by Maggie Chen
on Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 12:53pm.
Go through every room of your house and decide what you’d like to keep and what you can get rid of. Think about whether any items will require special packing or extra insurance coverage.
Start investigating moving company options. Do not rely on a quote over the phone; request an on-site estimate. Get an estimate in writing from each company, and make sure it has a USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) number on it.
Use this binder to keep track of everything—all your estimates, your receipts, and an inventory of all the items you’re moving.
Go to your children’s school and arrange for their records to be transferred to their new school district.
Order boxes and other supplies such as tape, Bubble Wrap, and permanent markers. Don’t forget to order specialty containers, such as dish barrels or wardrobe boxes.
Start using up things that you don’t want to move, like frozen or perishable foods and cleaning supplies.
Check room dimensions at your new home, if possible, and make sure larger pieces of furniture will fit through the door.
Select a company and get written confirmation of your moving date, costs, and other details.
Start packing the things that you use most infrequently, such as the waffle iron and croquet set. While packing, note items of special value that might require additional insurance from your moving company. Make sure to declare, in writing, any items valued over $100 per pound, such as a computer.
Clearly label and number each box with its contents and the room it’s destined for. This will help you to keep an inventory of your belongings. Pack and label “essentials” boxes of items you’ll need right away.
Add items such as jewelry and important files to a safe box that you’ll personally transport to your new home. Make sure to put the mover’s estimate in this box. You’ll need it for reference on moving day.
Go to your local post office and fill out a change-of-address form, or do it online at usps.gov. But in case there are stragglers, it’s always wise to ask a close neighbor to look out for mail after you’ve moved. Check in with him or her two weeks after the move, and again two weeks after that.
Alert the following of your move: banks, brokerage firms, your employer’s human resources department, magazine and newspapers you subscribe to, and credit card, insurance, and utility companies.
Arrange for medical records to be sent to any new health-care providers or obtain copies of them yourself. Ask for referrals.
Notify your office that you plan to supervise the move and therefore need the day off.
Take your car to a garage, and ask the mechanic to consider what services might be needed if you’re moving to a new climate.
If you’ll be changing banks, remove the contents of your safe-deposit box and put them in the safe box that you’ll take with you on moving day.
Reconfirm the arrangements.
Stock up on prescriptions you’ll need during the next couple of weeks.
Aim to finish your general packing a few days before your moving date. Then pack suitcases for everyone in the family with enough clothes to wear for a few days.
If your refrigerator is moving with you, make sure to empty, clean, and defrost it at least 24 hours before moving day.
Reconfirm the moving company’s arrival time and other specifics and make sure you have prepared exact, written directions to your new home for the staff. Include contact information, such as your cell phone number.
If you haven’t already arranged to pay your mover with a credit card, get a money order, cashier’s check, or cash for payment and tip. If the staff has done a good job, 10 to 15 percent of the total fee is a good tip. If your move was especially difficult, you might tip each mover up to $100. Don’t forget that refreshments are always appreciated.
Make sure that the moving truck that shows up is from the company you hired: The USDOT number painted on its side should match the number on the estimate you were given. Scams are not unheard-of.
Before the movers leave, sign the bill of lading/inventory list and keep a copy.