Moving Countdown

Mar 18, 2011

By Staff writer State Farm™ Employee

Planning your move can be more difficult than carrying your sofa up a staircase. So State Farm created a detailed 8-week checklist, complete with tips. Select how much time you have before your move, and see what things you should be doing. Or download and print the Moving Checklist to help manage your move from start to finish.

8 Weeks Before

Call Insurance Agent

Your current agent can help transfer your policies and find an agent in your new town.

Think About Moving Strategy

Want to hire movers or beg your friends to help? Move during the week or on the weekend? Start making decisions. Also, before you start packing, draw the floor plan of your new home to plan where things will go.

Think about Money

Call moving companies for estimates. Start budgeting for the cost of moving. Check with the IRS to see if your moving expenses are tax deductible. And be sure to contact your employer to see if they cover moving costs.

7 Weeks Before

Meet With Movers

All legitimate moving companies will do an in-home estimate for you. Meet with a few movers to compare services and costs.

Start Transferring Records

Moving out of town? Gather medical and dental records, and find a doctor in your new neighborhood. Transfer your kids' school records to your new district. Send along any other important documents, too.

Pack: Sort & Purge

Decide what's coming along, what's getting donated, and what's being tossed. Then start separating items. Plan a yard sale or donate items to a local charity (don't forget to keep receipts for tax purposes).

6 Weeks Before

Choose Movers & Confirm Date

Now that all the estimates are in, choose movers and pick your move date. Some movers offer cheaper rates on certain days of the week or specific times during the month, so be sure to ask.

Pack: Sort Valuables

Make a list of valuable items that are difficult or impossible to replace, and plan to keep them with you or ship them by certified mail. (You'll want to get a written appraisal for antiques to verify value.)

Pack: Get Supplies

Purchase supplies like packing tape, bubble wrap, furniture pads, and mattress protectors. And be sure to buy plenty of boxes!

Use It Or Lose It

Those steaks sitting in the freezer? Grill 'em. Cleaning products you don't want to move? Get scrubbing. Use anything you don't want to move.

Change Address

Changing your address early will help you to avoid annoying mail delays. A change of address form is available on the USPS website.

5 Weeks Before

Tell People You're Moving

Tell friends, relatives, and important businesses about your move. Don't wait until the last minute to say good-bye!

Plan For Storage

Not moving in right away? Plan where you're going to store everything in the interim. And if you have anything that needs to be cleaned or repaired such as clothes, furniture, or watches send them in.

4 Weeks Before

Transfer Utilities

Disconnect all utilities at your current home, and connect them at your new one. Have things turned off the day after you leave and the day before you arrive. Be sure to collect any "last month" deposits.

Think About Pets

Don't let a pet medical emergency ruin your move-in. Find a vet near your new home, and transfer records there. And be sure to make lodging or travel arrangements for your pets for the time you'll be moving.

Think About The Car

Chances are, you're taking your car with you. If you're shipping it, research auto shipping companies. If you're moving to a new state, register the car there. And if you're planning a long drive, schedule a tune-up.

3 Weeks Before

Pack: "Open First" Boxes

For each room you pack, set aside one box that contains everything you'll need the first few days in your new home. Label the boxes "Open First" so that these will be the first boxes you unload into your home.

Pack: The Non-Essentials

Certain rooms contain items that you use only occasionally. Pack these items first.

Think About Sensitive Stuff

Plants don't travel well, so decide to keep them or give them away. Use up or dispose of any flammable or hazardous materials; most moving companies will not ship them.

Start Saying Good-bye

Moving often means leaving important friends, family, and places. Take time to say good-bye to people and visit places that hold happy memories. You could host an informal open house or barbecue to say your good-byes.

Prepare To Move Big Stuff

Set an appointment for a service technician to prepare major appliances for shipment. Clean rugs and draperies, but leave them wrapped to protect them. Don't clean upholstered furniture: The moisture can cause mold.

Make Family Travel Plans

You don't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with your family, a car full of possessions and nowhere to stay. Make hotel reservations. Arrange for childcare. And ensure that your pets have lodging, too.

2 Weeks Before

Schedule Day Off Work

Chances are you can't work and move on the same day. Confirm with your employer that you're scheduled to be off on moving day.

Deal With The Bank

Does your bank have a branch in your new town? If not, open an account at a new bank. Clean out any safe deposit boxes. Update account information for online bill pay.

Car Tune-Up

Make sure the oil is changed, the tires are inflated, and the car is ship-shape before you hit the road.

1 Week Before

Pack: What You'll Need

You should pack no more than two suitcases, as well as have easy access to clothes, toiletries, and medications. Fill prescriptions. Keep a few of your kids' favorite toys on hand.

Prepare Appliances

Empty, defrost, and clean your refrigerator at least one day before you move. Unplug all electronic appliances, except plasma TVs, 24 hours before you move so they're not hot. Take extra care moving computers.

Check in With Movers

Check in with the movers and confirm the start time of your move, as well as your current and future addresses.

Day Of

Be Around

If you hired movers, be at home when they arrive. Keep your cell phone at hand, and be available to answer any questions.

Before You Load

Make sure everything is ready to load before moving day. Before you load a single item, check the truck, trailer, or portable container for cracks, leaks, or other signs of wear. Raise any concerns with the movers.

Loading

It's easiest to load the truck if you have everything organized in a predesignated order. Load first those items you need the least, and load "Open First" boxes last.

Check Utilities

Before you leave home, make sure all the utilities are shut off. Take note of meter readings.

Close Up House

Check all closets, cabinets and rooms to make sure you didn't leave anything. Take out the garbage. Lock the windows. Leave a note with your contact information for the new owners.

Arriving

Chances are, you'll arrive at your new home before your movers do. Take some time to make sure the utilities have all been connected. Have cash or a cashier's check ready for the movers.

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