6-8 Weeks Before Move
- Take a household inventory. This will help you keep track of what you are moving, what is to be discarded, and what is to stay behind.
- Hiring a moving company? You may want to compare movers. Be sure to verify proper insurance, contractor license number, costs, and company history.
- Choose a mover. It is important to choose a mover early, especially during the busy summer months. The earlier you research your mover, the more options you’ll have in terms of you will hire.
- Will you need to purchase additional insurance? Find out how much the moving company will cover, then contact your insurance agent and ask if your homeowners or rental policy can apply to moving your household goods.
- Need moving boxes? Obtain boxes and begin packing. Label each box for content and destination.
- Store your important documents and records in a locked, fire-proof safe. For security reasons, pack these items yourself. Items such as banking records, social security information, tax records, marriage licenses and birth certificate should be included. Consider making back-up copies of the important documents. Establish a file for moving papers and receipts.
- Do you need a storage facility? Check out your options and compare prices.
4-6 Weeks Before Move
- Now is a good time to shop and compare services you may need at your next home. This includes Satellite TV, Internet providers, telephone and home security companies.
- Contact your utilities, post office and service companies to provide stop dates at old address and start dates at new address. This includes telephone, Internet, heating, water and electricity. Make sure you ask that services be disconnected after your move date. There is nothing worse than having power or water cut off on moving day.
- Start a contact list and start sending new address notifications to everyone on your list. Make sure to include insurance agents, credit card companies, magazine subscriptions, friends and relatives.
- If you decided to move on your own, reserve a moving truck or trailer. Determine what size truck you will need. If you are moving during the summer, you might want to book your reservation even earlier.
- Decide what you need to travel with including clothing, games for the kids, books, toiletries, etc.
- Begin dismantling any outdoor furniture or children’s play areas, including slides and swings. Check the garage and storage areas to determine what needs to be packed. These areas are often overlooked when packing the house.
- Start finding new homes for your plants if they are not coming with you. If you are bringing plants with you, plan a safe and secure means of transporting them.
- Send address changes for subscriptions to local newspapers, magazines, bottled water or any other home delivery service you currently receive.
- If driving long distance to your new home book hotel rooms as needed.
- Keep on packing! By now you probably have a several boxes packed. If you have a spare room, enclosed porch, or a room not used on daily basis, designate that space as your Moving Room. Boxes you’ve packed and items that need to be moved can all be stored here.
2-3 Weeks Before Move
- Arrange for a babysitter on moving day if necessary. It may make things easier if young children aren’t present during moving day to prevent distraction or injury to them.
- If you have pets, plan their travel arrangements for moving day.
- Be sure to get your car fully checked and serviced if moving out of state.
- Prepare your car registration and insurance. If moving out of state, notify your local Department of Motor Vehicles of your address change. Go online or call to inquire about registering your vehicle in your new state.
- Call your insurance company to call or transfer your current home coverage. Compare pricing and services because your rates may be changing.
- Transfer all prescriptions to a pharmacy near your new home.
- Arrange for parking for the moving van. Make sure the moving van can fit in your driveway or on the street and that the distance from the van to the front door does not exceed what the moving company allows. This additional charge is called a long carry.
- Safely dispose hazardous household chemicals like paint, oil and solvents.
- Pack up your garage and/or shed. These areas sometimes take longer than expected so it is better to start sooner rather than later.
- Backup your computers. Anything can happen, so you do not want to lose any important computer files.
1 Week Before Move
- Transfer savings and checking accounts and close safety deposit boxes if changing banks or moving out of state.
- Pack a suitcase with clothes and necessary basics that you'll need for your trip and also for the first night in your new home.
- Empty the fuel from your lawnmower, power tools, and anything else motorized. Make sure you've properly covered sharp blades.
- Call the moving company or moving helpers to confirm arrival times, parking strategies and other arrangements to ensure everything is on track.
- Disassemble remaining furniture. Even beds can be taken apart and mattresses set on the floor. Any of the more difficult tasks you should tackle now, less stress as you near the end.
- Finish the majority of the packing and check that all boxes are clearly labeled with room destination, contents and instructions (Fragile! This End Up! For Kitchen! Etc...).
