Texas Relocation - Countdown to Moving Day
*** Quick disclaimer... this post is long because I tried to cover as many items as I could. Be sure to review it completely to ensure you have added your important items. And if you don't read it all today, bookmark it or print it out for future use ***
You are really moving now (no pun intended). If you completed part 3, then you found Temporary Housing so that your family is comfortable until the house is read. In this section, you will be preparing a To Do List so that you are prepared for Moving Day with little to no hiccups.
The To Do List will actually start at least 6 weeks out from your moving day. 6 weeks should give you plenty of time to complete most of your 'Moving Day' tasks. Review your list to ensure you have given yourself plenty of time for items that may take longer than 6 weeks.
Starting with your oldest items, here are some things you should focus on at least 6 weeks from your moving day
- Change your address at the post office (effective ON moving day). Keep a list of the needed address changes and check them off as you notify them (cell phone, credit cards, automobile financing, magazines, etc.)
- Start a file of all vital paperwork to ensure they are not lost in the move. It's very easy to lose track of the ONE box that has important documents. Typically, an accordion file works best or maybe a three-ring binder.
- Get estimates from moving companies. Depending on the size of your move and time of year, you may want to start this search earlier. Trying to move during the summer is always a busy time for moving companies (June through September).
With about 5 weeks left before moving day, you can address the following items:
- Select the moving company. Again, this may need to done earlier if moving during peak season. Confirm the moving date and figure out some of the details of the move - Who is packing? Professionals or yourself? If you pay professionals, they will typically come the day before moving day.
- Start sorting your items. Moving is a great time to go through things you have kept for a long time. Decide what is being moved, what you can sell, what you can give away, and what you can discard. BE RUTHLESS! Remember that you are moving to a new home. Obviously some things you will keep for memories, but not everything can be a memory. Also keep in mind you will be creating NEW memories.
- Sketch a floor plan of the new home. This will help you decide where furniture will be placed in the new home.
- Inventory Inventory Inventory. Make a list of your valuables and the year you purchased them. This important for insurance purposes and will be used by the movers. Most professional movers will make a list of the items being moved, but will not make a note of the value. You may even consider pictures or videos.
- Start on some 'do-it-yourself' packing. This is a good opportunity to start packing things like seldom used dishes, books, garage items, and off-season clothes. Establish an area to store packed boxes as you go.
- Take care of your legal contracts. There may be a few things to finish up in this section. Be sure to add in any items I have have overlooked.
- Credit card statements, bank statements, other charge accounts
- Utilities and telephone service - Get them turned on, off, or transferred
- Memberships (new or transfered) in social, athletic, and/or religious organizations.
- Update or Purchase insurance for Auto, Homeowners, Medical, and Life & Disability
- Employment agreements, if applicable
- Update wills, trusts, and any other financial matter
- Leased products or services, such as appliances or furniture
- Get W2 Form to ensure previous employer has your new address. This will still be necessary to complete if transferring with the same company. Also get letters of reference from previous employer.
- Talk with a Veterinarian. Get records and make appointments if needed shots require a waiting period. This is also a good time to find out more about the area you are moving to. For example, in Texas most veterinarians will suggest placing your dog on heartworm medication.
- Arrange for your children's medical records. This includes birth certificates, medical history, and school transcripts. ** Ask your doctor and dentist if they recommend anyone in your new area **
- Fill prescriptions, if applicable. You should also arrange to get a copy of your prescription from your doctor for the new pharmacist or optometrist.
- Drop off dry cleaning... and remember to pick it UP!
- Pick up anything currently being repaired, serviced, or on layaway. This may already be completed with your inventory list you did 2 weeks ago.
- Check your address-change list to ensure you notified everyone. Follow-up if there is anyone left on the list that has yet to be notified.
- Make hotel reservations. This task is specific to those of you traveling across many states. Be sure you know your route and you have a place to stop and rest along the way. Again, depending on the time of year, you may have a hard time just stopping anywhere. Plan ahead.
