The Realtor just called and the couple who looked at your house again just made an offer that basically you need to accept or just take the house off the market! Your boss walked in your office and says, “I need you to report for new job in WalaWala, Washington by the end of next month. After your retirement party at work you determine you and the Mrs. really don’t need 4,200 square feet and want to travel on a sailboat instead! Whatever the circumstances are you find yourself planning a move! To keep yourself and your long distance move on track set up a timeline.
For the sake of argument let’s assume that the stars all align and you have two months to be out of your current space and can move into new abode at the end of those two months! I have always been a fan of fairytales! We can start there and adjust as the storyline and characters develop.
- Determine closing and move-in date at new destination. Talk to your banker, realtor, and astrologist to determine the ideal date for everyone to have paperwork and inspections complete and necessary money transferred. This will allow you to work backwards and determine move out date of current home. Weird fact in North Carolina you cannot take possession (translation-move your stuff in after closing until deed in registered with the county! This took until 5pm with a 1pm closing! Scheduling when your movers need to arrive was definitely tricky and fridge and dryer delivered and installed at the latest appointment the same day!)
- Determine what items are moving, being sold and given away….this allows movers to give a more accurate bid. At this point start checking with local movers and getting their availability and written bids with guaranteed pricing while evaluating online reviews.
- Once you have made the decision which mover to use call to confirm date so they know how many trucks and staff to reserve for your date. If budget allows get pricing on packing, unpacking and cleaning services as well. Often we overestimate our energy level and underestimate the amount of time to pack making both of these services a necessity. Particularly if everyone in the home works and if children are involved your frustration level can go to new heights!
- Transfer school records if you have school age children. Find out what paperwork you need to enroll student and keep with you.
- Keep all important documents and create a moving folder/notebook and place with you in personal vehicle or in luggage if flying.
- If you are doing the packing start with china, crystal, seasonal décor, and sort those as well-many of my Christmas decorations were not going to work in new space making it a good time to sell or donate some items.
- Get medical referrals for doctors, orthodontist, and make any necessary appointments for after your arrival and make sure to have adequate supply of medications to last until new appointments.
- Take animals to current vet if shots are due or medicine needed until you can find new providers.
- Schedule utilities (gas, electric, propane, internet, trash pickup and cable) to be turned on before move-in day and confirm with those providers the week before. From personal experience the confirmation part is key because although we had scheduled cable and internet to be turned on the day after move in – it didn’t happen and we had to wait a week for the next available appointment which was a challenge with 3 teenagers with laptops and phones!
- Cancel club and gym memberships to give adequate notice and not pay any unnecessary fees.
- Temporarily raise the daily limit or credit or debit cards to allow for many moving expenses.
- If you are getting new bank set up accounts, order checks, debit cards and then align direct deposits and auto withdrawals and confirm that all checks have cleared before closing old accounts.
- Book flights and schedule hotel arrangements- keeping in mind to find pet friendly hotels if you are traveling with your herd! We had two dogs and a cat in our hotel suite with the 5 of us. Oddly enough somehow in the midst of all the chaos it was a comfort to have everyone in that small suite even though the cat slept on my head!
- Line up home/renter’s insurance and find out necessary details for car insurance.
- Begin packing up kitchen items you don’t use daily. If possible pack closet space and leave items in furniture drawers that are moving. Again be ruthless about getting rid of unused or unneeded item. Think of this as the ultimate closet and home purge.
- Buy and arrange for delivery of any new appliances purchased for new space. Many people leave or sell existing refrigerators in old space- works out well for both parties.
- Go online to USPS.com to have your mail forwarded for up to a year with new starting date. Be sure to contact all entities that you receive notices from to change address to prevent delays i.e. Life insurance policies, retirement accounts,
- Try to use up food in cabinets and freezer spaces.
- Schedule pickup of furniture/appliances still needed in current space that are not moving. We had an old dryer and garage fridge that worked but wasn’t worth expense of moving and someone from charity picked up the day before Moving Day!
- Take photos of all electronics before unplugging. This will help with reconnecting TV, computers and stereo
- Pack separately personal survival kit- clothes for everyone for a couple of days, linens, clean towels, snacks, pet food, leashes, animal crates, small tool kit and electronics’ chargers.
- If driving personal vehicles determine route to take. If you are trailering boat, additional cars etc try to avoid going through the mountains-the day before we left friends came by who had lived in our new state and based on discussion we went a differ direction to avoid crossing mountains with boat and loaded down truck bed. A blown truck engine will not help the situation!
- Talk with moving company – confirm any specific details – TV boxes needed, piano moved, confirm dates, addresses and times or loading and unloading. Because of the timing of the one o’clock closing on Monday we had to move out of home Saturday, have movers hold our belongings in truck and then meet us at new home on Monday evening to unload. Confirm cell phone numbers in case there are questions or complications during the process. Moving a long distance is not an easy task but the more organized you are helps the process tremendously. Choosing the right mover is key to success and staying on track.