Use this week-by-week checklist to plan your move.
When you make the decision to move, the clock starts clicking to your moving day.
But don't worry, we can help. This is a handy checklist of major accomplishments you should tackle before you move.
The tasks to accomplish further from moving day might seem trivial now, but staying on schedule will help you avoid last minute headaches. Time will be at a premium on the days right before your move, so be diligent in checking off these tasks.
60 Days Before You MoveThis is the time to start strategically planning your move, step-by-step, to alleviate the stress of last-minute packing and planning.
- Get quotes from at least three moving companies, and make sure they do in-home assessments so your quote is as accurate as possible. Talk to family and friends for recommendations, or get free moving quotes from Web sites like Relocation.com
- Determine how many packing supplies you’ll need, and designate a room where you can begin to store and organize them and other items that will assist you in your move.
- Research your new community and schools so you know as much as possible before you move.
- Got enough people to drive your cars to your new home? It not, you’ll need a car mover.
- Get an appraisal on your expensive items so you can insure them for your move.
- If you are being transferred by work, understand your company's moving policy.
- Pare down -- use up, sell, recycle or donate anything you don't want to move. Make it a family project.
- Make a moving folder or booklet -- include an inventory of your household items with a video or photos.
- Contact your insurance agent to transfer medical, property, fire and auto insurance policies, and while you have them on the phone -- be sure to ask about coverage while you’re in transit.
- Create a designated folder for moving-related expenses where you can file all receipts. This will come in handy as many moving expenses are tax deductible. Obtain an IRS Change of Address form, Form 8822, by calling (800) 829-1040 or visiting the IRS Web site. You will be able to download and print form 8822 and most other IRS tax forms; e.g., Form 3903 to help deduct moving expenses. To find out what expenses are tax deductible, check out our article on moving expenses.
- Notify old and new schools and arrange for the transfer of school records and begin the process of registering in new schools.
- Notify doctors and dentists of moves, and seek referrals and collect all medical, dental and school records to ensure you do not forget to obtain them at a later date; some require written permission for this. Keep these in a safe place.
- Belong to any membership associations? Be sure to transfer membership to your new hometown.
Your Family and Pets
- Make travel arrangements for you and your family. Whether it’s renting a car, scheduling a flight or reserving a hotel room, book it at a time that will give you flexibility in case anything goes awry. Be sure to arrive well before your movers’ scheduled arrival.
- If you’re nearing a pet’s regular exam, schedule it now, and start getting recommendations for veterinarians in your new town.
- Contemplate holding a garage sale prior to your move; this will help you reduce the amount of stuff you need to move, and earn some extra cash on the side. Start planning one now, or think of charities that could take your stuff.
- Unless you’re buying packing materials new, keep an eye out of for used items that could be used for packing, like old towels and sheets that could be used as packing material. Want an eco-friendly move? Read up on our green moving tips.
- Do you need storage? Start researching your storage options now.
30 Days Before You Move
- By this point you should have already received estimates and hired a mover. Check with you mover to confirm all the details of the move are set. If you are packing on your own, make the proper arrangements and get the right supplies.
- Make the arrangements to connect and disconnect your cable, internet, electric and any other services you currently use and arranged for service at your new home. Dealing with this at an earlier date will prevent any date and time conflicts you may incur.
- If you need new blinds, curtains or furniture for your new home, buy them now and arrange it so they arrive at your new home when your things do.
- Start planning where things will go in your new home.
- Create an inventory of your stuff so that you can compare against the moving company’s list to ensure you don’t lose anything in the move. It’s also a good aid in determining how much moving insurance you need.
- Are you taking appliances? If so, draw up a plan for how to handle them.
- Get a head start on your packing by packing things that you won’t need before the move, like seasonal items such as summer sporting gear.
- Arrange childcare and pet care for the day of your move, or think about a "safe" room they can be during the move itself so they’re out of the way.
- Make a packing plan -- assign everyone a task and involve the kids.
- Make an unpacking plan for the new home -- who does what and diagram where the furniture goes. The movers will not rearrange your furniture for you, so think this through.
- Contact or visit your local Post Office to obtain a Change of Address form. You can also obtain this form online at the Postal Service Web site.
- Give a change of address to the following: Banks, schools, friends & family, insurance company, doctors and specialists, cell phone company, credit card companies, and magazine and newspaper subscriptions. Read Moving Black Book: The People Your Should Tell.
- You may have to switch banks because your current bank doesn’t have branches in your new town. Investigate the popular banks in the area you will be living in so that you can close and open new bank accounts as needed.
- Check the requirements for a new driver’s license and complete auto registration at your new motor vehicle location.
- If you will be making an international move, make sure your passport is up to date and has not expired. Passports generally take three weeks to process.
- Let service providers -- landscapers, cleaning services -- know you’re moving, and look for new ones in your new hometown.
Your Family and Pets
- If time permits, you may also want to take you and your family to your dentist and/or eye doctor to get your routine check ups done. It may take a while for you to find new family dentists and doctors in your new city that you are comfortable with so it can be a good idea to take care of these things while you still have access to professionals that you know.
- Encourage children to make an address book of friends.
- Driving to your new house? Make sure your car’s ready for the trip, and that you have all the proper maps -- make extra maps for the movers, just in case.