Essential Moving Checklist

Whether you're moving around the corner or across the country, a moving checklist is an essential item to have on hand. So use these moving tips to get ready, get packed and get going!

8 to 10 weeks before

  1. Decide whether to hire a professional moving company or do it yourself. Obtain estimates (including insurance coverage) from three different moving or truck rental companies and make a reservation as soon as possible-the sooner the better, especially during the summer months.
  2. Make any necessary travel arrangements such as airline reservations. Don't forget about travel arrangements for pets.

6 to 8 weeks before

  1. Sort through household and personal items and decide which ones to take with you and which ones to donate to charity or to sell at a yard sale.
  2. Set up a "moving" folder to keep all estimates and receipts related to moving expenses. Some moving expenses may be deductible on your federal taxes.
  3. Contact your children's new school(s) and arrange to have school records transferred to the new school district.

4 to 6 weeks before

  1. Determine which items you will pack and which items the moving company will pack (i.e., those that are insured by the moving company).
  2. Place packing boxes in each room and pack by room. Clearly mark each box as to what items it contains and which room it is for, such as the master bedroom, kitchen or living room. Begin by packing little-used items such as books, games, off-season clothing, dishes, photos, artwork and knickknacks.
  3. Send rugs, drapes, furs, winter clothes and similar items out to be cleaned.
  4. Arrange for a tune-up for your car, especially if you plan on driving a long-distance during the move.
  5. Hold a yard sale.

2 to 4 weeks before

  1. Contact the phone company, Internet service provider and utility companies (electric, gas, water, oil, etc.) at your new residence to set up new accounts and effective dates of service.
  2. Contact the phone company, Internet service provider and utility companies for your current residence to notify them that you will be moving and to disconnect service on a specific date.
  3. Set up a bank account in your new location. Arrange for bank transfers.
  4. Ask your doctor and dentist for recommendations in your new location. Establish contact and arrange for transfer of medical records to the new doctor and dentist. If you have a pet, ask for a referral from the veterinarian.
  5. Cancel or transfer health club and other memberships and newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
  6. Continue packing items not essential to everyday living.

2 weeks before

  1. Confirm all travel reservations.
  2. Plan menus for the next couple of weeks that use up remaining perishable foods in the refrigerator and freezer.
  3. Properly dispose of all flammable and poisonous materials, such as weed killer, gasoline, paint thinner, bleach, cleaning fluids, aerosol cans and propane tanks for gas grills. Drain the oil and gas from lawn mowers and snow blowers.
  4. Notify the post office and send change of address cards to magazines, periodicals, friends and relatives.

1 week before

  1. Close your bank account and remove items from safe deposit boxes.
  2. Set aside several packing boxes for essential items that you will need during the next week and during the move.
  3. Finish packing except for essential items needed during the move.
  4. Pack suitcases with items needed for the move, including clothing and personal items.
  5. Fill any prescription medicines you might need over the next few weeks.
  6. Begin a final cleaning of the house and yard.

Moving day

  1. Remain on the premises until everything is loaded into the truck. Sign paperwork if required. Verify that the destination address is correct.
  2. Perform a final inspection of the house and property. Check closets, basement, laundry rooms, garage and storage sheds for stray items. Turn off lights, heat or air conditioning, and unplug all remaining appliances. Close and lock all windows and doors.
  3. Drop house keys off at rental agency or make arrangements with the real estate office for the new owners.
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