Create Your Own Moving Checklist

There’s no way around it—unless you’re into a seriously minimalistic lifestyle and can fit all of your earthly belongings into a duffle bag, moving’s a pain. As with most major undertakings, it’s a great idea to make a checklist of all the things you need to accomplish before the move to maximize efficiency and minimize last-minute surprises and hassles from forgotten tasks. Here’s a list to get you started. Add and subtract from this list as you see fit, and get ready for a smooth move.

  • Create your moving budget. Do you know how much that moving truck will cost you per mile? Make sure to add in some extra as a safety margin to handle unexpected expenses.
  • Choose your moving company. If you don’t plan to move yourself this is the first step, and it’s more complicated than you might think. You want to compare prices of course, but you also want to make sure you’re dealing with a reputable, experienced company who’ll treat your possessions with care and also show up for the move when they’re supposed to. Check the Better Business Bureau’s website for their rating and any complaints. Spend time searching for reviews and asking around among family and friends for recommendations.
  • Start sorting your stuff. All those things you’ve been planning on getting rid of for years? This is your golden opportunity to do it. Decide what to keep, what to donate or give away and what’s just going in the trash.
  • Buy all your new-home stuff. Now is the time to buy new appliances, furniture and other essential household accessories. You want to start fresh, so now is the time to splurge a bit on items you use daily or weekly. Check out online stores like Macy’s to get an idea of new vacuums or other home appliances you need so you’re ready to purchase by moving time.
  • Start looking for boxes and packing materials. Even if you’re having a company pack for you, you probably have things you’d rather pack yourself. And unless you’re buying the materials finding the right boxes can be difficult.
  • Start looking for providers in your new locale. You’re going to need doctors, dentists, teachers, veterinarians and more in your new town if it’s a long distance away. Upack.com suggests asking doctors for referrals in your new city. Get all of your medical, school and other records together and organized so they’ll be handy when you’re ready. Arrange for transfers when possible.
  • Touch base with your insurance agent. Make sure everything is in order and ask what changes have to be made to your policy.
  • File a change of address with the post office. Basic, but sometimes overlooked in all the bustle.
  • Dispose of any hazardous materials. No need to move things that might spill and ruin your belongings, or worse, cause a fire.
  • Get the pets ready to move. Moving is stressful on pets, so try to make it as comfortable as possible. The trick is to keep sudden change to a minimum. Keep your pet in a room he’s familiar with up until the move and consider keeping Fido at a friend or family member’s house while packing. If it’s going to be a long drive or a flight, start getting them crate trained early.
  • Cancel or transfer your utilities and services. This can be a time consuming chore.
  • Use up your perishables. No sense in moving food, or wasting it either, so plan your meals over the last couple of weeks so it’s gone by the time you move. Treat yourself to eating out for the last few days. You’ll deserve it by this time.

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