Preparation before you move
6-8 Weeks before move
Organization is the key for a smooth move and this is the time to start working on the details of your move.
Check with the movers to ensure your move is scheduled.
This is the time to decide what items you wish to transport to your new home and what you may want to dispose of. If you decide to dispose of items that you don’t need you should either donate them to a charity or consider having a garage sale. Contact a local charity or pick a date at least two weeks before moving date for the garage sale. Advertise the garage sale locally. Team up with your neighbors who want to sell some of their old belongings and plan a large neighborhood sale.
Start collecting suitable moving and packing supplies if you plan to do your own packing or partial packing. You can purchase all these materials from any van line agent or a moving supply company. All boxes that you purchase from a van line agent or a moving supply company are specially designed for the moving industry to prevent any damages to your belongings. Getting boxes from other sources may create some difficulties when packed in the van. These boxes may be unusually sized and may not be strong enough to prevent damages to items packed inside.
Think about your new home layout and start thinking about where you’ll place the furniture. Create a floor plan for your new home and this will help reduce the stress of making decisions when your furniture arrives at your new home.
Get familiar with your new community. Request information from the local Chamber of Commerce on schools, community programs, parks and recreation facilities.
All travel arrangements (hotel, flights, car rental, etc.) for your family should be made at this time. Try to keep your plan as flexible as possible to accommodate any schedule changes or delays.
Keep all receipts for moving related expenses in a designated moving folder. Many moving expenses are tax deductible. Obtain an IRS Change of Address form, Form 8822, by calling (800) 829-1040 or visiting the IRS website at www.irs.gov website. You will be able to download and print form 8822 and most other IRS tax forms; e.g., Form 3903 to help deduct moving expenses.
Finalize all real estate and rental needs.
Contact your insurance agent to transfer medical, property, fire and auto insurance.
All medical and dental records should be placed in a safe and accessible place. Be sure to include prescription and vaccination records.
Plan on taking all important documents, such as wills, stock certificates, and other one of a kind items (jewelry, coin collection, photos etc.) with you. Place the items in one easily identifiable and easy to locate folder.
Return all the things you have borrowed.
Notify schools in the old and new location and arrange for the transfer of school records and begin the process of registering in new schools.
4-5 Weeks before move
Contact or visit your local Post Office to obtain a Change of Address form. You can also obtain this form online at the postal service website by visiting www.usps.com
You can make copies of this change of address form or make up your own change of address notice to give to the following people and businesses.
Friends and family
You Bank or Federal Credit Union
Credit card companies
Doctors, dentists and any other service providers
Clubs or Associations
Magazine and Newspaper subscriptions
This is a good time to take a look at what you own, and decide what must go and what can be left behind. All items such as old books, magazines, broken items and old toys can be left behind. Remember, adding more weight to your shipment will cost you more money.
Organize your move by deciding and making lists of what items you will not transport, what items your van line agent will move and what items you will move yourself.
Make a decision on who will do most of or all of the packing. It is a good idea that you let the van line agent do most of the packing. The van line agents know the best methods for keeping items safe and secure as this is what they do for a living.
If you do most of the packing or all the packing please refer to our packing guide. Ask the van line agent you use for further details about handling unusual and delicate items and begin preparing those items that are not frequently used.
Get your kids involved in the moving process. Allow your kids to do some supervised packing let them suggest a layout for their new room. Make it fun and exciting for them to move.
Contact utility providers (e.g. telephone, gas, electric, cable TV and trash collection) at new and old locations with your moving date to make arrangements for connection and disconnection.
Complete banking arrangements in old and new location and transfer any funds to your new bank if necessary.
Check requirements for new drivers license and auto registration in your destination state.
3 Weeks before move
Notify your van line agent if there are any changes in the dates of your move. If you will need any additional accessorial service such as piano moving, packing and unpacking, storage you should inform the van line agent for pricing information. Also inform the van line agent if you add or subtract items from your planned shipment.
Decide how much packing your will handle yourself. You should inform the van line agent of any items that you decided for him/her to pack.
Whether you move your car with the van line agent or a car carrier, you should make your final reservation for a car pick up at this time.
Consider giving your plants to friends or a charity if you are moving from one state to another. Some state laws prohibit the moving of house-plants.
Make transportation arrangements for your pets. Take your pets to your veterinarian to ensure proper up to date health certificates and rabies inoculations. Some states will require these documents.
You will need to carry all valuable jewelry with you. If you have any valuables around the house, be sure to collect them before leaving.
Return any borrowed items such as library books. Also collect all items that are being repaired stored or cleaned (clothing, furs, shoes etc.).
If you are moving to a building with an elevator make sure the elevator will be available on your intended day and time of arrival at your destination.
2 Weeks before move
Transfer all prescriptions to a drugstore in your new city. Clear all your safety deposits boxes.
Disconnect and disassemble your computer system before your move. Back up all your computer files on a disk. Consider taking all back up files and disks with you in the car or whatever mode of transportation you will be using to get to your new home. Remember, exposure to extreme temperatures can damage your software.
Make final packing decisions. Clean and clear your home including closets, basement and attic.
Dispose of items that represent a hazard and are not allowed to be shipped. Please refer to the items not to pack, section for more information on what you cannot or should not ship.
Tape and seal all cleaning fluids that are non-toxic and non-flammable in plastic bags.
Drain your lawn mower, snow blower and power tools of all the oil and gasoline to ensure safe transportation.
Schedule appliance disconnection and preparation with a service provider.
