For local moving, whether around the block or clear across town, good planning and organization are essential. For residential and commercial moves, a simple checklist will make everything easier, not to mention reduce your stress level.
Two Months Prior to Moving
- Go through things to see what can be tossed out and/or donated
- Start searching for the best moving company. In addition to asking friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors for referrals, check with a moving association and the Better Business Bureau. Regardless, make sure that companies of interest have a Department of Transportation (DOT) number and always get estimates in writing.
Six Weeks Prior to Moving
- If you have children that will attend a different school, contact the school district so their records can be transferred to the new district
- Obtain moving boxes, bubble wrap, sealing tape, permanent markers, and any specialty items like wardrobe boxes
- Get the door dimensions for the new location and then measure larger pieces of furniture to make sure they will fit without any problems.
Four Weeks Prior to Moving
- Select the local moving company and finalize the contract, including the moving date, estimated cost, insurance information, and other relevant details
- Begin packing everything that you can, marking boxes to identify the new room and examples of contents
- For expensive items or those not covered by the moving company’s insurance, purchase a policy from your own agent
- Pack items like firearms, jewelry, family heirlooms, and expensive art separately, taking them to the new location in your own vehicle
- Provide the US Postal Service with a change of address form
- Cancel or transfer all special publications
- Notify important parties of the move, including your bank, employer, credit card companies, insurance company, brokerage firms, and so on
- Contact the local utility companies, i.e., gas, water, electric, sewer, cable, and phone, to schedule shut off and turn on services.
Two Weeks Prior to Moving
- Ask your employer for the necessary time off to move
- Contact the local moving company to confirm the schedule, including date and time.
One Week Prior to Moving
- Get your “survival” bag ready: include a few days of clothing, medication, toiletries, and other items needed just in case the local moving company is delayed for some reason. Do the same for any children as well as pets.
Three Days Prior to Moving
- Review all the details to ensure nothing is overlooked
- Clean and defrost the freezer
- Make final payments for lawn care services, house cleaning services, etc.
The Big Day
- To avoid being scammed, verify that the DOT number on the moving truck matches the information that you obtained
- Prior to the movers leaving your new home or office, verify that everything is there
- Once satisfied with the inventory moved, sign the bill of lading. While the original stays with the local moving company, a copy should be provided to you.