Making moving manageable
For most of us, moving ranks among our least preferable activities. There are many other things we would rather be doing. However, the work and effort involved in moving all your belongings to your new home is well worth the effort. In fact, with some advance planning, you can make your move more manageable.
It is never too early to start planning for a move. The more time you spend organizing your belongings, the less stress and load you will carry on that day, and for months to come. Moreover, as the weeks roll by, and you get closer to moving day, the following checklist will go a long way to reliving some of your anxiety.
8 to 12 weeks before
- If you are hiring a mover, call around for estimates. Hourly rates vary. Also book your day as soon as you can. Spots fill up quickly.
- Check with your accountant regarding moving expenses. Depending upon the type of move and location, costs may be tax deductible. If your employer is covering your move, ensure you keep a record of the move.
- Now is a great time for a garage sale. Clear items from the basement, attic, storage shed, etc. Conduct an inventory of your items. For items you have not used in the past year, consider taking them to a local charity. If you have many items to donate, many organizations have a free pickup service.
- Seek out information about your new community. Investigate schools, shopping facilities, medical facilities and other items you will need.
- Gather your personal records: medical, dental, school reports, motor vehicle insurance, banking documents, credit card statements, mortgage documents, magazine subscriptions. Prepare and mail change of address cards.
- Safely dispose hazardous and flammable products such as paints, gas bottles, cleaning fluids and oils.
- Begin to use up items you will not be moving, like frozen foods, cleaning supplies and gardening items.
- Contact trades people to make arrangements for any work that needs to be done, such as repairs, removing light fixtures, house cleaning services, dismantling waterbeds, dismantling of satellite equipment.
4 to 7 weeks before
- Consider the transportation of pets and plants. If necessary, consult with a veterinarian to ensure your pet is safety and comfort.
- Contact utility companies at your old and new address. Keep your phone and utilities connected at your current home throughout moving day.
- Update your home, auto, renter’s, medical and life insurance to reflect your move.
- If you are moving yourself, purchase boxes or begin collecting them from friends and local businesses. Begin packing items you do not use on a regular basis. When packing, be sure to mark the contents of the box, and location. you will save much time unpacking and the movers can easily carry the boxes to their appropriate locations.
- Confirm your moving date with your mover.
- Close accounts in your local bank and open accounts in your new branch.
2 to 3 weeks before
- Clean outdoor equipment and toys. Drain any fuel from your lawn mower and other machinery and ensure that water is drained from hoses.
- Defrost fridge and freezer. To avoid mildew, ensure they are completely dry before moving.
- Cancel deliveries and services such as newspapers, house maintenance, milk, pool service, diaper service, etc., and have them redirected to your new address.
- Withdraw contents of your safety deposit box, pick up any dry cleaning, return library books and rented video tapes. Consider how you will transfer your valuable belongings. It is better to keep them with you during the move.
- Give away plants that are not being moved.
1 week before
- Prepare a survival kit. Keep this in your car, so you will have all the personal items you need, like toothpaste, pajamas, change of clothing, papers, etc, handy when you need them.
- Organize and keep the items you are taking separate from those going in the moving van. This way they will not get loaded in the van in error.
- Be sure to get plenty of rest the day before your move. Being alert and well-rested helps to make the move less stressful.
- To keep your children safe and to ensure their comfort, you may want to have them play at a friend’s house or attend a day care center on moving day.
- Arrange to have trades arrive at your home to disconnect any appliances that require professional removal.
- Clean out the food from the fridge and freezer.
- Take a final look in rooms, drawers and closets to ensure nothing has been left behind.
- Before leaving the property, ensure that all windows are secure and that water, gas and electricity supplies are shut off. Place keys and documents in the agreed location.