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Moving Tips
By: David Valley     Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections

I have compiled a To-Do list that will assist you in moving into your New Home.

8 Weeks before Moving
  • Fill out an IRS change of address form and see what expenses can be deducted on your next tax return.
  • Budget for moving expenses and start collecting move estimates.
  • Start researching your new community. The Internet is a great resource for finding online chambers-of-commerce and community guides.
7 Weeks before Moving
  • Start pulling together medical and dental records - including prescription histories, x-rays, and shot records. Ask your existing doctor and dentist if they can transfer prescriptions and refer you to a care provider in your new city.
  • Arrange to have school records transferred to your children's new school district and/or daycare.
  • Call your insurance agent to see what changes to expect in your policies. Ask if moving is covered through your homeowners or renters policy and arrange for insurance for your new home.
  • Transfer memberships in churches, clubs and civic organizations.
6 Weeks before Moving
  • Make a list of things that are valuable or difficult to replace. Plan on shipping these by certified mail or carrying them with you.
  • Make a list of friends, relatives and businesses that need to be notified of your move.
  • Start working your way through each room taking inventory and deciding what to get rid of. Start planning a yard sale or contact your local charities.
  • Plan to use up things that can't be moved, such as frozen foods, bleach and aerosol cleaners.
5 Weeks before Moving
  • Start collecting a lot of boxes and other packing supplies.
  • Make arrangements with a moving company or reserve a rental truck. If you will need a ramp or other loading equipment, make sure you advise your moving/rental company.
  • Take inventory of your belongings before they're packed, in the event you need to file an insurance claim later. If possible, take pictures or video tape your belongings. Record serial numbers of electronic equipment.
  • Check into the laws and requirements of your new city regarding home-based businesses, professional tests, business licenses and any special laws that might be applicable to you.
4 Weeks before Moving
  • File a change of address from your post office. If you don't know what your new address will be, ask the postal service to hold your mail in their office in your new city.
  • Contact all your utility companies to disconnect, transfer or connect services. Inform electric, gas, water, newspaper, magazine subscriptions, telephone and cable companies of your move. Plan on keeping current services through your move date and having new ones available prior to your move-in date.
  • Make arrangements for transporting pets.
3 Weeks before Moving
  • Make sure all library books have been returned and that all dry cleaning or items out for repair have been picked up.
  • Document an inventory of your belongings before you pack.
  • Start packing items you don't use often. Also start disposing of the items you've designated for a yard sale, donation or the junk yard. If you donate, be sure to get a receipt for income tax purposes.
  • Decide if you will keep your plants or give them away. Remember plants cannot be loaded with your other household goods.
  • Dispose of flammables, corrosives and poisons.
  • Have your automobile(s) serviced.
  • Start using up food items, so that there is less left to pack and possibly spoil.
2Weeks before Moving
  • Confirm travel arrangements.
  • Reserve the elevator (if applicable) and arrange for plenty of help on moving day.
  • Clean rugs and clothing and have them wrapped for moving.
  • Plan ahead for special needs of infants/children.
  • Contact your bank and/or credit union to close accounts or set up accounts in your new city. Clear out safety deposit boxes. Before closing, be sure there are no outstanding checks or automatic payments that haven't been processed. Withdraw enough cash for moving expenses.
1 Week before Moving
  • Finish packing and prepare an " essentials " box. Designate several boxes and items as "last load" items. Pack your suitcases and valuables separately.
  • Make sure every box is labeled to indicate the following:
    1. Which room it should go in?
    2. Which floor?
    3. Whether it is fragile?
    4. If it should be loaded last so it will be unloaded first?
  • Drain all gas and oil from your mower and other motors. Gas grills, kerosene heaters, etc. need to be emptied and cleaned as well.
  • Empty, defrost and clean your refrigerator at least 24 hours before moving day. Place deodorizer inside to control odors. Prepare all appliances for loading.
  • One or two business days before your move, contact your movers/rental company, to confirm a time of arrival.
Moving Out
  • Make a point to be present when the movers arrive to show the driver where you want the truck parked for easy loading.
  • Have movers load your goods in a pre-designated order, saving "last load" items for the rear of your shipment. This might include your personal items or bed sheets.
  • Double check all closets, drawers, cabinets, shelves, attic, garage and basement one last time before deciding everything is loaded.
  • Leave a note with your new address in the house so that future residents can forward any stray mail.
  • Give a close fiend or relative your travel route and schedule so you may be reached in case of an emergency or unforeseen event.
  • Carry important documents, currency and jewelry yourself, or use registered mail.
Moving In
  • You are likely to arrive at your new home ahead of your shipment. Take this time to look things over and to ensure your new utilities have been connected.
  • Check appliances and systems to ensure all are working properly, and arrange for repairs if necessary.
  • Check to see if your mail is making it to your new address or pick up any mail being held.
  • Consider drawing out your new floor plan and decide where you want furniture and appliances placed.
  • As at origin, make a point to be present when the movers arrive.
  • Show the driver where you want the truck parked. If you are unable to do this, work closely with a friend or representative to accept your trailer at destination.
After the Move
  • Keep all receipts and documentation in your move file and store the file in a safe place. Be sure to include your movers receipt. You'll be glad to have everything in one place at tax time.
  • Renew your driver's license, registration and new tags for your automobile.
  • Shop around for new insurance policies, especially auto coverage.
  • Revise your will and other legal papers to avoid longer probate and higher legal fees.
  • Locate the hospitals, police stations, veterinarian and fire stations near your home.
  • Contact the local paper for a new subscription.
  • Register to vote.
About Moving companies

Consumer complaints against moving companies have been rising.
Following are some tips that can help your move go smoothly...
  • Get a binding estimate from the moving company. Make sure the amount is written in the contract.
  • Inquire about their on-time record and other complaints with the local Better Business Bureau or consumer complaints department.
  • Movers are limited by law regarding what they can give you for lost or damaged goods. To cover potential damage, check existing homeowner's or renter's policy.
  • Ask about expected gratuities and write into contract.
  • Have the contract include a guarantee of how many hours the job will take, allowing an overrun of no more than 10%.
  • Be sure all charges are listed on contract.
  • Watch loading and unloading and examine all items carefully before signing a receipt.