There are tons of work to do, resources to check out, calls to make and
etc. You want to assemble a list of the legion of items you need to take
care of, so that you can stop forgetting to do things - or worse, stop
worrying about forgetting to do things. With this list in hand, you can
move ruthlessly down it, handling tasks, checking items off and so
forth. The obvious question is, "What should that list contain and in
A) 2 to 12 weeks before M-Day
1. Find a place to live [at least 8 to 12 weeks before M-Day]
Depending on where you plan to move to, this can be the single most
exasperating task of all. If your destination is some foreign land, for
example, you could spend weeks and even months on just this one task
alone. Check out the schools for the kids, identify the transport
arrangement to the place of work etc. Thankfully, we've already set up
this site for all your relocation needs. Just contact us, we do the rest
2. Consult your employer's moving policy [8 weeks before M-Day]
Obviously, if you don't have an employer or don't have one that is
underwriting any part of your move, this is irrelevant. If you do,
though, take a good look at their policies to make sure that you adhere
to their guidelines. They may agree to let you use a professional mover,
but limit the list of approved vendors, for example.
3. Give notice to your landlord [8 weeks before M-Day]
Even if your lease is up on a specific date, your landlord will want to
be sure that you are planning on vacating on that day. If you are on a
month-to-month lease, this is particularly important, and you should
give more than just one month's notice. Common decency and an outside
chance of legal tussle.
4. Book your travel arrangements [4 to 6 weeks before M-Day]
Unless you're strolling across campus, you're going to need
transportation for your move. If you and your stuff are traveling
together, you'll probably locomote personally via plane, train, or
automobile. For plane tickets particularly, you should be booking at
least a month in advance to avoid getting reamed on the last-minute
5. Contact moving companies [4 weeks before M-Day]
If you do decide to go with a professional mover, this is the time you
should contact them. If you leave it too late, no amount of money will
be enough to get them to move your stuff.
6. Getting rid the old stuffs [4 weeks before M-Day]
This is a major hassle but trust us, doing it will make your final
packing infinitely easier.
7. Change of address notification [3 weeks before M-Day]
Even if you've already gone ahead and changed your addresses for
subscriptions and other people, it's always a good idea to pass along
your forwarding address to the post office. Magazines are painfully slow
about changing your address and sending your stuff to the right place.
You should do this with the rest of your mail too -- like credit card
bills, car payments, insurance plans, etc.
8. Garage sale or charities [2 weeks before M-Day]
Remember all that stuff you found around the house. If anything is
valuable, you should be scheduling a garage sale to get rid of it; or
you can always donate it to some local charities or The Salvation Army.
B) 2 Weeks before M-Day
1. Schedule Mover pick-up [10 days before M-Day]
If you're going with professional movers, you'll want to check back in
with them at this stage to schedule a specific time for the pick-up
and/or packing of your stuff.
2. Gather records [10 days before M-Day]
Start organizing or put aside all the important documents you have.
Swing by your dentist's office and clinic to pick up dental and medical
records. Other documents you may need include ones kept by your lawyer,
your school, your religious institution, or your accountant.
3. Moving supplies [7 days before M-Day]
You're going to need boxes, tape, and packing material for your move
4. Arrange a place to stay on your last night in town [5 days before
Chances are, your old place will be barren on the last night you're in
town, so unless you want to crash in a sleeping back on the bare floor
with no food, you should make alternative arrangements.
5. Close bank accounts [3 days before M-Day]
Start shutting down all your bank accounts before you leave town. This
can be as easy as writing yourself a check for the balance of your
account, but could be much more involved. It differs from bank to bank,
so schedule a visit to your personal banker.
6. Gather your travel necessities [3 days before M-Day]
So you've put together all the big documents by now, but you want to
make sure you have your driver's license, registration, passport,
wallet, credit cards all within handy reach.
7. Arrange to disconnect utilities [3 days before M-Day]
Pre-arrange utilities to be cut one to two days after your move. Yes, it
may cost you a little extra to keep everything running a few more days,
but on moving day, you're going to need power and water.
C) Moving Day
By now, all arrangements and packing should be all done. Just relax,
leave the loading to the Movers or load up your own truck. Then move on
Getting a Mover
Okay, this is the big one. Agreeing to have someone come and take all
your stuff calls for a great leap of faith .. so take a deep breath, and
keep these tips in mind.
