October 9, 2009 | Maureen Realty
Making the decision to move was the hard part. You've picked a city, notified the relatives, and found a new apartment or home in your new neighborhood. Are you ready to box up everything you own--all the possessions that mean "home" to you and your family--and ship them to another part of town, city or another province? With the proper planning and preparation, you can make your next move a smooth one.
Use this helpful checklist as a reminder of the things you need to do before you move.
Book the movers:
At your current home:
At your new home:
WEEK BY WEEK COUNTDOWN
Six Weeks Before Your Move
Take an objective look at what you own, and decide what must go and what can be left behind. Extra weight costs more money.
You may want to organize a garage sale. Start a central file for all of the details on your move. Depending on your reason for moving, you may be entitled to a tax deduction. Pick a date at least a week before the move, and advertise it locally. Think about teaming up with neighbors who want to sell some of their old belongings as well.
Advance planning eases the stress of making major decisions when your furniture arrives at your new home. Create a floor plan of your new home, and begin thinking about where you'll want to place furniture. Mark and label specific pieces of furniture on your diagram, and put it in your moving folder.
If packing yourself, start packing seldom-used articles like fancy dishes and glasses, specialty cookware, non-essential clothing, curios, art, photos, and decorative items. As you pack, remember to keep each box light enough to be handled by any of the members of your family--not just the strongest person. Heavier items go in smaller boxes, lighter items in larger boxes.
Three Weeks Before Your Move
Take inventory of your everyday household goods, such as radios, pots and pans and small appliances. Decide which items you will discard or put in storage.
Label the contents of all boxes, and pack carefully. As best you can, box essential items together, and write "Open First/Load Last" on these boxes. When you move into your new home, you'll be able to easily identify these boxes and get to important items like pots, dishes, silverware, alarm clocks, bedding, pillows, towels, cherished toys and essential items for babies or children.
Plan your food purchases to have as little as possible in the freezer or refrigerator by the time you move. Use up all frozen items, and buy only what you'll eat in the next three weeks, because you can't ship them.
Arrange to clean your new home, or plan to clean it yourself as close to move-in as possible. Since the home will probably be unoccupied by this time, make sure the cleaning is thorough and covers all those nooks and crannies usually blocked by furniture or appliances.
Check with your insurance company to cancel current coverage or transfer coverage to your new home.
Make arrangements for transporting your pets and any house plants, because movers can't take them in the van.
Meet with your bank to change account status. Transfer all current prescriptions to a drug store in your new town.
Cancel any delivery services such as newspapers. Consider starting a subscription to the newspaper in your new town to introduce you to local news happenings.
Have your automobile serviced if you're traveling by car.
Be sure to empty secret hiding places to remove valuables and spare house keys.
One Week Before Your Move
Mow your lawn for the last time. Dispose of toxic or flammable items that can't be moved. Drain the gas and oil from gas-powered tools such as lawn mowers - movers will not take them if full.
Double check to make sure arrangements have been made to disconnect and service your major appliances being moved.
Pack your "trip kit" of necessary items that should go in your car and not the moving van: your checkbook, cash or travelers checks, medications, essential toiletries, light bulbs, flashlight, toilet paper, pet food, spare glasses or contact lenses, baby or child care items, toys and car games for children and your notebook with moving information. If you have young children, arrange for a baby-sitter to watch them on moving day. Since you'll have your hands full, the extra attention from a sitter will distract the child's attention from the turmoil of a move. Arrange for a baby-sitter to be available when you arrive at your new home with young children.
Pack your own suitcase of clothes for the move. Put your "open first/load last" boxes in a separate place so the mover can identify them. Pay all outstanding bills. Be sure to indicate your new address on payment receipts.
Remove any fixtures you are taking with you and replace (if specified in your home-selling contract).
One To Two Days Before Your Move
The movers will arrive to start the packing process. Empty and defrost your refrigerator and freezer, clean both with a disinfectant and let them air out. Put baking soda or charcoal inside to keep them fresh.
Arrange for payment to the moving company. This payment must be made when your belongings arrive at your new home--before your belongings are unloaded. Find out your moving company's accepted methods of payment, terms, and its policy for inspecting your belongings when they arrive to determine if any breakage has occurred.
Empty your safety deposit box. Plan to take important papers, jewelry, cherished family photos, irreplaceable mementos and vital computer files with you.
Write directions to your new home for the van operator, provide the new phone number and include phone numbers where you can be reached in transit-- either a cell phone or friends, old neighbors, a place of business or relatives with whom you'll be in contact. You'll never be out of touch for long, should an emergency arise. Leave your forwarding address and phone number for your home's new occupants.
If your old house will be sitting vacant, notify police and neighbors.