Countdown to a hassle-free move
It’s never too soon to start planning. Start doing small stuff a couple of months before you move. If you continue to do a little bit every week, you’ll be surprised at how smoothly everything will go when moving day arrives. If you have an even shorter closing date, you will have to revise the following.
Moving can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you choose to hire outside professionals or you choose to do it yourself, being prepared will ultimately make the move much smoother. Your realtor can advise you and help make your move easier. Be sure to ask for their advice.
Not all moving companies are created equal. If you choose to hire professional movers here are a number of things to consider:
- Will they do the packing for you?
- If so, do they provide insurance for your valuables?
- Do they charge a flat rate or an hourly fee? What does that rate include?
- Are you protected against liability?
For those who prefer the do-it-yourself method, here are some considerations:
- Find a truck rental company and book early. They are always busy at the end of the month.
- What size truck do you need? One trip is always better than many.
- Does the rental company provide moving pads, packing boxes and dollies?
- Do you need insurance?
Spread the packing out over a number of weeks. Label each box with the room that it belongs to and take an inventory of its contents and the number of boxes per room. Use heavy packing tape and newspaper to keep fragile items safe. Be sure to label all fragile boxes and move them separately. Don’t over-pack boxes so that you cannot lift them. Finally, pack a separate box (labelled ‘survival kit’) of items necessary for getting through the first few days in your new home. Happy moving!
Eight weeks before
- Contact your mover to make arrangements.
- Remove items from your attic, basement, storage shed, etc.
- Start to use up frozen foods and cleaning supplies.
- If you’re moving to a new city, contact the Chamber of Commerce or tourism bureau in your new community for area info.
Six weeks before
- If you’re moving at an employer’s request, verify what expenses and responsibilities are theirs and which are yours.
- Contact your accountant to find out if any moving expenses are tax deductible.
- Start an inventory of your stuff. What haven’t you used in the last year? What can be sold or donated?
- Make a list of everyone you need to notify about your move: friends, professionals, creditors, magazine subscriptions, etc.
- Make arrangements for storage, if you’re planning to store anything.
- Ask schools, doctors, dentists, lawyers and accountants for copies of your personal records. Get referrals.
Four weeks before
- Get a change of address kit from the post office.
- Contact utility and related companies for service disconnect/connect at both your old and new addresses.
- Contact your insurance company to arrange for coverage in your new home.
- Buy packing boxes and pack items that you won’t be needing in the next month.
- Have a garage sale or donate unneeded items to charity.
Three weeks before
- Make travel arrangements and reservations.
- Collect important papers (insurance, will, deeds, stock, etc.).
- Arrange to close accounts in your local bank and open accounts in your new city.
Two to three days before
- Defrost your freezer and refrigerator. Block doors open so they can’t accidentally close on pets or children.
- Have your major appliances disconnected and prepared for the move.
- Pack a box of personal items that you’ll need right away at your new home. Load it last or put it in your car.
- Call to confirm the arrival time of the moving van.
- Make sure that someone is at home for any inquiries the van operator may have with respect to your shipment.
- Record all utility meter readings (gas, electric, water).
- Read your inventory and bill of lading carefully before you sign them. Keep these in a safe location until all charges have been paid and all claims, if any, have been settled.