Each year on average about 40 million people purchase a new home. While the home buying process is exciting, there’s one part of it that nobody enjoys: moving.
While it’s unlikely the moving process will ever become something people look forward to, if you follow the advice below, you’ll at least have your sanity at the end of it.
Part I: Keeping Yourself Organized with a Moving Plan
Most people who move usually just toss their belongings into boxes and get frustrated along the way. Keeping everything organized will make things easier and reduce the headaches to a minimum.
1 Month before moving:
About one month away is the time to make any last-minute changes to things such as utilities, and to start accumulating moving supplies. You’ll want to call your cable, water, electric, etc. providers and tell them the moving date so they can stop your current services and start your new ones at your new residence.
Now would also be a good time to pack any non-essential items so there is less to do when the date comes. So gather your packing supplies and ask your friends and family as well as local businesses for extra packing materials (some will give you boxes for free).
1 Week before moving:
With the moving date in sight, it’s time to get organized. The first step will be to make a moving inventory. Without a checklist, you could forget or miss something in the moving day chaos. The last thing you want to do is move everything and realize you forgot something.
Now would also be the time to start cleaning out the kitchen, especially the freezer and refrigerator. The only food related items that should be left on the day of the move are drinks and maybe some snacks. Since you should have been packing up until this point, things should almost be completely done.
Today is the big day! Up to this point, you should be completely packed up, minus a few personal items. When putting everything you’ve packed up into the truck, make sure you have everything that you are taking with you.
Once everything is loaded up, it would be wise to do one more walk through of the entire house so you don’t forget anything. You should look in every closet, bathroom, and cupboard to make sure everything you want is packed up and on the truck.
Just because you’ve moved all of your physical objects doesn’t mean the moving process is over. Read on to make sure you don’t forget about some important housekeeping matters.
Part II: 6 Often-Overlooked Moving To-dos
When you’re shoving the contents of your life into the back of a moving van Tetris-style, it’s easy to forget the little things. But what seems unimportant in the middle of a moving frenzy can actually cost you later.
Here are some small-but-important details that you should probably remember when moving to a new house.
1. Transferring medical records
Accidents happen, and the last thing you want is to end up in a strange doctor’s office in a new city with no medical history in sight. Make sure you remember to contact your general practitioner, pediatrician, dentist, and any specialists you might see before you move.
The good news is, you may not need to lug folders with decades’ worth of medical history cross country. Even if they’re not already digitized, many practices will scan your records (for free or a small fee) and send them to you.
2. Sending out change of address notifications
Yeah. Whoops. Just because your snail mail comes in drips and drabs nowadays doesn’t mean you can skip it all together. Luckily for you, there’s an easy solution. While you might have needed to jump through hoops in the days of troll dolls and teased hair, the U.S. Postal Service, most DMVs, and others all offer change of address forms online, so you can get your junk mail in a timely fashion.
3. Picking up, returning, and finding all your lent, borrowed, and hidden belongings
It’s easy to forget about packing things that aren’t actually in your house. Remember to hit up your dry cleaners, repair shops, friends, and relatives for any items you may have sent out or lent. On the other side of the equation, it’s easy to pack things that might not be yours at all—library books and borrowed casserole dishes, for instance.
Double-check now to save the hassle of negotiating shipping fees later. And while you’re double-checking, give all your usual hidey-holes another once-over before driving away for good, or risk losing something valuable.
4. Changing the locks
So you’ve managed to get to your new city, correct belongings in tow. Changing the locks on your new home may not seem like it should be up there on your to-do list with turning on your utilities and unpacking your sheets, but it should be. Old contractors, relatives, neighbors—there’s no way to be completely certain who the old owners gave duplicate keys to, or just how many are floating around out there.
5. Registering your car
If you’ve moved to a new state, odds are, you’re not going to be able to forget this for long (try as you might). Dealing with the DMV may be America’s least favorite pastime, but this is something you’re definitely going to want to do soon. And voluntarily.
6. Registering to vote
Unless you’re moving in the middle of election season, registering to vote can probably wait until after you’ve found curtains that fit the weird window in the bathroom, but it’s still something you should avoid putting off. Each state has its own deadline for registering before an election, and the last thing you want is to accidentally opt out of a basic constitutional right.
Bottom Line: Moving isn’t fun, but it doesn’t have to be miserable. If you stay organized and do what needs to be done, you’ll be relaxing in your new home in no time.