Within 2 Days of Move
- Find a new home for any plants that will not be transported to your new home.
- Clean your refrigerator and freezer and defrost if necessary.
- Check to make sure you have all vital documents and items that you'll be taking with you such as directions, maps, cash, new keys, rental agreement (if needed), and so on.
- Pack a box of items you'll need during the first few days at your new home such as food, coffee maker, coffee, tea, cups, sponges, paper towels, towels and cleaning supplies.
- Pack up your computer and all electronic devices.
- Pack all remaining items that won’t be needed on moving day. Preplan loading order so lesser needed belongings are loaded first. Load items last that will be be immediately needed when you arrive.
- Drop off kids and pets at a pre-arranged care site if necessary.
- Lock all doors and windows, including garage and storage shed. Check every lock and recheck the windows to make sure the house is secure. Do you need to store the garage door openers for new residents?
- Check the washer/dryer, fridge and freezer for anything you might have left behind.
- Check the outside of your home for any overlooked items
- Turn off the heat, the air conditioner and make sure any appliance you are leaving behind is unplugged unless you had been given other instructions. If leaving the heating or air conditioner on, set at a reasonable temperature if the home will be unoccupied for a while.
- Switch off the lights unless the real estate agent or landlord has told you to leave lights on. Otherwise for safety reasons turn off all lights including any outdoor lights.
- Go through each room one last time to make sure you haven't forgotten anything. Check all closets, cupboards, etc.
- Remove and dispose of all garbage or any items that you didn't want to pack.
- If possible leave a welcoming note for the next residents with any last-minute instructions that they might need like garbage days and sprinkler system schedules.
- Inspect Delivered Boxes and Furniture. Once the movers leave, inspect each box or container for any damage or signs of breakage and scratches. If found, note the specific damage in your inventory list and contact the moving company to resolve the issue peacefully.
- Get Your Utilities Up and Running. If possible, write down the readings of the electricity and water meter and keep the numbers in a safe place should a dispute arise.
- Locate Fuse Box and Main Water Valve. Know where the circuit breaker box and main water valve(s) are located at in case of an emergency or if needed to be turned off for any reason.
- Connect major appliances and turn on water heater if necessary
- Protect Your New Home: Secure your new home by changing the locks on doors to ensure that you and your family are the only persons having access to your new home. Consider additional security such as an alarm system and security cameras. Doublecheck all windows and doors to make sure they are secured. Secure your garage door and consider reprogramming any garage door remotes.
- Test smoke alarms to be sure they are operating properly and consider installing smoke detectors in all the rooms. Provide at least one fire-extinguisher per floor. Check the outdoor lighting to see if any bulbs need changing. Devise an escape plan in case of emergencies and make it known to each family member.
- Childproof Your New Home: Identify any household hazards that may harm young children and have installations or repairs made to prevent injury.
- Change Your Address. If you have changed cities, update your voter’s registration information. You can do it quickly at www.eac.gov/voters/national-mail-voter-registration-form/
- Find Your Local Health Care Providers: Find the right health care provider for you and your family, one closer to your new home if necessary. Be sure to know where the nearest quick care and hospital emergency room is located just in case of an emergency.
- Register Your Vehicle or Change Your Vehicle Registration: If you have moved to a new state, register your vehicle(s) and get a new driver's license, tags and/or plates.
- Greet Your New Neighbors. Neighbors can turn out to be an irreplaceable source in a new, unfamiliar environment. Even before you are done unpacking, consider going over to meet your new neighbors.
- Create an Emergency Contact List. Consider taking time to create an emergency contact list of all the local information such as hospitals and important phone numbers.
- Heating and Air Unit Service and Check Up: Lastly, in the event you have purchased a pre-owned home, it is recommended to get a heating and cooling system service visit to avoid untimely breakdown. Most licensed Heating and AC Contractors offer reasonable tune up and maintenance services. Even the best real estate inspectors cannot predict the future of breakdowns or problems. Also consider the cleaning your air ducts especially if any family member is prone to allergies or breathing problems. Also check your air filters should they need replacing or cleaning.