Posted on September 22nd, 2020
Moving is one of the hardest things we ever do. It is time-consuming and stressful. Some moves are for the right reasons, and others are heartbreaking. Whatever the reason may be, a useful checklist can make even the most heart-wrenching moves less stressful. Once you know where you are going and when you will be moving, you can begin these steps.
Take an inventory of the things that you have. At first, do not worry about whether or not you want to keep it unless you just know. For instance, if you know for sure that you will not take that 52-year-old couch that your grandma gave you when you graduated high school, do not count it. Some pieces of hand-me-down furniture have worn out their usefulness. You do not have to inventory those things. However, you may want to inventory pots, pans, furniture, and household items. You do not have to inventory soap and clothing. This step is about knowing what you have. You probably already know you have 14 pairs of black dress shoes.
Keep, Donate, Trash
Once you have everything inventoried, highlight your list. Use 2 or 3 colors of highlighters or pens to underline your list. For instance, you might highlight ‘keep’ in pink and ‘donate’ in yellow. Everything else is trash. You may also choose to highlight ‘trash’ in blue. Whatever system you choose, make lists from your list. In the first two weeks after deciding to move (if time permits), remove the donate and trash things from your home. If you are in a shorter time crunch, move them out of your home as soon as you know what you are not taking with you. If you can, do the same thing with clothing and toiletries. You do not need 22 mini shampoos you have never opened, but the battered women’s shelter does! If you do not like that Bath and Body Works fragrance your mom bought you, donate it too. Do not move things that you will not use.
Make Arrangements Going to Your New Place
Book movers or moving vehicles, plan hotel stays if the trip is extended (across states or countries), transfer prescriptions, and update records. You do not want to arrive in your new home with no medication and no way to transfer it. You also do not want to be stuck in Nowheresville and have nowhere to sleep on a three-day cross-country drive. Plan ahead. Try to allow for stops and delays if the trip is going to be a long one.
Set-up Utilities and Services
Some services set-ups must be booked several weeks in advance. You do not want to transfer to a new city across the country and not have Wi-Fi access that you need to access a business meeting during your first week. Most companies understand, but you should have as much of this set up in advance as possible.
Once you know what you are keeping, you can begin packing. Start thinking about the things that you do not need before your move. Off-season clothing, art, certain small appliances, and decorations can all be packed well in advance. You can live a month without your deep fryer. Start packing these things first. Then, as you move closer, pack the occasional use things that you can survive a week without using. Plan your wardrobe for the final weeks and pack the rest. In the final days, you can pack the remaining bits. Move room by room with each round of packing you do.
Finalize Paperwork and Processes
Check with the movers, obtain the keys to the new place, sign any paperwork for the old home or new one, and verify paperwork has been received. If you have children changing schools, make sure that they will be enrolled in the new school and that the old school has sent the records. Medical records should also be picked up or sent to new physicians when necessary. You can also complete USPS address changes ahead of time.
If you are selling your previous home, you probably deep cleaned for the showing and photos of the home, but you also may have skipped a few areas here or there. As furniture gets moved and stacked, clean. Reserve some time the day of the move to give the house a final vacuum, mopping, or dusting. Light fixtures, floors, and counters should be cleaned before you leave. This is especially important if you are a renter moving out of your space. You will want to have the security deposit returned. Clean everything.
Do not forget to make a final check of all rooms in case a box was left behind, or something was forgotten. Take out the trash or clean the refrigerator too. Take pictures if you are expecting a deposit to be returned. Pictures will help you if there is a discrepancy by the landlord after your exit. Lock up your old home and set out for your new one.
Moving to your new home is the final step. Take your time unpacking and make the new place one that you love. Enjoy re-designing the rooms/areas of the home if you plan on doing some re-modelling. Redesigning the kitchen can be a great place to start if you are re-modelling, as it’s such an important part of day to day living. You do not have to work on anyone’s timeline in making your place perfect for your family. Enjoy your first nights in your new place.