Preparing For Moving Day

Advanced preparation is the key to a stress-free move. Below are tasks that you can begin long before moving day arrives to help make the transition to your new environment as smooth and worry-free as possible.

  • Weed-out items you will not be moving; hold a garage sale or donate them to charity.
  • Get estimates from moving companies.
  • Make a list of people and organizations – credit cards, magazines, associations – that need to be notified of the move.
  • Look at schools and day care facilities in the new area. Forward school records.
  • Complete change-of-address forms.
  • Contact doctors to ask for referrals if you are moving to a new city. Forward medical records.
  • Check homeowners’ policy to see if possessions are covered during the move.
  • Decide how you will move valuables.
  • Get information on driver’s license, insurance policy, license plates and auto stickers if you are moving to a new city.
  • Contact utility companies – gas, water and electric – in both cities.
  • Register with an Internet service provider.
  • Contact phone service – see if your long distance, cellular and/or pager carriers operate in the area.
  • Contact satellite and cable TV providers.
  • Empty and defrost refrigerator.
  • Discontinue newspaper delivery.
  • Map out driving route to new home.
  • Keep-out special stuffed animals or other items for your children so that they can have the comfort of something familiar during the move.

Pack like a pro

  1. Develop a master to do list so you will not forget something critical.
  2. Sort and get rid of things you no longer want or need. Have a garage sale, donate to a charity or recycle.
  3. Do not throw out everything. If your inclination is to just toss it, ask yourself how frequently you use an item and how you would feel if you no longer had it.
  4. Pack like items together. Put toys with toys, kitchen utensils with kitchen utensils.
  5. Decide what if anything you plan to move yourself. Precious items, like family photos, valuable breakables or must-haves during the move should stay with you.
  6. Use the correct box for the item. Loose items encourage breakage.
  7. Put heavy items in small boxes so they are easier to lift. Keep weight under 50 pounds, if possible.
  8. Do not over-pack boxes and increase the chances they will break.
  9. Wrap every fragile item separately and pad bottom and sides of boxes.
  10. Label every box on all sides. You never know how they will be stacked and you do not want to have to move other boxes aside to find out what is there.
  11. Use color-coded labels to indicate which room each item should go into. Color-code a floor plan for your new house to help movers.
  12. Keep your moving documents together, including phone numbers, driver’s name and van number. Also, keep your address book handy.
  13. Back up your computer files before moving your computer.
  14. Inspect each box and all furniture for damage as soon as it arrives.
  15. Remember, most movers will not take plants.

Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online by permission of the National Association of REALTORS®. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.