If you are moving this year, now is the time to start preparing. In fact, the sooner you start preparing for a move, the better. There’s a lot to do, and a lot to fit into your already-busy schedule.
I’ve moved a lot. (26 times in 20 years!) I’ve done every type of move: to the other side of town, and to the other side of the world. Myself, and with big moving companies. It’s always disruptive. But with planning, your move can go as smoothly as possible.
Start planning early: I can’t stress this enough. You don’t want to have a last-minute time crunch. I’ve made some serious mistakes in last-minute moving panic, like accidentally throwing away my birth certificate. Even if your move is months away, start planning now.
Make your lists: Think of everything you need to do before the move. Changing your address with bills, magazines, doctor and dentist offices, bank, etc. Contacting the moving company, buying boxes and packing materials, getting your children’s school records. There’s so much to do. Get everything down onto your list so nothing falls through the cracks. Make a timeline of when things need to happen, and get all your tasks into your planner.
Do things early: Many things take a long time and should be done as soon as possible to give you time to get them taken care of before you leave. Fill out your change of address form with the post office early; sometimes it takes several weeks to take effect. Arrange to get extra prescription medication to give you time to find a new doctor in your home destination. You might need an appointment to see your doctor for this, and getting an appointment might take some time.
Deal with your stuff early: When you move, especially if you pack all your belongings yourself, you’ll be handling all of your worldly possessions. Handling all of your possessions is an emotionally tiring process, and I don’t recommend doing it all at once. Physical and emotional fatigue can make it difficult to make decisions about what to do with each item. You may get decision-block and be unable to part with things, or the opposite may happen: in a state of overwhelm you may get rid of things you’ll later wish you had kept. Make decisions when you are rested and not time-stressed. Get rid of anything you don’t need: sell anything of value, donate things that can still be used, dump trash. You’ll be surprised how long this takes, so start early. If you’ll be doing your own packing, start now and pack up anything you don’t use on a daily basis.
Take important things with you: Whether you are flying or driving to your new destination, take important things with you in your carry on bag (not checked luggage) or with you in your car, not the moving van. Jewelry, birth and marriage certificates, passports and all other important documents and items need to be with you at all times. Luggage and shipments go missing or get ruined in transit. Things sometimes get stolen. Keep very important items with you all the time.
Do your research: Find out as much as you can about your new home location, especially if you are moving to a different state or country. Research the good things, like fun things to do and see. And research the not so good things, like any health risks.
A few years ago I wrote a series of posts on moving internationally, but much of the advice is relevant no matter where you are moving. You can see those posts here:
Fly Lady has excellent moving tips on logistics like lists of packing and cleaning supplies, preparing your house to sell, moving into the new house, etc. Find lots of excellent advice on her post here.
Are you moving this year? Is there any other moving advice you would like? Please leave a comment!