Over the past couple of weeks, I have spoken with quite a few people who are moving, planning to move or have already made a move. This prompted me to think about the stress and cost of moving. Let’s face it, moving is stressful and costly. No one needs new stressors or expenses, especially now. Who wants to spend extra money when better planning can ease both stress and costs?
*Create a moving folder or notebook in order to keep all documents in one place. This file should contain: Contacts, receipts, contracts, lease agreements etc. It should also contain any correspondence between you and your current landlord, as well as the new landlord.
*Document everything – consider making a digital record, as well.
*Comparison shop for services: Make sure you obtain a written estimate and know exactly what you will be charged. Calculate the costs before signing a contract. Build this cost into your budget.
*Call utilities to obtain connection cost.
*Will there be cleaning cost for old home and or new home?
*Create a moving budget. Make sure you have including additional costs such as: Food for the move (eating out and snacks along the way). Will you need overnight accommodations, extra fuel costs, tolls etc.?
*Begin sorting into three categories: Keep, Donate and Discard/Destroy
*Keep items that MUST go with you
*Discard anything that hasn’t been used in over a year. Then decide if it needs to be destroyed or donated. Can these items be repurposed?
*Donate quality, good conditioned items to local charities, non-profits or churches. Choose the designated charity and ask if they pick up.
*Have a yard sale or online sale to generate cash and lighten your moving load.
Prepare & Start Packing
*Buy packing supplies (tape, tape and more tape) large markers, bubble wrap or packing peanuts. Collect boxes from stores that are study and can be sealed. Save newspapers for wrapping fragile items.
*Call schools, childcare providers and physicians to obtain copies of any records that must be transferred to new schools, childcare providers and physicians.
*Pre-enroll children in new school if possible. Secure childcare spots as well.
*Call current utility companies to set disconnect dates.
*Call new utility company to arrange for connection dates.
*Pack non-essential items (items that will not be used in the next four weeks) Remember to keep your Donate and Discard boxes open to pare down even more.
*Set a final walk through date with your current landlord.
*Review and revise moving budget.
Three Weeks Prior to Moving Day
*Limit non-perishable food purchases in order to empty your cupboards. Donate what you do not intend to use or pack.
*Make a change of address notification via USPS.GOV
*Notify bank, credit cards and other billers of move date and new address.
*Transfer medications to new pharmacy after filling scripts for the month.
*Update moving folder with any changes.
*Review and revise budget. Only use credit when absolutely, unavoidable. Never pay for services in cash.
One Week Prior to Move
*Pack final items, leaving only the items needed for the next 6 days.
*Confirm all contracted services (movers, moving van rental, utility disconnection date and time / connection date and time)
*Cancel cable and internet – Pay in full any balance. Make sure you have something in writing from cable/internet service showing a zero balance.
*Confirm school and childcare arrangements.
*Pack essentials kit that will remain with you throughout the move. This kit should include: a change of clothing for each family member, medications, documents and valuable items.
Day Before Move Day
*Clean fridge and freezer – leaving nothing but a box of baking soda in each. (Photograph)
*Final Cleaning (Photograph)
*Have children sleep over at a family or friends so that your home/apartment will remain clean and the exit will be quick.
*Retrieve just enough “road” cash from bank. Limit carrying a large sum of money.
*Up and out early. Eat a hearty breakfast.
*Complete the final walk through with the landlord or building superintendent. Ask for a “cleared, clean and damaged free” letter from the landlord (Preferably on company letterhead)
*Photograph everything. Download these photos to your I-cloud account for safe keeping.
* Collect the children and pets, if they were away from home that final night.
*Gas up and go
Onward to your new home and new adventures.