Six Week Checklist to a Smooth Move


With proper planning, the move into your first home will be a smooth one. Start six weeks before your move by creating a calendar to save money, time and lots of stress.


Six Weeks before Your Move

Take an emotional inventory of what you own and decide what must go with you and what can be left behind. Start separating what you plan to sell, give away, throw away and keep. Consider a garage sale or donation of items not going to your new home.

If you decide to move yourself, make arrangements for a truck rental and create a list of friends and family to help with the move. Remember to make it a worthwhile afternoon with plenty of food and drink.

Establish the criteria for hiring a mover? Contact moving companies near you like US Border Movers to get estimates of letting the company pack all or some of your belongings. Though you should be mindful of the cost, the time and effort you save may be worth it.

Begin collecting information on schools, parks and recreation, local points of interest, community calendars, and maps either online or by contacting the chamber of commerce.

Start a central file for all of the details on your move, including a notification checklist to utilities and other businesses. Make sure to collect receipts for moving-related expenses. Depending on your reason for moving, you may be entitled to a tax deduction.

Create a floor plan of your new home, and begin thinking about where you’ll want to place furniture. Advance planning eases the stress of making major decisions when your furniture arrives at your new home. Mark and label specific pieces of furniture on your diagram, and put it in your moving folder.


Five Weeks before Your Move

Confirm truck rental date and move time with family and friends. If you are hiring a mover, select the company that best fits your established criteria and meet to discuss dates and costs.

Decide now whether you want to pack yourself or hire your mover to do this task. Self-packing can save money, though hiring a mover to pack your belongings minimizes breakage.

If you’ve decided to pack yourself, you’ll need to begin gathering boxes. Remember to collect including special-purpose containers for items like clothing on hangers and art.


Four Weeks Before Your Move

From your notification checklist, contact the post office, magazines, credit card companies and friends and family etc. about your change of address. Your local US Postal Service offers a kit to make this process easier.

In addition, contact utilities (gas, water, electricity, telephone, cable TV) to schedule disconnection of services on the day following your move. Call the utilities in your new town to arrange for service to start a few days before your move. Don’t forget to arrange for an expert, if necessary, to install fixtures and appliances upon their arrival at your new home.

If packing yourself, start with seldom-used articles like china and other collectables, specialty cookware, non-essential clothing, personal items like photos, and decorative items.

Pack each box light enough to be handled by any of the members of your family – not just the strongest person. Heavier items go in smaller boxes, lighter items in larger boxes.

Pick a garage sale date at least one week before the move. Think about teaming up with neighbors who want to sell some of their old belongings, and plan a neighborhood sale. Arrange for a pick-up for items being donated to a local charitable organization.


Three Weeks Before Your Move

Take inventory of your everyday household goods. Decide which items you will discard or put in storage.

Start taking your packing seriously. Label the contents of all boxes carefully.

As best you can, box essential items together, and write “Open First/Load Last” on these boxes. The ability to identify these boxes and get to important items like pots, dishes, silverware, alarm clocks, bedding, pillows, towels, cherished toys and essential items for babies or children will make for a smoother move.

Make sure all personal and medical records are in order. This includes birth certificates, insurance records and financial statements.

Contact your doctors, dentist and veterinarian to receive copies of medical records.

Make personal travel arrangements (flights, hotel, rental cars) for your trip.

Use up all frozen items, and buy only what you’ll eat in the next three weeks. Get creative in the pantry and take quick trips to the grocery story, only for the most essential items.

Arrange to clean your new home, or plan to clean it yourself as close to move-in as possible. Since the home will probably be unoccupied by this time, make sure the cleaning is thorough and covers all those nooks and crannies usually blocked by furniture or appliances.

Contact your children’s schools, and arrange for records to be forwarded to your new school or district.

If you have a bank safety deposit box, make arrangements to safely transfer items from your old safe deposit box to your new one. Meet with your bank to change account status.

Hold a garage sale now. Place donated items in clear view for pick-up.


Two Weeks before Your Move

Check with your insurance company to cancel current coverage or transfer coverage to your new home.

Make arrangements for transporting your pets and any houseplants.

Transfer all current prescriptions to a drug store in your new town.

Change your newspaper subscription to reflect your new address. If moving to a new town, establish a publication and date for delivery to your new address.

Remove valuables and spare house keys from your favorite hiding places.


One Week before Your Move

If renting, arrange for an inspection with your landlord. Don’t perform small repairs and other conditions to receive a full refund of your security deposit.

Dispose of toxic or flammable items that can’t be moved.

Using your notification checklist as a guide, confirm that arrangements have been made to disconnect and service your major appliances being moved.

Pack a kit of necessary items that should go in your car and not the moving van: your checkbook, cash or travelers checks, medications, essential toiletries, light bulbs, flashlight, toilet paper, pet food, spare glasses or contact lenses, baby or child care items, toys and car games for children and your notebook with moving information.

If you have young children, arrange for a baby-sitter to watch them on moving day. Since you’ll have your hands full with the move, arrange for a babysitter to watch young children throughout moving day. Encourage older children to participate in the move by helping move houseplants and other small items.

Pack two changes of clothes for the move.

Put your “open first/load last” boxes in a separate place so friends/family or the mover can identify them.

Pay all outstanding bills. Be sure to indicate your new address on payment receipts.


One to Two Days before Your Move

The movers will arrive to start the packing process

Empty and defrost your refrigerator and freezer, clean both with a disinfectant and let them air out. Put baking soda or charcoal inside to keep them fresh.

Provide clear directions to your new home for both friends/family and the moving company van operator. Don’t forget to write down a number where they can reach you in case they have trouble finding your new home or should an emergency arise.

Leave your forwarding address and phone number for your home’s new occupants.


Moving Day

Remove linens from the beds and pack in an “open first” box.

When the moving company arrives, review all details and paperwork. Accompany the van operator to take inventory. Verify delivery plans.

If there is time, give the home a final cleaning, or arrange in advance for someone to perform this service the day after moving out.

If renting, have a walk-through with your landlord and make arrangements to drop off all keys after the move is complete.


Move-In Day

Make sure to have plenty of water, other drinks and snacks to offer to your movers.

If you arrive before the movers, take some time to tidy up your home (dusting shelves, etc.) so the movers can unpack items directly onto clean shelves.

Unpack your car.

Review your floor plan and check to make sure the utilities have been connected, and follow up on any delays.

Confine your pets to an out-of-the-way room to help keep them from running away or getting unduly agitated by all the activity.

Whether moving yourself or with a professional moving company, assign one person to direct the movers on where to place items. Once all items are unloaded, unpack only what you need for the first few days.

Focus on creating a sense of home for your family. Give yourself at least two weeks to unpack and organize your belongings.


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