March 3, 2009

On the Move: Tips for Relocating

A while back, I asked our talented intern Wes to write up a moving checklist article that we could send to customers who were in the process of ordering moving announcements. Little did I know that a little over a year later, I would be making use of the list myself. My husband and I are in the process of building a new house and hope to be moving within the next couple of months. I've found the list Wes put together to be incredibly helpful and just had to share with those of you who are looking for, or have recently found, a new nest:

(A huge thanks to Wes for putting together this fantastic checklist!)

2 Months Prior to Moving…
  • Research your new town on the Internet or purchase a copy of their local newspaper to familiarize yourself with the community.
  • Decide if the move will be do-it-yourself or if you’re hiring movers. (If the latter, call moving companies and get estimates on the move.)
  • Construct a floor plan of your new home and map out where to put furniture.
  • If you have children, contact their current school for their records. Then contact their new school and find out how to transfer the papers.
  • Keep a log of moving-expense receipts as some may be tax deductible.
  • Gather and organize important documents such as medical records, legal documents and birth certificates.
  • Order moving announcements to inform friends and family about your relocation.
  • Contact any renovators, such as plumbers or carpenters, necessary to ensure your new home is ready to move in the day of your arrival.
1 Month Prior to Moving…
  • If you are moving a great distance, order luggage tags for parcels you are taking with you on the plane.
  • Check with your insurance company to see how possessions are covered during the move.
  • If you’re doing the move yourself, reserve a rental truck, or if you’re hiring a company to help, go over your estimates to decide on the best movers for your relocation.
  • Order return address labels to match your new location.
  • Give proper notice to any clubs or organizations you belong to and ask if there are similar groups in your new town.
  • Purchase a gift for your realtor. Try a stamp or embosser, notepads or personalized stationery.
  • Disconnect any old utilities and call to set up new accounts.
  • Don’t forget to send out your moving announcements!

2 Weeks Prior to Moving…
  • Go through your house and throw away anything you don’t want to take in the move. Be honest with yourself – it will make the move that much easier.
  • After sorting through your belongings, hold a moving sale to sell what you and your family won’t be using in the future.
  • Notify creditors of your new address.
  • Get a head start and begin packing items you do not use on a regular basis.

1 Week Prior to Moving…
  • If driving, service your car in preparation for the move.
  • Finish packing for the move.

1 Day Prior to Moving…
  • Take a trip to the bank to empty and close your safe-deposit box. Call banks around your new town to set up new accounts.
  • Obtain cash or traveler’s checks. You’ll need it to pay the movers.
  • Make an inventory of items being moved to your new home. This inventory can act as a checklist on move-in day and will ensure everything gets to its new destination.
  • Pack small suitcases of necessities for the move, similar to packing for a short vacation.

Arrival at New Address…
  • Note your utility meter readings and make sure all utilities are functioning properly.
  • Watch the movers and go over the inventory checklist you made earlier to make sure nothing is missing.
  • Give the kids responsibilities such as unpacking items for their bedrooms. It will make them feel involved in making the new house your home.

Once You’ve Settled In…
  • Remember to give your realtor his or her gift.
  • Set the date and order invitations for your Housewarming Party or Open House.
  • If you’ve moved out of state, get a new driver’s license and tags for your car.
  • Write thank you notes to those who helped with the move.