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If you are planning to move, here is a checklist of tasks that may help minimize the hassles of relocation.  If you have a spreadsheet program, it is ideal for this type of activity, since it lets you add, change, or delete items easily.

  2-3 Months Before Move - Contacts & Services

Research Contacts & Services
This is easy to do, but is the most overlooked.  Before you move, make a comprehensive list of every contact, service or company who currently has your address or phone number, or will be giving you service at the new address.  Missing infrequent but important ones can result in financial or other problems.  A handy trick is to note every piece of desired mail you receive during this period to ensure the sender is in your list.  Here are some categories to tickle your mind.

o Financial: charge cards, banks, brokers, agents, loans, mortgages
o Services: cable, gas, oil, Internet services, satellite, phone, cell phone, long distance carriers, electricity, sewage, water, snow removal, equipment & household maintenance plans, etc.
o Memberships: magazines, private clubs, shopping clubs, sports & health clubs
o Legal: lawyers, doctors, town, insurance
o Employers: HR Records, 401k, Stock Plans, Disability, Work Comp, Crisis Phone Lists
o Insurance: Auto, Life, Home, Spouse, Child, Travel, etc.
o Auto: AAA, Dealer Records, Car & Tire warranties, Towing plans, etc.
o Computer: Operating System, Software Registrations, Email signatures, vCards, image & news feeds
o School: Records, Nurse, Emergency Call Lists, Clubs, Sports
o Family: Friends, colleagues, acquaintances

New Service Lead Time
Contact all of your new service providers (especially the utilities) to ascertain the lead time they need to provide the new services.  New services such as for phone, gas or Internet connections may require special installations to meet your needs or simply take a long time to order and install.

  2 Months Before Move
o Get written estimates from movers, including commitments to arrival and delivery times, references, coverage of insurance (replacement or full cost).  Purchase more, if needed.
o Review your relocation package if you have one, and determine what expenses will be paid by your company.
o Contact schools and arrange for transfer of student records.
o Notify services and utilities your research shows to require more than 30 days.


  1 Month Before Move
o Organize and pack the loose and special items.  most leave this till its too late and are in panic mode when moving time comes.  So, start early.  It includes all the odd items like hobby equipment, electronics, art work, tools, parts collections, clothing collections, and so on , that occupy the basement, garage, art room, and/or attic.  In the process, leave the riff raff to the side for throwing out later.
o Find a friend or relative to be a contact point during your move.  You'll be busy.
o Start a log of moving expense receipts (some may be tax deductible).
o If you'll need to store things for a while, find a storage facility and arrange with movers to have the items dropped off.  Be sure to check their access hours, insurance coverage, and security.
o Arrange transport service for pets or automobiles, if needed.
o Submit Change-of-Address forms to the post office; mail postcards to friends & creditors.
o Give day care center proper notice of withdrawal.
o If changing financial institutions, arrange for the transfer of your various accounts; order checks with new address; clean out your safety deposit box.
o If changing doctors, obtain your medical records and any referral needed for a new physicians.
o Change your insurance policies on property, auto and medical.
o Organize all important documents in a fire-safe box.  Some things you want to include are school records, home purchase/sale papers, will, marriage/divorce papers, pet documents, financial records, stock certificates, social security cards, birth certificates, and passports.
o Give notice of resignation to any clubs, organizations or volunteer activities you belong to.
o Cancel or update newspaper subscription.
o Arrange for hotels, rental cars or temporary housing as needed.


  2 Week Before Move
o If changing cities, open any needed accounts with your new financial institutions and obtain the necessary procedures to transfer funds prior to moving.  This may include the Inter-branch transfer number,  account number, wire transfer address, etc. 
o Clean out the junk.  This includes all basement, attic, and garage items you don't really need and don't want to pay top dollar to move.  It is also usually the hardest to move since it usually includes odd pieces and materials that don't pack well.
o Perform a complete and detailed review of all your possessions to determine what you really need to take with you.  If you have the time, price tag the rest of the junk and holding a garage sale, or at least, call a charity service to see what they'll take off your hands.  You may also need to consider a removal service to deal with things like old grills, above ground pools, etc, as dictated by the town, condo, or renters bylaws or agreements.  Be respectful of your environment.
o As needed, clean club, gym and school lockers; pick up dry cleaning, prescriptions, photos, etc.
o Arrange for the disconnection or changeover of utilities.
o Obtain measurements and floor plans of your new home to determine where everything will go.  If you have a computer, you can make large labels with the floor plan on them that you mark to show where a box goes.  Each label should include at least a Unique Number, Floor, Room, and Description fields.
o Start packing the less important items first.  Label each box as soon as you start filling because you will have several open at once during packing.  If you change your mind about a box's destination, just create a new label and stick it on over the old one.  As you finish each box, enter it on your inventory list.  If you pre-number all labels you've created, it's handy to create an empty inventory list of all label numbers.  If you skip or scrap a label, just scratch out the corresponding label on your list.
o Return all loaned or rented things like library books/CD's, video tapes, or tools.
o Empty your cupboards and minimize food for the remaining meals, packing everything not needed for the next week or two.  Start buying only the minimum perishable foods.


