Homes 103: When Moving

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Homes 102: Improving & Decorating

If you haven’t moved before

Take each small project as a separate accomplishment

You’ll have far more work than you could expect

You always have more possessions than you think you do

Set a moving date

  • By the end of that day, you should be 100% out of your old home
  • If possible, try to overlap where you’re moving from and to by at least 1-2 weeks

Mark everything in a calendar

One month before moving day

Make a budget for your moving expenses

  • Include all logistics, including paying people and vehicle rentals
  • Include extra costs of eating out while you’ve packed your cooking utensils away
  • Add 30% to the budget for unknown events that will arise

Arrange utility transfers beforehand

  • Electric, gas, water, trash, recycling, sewer, propane
  • Cell phone service
  • TV, internet, landline phone service
  • Security system

File a change of address form with the postal service

Withdraw enough cash to last the move

Notify everyone about your changed address

  • Employer
  • Family members
  • Banks
    • Auto loans
    • Checking/savings accounts
    • Credit bureaus
    • Credit cards
    • IRA
    • Home equity/mortgage
    • Retirement plan holders
  • Government agencies
    • Courts (especially traffic tickets)
    • Citizenship and immigration services
    • Department of Veteran Affairs
    • DMV
    • IRS (Form 8822)
    • Passport
    • Post Office
    • Social Security Administration
    • Voter registration
  • Healthcare providers and other professional services
    • Accountant/tax preparer
    • Attorneys
    • Babysitter/childcare provider
    • Brokers
    • Chiropractor
    • Dentist
    • Doctors
    • Pharmacy
    • Physical therapist
    • Veterinarian
  • Hobbies and recreation
    • Church
    • Health clubs
    • Magazine/newspaper subscriptions
    • Media streaming services
    • Online shopping
    • Social networks
  • Home services
    • Dry cleaners
    • Housekeeper
    • Lawn care
    • Pet sitter
    • Snow removal service
    • Swimming pool maintenance
    • Swimming pool memberships
    • Water delivery service
  • Insurance providers
    • Auto
    • Health/Dental/Vision
    • Life
    • Homeowners/Renter’s
    • Other Vehicles
  • Schools
    • Alumni associations
    • Colleges
    • Children’s schools
    • PTA
  • Professional organizations

Order new business cards and return address labels

Clean out your garden shed and storage areas

Sell large appliances you won’t need in your new home

Measure for new furniture and sell what you won’t move

Sell or give away unwanted items

Replace luggage tags

Hire movers and recruit help for the move (offer free food)

Get packing supplies

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Markers, preferably thick and dark ones
  • Cushioning material like newspapers, bubble wrap and packing peanuts
  • Packing tape
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Plastic bags
  • Large garbage bags
  • Rope
  • Blankets

Arrange to return items

  • Cable/satellite receiver boxes
  • Cable/DSL modems
  • Carpet shampooer
  • Borrowed clothing & items
  • DVD & game rentals
  • Library books (neighborhood and school)
  • Tools (rented and borrowed)
  • Trash cans and recycle bins
  • Other unwanted purchases

Arrange to pick up items

  • Clothing at dry cleaners, tailors, and friends
  • Items at repair shops
  • Tools lent to neighbors or friends

Plan a “packing party” by offering free food

Two weeks before moving day

Start disassembling furniture

  • Take photos of complex wiring arrangements
  • Label the cords before pulling them out
  • Use a muffin tin to keep pieces separate

Pack with purpose

  • Only have items for one room in each box
  • Keep boxes off the floor as much as possible
  • Tape small parts together or put in a labeled paper bag
  • Use towels, pillows, and t-shirts as cushioning material
  • Tape along the box seams and tape cross-wise to reinforce
  • Stack heaviest on the bottom
  • Use a bathroom scale to keep each box between 30-50 lbs when possible
  • Pack the heaviest items like books inside luggage containers to avoid ripped boxes
  • Use the original packaging for electronics when available
  • Put extremely fragile items in a box, then set in a larger box filled with cushioning
  • Use at least 2” of packing material around fragile items
    • Use towels, dish rags, and newspaper instead of paying for padding
  • Label the two broadest sides opposite each other

