Moving - A Major Life Event

Planning a move? It takes time, organization skills, it's costly and often not fun. Here's our best advice about strategies to make the event as pleasant as possible.

By Gene And Katie Hamilton

Moving - A Major Life Event

You’re moving! The deed is done. Now the real work starts. Plan the event using this checklist to guide you through this very long, often stressful process. To get started, get rid of stuff - anything and everything - you definitely don't want or need. Organization experts call it "decluttering" which is a good idea for everyone. Make it easy on yourself and take one room or closet at a time and sort through, toss and donate those things. When you have all your unwanted stuff in one place plan a yard or garage sale Planning a Yard Sale and donate items to local organizations like Habitat ReStore, Goodwill, and Salvation Army. Some of them will pick up furniture, a real plus.

Here is a checklist of things to keep in mind.

*** Get quotes from movers to compare with this useful online tool Moving Calculator.

*** When you have a moving date notify the Post Office and fill out forms to forward your mail to your new location.

*** Assemble personal documents like medical and dental records, and important papers like home and auto insurance policies, pet records and designate a safe place for them.

*** Create a MOVE FILE with contact info for realtors, movers, etc., receipts; and essentials like menus from nearby restaurants who deliver or have takeout.

*** If you’re doing the packing yourself and not hiring a mover use this useful tool: a packing calculator Packing Cost Calculator.

*** Don’t forget about moving plants, especially if they are large.

*** Arrange for kids to stay overnight with friends before moving day.

*** Remember to make plans for finding alternate lodging for pets on moving day to keep them happy and out of the way.

*** Arrange for where the movers truck will park.

*** Plan meals so you eat up what's in cabinets and freezer.

*** At the new house arrange for services like utilities, electric, water, gas, cable/satellite, cell phones and internet providers, sewer, trash and recycling collection.

*** As moving day approaches stay in contact with movers, realtor and bankers to know all paperwork is complete and things are on track.

*** Get car(s) serviced especially if you’re driving a distance to new house.

*** Create a GO BAG duffle or carryon suitcase for everyone’s change of clothes, pajamas and favorite things.

*** Locate all devices and chargers and charge them.

*** Go through all memberships and credit cards in your wallet and notify change of address.

*** Arrange for payment for the movers and related costs.

*** Do last minute laundry.

*** Assemble a NEW HOUSE BOX with bedding, toilet paper, light bulbs, convenience food, snacks, paper plates and knives and forks (or plan to eat out or use take outs), scissors, masking tape, duct tape, garbage bags; and a basic tool kit.

A good realtor will offer advice about planning your move with local information you'll find useful. Take advantage of his/her knowledge and connections to make this complex job less complicated.

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