Use this week-by-week checklist to plan your move.
60 Days Before You Move
This 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.