The better you plan your move, the faster and easier it will be. Use this moving checklist to get yourself organized and plan what to pack first, when to change your address, cancel bills, and ensure you have a stress-free move.
About 30-60 days before you start, make sure you have boxes, labels, markers, packing tape, newsprint paper, and bubble wrap. People often underestimate the time it will take to pack (and the amount of items they have accumulated over time). Take an honest assessment of how long it will take you to pack everything and plan accordingly. Give yourself at least one full month.
Call well ahead to reserve a van or use professional movers. Certain times of year are busier than others for moving companies, so check their costs during peak times. Rental van rates are cheaper during weekdays. If you’re renting an apartment, give notice to your landlord.
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Moving can be a great motivator to clear clutter, sell or donate items you no longer need or use, and start fresh. A great local place to donate items is the Household Goods Recycling of Massachusetts in Acton. They accept donations of gently used household items that help make a home for families in need. Visit their website www.hgrm.org for a list of acceptable items. For trash removal and removal of items in disrepair that can’t be donated, call a junk removal service.
If you’re hiring a moving company, most will charge by the weight of the items you’re moving. And if you’re moving yourself, the fewer boxes to move the better.
Plan which rooms you will pack up first, and stick to the schedule. Print out a moving calendar so everyone living in the home is aware of their assigned tasks and which rooms to start packing.
One Month Before Moving
Start packing items that aren’t used frequently, such as holiday decorations and books (pack books in smaller boxes to make them easier to carry).
Label what is in each box and which room the box will be placed.
Make an inventory list of each box. Keep the list with you.
Arrange transfer of school records for school age children.
Change your address with the post office. Notify friends and family of your new address. Get an IRS Change of Address form, from http://www.irs.gov.
Schedule your utility disconnections and connections at your new home. Utilities should be turned off in your current home one day after your move-out date and turned on in your new home one day before your move-in date.
Dispose of flammable materials properly (never pour down the drain). Moving companies will not accept flammable or corrosive materials such as propane tanks, automotive fluids, household batteries, paint or paint thinner.
Three Weeks Before Moving
Plan your meals so you will use up your food—especially frozen items—that you won’t be moving.
Pets and Plants: Make pet arrangements for the day of the move. Pets cannot be moved in moving vans, even inside pet carriers. Some states prohibit moving certain plants across state lines. Check with your local agriculture office. Donate or give away plants you won’t be moving.
Start packing your valuables such as important paperwork, jewelry, heirlooms and family photos. These items should be moved by you separately from other items. If you are having them moved by a moving company, be sure to have them insured.
Two Weeks Before Moving
Measure furniture and doorways to make sure large pieces will fit and determine the best way to move them.
Notify your accounts of your new address: bank, insurance, credit cards, magazine subscriptions, car registration.
Remember to return library books, movie rentals and anything else you may have checked out.
If you’re moving yourself, confirm your moving van. Make sure you have confirmations from the people who promised they would help.
Back up your computer remotely or on a flash drive and take with you. Disconnect and pack computer.
If you are using professional movers, set aside $20-$25 in cash to tip each mover.
Finish up packing. Check off completed rooms on your moving calendar.
One Day Before Moving
It’s a good idea to pack a Priority Box last with items you will need as soon as you arrive at your new home. This will include items you will need immediately: a first aid box, flashlight with batteries, toilet paper, soap, paper towels, bottled water, snacks, pet food/dishes.
Take down and pack curtains, shades, curtain rods.
Clean rooms, get rid of trash, vacuum rugs and sweep floors.
Defrost your refrigerator and keep door open to dry it out which will prevent the growth of mold.
If you are using professional movers, it is your responsibility to make sure all items are loaded in the van. Use your inventory list to double check that all items are in the van.
Make sure windows are shut and locked, and lights are off. Make one last tour once to make sure nothing is left.
Planning ahead will make moving day easier for you and your family. Enjoy your new home!