Moving can be stressful, but planning for the big day can help put your mind at ease. Here’s a timeline and checklist to help you make the experience easier.
Take an inventory of your belongings.
First on any moving checklist is to make a list of all your belongings. This can be helpful when deciding how many boxes you need, how big a truck you should rent and how to calculate your moving costs. It can also be handy for insurance purposes if you lose or break items during the move.
Find the right moving company.
Heavy lifting not your thing? Now is the time to hire a company that fits your needs and your budget. Get at least three estimates before choosing a moving company, and make sure the companies are licensed, insured and bonded in case something breaks. For extra peace of mind, you may want to consider moving insurance.
Terms to know: “licensed” refers to the moving company’s business license. A “bond” means that movers are obligated to honor their contract. Insured” refers to the company’s insurance policy, although coverage levels may vary.
Purchase moving supplies.
For cross-country moves, it may be worth investing in sturdy boxes that will survive the trip. If your move is local, it’s fine to use used boxes. Get them for free at various grocery stores, drug stores and online sites like Craigslist.
Track your expenses. Moving expenses can add up fast, so it’s important to set a budget in advance and monitor your expenses.
A month before the big day
Prepare to have your mail forwarded.
Pick a date to have your mail forwarded. But be sure to pay any bills in advance so you won’t be late if they arrive after you’ve moved in. It’s also a good idea to sign up for electronic bills or set up automatic payments for recurring bills.
Schedule a day to turn everything off.
Be sure to disconnect or transfer your utilities and connect new ones. Otherwise, residents who move in later will be living at your expense. Keep a record of all your cancellation notices, just in case.
A couple of weeks before you move in
Update your mailing address.
To avoid missing mail, be sure to change your address with the U.S. Postal Service, as well as with your credit card companies, insurance companies and banks to receive service alerts and information. If you are a Bank of America customer, you can use Mobile Banking and Online Banking to update your contact information, set up automatic payments and manage your finances on the go.
Tip: If you’re moving out of state, make sure your bank has a branch in your new location and transfer your accounts there. If not, consider switching banks to use a local branch.
Eat all the food you have at home.
Throwing away food means throwing away money, so plan creative meals with what you have in the refrigerator and freezer.
Pack ahead of time and pack smart.
Do you have a space you rarely use? Designate it as your packing room and store all the boxes there. Use your inventory to note how and where you packed your belongings. Mark each box with a marker or color-coded stickers to distinguish where each box goes.
Confirm, confirm, confirm.
Sometimes things go unnoticed. Add your moving checklist with your moving company’s contact information, pick-up time and arrival time at the destination so you have all the information in one place, and include any estimates of possible additional costs in case you need more labor time.
Prepare your new home.
Before the moving truck arrives at your new home, mark doors or areas with labels that correspond to the boxes you packed. Try to unpack by room and avoid putting any boxes in the basement or attic. If you can’t see the boxes, you may never unpack them.
Do a final inspection of both homes.
At the new house, use your moving checklist to make sure you have all your boxes and other belongings before the movers leave. At the old house, make sure the water and lights are off, the doors are locked, and all your closets and drawers are empty.
Now that you have a new home, be sure to be vigilant and never miss a payment. If you own, you can automate your mortgage payment with your lender. If you rent, you may be able to regularly schedule payments or at least set a monthly reminder for yourself.
Then enjoy a sigh of relief – you’ve done it!
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