• Take inventory of your home.
• Make a list or videotaped catalog of your possessions.
• Set aside valuables you won’t load on the truck, like documents and jewelry.
• Dispose of items you no longer want: have a yard sale or make a donation.
• Gather boxes, packing paper, markers, tape and other packing materials.
Packing Tips – General Suggestions
• Don’t underestimate how much you own – start packing several weeks before your move.
• Pack belongings that you don’t often use first.
• As you pack, number each box and label where it belongs in your new home.
• Keep a master list of boxes by number, so you’ll know right away if any boxes are missing.
• Use professional packing tape. Masking tape isn’t sturdy enough.
• Cushion top and bottom of cartons with generous amounts of paper.
• Use clean crumpled packing paper when needed. Old newspapers are fine for some items, but could rub off on others.
• Print the word “fragile” on cartons with breakable items.
• Label cartons of essential items, like toiletries and cooking utensils, with “open first.”
• Pack cartons tightly. If a carton rattles or makes noise, the contents could be damaged in transit. Blankets and other soft goods can fill the extra space in not-quite-full cartons.
• Never pack flammable items, such as fuels or aerosols
6 Weeks Before “Move-Out Day”
• Start getting the details of your move organized as soon as you can.
• Create a “move information” file. Using a brightly colored organizer folder with interior pockets makes it easy to store important information and collect receipts for moving-related expenses.
• Ask the Internal Revenue Service for information about tax deductions on moving expenses and what receipts you’ll need to keep.
• Contact your insurance agent to transfer property, fire, auto and medical insurance.
• When organizing dental and medical records, be sure to include prescriptions, eyeglass specifications and vaccination records.
• Contact any clubs or associations you are affiliated with for information on transferring, selling or ending your memberships.
• Wills, stock certificates and other one-of-a-kind items (jewelry, photos, home videos) are difficult or impossible to replace. Plan to carry them with you instead of packing them.
• Start becoming acclimated to your new community. Contact the Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s Bureau to request information on schools, parks and recreation, community calendars and maps.
5 Weeks Before “Move-Out Day”
• Take an objective look at what you own, and decide what must go and what can be left behind. Books you’ve read and will never read again? The pan with the broken handle or the children’s long-neglected games?
• Sit down and start organizing your move. Make a list with two columns: items to leave behind and items to move.
• For each item you aren’t going to take with you, decide whether you’ll sell it, give it away to charity, or otherwise dispose of it before your move.
• Fill out a change-of-address card at your local Post Office
4 Weeks Before “Move-Out Day”
• Start including your children in the move planning. Make it exciting and fun by having your kids do some of their own packing, and let them suggest layouts for their new room.
• Start collecting suitable containers and packing materials. You can obtain these materials for a reasonable fee from your moving company.
3 Weeks Before “Move-Out Day”
• Make sure to notify your mover if you add items to, or subtract items from, your planned household goods shipment or if there are any changes in the dates of your move.
• If you have young children, arrange for a baby-sitter to watch them on moving day. Since you’ll be concentrating your efforts on the move, a sitter can keep your children occupied and make sure they remain safe during the busy loading process.
• You will want to carry valuable jewelry, cash and important documents with you instead of loading them on the trailer. If you’ve hidden any valuables around the house, be sure to collect them before leaving.
• Some state laws prohibit the moving of house plants. Consider giving your plants to a friend or local charity.
• While you are sorting through your belongings, remember to return library books and anything else you have borrowed. Also remember to collect all items that are being cleaned, stored or repaired (clothing, shoes, furs, watches, etc.).
• Since you will want to have your utilities (electric, gas, phone, etc.) still connected on moving day, arrange to have them disconnected from your present home after your scheduled move-out.
• Call ahead to have utilities connected at your new home the day before or the day of your scheduled move-in.
2 Weeks Before “Move-Out Day”
• Clean and clear your home including closets, basements and attics.
• Dispose of flammables such as fireworks, cleaning fluids, matches, acids, chemistry sets, aerosol cans, paint, ammunition and poisons such as weed killer.
• Plan meals that will use up the food in your freezer.
• Have your automobile serviced if you’re traveling by car.
• Transfer all current prescriptions to a drugstore in your new town.
• Thousands of people leave town without clearing their safety deposit boxes. Don’t be one of them. Call your bank to find out how to transfer your bank accounts, as well.
• Drain all the oil and gasoline from your lawn mower and power tools to ensure safe transportation. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions.
1 Weeks Before “Move-Out Day”
• Make sure your mover knows the address and phone number where you can be reached until you get into your new home.
• Empty, defrost, and clean your refrigerator and 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.
• Prepare a “Trip Kit” for moving day. This kit should contain the things you’ll need while your belongings are in transit.