Moving Towards Success: Moving Tips and Tricks
With longer days and school breaks, spring and summer are prime times to move. If moving is on your agenda, use this handy checklist to progress in just a few weeks from “We’re moving!” to “We’re home!”
Six Weeks Before your Move:
- Start organizing early. Evaluate what items go with you and what you can sell or donate. Now’s the perfect time to embrace the approach of renown organizing consultant, Marie Kondo. If your belonging doesn’t spark joy, dispose of it.
- Hire a mover. Ask friends for recommendations, and get quotes from three licensed companies. Request in-home estimates as the pricing is more accurate, whether by weight or by the hour. Ask for:
- The mover’s U.S. Department of Transportation license number
- Whether the company is bonded
- If the company is licensed for interstate moves, if you’re moving out of state
- If the quote is binding or non-binding
- What insurance is included
- Decide if the movers will help you pack. Always ask for a copy of the estimate or contract.
- Create a record-keeping system. Use your smartphone or a binder to create an inventory. Put a number on every single box, and note the number and contents on your electronic or written list. Use the binder to keep track of to-do lists, estimates and receipts.
- Get records. Request all medical records for your family and pets.
- Contact new schools. Find out enrollment and record transfer procedures.
One Month Before:
- Pick up packing supplies. Stock up on boxes, bubble wrap, tissue paper, packing tape and markers. Remember specialty containers, such as wardrobe boxes.
- Confirm with your mover. Contact your mover to double-check your moving date, time, cost and details of the move. If the insurance in place is not enough to cover your valuables, call your insurance agent.
- Clear the freezer. Start using up frozen food items. Then, take on the pantry and fridge.
- Change your address. Visit USPS.gov or your local post office to officially change your address. Leave your forwarding address with a neighbor, just in case.
- Notify utilities. Request that your utilities and Internet be disconnected the day after you leave and installed in your new home the last weekday before you arrive.
- Alert important parties. Notify your employer, banks, credit card companies and subscription services of your move.
- Contact insurance agents. Find out if your move requires changes in your medical, dental, vehicle or personal property insurance.
Three Weeks Before:
- Start packing. Begin with items you use on a limited basis (pool toys, holiday decorations or stuff in the attic).
- Separate valuables. Add items such as jewelry and important files to a safe box that you’ll personally transport to your new home. Include documents like birth certificates, insurance policies, school records, mover information and utility hook-up receipts.
- Be sure to label all boxes with a number and specific description. For example, write “printer,” rather than “misc. office.” Label all sides of the box, not just the top.
- Try to limit each box’s weight. Fill large boxes with pillows and light things. Use smaller boxes for books and heavier items.
- Note items that might require additional insurance. Make sure to declare in writing any items valued over $100 per pound, such as a computer.
- Pay it forward. As you pack, gather warranty information, manuals and other house-specific information in a binder for the new owners.
Two Weeks Before:
- Update your computer. Download any necessary software updates, and make sure that all of your files and photos are backed up to an online cloud storage service or an external hard drive that you’ll carry with you.
- Reduce the stress on your pet. Arrange for a pet sitter or care facility for moving day. If you’re moving out of town, make travel plans for your pet pals.
One Week to a Few Days Before:
- Refill prescriptions.
- Finish packing. Aim to complete general packing a couple of days before moving day.
- Pack suitcases. Pack suitcases for everyone in the family with toiletries, chargers and clothes to wear for a few days.
- Let children pack a personal box. Use a brightly colored backpack or plastic bin for each child. Let them fill them with favorite blankets, toys, nightlights or other special items. Carry it in your personal vehicle rather than placing it on the moving truck.
- Be kind to your movers. Summer is the most popular moving season. Have snacks and water available for the moving crew.
- Take essentials. Have on hand a box of essentials you’ll need for your new home – bed linens, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, toilet paper and garbage bags. Transport yourself or place on the moving truck last so that it is easily accessible when you arrive at your destination.
- Keep your valuables with you. Take your jewelry, other valuables and important papers in your personal vehicle.
The Day After:
Looking for the right new home to move into? Our New Home Specialist, Kim Bennett, is happy to help! Click here to learn more about our Houston communities or click here to learn more about our Austin communities.