Keep a clipboard with a numbered system on the boxes

  • Verify the moved items by checking off the boxes
  • Make a Room List and take a general inventory
  • Abbreviate room names
  • Mark “Fragile” when appropriate

Start eating perishable food from the freezer and refrigerator

Make a “Get Rid Of” pile

  • Donate, throw away or hold a garage sale

Separate “cherished” items from “common”

Create “Open Me First” boxes

  • Important family records
  • Kitchen
    • Aluminum foil
    • Break-proof or disposable flatware, cups, and plates
    • Coffee maker/teapot
    • Dish soap/dishwasher detergent
    • Frying pan and spatula
    • Pet food/bowls
    • Bottle/can opener
  • Main Bathroom
    • Bath mat
    • Bath towels
    • First-aid kit
    • Headache pills
    • Band-aids
    • Hydrogen peroxide/rubbing alcohol
    • Triple antibiotic ointment
    • Hair dryer/comb
    • Shower curtain and rings
    • Soap
    • Toothbrushes/toothpaste
    • Toilet paper
  • Tool Room/Drawer
    • Batteries
    • Duct tape
    • Flashlight
    • Flathead screwdriver
    • Phillips screwdriver
    • Hammer
    • Level
    • Picture hangers/nails/screws
    • Tape measure
  • Important documents
  • Clean clothes for several days

Finish packing “non-living” rooms

  • Basement
  • Garage
  • Attic
  • Utility Rooms
  • Most Closets

A week before moving day

Write down the new address for easy reference

Confirm the start time and rental truck with movers and volunteers

Make arrangements for child and pet sitting

Clean the house thoroughly

  • Bathrooms
  • Refrigerator
  • Kitchen
  • Living Room

Account for any hidden valuables such as fake rocks or behind appliances

Collect any items which need servicing

  • Dry cleaning
  • Shoe repairs
  • Computers

Make a pile of items you’re leaving behind

  • Spare house keys
  • Garage door openers

The day before moving day

Charge everyone’s cell phone

Ensure everyone has everyone else’s phone number

Have everyone pack 1-2 suitcases of necessities

  • Eyeglasses
  • Prescriptions
  • Favorite kids’ toys
  • Something to read
  • Three days’ worth of clothes
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste (if not in Open First boxes)

Print out copies of directions for everyone driving to the new home

Prepare the appliances for moving

  • Disconnect all appliances from their power supply
  • Empty and wash out the interior of the fridge
  • Drain all water from the washing machine and dry its interior
  • Read and record values from the gas, water, and electricity meters

Moving day

Start early

Take all the trash out

If you have dogs, take them out first

If you have help, stay visible and available near the front door

Perform final checks before leaving your old home

  • Check that the air conditioning, heater, and fans are off
  • Check that the water is off
  • Turn off all light switches
  • Turn in or leave the keys and garage door openers

If you have cats, take them out last

Direct the movers and volunteers to place the boxes in their labeled rooms

Lock all the doors and windows, collect all the keys, and turn them in

Double-check you’ve left nothing behind

Unload everything into the house or storage unit, then treat the volunteers to dining out

  • If you have cats, put them in first
  • If you have dogs, put them in last
  • Don’t bother unpacking yet unless you and everyone else with you have the energy for it

Unpacking and settling in

Put at least one trash bag for trash and one box for packing paper and peanuts in each room before unpacking

Make an action plan for unpacking

  1. “Open Me First” boxes
  2. Bathroom and kitchen
  3. Everything else

Set a regimented number of boxes to unpack each day

Make buying new amenities before you need them a priority

  • Toilet paper
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Plungers
  • Minor repair parts

Web search the best routes to work and essential shopping locations

Your personality will change as you settle in

  • Your new environment, peers, and lifestyle routine will permanently change your identity
  • Pay close attention to whom you associate with and how you think
Next: Homes 201: Relationships