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Moving Guidelines - How to Make Your Next Move Less Stressful
Timelines, Guidelines and Tips on how to make your next transition a little smoother
By: Kim Diehl
8 Weeks Before
• If not using a senior move manager, Create a "move file" to keep track of estimates, receipts and other important information.
• Check with the IRS for possible tax deductions – including moving expenses.
• Budget for moving expenses and contact a local senior move manager for assistance with your move.
• Start researching your new community. The Internet is a great resource for finding online community guides and newspapers.
• Contact the Chamber of Commerce to request their new resident packet.
• If not using a Senior Move Manager, draw out a floor plan of your new home and start deciding which function each room will serve. Begin planning how to move into your new home. If you are using a senior move manager, ask about their custom floor planning services and seriously consider utilizing their expertise on this matter.
• If shipping a vehicle, begin researching auto shipping companies.
7 Weeks Before
• Compile medical and dental records - including prescriptions and shot records. Ask your doctors if they can refer you to a care provider in your new city.
• Get copies of any legal and financial records.
• Arrange for veterinarian records to be transferred.
• Call your insurance agent to see what changes to expect in your policies if you are moving to a different state. Ask if moving is covered and arrange for insurance for your new home, fire, auto, etc.
• Contact health clubs or other organizations you have joined. Ask how to move, sell, or end your membership.
6 Weeks Before
• Make a list of things that are valuable or difficult to replace. Plan on shipping these by certified mail or carrying them with you.
• Place all medical and dental records in a safe and accessible place. Be sure to include prescription, vaccination records and eyeglass specifications.
• Make a list of friends, relatives and businesses to notify of your move.
• Work your way through each room taking inventory and deciding what to donate or throw away. Start planning a yard sale or contact your local charities.
• Finalize all real estate and rental needs.
• Subscribe to the newspaper in your new hometown to start learning about events and the local culture.
• Begin using things that can't be moved, such as frozen foods, bleach and aerosol cleaners.
5 Weeks Before
• If not using a Senior Move Manager, begin collecting boxes and other packing supplies. You can order a wide selection of moving boxes from various sources on the internet or go to your local U-haul or UPS store.
• Begin packing items not often used. Also start separating and disposing of the items you've designated for a yard sale, donation or the junk yard. If you donate, be sure to get a receipt for income tax purposes.
• Start pinpointing a "move date".
• Plan for short-term or long-term storage at destination if needed.
4 Weeks Before
• Confirm with your Senior Move Manager pack, load, unpack and home organization dates. If not using a senior move manager, reserve a moving truck. If you are loading into a trailer, make sure that ramps are provided. Purchase furniture pads, mattress protectors, dish protectors and two wheelers.
• File a change of address with the Postal Service. If you are unsure of your new address, ask the postal service to hold your mail at their office in your new city.
• Schedule disconnection of all utility services at your old home, and connection of them at your new one. Be sure to disconnect the day after you leave and connect the day before you arrive. If you have "last month" deposits with services, such as the water or gas company, request your refund.
• Make travel arrangements for your pets. Don’t forget to include necessary medical and immunization records.
• Advertise and host your garage sale.
• Call your newspaper courier and set a date to cancel your subscription.
3 Weeks Before
• Return all library books and pick-up dry cleaning or items out for repair.
• Decide if you will keep your plants or give them away. Remember plants cannot be loaded into the trailer.
• Dispose of flammables, corrosives and poisons.
• Have your automobile(s)
• Prepare auto registration to be transferred.
• If you are moving into or out of a home that has elevators, arrange to use the elevator on your move day.
2 Weeks Before
• Contact your bank and/or credit union to transfer or close accounts. Clear out safety deposit boxes. Pick up traveler's checks or cash for "on the road" expenses.
• Transfer prescriptions to a pharmacy in your new hometown.
• Confirm travel arrangements for pets and family.
• Notify any creditors of your move.
• Plan meals for the last week of the move to help empty the refrigerator and avoid using appliances that will already be packed.
• Contact a local charity for item pick up and/or advertise your garage sale.
• Disassemble and disconnect your computer system before your move. Back up all your computer files on a disk. Consider taking all back up files disks with you in the car.
1 Week Before
• Notify friends and family of your new address and phone number with a free Moving Notice.
• Finish packing and prepare an "essentials"
• Drain water hoses and waterbed.
• Empty, defrost and clean your refrigerator at least 24 hours before moving day. Prepare all appliances for loading.
• Fill any prescriptions or medications you will need for the next couple of weeks.
• If you are not using a Senior Move Manager, be familiar with packing and loading tips and personally supervise hired labor. You are ultimately responsible for how your goods are packed and loaded.
• Load your goods in a pre-designated order, saving "last load" items for the rear of your shipment. This might include your vacuum cleaner or bed sheets.
• Check every room, closet and cabinet one last time before deciding everything is loaded.
• Verify the destination address and your contact information is correct on your Bill of Laden.
• Take note of utility meter readings.
• Leave a note with your new address in the house so that future residents can forward any stray mail.
• Keep a friend or family member informed of your plans and "whereabouts"
• You are likely to arrive at your new home ahead of your shipment. Take this time to look things over and to ensure your utilities have been connected.
• Check appliances and systems to ensure all are working properly, and arrange for repairs if necessary.
• Verify that your mail is being delivered to your new address and pick up any mail being held.
• Plan to be present when the truck arrives. Show the driver where you want the equipment parked and sign for delivery. If you are unable to do this, work closely with a friend or representative to accept your shipment.
• Unless you are paying by credit card, have a cashier's check or money order ready for the driver.
• Keep all receipts and documentation in your move file and store the file in a safe place. Be sure to include your Bill of Lading and delivery receipt. You'll be glad to have everything in one place at tax time.
• Get a new driver's license and new tags for your automobile.
• Register to vote.
• Contact the local paper for a new subscription.
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Kim Diehl is the president of Seasons of Life Services and holds a certificate in Senior Move Management (cSMM). Seasons of Life Services is a transition management, home organization and de-cluttering services firm. We serve the greater Middle Tennessee area but have nationwide resources to assist you. Whether you are moving and need assistance with all or part of the process or are remaining in your current home and need help with de-cluttering and reorganizing, Seasons of Life Services can provide beneficial services to meet your needs.