Plan Your Move
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Eight weeks before
- Collect estimates. Select a mover. Check details on cost, packing, loading, delivery and claims procedures.
- Arrange to transfer children’s school records.
- Sketch out the floor plan of your new home to determine what to take, what to get rid of, and where it will all go.
Four weeks before
- Clean out closets. Get rid of unwanted clothing. Hold a garage or tag sale. Donate to charities.
- Obtain boxes, tape, twine, labels and other supplies.
- If your mover is to handle the packing, arrange to have it done one or two days before loading begins. If you’ll be packing yourself, start by packing items that aren’t used often. Try to keep each box under 30 pounds. Pack books and other heavy items in small boxes.
- Send furniture, drapes, and carpets for repair or cleaning as needed.
- Review your homeowners-insurance policy to determine whether your possessions are covered during your move. If in doubt, ask your insurance agent.
- Get change-of-address forms from the post office and send them out. (It often takes a month for magazine publishers and other businesses to adjust their records).
Three weeks before
- Make any motel or other reservations.
- Set a date to cancel utilities and to have them switched on at your new home.
- Ready car registration and insurance records for transfer.
Two weeks before
- Arrange to transfer your bank accounts if necessary. Notify any creditors that you’ll be moving.
- Make arrangements to move pets. Check with your local mover about moving houseplants (some won’t take them).
- Cancel newspaper delivery.
- Ask your doctor and dentist for your records if you’ll be moving out of the area.
Two days before
- Have mover pack your goods (unless you’re doing it yourself).
- Defrost and dry refrigerators and freezers to be moved.
- Arrange for cash and traveler’s checks for the trip and paying the mover.
- Set aside jewelry, vital documents, money, and valuable small items to carry with you.
- Be on hand to answer questions and give directions to movers.
- Save your muscles by letting the moving crew take apart beds, roll-up carpets, and put mattresses in bags or boxes.
- Carefully read the bill of lading — the contract between you and the mover — before you sign it. Keep it with you until things are delivered, the charges are paid, and any claims are settled.
- Be on hand to answer questions and give directions.
- Be prepared to pay the driver before your goods are unloaded. This is a federal requirement in interstate moves.
- Note on the inventory any damaged boxes or obvious damage to unboxed items before you sign. This is necessary to process any claims.