Home Buying: The Final Chapter, Moving (Ugh!)

You have the keys in hand to your brand new home, but your stress has not ended – it is now time to move into your new home – in fact, moving is considered to be one of the most stressful events in anyone’s life. It is time-consuming and laborious, it can also take an emotional toll on everyone. There are many strategies out there that could help reduce the unpleasantness of moving, but here are some that will hopefully work for you as well:

  • Take an inventory of everything you own
  • Gather all documentation of antiques, paintings, jewelry, and other valuables
  • Gather and file all warranties, instruction booklets, and receipts
  • Gather all personal records
  • Gather all sales materials, fliers, copies of contracts, credit reports, telephone numbers, and everything associated with your move

Here is a moving checklist that will hopefully keep you organized leading up to and throughout your move:

Eight Weeks:

  • Remove necessary items from storage
  • Use things you cannot move
  • Secure a floor plan of your new home to assist in deciding what to and what not to keep
  • Start an inventory
  • Get estimates from at least three moving companies (if you are not going to move yourself)
  • Find out if your move is covered through your homeowner’s insurance
  • Create a file for documenting papers and receipts
  • Arrange to have children school records transferred if changing school districts

Six Weeks:

  • Find out about tax deductions
  • Evaluate possession inventory
  • Notify friends, family, professionals, creditors, subscriptions about your move
  • Begin the off-site storage process (if you plan on renting a storage unit)
  • Locate health care professional and hospitals (if you are moving to a completely new area)
  • Complete a change of address (postal service, banks, credit cards, etc.)
  • Clean closets
  • Hold moving/garage/yard sale or donate unwanted items
  • Select a mover (if applicable)
  • Contact your mover to make arrangement (if applicable)

Four Weeks:

  • Send furniture, drapes, carpets for repair/cleaning, if needed
  • Gather auto licensing and registration documents; medical, dental, and school records; birth certificates; wills; deeds; stock and other financial information
  • Contact gas, electric, oil, water companies; telephone, TV, trash collection companies for service disconnections and connections at both your old and new addresses
  • Request refunds on unused owner’s insurance, security deposit, and prepaid services
  • Contact insurance companies

Three Weeks:

  • Make travel plans if moving long distance
  • Arrange to close current bank accounts and open new ones, if necessary
  • Notify DMV of address change
  • Arrange for child care on moving day, if necessary

Two Weeks:

  • Arrange special transport for your pets and plants, if applicable
  • Service your car if making a long distance move
  • Contact your moving company and review the arrangements, if applicable

Not only can moving be stressful for you; if you have kids, it can be extremely stressful for them as well. Children need time to process big changes and there are many ways to help them with it: Good attitude, the use of media to help educate them on what they are going through, sensitivity, focusing on activities they enjoy, emphasizing how you will be staying in contact with old friends, giving them control over their new environment, assistance in packing their items, going over things to do at the new home. It is important to remember that is can take up to 16 months for adults an children to adjust to a large move.

Moving Stress Management

You can manage stress by doing the following as soon as you know for certain you will be moving:

  • Take a complete inventory of everything you own, with photos
  • Get together all documentation of antiques, paintings, jewlery, and other valuables
  • Gather and file all warranties, instruction booklets, and receipts for appliances and electronics you’ll be moving
  • Gather all personal records, including past income tax filings, and keep them in a safe place for easy access
  • Gather all sales materials, fliers, copies of contracts, credit reports, telephone numbers of work people, and everything associated with your move, into one place so you can access it quickly

Moving Checklist

Eight weeks before:

  • Remove unnecessary items from your attic, basement, storage shed, and so on
  • Use things you can’t move, such as frozen foods and cleaning supplies
  • Secure floor plan of your new residence to help you decide what to keep
  • Start an inventory of your possessions
  • Solicit estimates from at least three moving companies
  • Call your homeowner’s insurance agent to find out to what degree your move is covered
  • Create a file for documenting all moving papers and receipts
  • Arrange to transfer your children’s school records

Six weeks before:

  • Contact the IRS and/or your CPA for information about pertinent tax deductions
  • Evaluate your possessions inventory
  • Notify your friends, relatives, professionals, creditors, subscriptions, and so on, about your move
  • Begin the off-site storage process
  • Locate high-quality health care professionals and hospitals in your new location
  • Complete change of address via postal service cards or an online service for the following: Banks, charge cards, religious organizations, doctors and dentists, relatives and friends, income tax bureau and Social Security Administration Union, insurance broker, lawyer, CPA, stockbroker, magazines, postal service, and schools
  • Clean your closets
  • Hold a moving/garage sale or donate items to charities
  • Choose a mover
  • Contact your mover to make arrangements and inquire about insurance coverage
  • If relocating due to a job, contact your employer to see what costs they will cover

Four weeks before:

  • Send furniture, drapes, and carpets for repair/cleaning as needed
  • Gather auto licensing and registration documents; medical, dental, and school records; birth certificates; will; deeds; stock and other financial documentation
  • Contact gas, electric, oil, water suppliers; telephone, cable TV, or satellite TV; and trash collection companies for service disconnection/connection at your old and new addresses. Also ask for final reading
  • Request refunds on unused homeowner’s insurance, security deposit with landlord, and prepaid cable service
  • Notify your gardener, snow removal service, and pool service
  • Contact insurance companies to arrange for coverage in your new home

Three weeks before:

  • Make your travel plans if you are making a long-distance move
  • Arrange to close current bank accounts and open accounts in new locale, if necessary
  • Notify your state’s motor vehicle bureau of your new address
  • Arrange for child care on moving day

Two weeks before:

  • Arrange special transport for your pets and plants
  • Service your car for the trip if you are making a long-distance move
  • Contact your moving company and review arrangements for your move

Children and Change

Children need time to process big changes. There are many ways you can help.

  1. Attitude is infectious
  2. Use the Internet, books, and other media to educate your child about where you’re going
  3. A move is the same to a child whether it’s one mile or a thousand miles away – be sensitive
  4. Focus on activities your child will want to continue or try
  5. Emphasize how and when you’ll stay in touch with old friends
  6. Let your child have some control over their new environment
  7. Contact your child’s new school and find out if there is a teacher’s blog or chat room that the kids use
  8. Remember that change is harder for some children than for others
  9. Help your child pack their belongings, starting with items they won’t need at first
  10. Bank on things you’ll do when you get to your new home
  11. It can take up to about 16 months for adults and children to adjust to a move