Planning The Move
Every home contains a lot of furniture, clothes, kitchen equipment, pictures and other items. For a short distance move, it may be worthwhile to transport small goods by yourself, but larger items may require professional assistance. It's ideally best to get rid of excess furniture and other goods by having a moving sale. This will reduce the number of items to be moved, therefore lowering your moving expense. Unwanted furniture and other items, which cannot be sold, can often be donated to charitable groups, many of which will pick up your donations. All other unwanted items should be properly disposed of. You should provide the U.S. Postal Service with a forwarding address, and utility companies should be advised when to end service at your current home.
How to plan the move
The time to plan your move begins when you decide to sell your home. Some of the preparations required to sell your home can actually help you with the moving process. For example, cleaning out closets, basements, garages and attics will result in less to do once the home is under contract.
- If you are moving long distance, you will likely require an interstate mover and the use of a large van.
- If you are moving internationally, you will want to contact the embassy in Washington, D.C., for information. Ask about customs, protocols, duties and taxes, and be aware that some common items in the United States can actually be prohibited in foreign countries.
- If you are moving locally and handling the move yourself, you?ll need to consider packing supplies, boxes, blankets or padding and a van rental.
Planning is very important. Stock up on boxes, packing materials, tape and markers. Always mark boxes so that you and movers will know where the goods should be placed once they are delivered to your new home.
Who to Use
There are many factors to consider. Cost is one issue; you'll want to spend as little as possible, but deciding based solely on cost can be a mistake. The mover that you select must have the right equipment, training and experience to do a good job. Any mover should be able to provide you with references. Ensure that you receive mover estimates in writing. It may even be possible to receive discounts through membership organizations, through your employer and sometimes, on the basis of your profession. Always confirm the credentials of the mover you select. They should be licensed and bonded as required by the state, and employees should have workman?s comp insurance.
Moving is a huge job and checklists can make it easier and assist with the organization. Here are a few items to consider:
- Label and number all boxes
- Take special care while moving historic, breakable or valued items
- Keep address books readily available.
- If you have a laptop computer, make it accessible during the move
Two months before moving day
- Get estimates if you will be using a moving company
- Get prices from at least two truck rental companies, if you will move yourself.
- Start removing clutter from the basement, attic, garage and storage areas.
- Select a moving or truck rental company.
- Create a floor plan of your new home for furniture and appliance placement.
- Start a file for your moving paperwork and receipts.
- Arrange to transfer school records, if necessary.
Six weeks before moving day
- Make arrangements for storage, if necessary.
- Start using foods and cleaning supplies that can?t be moved.
- Clean out closets and drawers.
- Have antiques, art and valuables appraised.
- Obtain medical records from your doctor; ask for referrals, if necessary.
- Subscribe to the paper in your new community to learn more about it.
- Obtain and fill out post office change-of-address cards.
Four weeks before moving day
- Plan your moving sale.
- Make any travel plans necessary for your move.
- Reserve the rental truck.
- If packing yourself, obtain packing materials and begin packing.
- Arrange for transportation of your pets and plants.
- Check with your insurance company to confirm how your possessions will be covered during the move.
- Arrange for cleaning of furniture, carpet and drapes.
- Contact utility companies for service disconnection at current home, and schedule for the day after you move.
- Contact utility companies for service connection at new home, and schedule for the day prior to your move.
Three weeks before moving day
- Hold your moving sale.
- Dispose of items that cannot be moved.
- Arrange for use of the elevator, if necessary.
- Prepare auto registration for transfer, if moving out of state.
- Make child care arrangements for moving day.
Two weeks before moving day
- Dispose of anything not sold at your moving sale.
- Return any borrowed items and retrieve any loaned items.
- Cancel newspaper delivery.
- Notify creditors of your move.
- Transfer prescriptions and make sure you have an adequate supply of required medications. -
- Assemble a file of information to leave the new homeowner.
The day before moving
- Transfer your bank accounts.
- Close your safe deposit box.
- Settle any bills with local businesses.
- Drain power equipment of oil and gas.
- Drain water hoses.
- Confirm any travel reservations.
- Defrost refrigerator and freezer.
- Disconnect and prepare major appliances for move. -
- If using movers, let them pack your belongings. -
- Set aside any items that will travel with you. -
- Obtain any cash or travelers checks you will need. -
- Confirm the arrival or pick up time of the moving truck. -
- Dismantle beds and other large furniture.
- If using a mover, make sure someone is available to answer questions.
- Note all utility meter readings.
- Review your bill of lading and inventory carefully before signing. Keep this paperwork.
- Be available to answer any questions.
- Check your belongings carefully and note any damaged items.
- On an interstate move, be prepared to pay the driver with cash or certified check (unless previous arrangements have been made) before unloading.
- Supervise unloading and unpacking.
A Safe & Comfortable Move For Your Pets
While planning your move, don't forget to include your pets. Moving can be stressful and even dangerous for pets if their interests are not taken into consideration.
- If you are moving for company relocation or a new job, find out what pet moving costs the company is willing to cover.
- Check vaccination records to ensure your pet's immunizations are up to date. Obtain veterinary records and keep them with you on moving day. Have any required vaccinations done and prescriptions refilled, so you don't have to worry about it upon arrival at your new home.
- If traveling by air, it is always best to book pets on a direct flight. Note that airlines do have requirements and restrictions for pets; some of these may change during peak travel times and when ground temperatures are above 85 or below 45 degrees F.
- Make reservations a minimum of two weeks in advance for domestic travel and four weeks for international travel.
- If you will be traveling by car, find out which hotels along the way accept pets and make reservations.
- Order ID tags with your new address on them.
- Find a quiet and familiar place for your pet to wait as you prepare to leave.
- Ship pets in a roomy carrier that is at least large enough for the animal to stand and turn around.
- Ensure that your pets will have water available during travel. If the trip is to be longer than eight hours, they should also have food. It is best, however, that the amount of food is cut back several hours prior to the trip.
- Keep animals in their travel cages or on leashes while in the car. Dogs and cats should be allowed regular comfort and exercise stops along the way.
- Giving pets their old toys, beds and bowls as soon as possible, will help them to quickly adjust to the new home.
- Get recommendations from co-workers or neighbors for a new veterinarian.
- If you are moving due to an employment change, your pet moving expenses may be tax deductible. For additional information refer to: IRS Publication 521, "Moving Expenses".
Where do I get information on filing consumer complaints?
For information about filing consumer complaints, look to these sources:
- Consumer Federation of America, 1424 16th St. N.W., Suite 604, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 387-6121.
- United Homeowners Association; 1511 K St., N.W.; Washington, DC 20005; (202) 408-8842.
- Consumers Union, 1535 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103 or call (415) 431-6747.
- Consumer Action Council, 116 New Montgomery St., Suite 233, San Francisco, CA 94105; (415) 777-9648