If you need to use outside storage call your van line agent about storage options available.
Have your automobile serviced if you plan to travel by car.
Cancel newspapers and other regular deliveries.
Clean out gym and school lockers.
1 Weeks before move
Make sure to separate out which items you’ll take with you and which items the movers will take. Items you may wish to take with you could be jewelry and important documentation.
Make sure you haven’t overlooked anything in the house including minor repairs.
Mark the boxes to be shipped with the words: Fragile, Do Not Load and Load Last stickers.
Empty, defrost and clean your refrigerator, freezer and clean your stove all at least 24 hours before moving to let them air out. Try using baking soda to get rid of any odors. You can also leave a container of baking soda in the refrigerator.
Mow your lawn one last time before you move.
Prepare items you will need while your goods are in transit. Pack your suitcases and confirm travel arrangements for you and your family. Try to keep plans as flexible as possible in the event of unexpected delays or schedule changes.
Make sure your agent knows the address and phone number of your new home. You should also provide an address and phone number of where you can be reached until you will get to your new home.
Arrange for payment to the van line agent. Contact your van line agent to inquire about methods of payment accepted. Generally this will be cash on delivery (COD).
Verify with your van line agent the insurance you have chosen. Refer to our Insurance and Liability guide for more information.
Pick up any dry cleaning and laundry.
Settle any outstanding bills with local merchants.
Return videos and library books.
Prepare your first night back and ready box. Your first night box should contain the clothing and toiletries you will need for the first night in your new home. See first night bag guide.
Disconnect and clean any appliances that will be moving with you and those that will remain.
Gather keys, alarm codes, garage door openers and be prepared to hand over to the new owner or real estate agent.
If your old home will be unoccupied for a period of time after you move, notify the police.
Move out day and Move in day
Work with the movers and be on hand when the movers arrive. If you are not able to be present while the movers are there, designate a friend or family member to help out and make decisions in your absence. Let the van line agent know to whom you have given the authority. Be sure that your chosen representative knows exactly what to do and which valuation liability program and amount you have selected. This person may be asked to sign documents obligating you to charges.
Hand over keys, alarm codes and garage door remote controls to the new owner or real estate agent.
Provide the new phone number and all other phone numbers where you can be reached while the shipment is in transit. Make sure to take along the destination agent’s name, address and telephone number.
Provide the driver with clear directions to your new home.
Review all paper work and details when the van operator arrives. Accompany the driver as he or she inspects each piece of furniture with tags of identifying number. These numbers along with a detailed description of your goods at the time of loading will appear on the inventory.
Stay home until the last item is packed. Make a final inspection before the van operator leaves. Check the mover’s inventory and make sure you agree with any notations about the condition of your furnishings. Take pictures if necessary. It is your responsibility to see all of your goods are loaded. Leave your phone connected throughout moving day. After the movers leave, pack your phone in one of your suitcases for easy access when you arrive to your new home.
Clean your house as much as you can before the moving van arrives. Search every room, closet and around the house before the moving van arrives.
The driver will contact you or the destination agent at least 24 hours prior to expected arrival time. This allows enough time to locate you and begin preparation for unloading. It is your responsibility to contact the destination agent if you cannot be reached.
Review your floor plan so you can tell the movers where to place your furniture and appliances. Make yourself available for the movers for instructions on where to place your furniture while unloading. Stay there in case there are any questions.
If you cannot be at your home while the van is being unloaded be sure to authorize a representative to accept delivery and pay the charges for you. Inform the destination agent of your representative’s name. Your representative will be asked to note any change in the condition of your goods noted on the inventory at the time of loading, and to note any missing items at the time of delivery.
By signing the inventory sheet, you are acknowledging the receipt of all items listed. Document any loss or damage on the inventory sheet and report this to the van line agent at destination, immediately. Make sure you have your reference number when calling the van line agent for questions or concerns. You will also be asked to sign the bill of lading and pack/unpack certificate.
Get a baby sitter for your kids during the loading and unloading process.
Put your pets in a room where they will not be in the way of the loading and unloading process.
If you wish to have your goods unpacked you need to order this service in advance. Limited unpacking and removal of cartons may be requested on move in day.
Do not use your stereos, computers, televisions, other electronic devices and appliances for 24 hours after delivery to prevent possible damage. Allow them to adjust to room temperature.
Payment is required upon delivery in cash, traveler’s checks, money order or cashier’s check. Personal checks are not accepted. Unless other arrangements were made in advance you are required by federal regulation to pay upon delivery for interstate moves.
Verify that all utilities have been disconnected in your old home and connected in your new home. Have your phone connected a day before move-in day.
Locate your local post office, police station, fire station and hospitals as well as gas stations near your home.
Become familiar with your neighborhood shopping areas. You may need housewares, tools or other items for your new home unexpectedly.
Call the department of sanitation in your new home to find out which day the trash is collected and what type of recycling programs are available in your community.
Get new service providers such as a bank, pharmacist, cleaner, cable television etc if you have not already done so.
Contact your local DMV if you have moved to a different state to exchange your driver’s license and register your vehicle.
Provide your new doctor and dentist with your medical history.
Transfer insurance policies to your new agent. You may also wish to make a detailed list of your belongings, their value, and you coverage.
Get information on schools, libraries, community activities and emergency calling service from your local Chamber of Commerce.
Obtain local library cards.
Register to vote in your new city.
Decide which documents must be kept and determine for how long. File and keep them in a safe place.