Whether you are a first-time mover, or it’s old hat, preparation is one of the most important activities. Some people brag about their five-minute move, which consisted of throwing everything in the car and driving away. For most people, it is not going to happen in that manner. If you use the following move timeline, you’ll have the bases covered, know where to find information when it’s needed, and be aware of anything that could affect the move.
Important things to know or consider
What you are taking to the new residence, and where it will be placed.
Restrictions affecting pets or plants during and after the move
School(s) transfer requirements
Storage facility prices and locations
When you must be out of the ‘old’ place, and when you can move into the ‘new’ place.
Check the long-range forecasts for weather from you current location to the new one. Sometimes you are better off to leave a few days earlier or later.
Time of Year
Are there any holidays during your move time, or special events that might affect traffic? Check with the Department of Transportation for any involved state along the way to find out if road construction or closures are a factor. Get roadmaps and highlight your route with a yellow highlighter. List important names, phone numbers and addresses on the side of the map, to make it easier for you to locate them while you are on the move.
For best results, About.com suggests you start the moving timeline a minimum of two months before your move date. Using a coiled binder, make a list of tasks. Check off each task as it is done, and note any follow-up dates, people to talk to, and number or email to reach them, alongside the task.
Tasks: Six to eight weeks before move
Using a floor plan of your new residence, identify and list what household goods you want to keep.
Hire a reputable moving company, verifying price and what is included. Confirm the date.
Start and maintain a file for moving receipts.
Ask for school records to be transferred to the new school(s).
Confirm that there will be storage shed rental unit available when you move.
Make a list of who should be notified of your move.
Make a list of what is going. Put sticky notes on things you are taking with you, and where they will be placed in your new home. Consider a yard sale to eliminate things being left behind.
Start gathering boxes and tape for the move. Use a permanent marker to mark the box, so it is set in the right area of the new residence.
Tasks: Four to six weeks before move
Fill out postal change of address cards, which can now be done online.
Send notification to those businesses and people on your list (item 7, six to eight weeks)
If your email address is changing, alert everyone on your email list about the upcoming change.
Clean out your closets. Make a pile of things not moving with you.
Either have a yard sale, or donate household items being left behind. Consider the local homeless shelter or battered women’s shelter for clothing items, sheets, pillows, and blankets.
Find out if your bank(s) has an office or affiliate in your new area. Let them know your new address, and when it is to be changed.
Start packing items that are not necessary at this time. Write the room where they should be left.
Get a small, fireproof, locking safe to put important items, such as birth certificates, in. This will stay in your possession when you move.
Prepare pets for the move, and get their veterinarian records.
Tasks: Two to four weeks before move
Check the previous moving timelines to confirm those items are taken care of, or to follow up on any items not concluded.
Contact utility companies (gas, electricity, water, phone, cable) to arrange the disconnect date.Contact the new utility companies to start the connection requests.
If you are driving a van or renting a trailer, confirm what you need so it is there when you pick it up.
Make travel arrangements. If your pets are flying, confirm you have all the required paperwork for them to fly.
Set aside the items going with you. Include entertainment for the children. Don’t forget medicine and copies of prescriptions.
Is the kids’ swing set moving with you, or the patio furniture? Start readying all things that need to be taken apart.
Start giving away things that are not going with you, that cannot be donated, such as plants. Donate all extra canned food to the local food pantry.
Tasks: Two days to two weeks before move
Confirm travel arrangements for the pets. Check with the vet: do they need a sedative?
If you have small children, consider about having them stay with friends or family for a day, while you pack most of the items.
Return library and/or school books.
Notify DMV of your move. Contact your insurance agent. Is your current carrier licensed to insure at your new location?
Transfer prescriptions to a pharmacy in your new location.
Avoid grocery shopping. Eat what you have.
Pay remaining bills; close accounts. Keep copies where they can be easily located.
Prepare power tools, lawnmower, and other motorized items for moving. Empty fuel and cover sharp blades. Take apart furniture; mark and stack neatly. Use masking tape to put bolts, washers, and screws on one of the legs to furniture, and tape firmly in place This has been so convenient when putting things together after our moves..
Contact the moving company to verify the date they will be there. Confirm what their assistance involves.
Tasks: Moving Day
Verify you have the box of information and supplies that is to go with you.
Confirm all living creatures traveling with you are accounted for.
Put the map with the route and phone numbers above the visor, where it won’t be subject to disaster.
Have a ‘shot-gun’ position order so everyone gets a turn up front. This is a stressful time; it may not be the best time for driver’s training lessons for your teen.
Remember water, pillows, blankets, and snacks; bid adieu to the neighbors.
Have a good trip, and enjoy your new home.
Diane Schmidt, Moving