A move or relocation need not be fraught with stress. A move represents a significant change, especially if it’s to a new city or state. Don’t get overwhelmed, get ready – create a checklist and follow it carefully. Some items will be obvious, but it’s good to write them down nonetheless – this way, you are not likely to overlook anything.
If you observe the following planning tips, you’re likely to have a safe and sane move:
1. Jettison Unnecessary Stuff: If you are a pack rat, time to reform your ways. Normally, there is a lot of stuff you don’t really need to move, so now’s the time to get rid of it. Packing and moving unnecessary clothing and bric-a-brac wastes time and money, and your new house will be cluttered. Instead, donate your stuff and/or have a garage sale. You can pick up a tax deduction or some extra cash.
2. Gather Important Papers: There are a number of papers and documents you need to keep. Gather them up early on and place them in secure storage. Here is a partial list of these types of items:
- Tax Returns
- Military Records
- Health Records
- Bank Statements
- Birth and Marriage Certificates
- School Records
- Insurance Policies
- Financial Statements
- Stock and Bond Certificates
3. Get Ready for Moving Day
- Keep records. Make sure you know the address and phone number of your mover, and your shipment registration number with the mover.
- Prepare for your first night. Put everything you need for your first night in your new location into a designated dresser. Items include sheets, towels, medicine, toiletries, pajamas and a change of underwear.
- Empty the refrigerator. It is not nice to leave food behind for others to clean up. Either consume everything you have in the refrigerator or give the remaining items to your next door neighbor. Then, wipe out the fridge with some cleaning spray.
- Pack smartly. Heavy items in small boxes, light items in big ones.
- Give the moving man your cellphone number. He may get lost or confused, so make sure he can contact you anytime along the way.
- Pack valuables carefully. If you have old photo albums or historic China, make sure it is well packed and marked “Fragile.”
- Unscrew light bulbs. Before you leave your old house, remove the light bulbs and take them with you. You paid for them, why give them to the next occupant?
- Don’t advertise collections. If you have a valuable stamp or coin collection, don’t mark the box with that information. Many movers will find the temptation too hard to resist.
- Handle medications. If you are on a daily regimen of one or more medications, make sure to hand-carry these when you move. Don’t risk them being lost in the chaos.
- Have a garage sale. Get rid of all unnecessary items before you pack. Don’t worry about making a lot of money, just see to it that all your stuff goes to a good new home.
- Pets. Make sure you’ve arranged the transport of your pets, either with you or separately
4. Make New Living Arrangements: Set up your new banking accounts before you move. You can get a safe deposit box at the same time, if you like. Make arrangements with local utilities – power, communications, water, cable, etc. Line up new physicians, pharmacies and dentists, and forward them your old medical records. Alert everyone of your new address, including credit card companies, magazines you subscribe to, insurers, the post office, current utilities and the in-laws. Remember to discontinue all utilities as of the day following moving day.
5. Service the Car: Assuming you are going to drive to your new home, be sure your car receives all its scheduled maintenance. You want to have a safe and uneventful drive to your new location.