First, you need to know whom to call! Start by hitting these web sites
that contain directories to movers nationwide. From there, you can
choose a mover who operates in your area and can deliver to your
1. Choose a mover
Obviously you'll want a mover who can meet your budget and your needs.
Anything that you can use to filter your choice of mover is clearly
worth keeping in mind, and you can easily weed out the sketchy groups by
asking for their accreditation.
2. Get an estimate.
Before you agree to do this, you're obviously going to want a pretty
precise estimate of how much it is all going to cost you. Other than
checking a mover's general rates -- which are typically a function of
how heavy your stuff is and how far you plan to move it -- you'll want
them to come by to see your stuff and to give you a more exact number.
There are two types of estimates: binding and nonbinding. Binding just
means that they can't change their mind on you later. Not a bad idea,
but it doesn't really matter too much. To get an accurate number for
either, you have to show them everything -- everything -- you plan to
move. So clear out under the beds, empty the closets, bear it all.
3. Plan your move.
If you're going full service, the mover will pack your stuff for you.
But you may want to keep an eye on the process, since this is when
they'll be compiling your inventory. You should check this list very
closely. See Packing Tips below. When you get to your new house, if you
can't find it and it isn't on the list you signed, you could spoilt
There you go. You're all set. Now get a move on already...
Whether you're packing for yourself or letting others do it, it's always
important to plan ahead! In either case, you may want to see to fragile
or valuable items. But please note—movers are not responsible for damage
to boxes you've packed yourself.
Before you start...
You might want to create an informal schedule of what things to pack
when. Most importantly, plan for a box of "Open First/Pack Last"
• Utility knife—essential for the rest of the job!
• Dishes, flatware, especially glasses.
• Pillows, bedding, towels.
• Cleaning products, paper towels (which you can also use as packing
• Medication and essential toiletries (soap, toilet paper, shampoo).
• First-aid kit.
• Address book or PDA.
• An alarm clock or clock radio.
• A small lamp or flashlight.
• Cellular or plug-in phone (for emergencies).
• Important papers (bank statements, prescriptions) or computer files.
If doing your own packing, here's a checklist of supplies you'll need:
Boxes, boxes, boxes!
Start collecting early—you'd be surprised how many you'll need.
Copier paper, computer and liquor boxes, as well as orange cartons,
are your best bet. The more you can collect beforehand, the
better…they may take up space but they're a great money-saver.
For clothing, best to
purchase large garment boxes (about $15 each). They have sturdy
crossbars across the top so you can hang your suits, dresses, coats,
Clear plastic bags are
great for small stuff and you can easily identify their contents.
Packing tape—you can't
have too much. Don't forget to tape the box bottoms.
Masking tape is
excellent for labeling or securing covers around larger items.
Labels help you and
the movers unload boxes to the right room. Use colored
labels to instantly
identify each box. And don't forget the markers.
Small tools, like
hammer or screwdriver, for disassembly.
A notepad to record
and color-code what you packed. Keep this with your important
moving companies sell sturdy and/or custom boxes.
Holding Garage Sales
Selling your home often means getting rid of a ton of stuff that you
have accumulated over the years. What better way to do this, make money,
and have fun in the bargain than by holding a garage sale?
Immensely popular, garage sales offer a homeowner a way to turn unwanted
items into cash, and shoppers an opportunity to get real bargains. If
having a garage sale is in your future, start gathering up the following
objects. These items have proven to be the most sought-after treasures
at garage sales:
• BOOKS: When asked what they had bought at garage sales, 63 % of
respondents said, "books", making them the single most popular item.
• CHILDREN'S CLOTHING: The better the condition, the more in demand.
But, even those garments with stains may still be serviceable, and may
be swept up by bargain hunters.
• CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS: Those five boxes of lights that you found under
the eaves ( and haven't used in 10 years) are sought-after items.
• EXERCISE EQUIPMENT: That bike, or rowing machine, that you have been
using for a clothes rack, can be turned into cash.
• FURNITURE: Whatever odd piece you no longer want will probably be
snapped up by someone else.
• GARDENING GEAR: Well-crafted trowels and other digging tools are
virtually indestructible. Some gardener will surely be looking for them.
• HARDWARE: Don't throw away those picture hangers, hooks, and nails.
