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Prepare for Moving Day the Month Before

You finally fell asleep and began to dream. In your dream, moving day had finally come. Unfortunately you had underestimated how many boxes you needed. You also ran out of tape and lost all of your permanent markers that would have allowed you to label the contents of the boxes. While your children were running around wildly (since you packed all of their toys without thinking), one of them had run into the corner of a table, meaning that he needed to be taken to the hospital for stitches. You had no idea where his medical records were because all of the boxes were unmarked, leaving you hopelessly searching through box after box. The movers were paid by the hour, and you had already surpassed the cost you had hoped would cover them. Your alarm clock finally brings you out of your nightmare, huffing and puffing.

Moving day should not be that stressful. Here is a practical guideline to help you make your moving day as stress free as possible by starting a month before.

One Month Before Moving

Get an IRS Change of Address form by calling 1-800-829-1040. If you do not have a new permanent address yet, obtain a post office box or forwarding address for your mail until you have a permanent address.
Collect moving supplies and put them all in one location: boxes of all sizes, measuring tape, packaging tape, twisty ties, pocket knives, rope, permanent markers, bubble wrap, tissue paper, old blankets, furniture pads, scissors, cash, credit cards, etc.
Secure travel arrangements such as airline tickets, hotels, rental car reservations, or travel route directions.
Either call a moving company or reserve a rental truck to move yourself.
Finalize your real estate and apartment rental needs.
Get a portable file box to keep important documents in such as legal papers, medical records, and insurance records.
Get your medical and dental records, x-rays, and prescription histories. Ask for needed referrals and transfer of prescriptions.
Hand out your new address by using Address Change Notification Cards to the following:
1. Friends and Family Members
2. Banks, Insurance Companies, and Other Financial Institutions
3. Charge Card and Credit Card Companies
4. Doctors, Dentists, and Other Service Providers
5. State, Federal Tax, and other government agencies
6. IRS

Add a folder to your file box called “Moving Receipts” (many of the moving expenses are tax deductible).
Make maps and lists of phone numbers and address of local hospitals, police stations, veterinarians, fire stations, restaurants, parks, grocery stores, gas stations, drug stores, salons, and dry cleaners in your new neighborhood.
Plan your moving budget.
Pack a bag of games, books, and anything else that will entertain your children for the long car ride, hotels, plane rides, rest stops, etc.
Get rid of unwanted items around your house: clothes, furniture, clutter items. Sell them, throw them away, or give them away to friends, family, or a charity.
Arrange to pick up your children’s school records and prepare them for their new school.
If your family will be riding in two separate vehicles, make sure both cars will have a walkie-talkie or cell phone to keep in touch while on the road.
Make sure the employees in your family contact their employers to make sure their tax withholding forms are forwarded to your new address.
Return borrowed items such as library books, videos, etc.
Record the serial number of important electronics and other important equipment. Place that paper in your portable filing box for safekeeping.
Either transfer or close your bank accounts. Remember that your account needs to be inactive for usually about 2 weeks before you can close out the account.

Two Weeks Before Moving

Inform gas, electric, water, cable, local telephone, long distance telephone, magazine subscriptions, and trash removal companies of your move. Cancel local subscriptions or services to pool maintenance, fuel delivery, water, etc. Sign up for services at your new home.
Recruit moving day help. Get someone to watch the kids so that you are free to answer questions, run errands, and organize. How can you make sure the kids will stay out of your way? Will the babysitter take them to a park or a family member take them to their home? Who is going to keep your pets from running into the street or biting the movers?
Confirm travel reservations.
Get the oil in your cars changed, if needed for the trip.
Check with your insurance agent to make sure that you will be covered through your homeowner or renter’s policy during the move

Day Before Moving

Make sure your moving materials (measuring tape, pocket knife, boxes, tape, and markers) are easily accessible and will not get packed by mistake.
Pick up the rental truck, if applicable.
Make sure your cars are full of gas.
Double check to make sure your tickets, charge cards, forms of ID, and important papers are stored safely and yet accessible when needed.

Tips for Packing Up

Clearly label on the outside of each box the room in the new home to which it should be delivered.
Either label each box with what is inside or write a number on the box, keeping a list of what is in each box.
CLEARLY mark fragile items.
Pack a bag of personal items to keep in the car with you: a change of clothes for everyone, major toiletries, medicine, maps, food, and drinks. Make sure that bag is easy to get to.
Before you get into your car or moving truck, make sure you do a thorough run through of your house to check for personal belongings in closets, drawers, shelves, and the attic and garage.

Arrival at Your New Home

Renew your driver’s license, auto registration, and tags.
Shop around and obtain new insurance policies, if needed, especially auto.
Have the movers unload the boxes into the labeled room.
Unpack the children’s rooms first so that they are entertained in their room, and so they can begin to adjust to their new home.

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