- Get your car serviced. This goes along with the above bullet point. If you are driving, you want to be sure your automobile is up for the task. Be sure to get it checked out even if everything appears to be running smoothly.
- Flight reservations. This can certainly be done sooner (which is also cheaper). The only reason to wait this close to moving day is to ensure you do not pay fees for changing flight plans last minute.
- Collect children's games and activities. Depending on the age of your children, be sure they have something to do during the trip. Even short flights and road trips can be less stressful if your children are occupied with their favorite items. If traveling with one younger child, parents may take turns sitting with the child and playing games, coloring, etc. Make it enjoyable for everyone.
- Plan farewell parties and visits. Friends and family will want to see you before the move. Be sure to plan some time to spend with them so everyone is not showing up on moving day and causing untimely delays.
We made it... only one week left. Have you forgotten anything? During your final week, you certainly want to go over your entire 'To Do List'. Have you forgotten anything or perhaps overlooked something? You still have a week to catch anything you may have overlooked, so don't worry. Remember what you have already accomplished. Be sure to include the following:
- Return all borrowed items. This could be anything from Library books to your neighbors water hose. Also remember to gather items you may have lent out to neighbors, family, or friends.
- Stop your paper. You may have included this in your 'change address' step, but if you are relocating to a new area then you may be getting a different paper all together. Be sure to cancel any and all deliveries to your house - Water service, Paper, Magazines, etc.
- Prepare quick-fix foods for Moving Day. Remember that your pots and pans will be packed and most of your food will probably be gone in preparation of moving day. So, plan some simple meals for moving day. ** quick fact... pizza is the number 1 item consumed on moving day **
- Consider having kids go to friends/sitters for moving day.
- Plan to secure pets or have them go to a friends/kennel on moving day.
- Turn on utilities at the new home for moving day. This is an important step. There is nothing more miserable than moving into your new home and having no electricity for the first night or two. Plus during the winter time it can get really cold.
- Empty gas & oil from lawnmower and other gas powered items. You do not want these items leaking on your other personal items.
- Empty the refrigerator. This includes the freezer and ice trays. Clean it out and leave the door open to dry well.
- Get travelers checks and empty your safe deposit box. Remember that you may not be able to use your personal checks anymore since your personal information has changed. Some companies will not accept them. Have cashier's checks to pay movers, house cleaners (if applicable), and closing funds for your new loan.
- Pack suitcase with personal items to use until the moving truck shows up at your new home. You should have at least one to two days worth of items, especially if the moving van is traveling out of state. Typically, a larger moving company may pack and move more than one home heading in the same direction. This could cause small delays for arrival.
- Prepare a 'Care' box of essentials. These items will be packed LAST and unloaded FIRST. Considering packing toiletries, coffee pot, dry food, light bulbs, trash bags, and sauce pan). These are items you may need when you first arrive at your home and will cut down on your "search".
- Pack your favorite picnic food in the car. This will save you money on your trip so that you are not eating on the road. You may find a nice place to park and picnic with your family on the road.
- Strip your beds.
- Be available if the movers have questions, but try not to get in their way. You hired professionals and they have done this several times before. Also, be sure the movers know how to reach you in case of emergency. You may even supply them with a map to ensure they can locate the new home easily. Mapquest and Yahoomaps are not always 100% accurate.
Stay in touch with this 'Texas Relocation' series here.
Part 1 - Getting Prepared
Part 2 - Finding a House in Your New Area
Part 3 - Temporary Housing
Part 4 - Countdown to Moving Day (To Do List)
Part 5 - Choosing a Moving Company
Part 6 - Moving 'Speciality' Items (pets and autos)
Part 7 - Cutting Costs
Part 8 - Are We There Yet? Road Trip Consideration
Part 9 - Congratulations, You Have Moved! Steps to Getting 'Settled In'
I'll help you get pre-approved for your Texas home loan and even suggest some very knowledgeable and professional Real Estate Agents in your area of choice. If you are available to talk, I am available to listen. Give me a call or visit my website for more details.
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