ABOUT 2 MONTHS BEFORE YOU MOVE– Research your new city through the Chamber of Commerce or, if a computer is available to you, through many of the online websites. Start cleaning closets and storage areas and decide what goes with you, what goes to a charitable organization or garage sale, and what goes in the trash. Talk with your accountant or an IRS advisor about any moving expenses that might be tax deductible and require records. Contact moving companies (and the Better Business Bureau) for services and estimates. Start a list of everyone you want to notify about your move. Keep it handy because names will pop into your mind unexpectedly. Along with friends and relatives, include schools, doctors, dentists, creditors, attorney, accountant, broker, and any recurring services such as maid, lawn, exterminator, water softener, diaper, internet provider, magazine subscriptions, etc
1 MONTH OUT – Notify the post office of the move, and pick up a supply of change of address cards. If possible, open bank accounts at the new location now so your checks can be printed, and you won’t have to rely on temporary checks which are not accepted everywhere. Get serious about cleaning out the house; start accumulating boxes and begin packing. Hold a garage sale. Contact your insurance companies (health, auto, homeowners, renters) and discuss coverage at the new location. Contact utility companies and arrange to disconnect/ connect at your current home and at your new home. Driving? Flying? How will you, your family, your pets, your plants, extra cars, get to the new city? Arrange for that now. Take pets to your veterinarian for check up and regular immunizations before the trip.
2 WEEKS BEFORE– Contact your bank about closing your existing accounts when you move. If you’re driving your car, have it serviced. Find out what you need to do to transfer records for doctors, dentists, veterinarians, etc. Be sure to get permanent records from schools, not copies. Get prescriptions for new pharmacies.
1 WEEK LEFT– Get rid of all flammable products, paint, gasoline, etc. Contact your local trash collector about proper disposal. Gather odds and ends: dry cleaning, safe deposit box items, prescriptions, anything you’ve loaned. Return library books, rented videos, anything borrowed. Drain gas and oil from equipment you’re shipping, such as lawn mowers, gas weed trimmers, etc.
A COUPLE OF DAYS– Give away plants you’re not taking. Defrost the refrigerator and freezer. Write out clear instructions—sketch a map, too, if you can—of your new home, and include your itinerary and emergency numbers. Keep a copy yourself, and give copies to the moving company and your family or friends. Complete packing. Be sure to set aside the items you want to take with you so the mover doesn’t accidentally load them onto the truck. Pack local phone books. You’ll be glad you did. Check with the utility companies to verify connect and disconnect dates after escrow closes. Contact your Realtor® and verify when and where keys to your new home will be available. Pick up beverages and snacks for moving day. Disconnect major appliances.
THE BIG DAY – If you can’t be there when the movers arrive, arrange for someone to meet them. Check the movers’ bill of lading and inventory carefully before signing. Keep papers with you in a safe place. Make one last trip through the house, double-checking closets, drawers and cabinets. Lock the windows. Leave the garage remote control for the new owners. Turn off all the lights, close and lock the door, and leave the keys as prearranged with your Realtor® or new owner.
GOOD LUCK, AND ENJOY YOUR NEW HOME!