpaste, light bulbs, hammer, trash bags, hand soap, toiletries, scissors, utility knife, coffee cups, tea kettle, instant tea, coffee, soft drinks, flashlight, aspirin or ibuprofen, toilet paper, snacks, pencils and paper, a local phone book, masking tape, bath towels and shelf lining materials.
  • Defrost the refrigerator and freezer so they can dry at least 24 hours before the movers arrive.
  • Make a list of every item and box loaded onto the truck.
  • Set aside valuables and legal documents to go with you, not on the van.
  • Take the telephone directory from your old town with you. It will be useful in case you need to contact former doctors or business contacts. Also, it will be a great help when it comes time to send out holiday cards.

The day before the move

  • Point out to the packing company which items should be loaded first onto the van (such as out-of-season items and decorative furniture) and which should be loaded last (such as items for children's rooms and furniture such as china cabinets you'll need for immediate storage as you unpack).
  • Call the moving company to confirm that they have both your old and new addresses, as well as a telephone contact for you at your destination and, if necessary, while you're on the road.

At your new home

  • Be present to accept the moving truck. If you can't be there personally, appoint someone to accept the delivery and call the moving company to alert them.
  • Unless other arrangements have been made, be prepared to pay the tab. The truck driver is obligated, by law, to collect for charges upon delivery.
  • Check your goods as they are unloaded. If anything is missing, note it on the inventory sheet. By signing the sheet, you are acknowledging receipt of all items listed.
  • Keep all your documents relating to the move in a safe place. You will need them for verification of moving expenses when you file your federal income tax returns.

Don't forget to keep your moving checklist handy at all times. It'll come in handy when the details become overwhelming.

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