Moving This Summer? 7 Key Things You Need to Do

If you're moving this summer it's time to create a checklist. Keep reading for moving this summer? 7 key things you need to do.

Are you moving this summer? You still have time to pull things together. Now would be a good time to start, though--especially if you have a lot of things to move, are moving out of state, or need to sell a house and/or buy a new one.

We're experienced at moving and will let you know what things you need to do and roughly when you need to do them. We'll discuss some circumstances that are pretty much universal as well as some that only some people have.

Are you ready? We can see the moving truck pulling up right now.

Seven Things You Need to Do

Ok, just kidding about seeing the moving truck. But making arrangements with a moving company probably should be first on your checklist. We'll present the other six items on the list in approximately the order they will need to be done.

1. Book a Mover and Set a Date

As long as you know where you're moving from and to, you're set, The specific destination address can wait a while longer (they'll let you know how long).

In the meantime, the movers can start to coordinate your load with others going in the same direction.

You need to find the right mover for your needs. Note that you might opt to do the move yourself by renting a truck, or at least load your own stuff by using self-packed containers that are placed at your home so that you can pack gradually.

2.a. Find a Good Realtor

If you need to sell a house and you don't already know a good realtor, you'll want to start exploring your options early on. It will take a while to find the right person. then there's all the work you will need to do with that person to get the house on the market.

2.b. Notify Your Landlord

If you're currently renting, you should be courteous and give your landlord time to find new tenants and get the house or apartment ready for them.

3. Do a Purge of Anything You Never Use and Won't Miss

Movers and shippers charge by weight, so lighten the load. Make some money doing it, too. You can sell or donate clothing, books, dishware, and just about anything else that's in good condition.

4. Start Packing Up Your House or Apartment

Begin by getting the sturdiest boxes possible. You can invest in plastic bins--an especially good option if you plan to move again soon and will have room to store them.

Or you can buy or salvage cardboard boxes. Liquor stores tend to have boxes available--many with dividers, that are great for moving glasses and other fragile items. Mail-order pet supply boxes often are double-walled and thus very sturdy.

Also, don't forget tape, cushioning material, Sharpies, "fragile" labels, etc.

Be sure to label the boxes with your name and the room they should be placed in. Some people will list contents as well, which is a good idea if you're not sure what the room configuration of your new place will be.

5. Go to Your New Location and Scout Out Places to Live

Yes, you should do this. You might have already seen the place when you went for an interview or some other occasion. But unless you know it well, you should take a look around before moving there.

Should you rent or buy? Many people choose to rent when moving to a completely new place. Pick a nice house or building you can find on your budget and that meets your preferences for location, amenities, etc.

If you have pets and are planning to rent, you will need to do some negotiating and have alternatives ready. Be sure to find out what the pet policy and deposits are. Try to avoid "pet rent," which can increase monthly rent considerably.

If you're adamant about going straight to buying a house, again, you will need to find a good realtor. If possible, ask people at your new workplace for some suggestions.

Try to set aside at least three days to look at houses and do paperwork. You should have several houses you're interested in lined up with your realtor before you travel. That way she or he can prepare to show them and find similar ones to show.

Try very hard to be there for the home inspection. If you absolutely can't, try equally hard to find someone trustworthy (e.g., new coworker) to represent you. Do not have the realtor represent you as this is a potential conflict of interest.

6. Plan Your Car Journey to the New Place

No matter how much you plan, your car will be packed when it's time for you to leave. Here's what you should take:

The front seat:

  • Purse
  • Phone
  • Snacks
  • Other personal items you will need frequently
  • One passenger (or pet)

Everywhere else in the car:

  • Any other passengers (or pets)
  • Items of value: heirlooms, jewelry, personal papers, etc.
  • Very fragile items
  • Clothing for at least a week
  • Your computer, if possible

Plan your route and any overnight stays. If you're traveling with pets, remember to plan and make reservations at pet-friendly hotels or overnight boarding facilities well in advance. Never show up with pets assuming you will be given a room.

7. Everything Else

About two weeks to a month before your move, you will need to:

  • Change your address.
  • Schedule discontinuation or transfer of cable, internet, and landline phone.
  • Have medical and school records, as well as any prescriptions transferred.
  • Clean the house thoroughly.

The day the movers come:

  • Have some ice water and sports drinks on hand, maybe some sandwiches as well. Alcoholic drinks are not appropriate.
  • Have some cash for tips.

The day you leave for good:

  • Leave your cell phone number with a neighbor (especially if you haven't sold your house yet).
  • Do a final vacuuming of the house and wipe down any counters.
  • Make sure the fridge and freezer are empty.
  • Make sure you haven't left anything behind.
  • Turn off or lower air conditioning.
  • Add the last items to the car.
  • Lock the doors and leave a set of keys in a kitchen drawer.

Is that all? Probably not.

Everyone who has ever moved, especially moving out of state, could come up with a list of "must-do" things to prepare. And no doubt every one of those lists would be different, though probably with a certain amount of overlap.

There are always things you need to do that you might not have thought of.

For example, this checklist is one you need to look at. Among other things, it deals with where and how to store belongings during the move and possibly while you're in temporary housing at your new location.

Are You Ready to Go?

You've done everything now, right? All you have left is getting to the new place. Then you need to unpack, put things away, and settle in.

But first things first. Why don't you stop by and introduce yourself to some of your new neighbors? It's always good to set off on the right foot with those close to where you live. Ask them if there are any good restaurants or interesting sights to see.

If you don't have to start work right away, take a few days to get familiar with your new home and the people who live there. If you do have to start work, this will be a whole other set of opportunities for you to meet and greet.

Good luck with the move and let us know how it all works out!

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