Seven Things to Do Before You Move

Uprooting your life and moving to a new home can be stressful. There are many issues to consider and resolve along the way, so it’s no wonder many people forget about certain items or plans. This list of seven things to do before you move will help you stay organized throughout the process to ensure you stay calm on the way to your new home.

1. Purge Household Items

Before you start throwing your items into boxes, take the time to purge the items you no longer need. When you get rid of things you know aren’t useful, you simplify your life and the moving process.

Before you begin packing, sort through the items in all rooms of your home. If you give yourself enough time before your move, you could take your unwanted items and:

  • Donate them.
  • Give them away to friends and family.
  • Host a yard sale and sell them to neighbors.
  • List them for sale online.

With less items to move, you can pack and unpack your belongings much faster and more efficiently.

2. Change Your Address

It’s important to change your address with the United States Postal Service when you move to ensure you continue receiving mail. USPS allows you to make this change no more than 30 days prior to your moving date. You may input the exact date you want your mail forwarded so you know you’ll be at the new address once mail begins to be delivered there.

Call or write to companies you do business with, such as your mortgage company, lender, or financial institution. Consider other companies that send bills to your address, such as subscription services, and change your address with these businesses as well.

Even if you’re diligent about changing your address and forwarding your mail, some important pieces of mail may still inadvertently go to your old address. Print postage at home and leave it for the next homeowner or tenant in your home. With pre-printed postage, they can forward this mail on to your new address quickly and easily when necessary.

3. Pack Ahead of Time

One of the most stressful and time-consuming tasks of moving is packing your belongings. Give yourself plenty of time to securely pack your belongings so you feel adequately prepared for moving day. If you want to start the packing process weeks or days before your move, start with items you know you won’t need, such as home decor.

Before you begin to pack, buy the necessary supplies to ensure you safely pack fragile items. Depending on what you’re packing, you may need:

  • Boxes.
  • Bubble wrap.
  • Tape.
  • Markers.

If you’re planning to pack boxes and ship them to your new home, buy postage online and save yourself a trip to the post office.

When you purchase postage online and ship some of your items to your new address, you can save space in your moving truck or save money on the time it takes the movers to load and unload your belongings. However, make sure that you won’t need the items you ship until you take up residence in your new home.

4. Switch Utilities

In most cases, to switch your utilities to a new home, you’ll need to cancel your service with one company and request new service with another. If your new home is close and the same utility company provides service, you may simply need to switch your service to the new home.

About one to two weeks before you move, call your utility company to discuss your move and the best options for cancelling current service. It’s important to give yourself plenty of time since the company may need to send out a technician to physically turn the power off before closing your account.

5. Hire Movers

Professional movers are experts at getting your items and furniture to a new location securely. If you’re moving out of state, the moving process can be even more complicated. When you hire movers to help, they’ll quickly load up your belongings into the moving truck and drive it to your new home. When they meet you at your new destination, the movers unload all your items and may even re-assemble furniture for you.

Depending on what you choose, some professional movers may even pack your items and furniture for you to ensure it stays safe while traveling. While hiring professional movers is an added expense, they may be worth it for peace of mind and for a quick relocation experience.

If you’re moving for a new job, check with your employer to see if all or some of your moving expenses are covered. Your moving expenses may also qualify you for a tax deduction with the IRS. If you can get some moving expenses reimbursed, it may be worth hiring professional movers to help.

6. Keep an Inventory

Whether you’re moving yourself, asking friends to help, or hiring professional movers, an inventory of your items is helpful. When you keep a list of what belongings you’ve packed and where they should go in the new home, the unloading process is easier and faster. You can easily point out where items should be placed as they’re unloaded from the truck.

You can also check off when important items have arrived. This ensures you’ll keep constant track of your belongings. If the professional movers missed a box in the back of the truck, you’ll know about it before they drive away. Your inventory sheet makes it simple to ensure all your belongings have made it to your new home and to hold professional movers accountable for your items.

7. Keep the Essentials With You

Before you start taping up your boxes or allowing movers to load the truck, be sure to keep essential items with you. If you’re moving across the country, it can take a few days or weeks for the movers to make it to your new home with your belongings. In the meantime, it’s important to guarantee you have what you need in order to be comfortable during that time.

The essential items you need to keep with you depend on your situation, but may include:

  • Your cellphone and laptop chargers.
  • Sentimental jewelry or other high-value belongings.
  • Toilet paper and other toiletries.
  • Your checkbook and credit cards.
  • Medication.
  • Important documents, such as your ID and passport.

Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, it’s important to stay organized and complete certain tasks to stay on track. When you carefully plan your move, you’ll find the experience is quick and simple, allowing you more time to enjoy your new home.