Moving soon? Start action planning at least six weeks in advance. Here are tips to get you organized...
Six Weeks Before the Move
Start setting aside unwanted things you are not moving to the new house.
Organize a garage sale or contact a charity for date and time of pick up. Take photos and make an itemized checklist with estimated market value if planning to write off as a donation to charity. Save donation receipts & photos for tax records.
Make a photo and written description inventory of everything (or at least the most highly valued items) to be picked up and delivered by the moving company if you're concerned about things getting to its destination.
Contact at least three reputable moving companies, many will come out in advance for a free estimate. Know the difference between a licensed and insured mover and someone flying under the radar.
Select a packing and moving company. Be sure to ask the moving company about what they deliver, don't deliver, wardrobes boxes, blankets or other freebies they may provide. Arrange for the form of payment accepted at the destination and tips -cash, check, cashier's check, money order, credit card, etc.
Make advance arrangements with the mover if things need to be picked up and delivered to more than one location (i.e. the new house AND a storage unit).
Get boxes and start packing, or make calls to schedule packers. As you pack, remember to mark each box with the name of the room it will be going to in your new home and its contents. If doing it yourself, you will likely need small, medium and large boxes, wardrobe boxes, electronics boxes, picture boxes, and other supplies such as inkless packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape and dispenser, markers for labeling. Many packing companies provide and deliver these items.
Contact your insurance agent(s) (auto, home, renters, etc.) to transfer or cancel coverage as needed.
Check with your employer to find out what moving expenses they will pay.
Four Weeks Before the Move
Fill out change of address forms at the post office for your move date; currently they require at least 2 weeks notice to start forwarding mail. Contact vendors with which you may have a mail-delivery order in progress about your new address.
Start a list of anyone that must be notified of your change of address.
Check with your veterinarian for pet records and immunizations.
Contact garbage/recycling and other utility companies to set a start date at new place and an end date at the old place. Be sure to set an appointment NOW for Internet set up at the new place ...they are known to be backed up for appointments weeks at times.
Pick up clothing at the dry cleaners.
Collect everything you have loaned out. Return everything you have borrowed.
Service power mowers, boats, etc. that are to be moved; drain all oil/gas to prevent fire in the moving truck.
Check with doctors and dentists for family records and prescriptions if necessary.
Start collecting children's school records. Schedule farewell play dates if moving long distance.
Plan to use the food in the refrigerator and freezer over the next few weeks.
Give away or arrange for transportation of houseplants. Some moving companies will not move plants, as they damage easily in the truck. Plants can be sold at garage sales, given to neighbors or away to http://www.freecycle.org
Schedule a bulky trash pick-up from your local waste management company for any excess piles of garbage or broken furniture ...they often pick up once per year for free. You can also arrange for a paid dumpster if there is lots to get rid of.
Two Weeks Before the Move
Cancel or transfer newspapers, garden service, etc.
Schedule a sitter or plan to send the children and/or pets to a friend's house on packing and moving days.
Schedule a move-out cleaner if you don't plan to do it yourself. This may be the time to splurge on a professional cleaning service, especially if you're trying to get back a security deposit.
Schedule the move-out walkthrough date with the landlord if applicable.
One Week Before the Move
Prepare to transfer or close checking and savings accounts, as necessary.
Have your car(s) serviced for the trip if driving them long distance.
Check and make an inventory of your furniture for dents and scratches. Notify the moving company of your inventory and compare on arrival at your new house.
Properly dispose of all combustibles and spray cans; don't pack them as they can explode or burn. Collect unwanted household paints and hazardous waste, old batteries, light bulbs for proper disposal at your local household hazardous waste drop-off center (they cannot go into a regular trashcan).
Pack a separate carton of complete cleaning supplies and tools (hammer, screw drivers, etc.) if you'll be doing the cleaning, removing nails and such toward the end of your days at the old house.
Separate boxes and luggage you need for personal/family travel. This is everything that stays with you and will not go in the moving truck.
Review this list in entirety to make sure you have not overlooked anything.
Plan to spend most of the day at the old house.
Prepare healthy snacks and refreshing drinks for the movers...this kind gesture will go a long way for your move.
Inform the movers about extra fragile or precious items.
Make a final check of the entire house - basements, closets, shelves, cabinets, attic, garage- every closet and room for boxes or anything else left behind BEFORE the movers close the truck and leave.
Double-check with the driver to ensure moving company records show the proper destination address.
Give the driver phone and cell numbers both here and at the new house so the company can contact you in case of a problem.
If applicable, get complete routing information and phone numbers from the driver so you can call the driver or company in case of an emergency en route.
Lock all doors and windows and advise whom you should that the house is empty.