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Moving Tips

May is National Moving Month, and whether you’re moving 1 mile or 3,000 miles, moving can be one of the most stressful times in a homeowner’s life. To help you with your move, here are some helpful checklists and resources.

Before You Move:

____First, review your relocation package, if you have one. Determine what expenses will be paid by your company.

____Start a log of moving receipts (some may be tax deductible).

____Get written estimates from moving companies, including their written commitment of pickup and delivery dates. Get references. Check the limits of insurance they offer and if it covers replacement costs. Purchase additional insurance if necessary.

____Arrange for storage facility if you plan to store any contents. Again, check insurance.

____Arrange transport service for pets or automobiles if needed.

____Contact your bank and arrange transfer of your accounts; order checks with new address; clean out your safety deposit box.

____Submit change-of-address forms to the post office. Mail postcards to friends and creditors.

____Give day care center proper notice of withdrawal.

____Contact schools and arrange for transfer of student records.

____Contact your doctors for medical records and possible referrals to new physicians.

____Change your insurance policies on property, auto and medical.

____Organize all important documents in a fire-safe box.

Some things you want to include are:
  • school records
  • home purchase/sale papers
  • will
  • marriage/divorce papers
  • pet documents
  • financial records
  • stock certificates
  • social security cards
  • birth certificates and passports.

____Give notice of resignation to any clubs, organizations or volunteer activities you belong to.

____Cancel newspaper subscriptions.

____Arrange for hotels, rental cars or temporary housing as needed.

____Contact utility companies (gas, electricity, water, telephone, fuel, garbage and cable TV). Get refunds on any deposits made.

____Register children at new schools

____Arrange for day care at new home.

____Consult a vet about moving your pet. Obtain all records.

____Obtain relocation package from Real Estate agent or Chamber of Commerce in your new city.

2 Weeks Before the Move

____Take a ruthless walk-through to determine what you really want to take.

____Tag the rest of it and hold a garage sale or call a charity for pick-up.

____Clean out club, gym and school lockers; pick up all dry cleaning.

____Arrange for the disconnection or changeover to your new home of electric, gas, water, phone, cable, etc.

____Have measurements taken of the rooms in your new residence and use floor plans to determine where everything will go.

____Begin packing less-used items. Number and label each box and keep the inventory.

____Retrieve and return all borrowed items from neighbors and friends; return library books.

____Clean out the cupboards and plan remaining meals so you can pack what you don’t need and don’t buy and more perishables than you have to.

____Have appliances serviced for moving.

____Plan for special care needs for your infants and pets.

1 Week Before the Move

____Make an inventory list of all items going with you personally. Keep valuable and irreplaceable items such as jewelry and heirlooms with you, not movers.

____Confirm arrangements and dates with moving and storage companies.

____Confirm hotel, rental car or temporary housing accommodations.

____Disassemble furniture or others items.

____Be sure to check yard and sheds for all items to pack.

____Inform all friends and relatives of your forwarding address.

____Take pictures of furniture or get fabric samples for anything you will want to reference for color or decorating before your goods are delivered to your home.

____Set aside a box of cleaning supplies and the vacuum cleaner.

____Clean rugs and clothing before moving.

____Clean and/or repair furniture and curtains.

____Begin making a “Survival Box” for the move. This should include:

  • paper and pens
  • stamps and envelopes
  • cellophane and heavy duty tape
  • scissors
  • tape measure
  • paper cups
  • zip-lock bags
  • paper plates and towels
  • plastic utensils
  • facial and toilet tissue
  • instant coffee or tea
  • cream/sugar, soap
  • moist towelettes
  • aspirin
  • band-aids
  • can opener
  • bottled water
  • travel alarm
  • flashlight
  • small tools kit
  • trash bags
  • snacks or drinks
  • children’s games
  • address book
  • spare car keys
  • and finally, contact information for important businesses for the city you are leaving and your destination.
1-2 Days Before

____Clean and defrost refrigerator and freezer.

____Reconcile and close bank accounts unless you will be using another branch of the same bank.

____Conclude financial matters relating to the sale or leave of your home.

____Movers or your family should complete packing of all household goods for the move. Make sure all boxes are clearly marked.

Moving Day

____Confirm delivery address, directions and delivery date with the movers.

____Carefully supervise the move. Make sure boxes are clearly marked and your instructions are understood.

____Clean the home and check entire grounds before leaving.

____Check thermostat and make sure temperature is set appropriately. Make sure all windows/doors are closed and locked and all appliances are turned off. Leave forwarding address, garage door openers and any keys, if agreed to, for the new owners or renters.

____If your home is going to be vacant when you leave, make sure a relative, neighbor or real estate agent has the keys and how to contact you. Also, notify your insurance agent and police department that the home will be empty.

____Carry jewelry and documents yourself or use registered mail.

____Carry an assortment of toys for the children (if needed).

____Let a close friend or relative know route and schedule you will travel including overnight stops.

Arrival Day

____Check to make sure all utilities are on and working properly.

____Let family members or friends know you have arrived safely. Check in with your employer and real estate agent to confrim itineraries.

____Supervise moving crew on location of furniture and boxes.

____Give the kids a job to do by letting them start on their rooms. Usually, the kitchen and the kids rooms are the best to set up first. This will surely  help them feel at home.

____Go over the Bill of Landing from the moving company very carefully before signing. Check for damaged items first, as this is usually binding once signed.

____Check on service of gas, electricity, water, telephone, garbage and cable TV.

____Also, check pilot the light on your stove, hot water heater and furnace (if needed).

____Have appliances checked.

At New Address

____Apply for state driver’s license (or just address changes if needed).

____Visit city offices and register for voting.

____Register car within five days after arrival in state. Failure to do so may result in penalty. The penalty may have to be paid when getting new license plates.

____Obtain inspection sticker and transfer motor club membership.

____Finally, arrange for medical services: doctor, dentist, veterinarian, etc.

Online Resources

-Fill out your change of address and simplify your move online with MoverNet

-For more tips on moving, visit the U.S. Department of Transportation website

-For information about school districts throughout the country, click here.

Toll-Free Numbers

-For assistance in identifying and locating quality childcare, contact Child Care Aware. This is a free national child care resource and referral service: 1-800-424-2246.

-To notify the IRS about your new address and to find out if your moving expenses are tax deductible. 1-800-829-1040

-Finally, social security benefit recipients should change their address with the Social Security Administration. 1-800-772-1213.

(Information gathered from Independence Title and Minteer Real Estate Team’s Be in the Know Series.)