Whether it’s across the street or across the country, any move can seem like a “big move.” A few days ago I wrote something about how to evaluate your decision to relocate. If you’ve decided to make the move, this short article covers some next steps. I’ve included, working from About.com and other sources, a rough timeline to think about to help your move go smoothly.
4-6 weeks before moving, start packing. Contact people who work for you on a regular basis and let them know you’re on the move. You can be nice and leave their business cards for the new renters or owners of your place. Here’s a good tip: pack heavy items in small boxes and lighter items in large boxes.
2 weeks before moving, call utility companies. Arrange for meter readings on the day of your closing so that all services after that date are the responsibility of the new owner. If the new owner doesn’t establish accounts, be sure the utilities are turned off. Cancel newspaper deliveries, too.
You’ll want to get utilities started up at your new place as soon as possible. Also, don’t forget to file a change of address with the post office. Other little things people often forget: remember to return library books and DVDs, and get your prescriptions transferred to your new location. If you can, open a bank account at your new location, or, if you’re staying in the area, order checks with your new address.
One week before your move is truly countdown time. You’ll want to confirm that your closing is still on track and double check with your movers. Cleaning up every room is important, so wait to pack your vacuum until the very last day. Cancel your existing homeowner’s or renter’s insurance after the closing is complete. It’s always smart to pack an “essentials” box – that includes bedding, bathroom items, and a few kitchen items. This can be the first box you unpack in your new home.
On moving day walk through every room of your old place to find any stray items, taking time to open all the closets and cabinets. A good tip: After you’ve thoroughly cleaned and dried the inside of your refrigerator, put a handful of fresh coffee, baking soda or charcoal in a sock or nylon stocking and place it inside to keep the interior smelling fresh. It’s important that you the movers as they pack and unpack. Note any damages on the mover’s bill of lading and be sure to ask the supervising person to sign off on the notation.
One final tip: Unpack your “essentials” box first, before tackling the big move in job. It’s been a long day! Oh, and a big bonus about moving: now’s your chance to de-clutter every room in your current house or apartment. You can even organize your closets.