If you’ve ever moved, you probably know first-hand how stressful it can be. In fact, studies have shown that next to divorce and a job change, moving and/or relocating can be one of the most stressful events in our lives. To make your move as smooth as possible, here are 10 tips that will help avoid last minute rough spots.
1. Make a List
Two Months Before
First things first…write everything down! Before you pack even one box, create a simple record keeping system. Try creating a computer-printed list of numbers and descriptions to keep track of priorities, supplies that are needed, descriptions of boxed contents, and other important information. Place a number on EVERY box you pack and list the contents on your list. When describing the box contents, be specific -- "travel books" is better than "books” and “everyday dishes” is better than “kitchen".
2. Plan Ahead
Organization is the key for a smooth move. Get familiar with your new community by requesting information on schools, community programs, parks, and recreation facilities from the local Chamber of Commerce. If you are relocating to another town, make any necessary travel arrangements (hotels, flights, car rental, etc.) for your family, but try to remain flexible with dates in case unforeseen delays change your moving schedule. It’s also wise to keep all receipts for moving related expenses in a designated moving folder. Many moving expenses are tax deductible. Obtain an IRS Change of Address form, Form 8822, by calling the IRS at (800) 829-1040. You will be able to download and print form 8822 and most other IRS tax forms, including Form 3903 to help deduct moving expenses.
3. Stock Up on Plenty of Packing Supplies
Six Weeks Before
Boxes, packaging tape, and yes…MORE boxes and packaging tape. Chances are you will need more than you think. Try to have about 10 boxes reserved for last minute items on moving day, such as bedding, clothing, and cleaning supplies. Use strong plastic packing tape to close boxes securely, and unprinted newsprint (newspaper can stain your items), packing paper or bubble wrap to wrap and cushion household items.
4. Keep Valuables in a Safe Place
It's a good idea to keep valuable possessions with you. If you have a long move and little room in your car, bury the items in a box titled "Misc.” to avoid drawing attention. Also, be sure to check your homeowner's insurance to see how you are covered during the move, and if you need additional insurance from the mover. If opting for additional insurance, be sure to pay attention to coverage limitations, deductibles and specific restrictions on items such as fine jewelry, coin collections, and other high value items.
5. Stay on Top of Home Sale and/or Home Purchasing Deadlines
ONE Month Before
To avoid any last minute surprises stay in touch with your realtor on important items such as home inspections, document signings, and last minute requests from lenders or escrow companies. If moving to a new zip code, chances are you will also need to update your auto insurance policy. If you are changing insurance companies, don’t forget to check on special “bundle” discounts by using the same insurance company for your new home insurance and auto insurance.
6. Allow Time to Complete Proper Change of Address Forms
Contact the Post Office for multiple copies of the Change of Address form so you can give timely notice to: Post Office, utility companies, (telephone , trash , cable provider, water, electricity, internet provider), insurance companies, banks and financial institutions, creditors, health providers, schools, and last but certainly not least, friends and family.
7. Decide What Moves With You and What Stays Behind
Two Weeks Before
Here’s where you can actually be doubly productive. Set aside those items you no longer want to keep and hold a garage or moving sale. Your packing will be lighter, which lowers your moving expenses, and you can also make a little money on the side to help defray any miscellaneous expenses! Any items not moved by your moving agent, taken with you separately, or sold at your moving sale may make a great donation to a local charity such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
8. Back Up Computer Files
Although you will no doubt be careful when packing your computer, be sure to back up all your computer files on a disk. In addition, consider taking all back up disks with you in the car, as exposure to extreme temperatures can damage your software. In many cases, your internet or cable provider may be able to provide cloud storage or back up services for a nominal charge.
9. Remember to Disconnect Utilities
ONE Week Before
Allow enough time to notify 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 these services at your new address and connect them on your moving in day.
10. Moving Day Essentials
Be sure to coordinate in-person when the moving truck arrives. You’ll want to partner with the driver and moving crew throughout the entire loading process and provide direction when necessary. Accompany the driver during inventory and check on the condition of your goods as they are loaded. Sign the bill of loading and make sure your new address and phone number are correct.
While it may seem unrealistic to expect a house-to-house move to come off without any glitches, following these tips will help reduce your stress. Looking for additional moving tips? If your move includes a drive through Nevada, why not check out some of the beautiful state parks in Top State Parks in Nevada!