Your old tools will also be a hit.
• LAMPS: Even if they need to be re-wired, table lamps are an item that
garage sale advocates want.
• LUGGAGE: Old suitcases, while heavier than today's models, are also
tougher. Some people prefer this strong luggage.
• PET SUPPLIES: Alas, a hamster cage or a fish bowl often lasts longer
than the pets they once housed. Sell it !
• PICTURE FRAMES: Because new ones are expensive, frames are popular
items, and ones that never go out of style.
• PLANTERS, and VASES: Again, these items do not go out of style, but DO
go quickly at garage sales.
• RECORDS: Collectors scour garage sales looking for gems, and ordinary
people come looking for their favorites.
• TOYS and GAMES: Simple toys and classic games are always in demand.
If your storage area is bursting with the things listed above, and you
would rather have the cash than the chore of moving everything to a new
location, consider a garage sale.
To help insure a
successful sale, keep the following tips in mind:
• Have small bills and change available. Don't lose a potential sale
because you can't make change, or break a twenty dollar bill.
• Bring your common sense. People shop garage sales for bargains.
Period. Be realistic with the pricing of your sale items.
• Bring your sense of humor. Be prepared for good-natured (or maybe NOT
so good-natured) haggling. If you think you might be offended if someone
makes a low ball offer on the picture frame Aunt Rose gave you, then
don’t put it out for sale.
Remember WHY you had the sale in the first place. A garage sale is
successful if you have nothing left at the end of the day to put back
into the garage
Setting up life in a New Place
A) Immediate task after Moving In
There are things that need to be sorted out, here is a good list..
1. New utilities
There's nothing more depressing than sitting in an unfurnished new
apartment and not even being able to call anyone as the phone is still
not working by the time you get there. Coordinate with the agent on the
phone connection, gas, electricity, water, cable, and trash collection
at the new place.
2. List of things to buy
There is going to be an arsenal of things you'll need to set up your new
home. Before you leave your old place, you should make a list of the
things that you think are priority. Here's one tip: food. Here's
another: cleaning products.
3. New bank account
You may not be able to take care of this task until you arrive and can
visit the bank yourself, but you can probably make phone calls before
you get there to inquire about what kinds of accounts the competing
banks are offering.
4. Schooling arrangements
Confirm placement and schooling transport arrangement for the children
5. Driver's licenses
Again, you'll probably have to hike over to the DMV and waste a day
there once you arrive -- and you often have a grace period to get your
car set up -- but just remember to take care of this item.
6. Set up new insurance policies
If you've got a car, you'll need to update or purchase your insurance
policies to take into account your move.
B) Acclimating to Your New Neighborhood
Whether you're moving to a new country or to a suburb 30 minutes away,
you'll go through an adjustment period following your move. Particularly
if you've moved to another country, you'll face the initial uncertainty
of knowing absolutely nothing about where the "important" landmarks are:
the nearest grocery store, the pharmacy, the gas station, the library,
the shopping centre that carries your necessary household cleaning
items, and of course, the all-important restaurants, coffee house, movie
theater and mall.
Once you've located the basics, you'll want to expand your horizons and
get to know your new hometown's cultural offerings. The fact is that the
sooner you begin to explore your new hometown, the sooner you'll
establish a comfort level in your surroundings, and the more positive
your experience is going to be. Moving to a new home is like any other
new experience in life: You get out of it what you put into it. Don't
waste any time getting to know your new hometown. In fact, you can start
becoming acclimated long before the move.
After you've arrived in your new hometown, you'll want to hit the
streets with your map in hand, seeing with your own eyes the various
landmarks depicted on your map. What appears logical on a map is often
completely illogical when you attempt to navigate the area by car or on
foot. There's nothing worse than discovering your first day on the job
or on your kids' first day of school that some of those streets on the
map you purchased are one-way streets, or perhaps they're closed off due
to construction. Practice beforehand the routes you'll be taking on a
If you're a church- or synagogue-goer and plan to continue the practice
in your new hometown, get online, and research places of worship in your
area. If you locate one you'd like to attend, contact the
church/synagogue ahead of time to find out if it offers a newcomers'
organization. Such groups can offer a tremendous source of support and
information. Volunteerism - either through the church or independently -
also is an excellent way to become acquainted with your new community