I know how stressful and chaotic moving and relocating can be. We moved from one part of Tucson to another in March of this year, and then in June we bought a home and relocated to Colorado. Here are some of the lessons we and others have learned.
1. Make and use lists. We all forget things, even after remembering them several times. Put them on that list during one of these times. Make a list of things to do before the move, including getting school documents transferred, filling out change of address forms, returning borrowed books and movies, transferring prescriptions, getting maps, and arranging utility shut offs and start ups.
2. Call the moving company and make the reservation a month ahead. You don’t want to discover that they are booked up on the date you need them. We found out that the type of van we wanted wasn’t available, but this was easily resolved because we started the process early.
3. Sell and throw away things. Carefully consider what you need to keep. Many people spend hundreds of dollars to move things that will probably be thrown away some day. It isn’t just about the expense either, but also about the hassle. When you are moving and especially when you are relocating to another city – this is the best time to get rid of the things you really don’t need.
4. Have a rummage sale. This is a good way to get rid of those things, and you might even raise enough money to pay for the move. Again, it is best to be rid of your things before the move. We went to a after-the-move rummage sale the other day. What a shame to pack and pay to move all those things just to have to work to sell them for pennies later.
5. Start packing early. not only is it difficult to predict how long it will take until you are doing it, but you never know how much time you’ll have later. Starting early means avoiding running around looking for boxes and packing materials at the last moment.
6. Pack an “essentials” box for when you arrive at your new home. This should have the things you need to make your arrival easier, like toilet paper, paper plates, soap and such. Carry the box where it is easily accessible.
7. Let everyone know where you are relocating to. Give family and friends of your new address and phone number(s), and do this before you have the current phone shut off. Call all your credit card companies with your new address. Change the address on any subscriptions too.
8. Check weather reports for moving day. You don’t want to arrive in a snowstorm with your coat packed away somewhere. You will also need to allow for extra moving time if the weather is going to slow down traffic.
9. Save all your receipts. Keep receipts for moving expenses, like gas, hotel rooms, and anything else related to moving and relocating. Ask your accountant or tax preparer if you are eligible for a tax deduction for moving expenses. Usually you are, if the move is for employment purposes.
10. When you move into your new home, try to reestablish your routines quickly. If Friday night is normally movie night, don’t break with the tradition. Moving and relocating are less traumatic if you have some consistency in daily life. If you’re moving with children, this could be one of the more important moving tips.