Moving can be chaotic and emotionally and physically draining. But it doesn’t have to be, at least not as much. If you put together a plan and stay organized, relocating can even be a somewhat pleasant experience—you know, the fresh start, exciting prospects kind of thing. One way to ensure a relatively stress-free move is to prepare ahead of time and the best way to do this is by having a checklist. Here’s one we’ve put together for you:
At least two months before your move start to pin down the moving company you plan to use. Research different companies by perusing their websites and reading customer reviews. Also don’t forget to ask friends and family if they have recommendations. Then contact the prospective companies and ask for estimates in writing. To ensure that the movers you’re considering are licensed with the US Department of Transportation (as legally required), check that each estimate contains a USDOT number on it before committing to any of them.
Go Through Stuff
As soon as your crystal ball predicts a move is in your future, begin going through your items one room at a time and start purging what you might not want to keep. It’s better to get rid of unwanted items pre-move than to pay for moving and then doing away with them.
Get your boxes, tapes, markers and whatever you might need together at least a month before. Your moving company is likely to have these items for purchase. Otherwise, you can find packing gear in nearby stores or online.
Clean out Icebox
Starting a month or so prior to your move put a plan together to eat up things that you won’t be able to transport. If you can’t finish some of the food, ask your neighbors or friends in the area if they are interested in taking them home.
Change of Address
Submit a change of address, at least two weeks prior to the move, to the USPS and all other important parties such as your bank, credit card companies, health insurance and the likes.
Make sure you contact utility, phone and cable companies to discontinue service in your current home a day or so after your move date and to begin service in your new home on move in day.
If your moving date falls on a day you typically work, make sure you ask for time off and give your employer plenty of notice.
Begin packing a month or so before moving day. Start with items you won’t immediately need and keep those necessary items handy till you’re closer to move in date. Clearly label what each box contains and round up in an area of the home boxes containing valuables you want to transport yourself.
Take an inventory of all your boxes and items before the move and after the move to ensure that the moving company has transported everything.