Week by Week Move Planning Guide
Organization is the key for a smooth move. Start early and avoid last minute stress.
6-8 Weeks before moving:
- This is the time to decide what items you wish to transport to your new home. If you decide to dispose of items that you don’t need you should either donate them to a charity or consider having a garage sale. Contact a local charity or pick a date at least two weeks before moving date for the garage sale. Advertise the garage sale locally.
- Start collecting suitable moving and packing supplies if you plan to do your own packing or partial packing. You can purchase all these materials from a moving supply company. All boxes that you purchase from a moving supply company are specially designed for the moving industry to prevent any damages to your belongings. Getting boxes from other sources may create some difficulties when packed in the van. These boxes may be unusual sizes and they may not be strong enough to prevent damages to items packed inside.
- Think about your new home layout and start thinking about where you'll place the furniture. Create a floor plan of your new home that will prevent the stress of making decisions when your furniture arrives at your new home.
- All travel arrangements (hotel, flights, car rental, etc.) for your family should be made at this time. Try to keep your plan flexible as possible to accommodate any schedule changes or delays.
- Keep all receipts for moving related expenses in a designated moving folder.
- Obtain an IRS Change of Address form, Form 8822, by calling (800) 829-1040. Or visit the IRS website were you will be able to download and print form 8822 and most other IRS tax forms; e.g., Form 3903 to help deduct moving expenses.
- Finalize all real estate and rental needs.
- Contact your insurance agent to transfer medical, property, fire and auto insurance.
- All medical and dental records should be placed in a safe and accessible place. Be sure to include prescription, vaccination records and eyeglass specifications.
- Plan on taking all important documents, such as wills, stock certificates, and other one of a kind items (jewelry, coin collection, photos etc.).
4-5 Weeks before moving
- Contact the Post Office for the Change of Address form to tell of your move. give your new address to:
Friends and Family, Post Office, Utility Companies, Telephone Company, Trash Company, Cable Company, Water Company, Electricity Company, Internet Provider, Insurance Companies, Banks and Financial Institutions - Checking, Savings, Loans, Creditors, Local Government agencies, Federal agencies, the IRS, Health Providers - Doctors, Dentist, Veterinarian, Pharmacy, Schools, Subscriptions -Magazines, Book Club, Record Club, Newspapers, Travel/Auto Club, Church
- It is the time to take a look at what you own, and decide what must go and what can be left behind. All items such as old books, magazines, broken items, old toys can be left behind. Remember-adding more weight to your shipment costs more money.
- Organize your move by deciding and making lists of what items you will not transport, what items your van line agent will move and what items you will move yourself.
- Make a decision if the items not going that will be sold at a garage sale, picked by a charity or trash it.
- Make a decision on who will do most of the packing or all the packing. It is a good idea that you let the van line agent do most of the packing. The van line agents know the best methods for keeping items safe; that's what they do for a living.
- Get your kids involved with the moving process. Let your kids do some packing and let them suggest a layout for their new room. Make it fun and exciting for them to move.
3 Weeks before moving
- Notify your agent if there are any changes in the dates of your move. If you will need any additional accessorial service such as piano moving, packing and unpacking, storage you should inform the van line agent for pricing information. Also inform the van line agent if you add or subtract items from your planned shipment.
- Decide how much packing you will handle yourself. You should inform your agent of any items that you decided for him/her to pack.
- Make your final reservation for a car pick up at this time, if necessary.
- Consider giving your plants to friends or a charity if you are moving from one state to another. Some state laws prohibit the moving of house plants.
- Make transportation arrangements for your pets. Take your pets to your veterinarian to ensure proper up to date health certificates and rabies inoculations. Some states will require these documents.
- You will need to carry all valuable jewelry with you. If you have any valuables around the house, be sure to collect them before leaving.
- Return any borrowed items such as library books. Also collect all items that are being repaired stored or cleaned (clothing, furs, shoes etc.).
2 Weeks before moving
- Transfer all prescriptions to a drugstore in yournew city. Call your bank to find out how to transfer your accounts. Clear all your safety deposits boxes.
- Disassemble and disconnect your computer system before your move. Back up all your computer files on a disk. Consider taking all back up files disks with you in the car. Exposure to extreme temperatures can damage your software.
- Make final packing decisions. Clean and clear your home including closets, basement and attics and the items that you will take.
- Dispose of items that represent a hazard and are not allowed to be shipped.
- Tape and seal all cleaning fluids that are non-toxic, non-flammable in plastic bags.
- Drain your lawn mower, snow blower, power tools of all the oil and gasoline to ensure safe transportation.
- Schedule appliance disconnection and preparation with a service provider.
- If you need to store anything call your van line agent about storage options available.
- Inform gas, electric, cable, and telephone services of your move. Arrange to have them disconnected from your present home the day after your scheduled moving day. Sign up for services at your new address and connect them on your moving in day.
- Have your automobile serviced if your travel is by car.
1 Week before moving
- Make sure to mark which items you'll take yourself, so the movers won't take them or have any questions.
- Make sure you haven't overlooked anything in the house.
- Mark your boxes to be shipped with "Fragile", "Do Not Load", "Load Last" stickers.
- Empty, defrost and clean your refrigerator, freezer and clean your stove, all at least 24 hours before moving to let them air out. Try using baking soda to get rid of any odors.
- Prepare items you will need while your goods are in transit. Pack your suitcases and confirm travel arrangements for you and your family. Try to keep plans as flexible as possible in the event of unexpected delay or schedule change.
- Make sure your agent knows the address and phone number your new home. You should also provide an address and phone number of where you can be reached until you will get to your new home.
- Arrange for payment to your van line agent. Contact your van line agent to inquire about methods of payment accepted.
- Inquire with your moving company or van line agents about protecting your goods.
1 Day before moving day
- Pack a box of things you'll need as soon as you arrive at your new home. (This might include non-aerosol cleaning supplies, disposable plates and cups, light tools, snacks, bathroom items and trash bags.)
- Take this box with you or have the driver load it last and unload first. This is usually the day packing is done.
- Make sure all packing services have been performed before you sign for them.
- Defrost, thoroughly clean and dry refrigerator.
Moving out day
- Be on hand when the driver arrives and throughout the loading process. (If you won't be there, make sure someone will be there to direct the movers. Make sure the driver has in writing the name and phone number of that person.)
- Accompany the driver during inventory. Check on the condition of your goods as they are loaded.
- Make a final tour of your home. See that nothing is overlooked.
- Sign the bill of lading and make sure your new address and phone number are correct.
- Lock all windows and doors, and turn off all switches.
- Arrive at your home a day ahead of time, if possible, to make sure utilities are connected and to plan placement of major items in your home.
- Be on hand to pay the driver with cash, traveler's check, certified check or money order prior to your goods being unloaded.