Whether you're moving across the country or just around the block, moving is exciting – and stressful. Logistics, paperwork and details – it's all part of moving into a new home, condo or apartment. To help make your move go smoothly, we offer this handy checklist that will help you plan ahead.
Planning your move:
- Set a moving budget.
- Create a list of your belongings and divide it into items that need to be shipped and those that can be moved by van, trailer, rental truck or car.
- Identify items that require special packing or insurance (art, breakables and valuables).
- Determine whether or not to use professional movers.
- If you choose to use professional movers:
- Get quotes from more than one company. Estimates can vary by hundreds or more.
- Don't sacrifice peace of mind for a few dollars. Get references. Make sure your movers are insured and bonded.
- Ask about packing costs (labor and materials). Based on your budget and availability, decide what you can and are willing to do yourself.
- Moving companies may allow you to pick up boxes and packing materials from their facilities and do the packing yourself. It takes time, but it may save you money.
- If you choose to move yourself:
- Allow for extra costs in time, coordination, transportation of family and the possibility of extra insurance – not only for your belongings, but for liability.
- Reserve rental trucks or trailers (if needed) ahead of time.
- Over-estimate the boxes, blankets, and other packing materials you'll need.
Things to do ahead of time:
- Submit change of address forms with the post office. And let your friends and neighbors know your new address, too.
- Change your address on checks, your driver's license, and other identification.
- Organize paperwork for tax deduction purposes.
- Cancel utilities (phone, gas, cable, etc.) at your old residence and order them for your new residence. Transfer utilities if moving locally.
- Make arrangements for pets moving with you (travel via airplane, pet-friendly motels, sufficient supply of medication, special food, etc.).
- Plan your route if traveling by car or driving a moving van. Consider finding points of interest along the way. A good trip planner can help make your drive both fun and educational.
- Identify items you need to have handy as soon as you arrive in your new home (emergency numbers, clothes, schoolbooks, glasses, prescriptions, the dog's leash, etc.).
- Keep important information close at hand (such as phone numbers for the moving company and a comprehensive roadside assistance plan – such as the GM Motor Club®, the weather report, maps, etc.).
- Make sure the little movers are happy. Have snacks and games for children, as well as water and food for pets.
- Be sure to have easy access to critical paperwork you need for your new home (leases, purchase documents, insurance paperwork, new job and new school records or documents, safe deposit box keys, checkbooks, bank cards, medications, etc).
- Leave old keys with the new owner or management office.
- Have your new keys, security codes or other information you need for access when you arrive at your new home.
- Remember to leave property that stays with the old house at the old house.
- Clean your former residence or you may lose your security deposit or other monies.
- While driving, make frequent stops even if you don't feel you need to. A good rule of thumb is to stop every two hours.
- Be ready for the unexpected.
- If you have valuables on a separate policy, check to see what is covered in case of a move.
- Don't take chances with your belongings. Be sure to keep things locked up and secure along the way.
- Verify coverage with your home insurance company in case of loss during a move (breakage or theft/disappearance). You often need moving insurance through your mover and shipper.
- Remember to update your auto insurance and home insurance with your new address and other information that could affect your rates. For example, you may have lower premiums if you have a shorter commute, a different sort of parking spot for your vehicles, as well as alarms, gated entries or other security features in your new home.
- Get an online auto insurance quote or call 1-800-462-2123 to learn more about how much you could save in your new location.
- File warranties on your new house.
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