Now that you have sold/bought your home, there are many items that need to be completed prior to closing. We've created a detailed list to make this transition easier and more efficient for you to reduce your stress. If you take care of the items we recommend, the entire closing and moving should be a joy....or at least less hectic.
6 to 8 weeks prior:
- Purchase or rent moving supplies: tape, markers, scissors, pocketknife, newspaper, blankets, moving pads, plastic storage bins, rope and a hand truck. Free boxes can usually be obtained at a local supermarket, but consider purchasing wardrobe boxes for clothes.
- Have a garage sale to clear out unwanted items and plan accordingly. Consider donating unwanted items.
- Keep a detailed record of all moving expenses. Your costs (and donations) may be tax deductible depending on the reasons for your move.
- Research your new community and schools so you know as much as possible before you move.
- Notify old and new schools and arrange for the transfer of school records and begin the process of registering in new schools.
3-4 weeks prior:
- Fill out a change of address form from the Post Office. This can be done online.
- Give a change of address to the following: Banks, schools, friends & family, insurance company, doctors and specialists, cellphone company, credit card companies, and magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
- If you are traveling a distance, get your vehicles serviced in preparation for the move.
2 weeks prior:
- Hire a reputable mover or rent a moving truck. Be sure to get referrals or references, check with the Better Business Bureau, get estimates and purchase moving insurance.
- Contact utilities companies in your new town about service start dates, including Internet and telephone services.
- Transfer or cancel the following:
- Utilities, including electric, gas, water, sewer and trash
- Cable, telephone (landline and cell phones), newspaper, and lawn services
- Car registration and driver’s license
- Postal service
- Update your contacts with your new address
- Bank accounts and safe deposit box
- Insurance policies, including property, auto and medical
- Alarm/security company
- Voter registration
- Doctor, dentist and other medical providers (make sure to have at least two weeks of prescription medicine on hand for the duration of your move)
- Veterinarian, if applicable
- Health clubs
- Your children’s schools and daycare centers
- Notify healthcare professionals (doctors, dentists, veterinarians) of your move and ask for referrals and record transfers.
- Register children for school and ask for school records to be transferred.
- Notify lawn service, cleaning and security companies when service should be terminated.
- Make arrangements to clean your new home, and the home you’re moving out of. Also, arrange for any services for your new home that will be easier to do before your things arrive: carpet-cleaning, wood floor cleaning, painting, etc.
- Advise the post office, publications and correspondents of change of address and date of move.
- Check your homeowners’ insurance and make arrangements for new coverage.
- As you’re packing, be sure you’re labeling each box for where it goes in your new home — if you don’t do this now, you might very well forget what’s in what box. Also, where applicable mark the boxes “Fragile,” “Do not load,” or “Load last.”
- Call your mover and confirm your move date, and make any special arrangements for items like a piano.
- Arrange for payment for movers, a $20-25 cash tip per mover is usual.
- Confirm closing/move-in dates with David Nelson & the title company; confirm dates with your storage people.
- Discuss contingency plan for the movers running late. Where will you sleep?
- Disconnect and disassemble your computer and peripherals. Back up your computer files on a disk or flash memory drive. You should plan to take these files with you in the car or whatever mode of transportation you will be using to get to your new home. Exposure to extreme temperatures can damage your software and files.
- Dispose of paint, oil, and weed killers. Drain fuel out of mowers. Discard propane tanks from grills.
- Get together all keys, alarm codes and garage door openers and place them in a folder so that you can be prepared to hand them over to the new owner or real estate agent.
- Return any borrowed items from friends, the library or video store — you don’t want to fumble with this on your moving day.
- Have tools handy for breaking down beds and appliances.
- Give every room a final once over. Don’t forget to check the basement, yards, attic, garage and closets.
- Have the final payment for the movers and money for a tip.
- Double check to be sure you’re on target for your utilities to be hooked up.
- If you don’t have professional cleaners coming in, make sure you clean your home before leaving.
- Pack a moving day box of things you’ll be moving yourself so you have access to them right away. Cell phone, light bulbs, tool kit, scissors, flashlight, trash bags, paper towels, toilet paper, aspirin and bed linens. Make sure you have extra packing material on hand for things that arise last minute.
One week after you move:
- Get your kids involved in the unpacking process, and help them find activities in your new town.
- Did you get your moving deposits back yet?
- Make sure you have fire extinguishers and fire detectors in your new home.
- Do any quick repair work that needs to be done, if you didn’t do it before moving in.
- Tackle some fun first projects to help make your house a home, like hanging pictures and other simple projects
- Explore the new town – get acquainted, find out where everything is, etc.
- Replace the locks if you’re uneasy about keeping the locks that came with the house.
- Check on licenses for pets.
- Double check your new address for all these: voter registration, driver’s license, tax forms, new bank account, etc.
- Start thinking about the larger home-renovation projects you’d like to get started, and prioritize them.
TIP: Move valuables (jewelry, legal documents, family photos and collections) yourself – don’t send them with the moving company. Make sure you have a complete home inventory of all your possessions.
- Jennifer D
- Kate M and Andy H