  1 Week Before Move
o If changing financial institutions, reconcile, close, and transfer accounts to your new institutions.
o Itemize all items that you will personally take with you such as valuables, jewelry, heirlooms, works of art, your important papers, delicate equipment, and hobby materials.
o Confirm arrangements and dates with moving & storage companies.
o Confirm arrangements with auto & pet transportation companies.
o If changing cities, confirm rental car, temporary housing, etc, as needed.
o Clean out and defrost any deep freezer you may have.
o Disassemble any items that need to be broken down for the move such as lawn furniture, bed posts, bed frames, stereo equipment, computer equipment, etc.
o Be sure to check your yard and any sheds for items to pack.
o If you don't have a cell phone, consider getting one and learn how to use it.  It is indispensable for emergencies and when you are on the move. There are also low-cost rental or pay-as-you-use plans.
o Inform family and friends of your forwarding address.   If phone service won't be on when you arrive, arrange for temporary voicemail now.  All major phone companies offer 800 voice mail services.  Also ask about forwarding services to redirect your phone to the new location or a cell phone.
o Take pictures of furniture or get fabric samples for anything you will want to reference for color or decorating before your goods are delivered to your new home.  This is where a digital camera comes in really handy if you have a computer and printer.
o Start packing a "Survival Box" to keep with you for the move that you can use immediately to conduct your life at the new location.  Even if moving across town, it's nice to have these items in an easy to reach place. It is also good insurance for if the movers get lost or essential boxes cannot be found right away. Include things like toiletries, stationary supplies (paper, pens, stamps, envelopes), paper and packing tape, scissors, tape measure, paper cups, Ziploc bags, paper plates & towels, plastic utensils, instant coffee or tea, cream/sugar, soap, moist towelettes, aspirin, Band-Aids, can opener, bottled water, travel alarm, flashlight, small tools kit, trash bags, snacks or drinks, children's games, address book, spare car keys, phone books for the city you are leaving and your destination.


  1-3 Days Before Move
o Clean and defrost refrigerator and freezer.  Throw out old food, pantry items, etc.
o If moving to a new city, purchase traveler's checks for expenses.
o Conclude financial matters relating to the sale or lease of your home.
o Set aside all the tools and cleaning supplies necessary to clean your house after the truck leaves.  Include vacuum, cleaners, towels, hand soap, tons of garbage bags, a tool box with the basics, flashlights, etc.  
Place in a box in a corner and mark it clearly "DO NOT MOVE". Leave some healthy snacks in the fridge like fruits, juice, apples, for when you clean up after the movers leave. 
o Movers or your family should complete packing of all household goods for the move.  Make sure are boxes are clearly marked.


  M O V I N G   D A Y
o Confirm delivery address, directions and delivery date with the movers.
o Carefully supervise the packing. 
Make sure boxes are clearly marked and your instructions are understood.
o Clean the home, throw out remnants, and check entire grounds before leaving.
o Check thermostat and make sure temperature is set appropriately.  Make sure all windows and doors are closed and locked, and all appliances are turned off.  Leave forwarding address, garage door openers and any keys, if agreed to, for the new owners, renters or the agent.
o If your home is going to be vacant when you leave, make sure a relative, neighbor or real estate agent has the keys and how to contact you.  Also, notify your insurance agent and police department that the home will be empty.


  A R R I V A L   D A Y  (May be same as Moving Day)
o Let your point of contact know you have arrived and are at the new location.
o Ensure that all utilities are on and working properly.
o Supervise moving crew on location of furniture and boxes. 
Begin unpacking necessary basics first - kitchen utensils, bath toiletries, etc. 
o Give the kids a job to do - let them start on their rooms.  Usually, the kitchen and the kids rooms are the best to set up first, as it helps them feel at home.
o Make sure you have received all major boxes and items
o Review the Bill of Lading from the movers very carefully before signing; check for damaged items first, as this is usually binding once signed.
o Let family members or friends know you have arrived safely. 
Check in with your employer and real estate agent to confirm itineraries.


  1-2 Days After Move
o Take a breath or two, relax and pace yourself.  You have a ways to go.
o Confirm all major boxes and items were received that weren't immediately checked..
o Work with town, utility, and telecom providers to establish any services not yet activated.  You will need to be the "driver" on these issues.  No one else is.
o As time permits, take some social breaks to meet your neighbors, get local living tips, tour the neighborhood, catalog the convenience stores, supermarkets, and stores. 
o Stock up on groceries and maybe dine out to celebrate at a recommended local eatery.
o After the kitchen, kids rooms, and (especially) your bedroom are set up, make a promise to yourself or significant other to reserve enough time and energy to enjoy your first night there.  This will claim your "space" and make the next few weeks more enjoyable and less like living in a war zone.


  1 Week - 1 Month After Move
o Commit yourself to completing the unpacking process at an easy but steady pace that is slow enough to enjoy your new abode and fast enough to get it done and over with before your life fills with new activities.  If you take more than a few weeks, then you'll probably never finish.
o Work with any remaining providers to establish services not yet completed such as Internet access, satellite TV, special phone services, etc.
o Verify your mail is being redirected as expected.
o Call any of your inner circle not yet contacted to update them on your new digs.
o For any mail received with your old address, mail another change of address card back to the sender or call them ASAP.  We find calling our providers is easier and guarantees faster updates.  Don't be confused by the post office sticker that redirected your mail.  It sometimes looks like it was added by the sender.
o Verify your financial accounts have been updated or transferred.