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  • Get estimates from several moving companies (use our Apples to Apples Moving Quote Worksheet to compare quotes). Reserve your date as early as possible, especially if you’re moving during the peak summer season.
  • Start sorting and decluttering. Why pay to move items you aren’t using any longer? Have a yard sale or donate your unwanted clothes, toys, kitchen items, etc to charity. Don’t forget to sort items brought down from your attic and in your basement, storage shed and garage. Moving crews don’t go into attics for liability reasons.
  • Inventory all valuables and determine replacement values for insurance purposes. Renters insurance will cover your items before, during and after your move.
  • Start using up things you can’t move – frozen foods, liquids, cleaning supplies.
  • Put a hold on buying bulk items at your warehouse club. Wait until you get to your destination to stock up.
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Start a folder for all moving documents and receipts and keep it handy.

  • If you’re being relocated, find out which expenses and moving responsibilities are yours and which are the company’s.
  • Check with the IRS or your tax professional to see which moving expenses may be tax deductible and what documentation you’ll need.

Tell people you’re moving.

  • Doctors, dentists, orthodontists and more – ask for referrals and get copies of any records to take with you.
  • Contact your gym, clubs and other associations for information on transferring, selling or ending your memberships.

Get Sparky and Fluffy checked by your vet and ask about vaccination requirements in your new location. Get copies of your pet’s records.

  • Decide how you’ll be moving your dog/cat/fish/turtle/hamster/snake and research transportation options.

Look into auto insurance for your destination. Requirements vary from state to state.

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  • If you’re renting, give notice to your current landlord or management company.
  • Cancel any monthly services that require at least 30-days notice so you won’t be charged an extra month penalty fee (electric, cable, gas, internet, telephone, water, alarm monitoring, parking garage, etc).
  • Keep your utilities on through moving day and have them turned on at your new place the day before you move in.
  • Fill out a change of address card at the post office or online: Download Form
  • Give forwarding address to your employer, lawyer, accountant and any other professionals who may need to forward paychecks, W-2s and important paperwork through the next year.
  • Arrange for school records to be transferred.
  • If packing yourself, start boxing up any out of season clothes and other items you don’t use daily.
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  • Pick up any items from safe deposit boxes, dry cleaners, repair shops, and storage units.
  • Service your car – especially if you’re driving long-distance for your move.
  • Arrange for hotels or other accommodations along the way and at your destination if your new home isn’t ready for move-in.
  • Set up a babysitter for moving day if you have young children. It’ll be easier to concentrate on the move details with the kids safely entertained elsewhere.
  • If you’re moving from or to a high-rise, ask if you need to reserve an elevator for moving day.
  • Update your email address and online profiles (if necessary) and alert your friends and contacts about your move.
  • Give houseplants to friends and neighbors if you won’t be transporting them yourself.
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  • Close or transfer your bank account(s) and have cash on hand for any miscellaneous expenses.
  • Notify your insurance and credit card companies to make sure you’re covered during the move and your credit cards are not declined for unusual location charges.
  • Back up all computers and devices.
  • Unplug and defrost your refrigerator. Clean your stove. Have service technicians disconnect your appliances before movers arrive – unless your mover has arranged to disconnection services.
  • Confirm all travel arrangements – flights, hotel, rental cars, etc.
  • Reconfirm new address with moving company.
  • Pack suitcases with a few days worth of toiletries, medication and comfortable clothes so they’re handy at your destination.

Gather items like these to be packed and labeled “FIRST NIGHT” and “LOAD LAST” so they’re handy at your destination:

  • Shower curtain
  • Towels and bedding
  • Coffee maker
  • Alarm clock
  • Disposable plates, cups and silverware, plastic storage containers
  • Stepladder
  • Tool kit – hammer, drill, screwdrivers, measuring tape
  • Extension cord
  • Light bulbs
  • Vacuum cleaner, broom, dust pan
  • Garbage bags


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