Preparing for a Move

There’s a lot to consider before making a move, and making adequate preparations is vital.

It goes without saying that prior to moving to a new location, you need to determine several facts about it. Find out what the cost of living is, the cost of property, the job opportunities there, the local culture, the weather, traffic, etc.

If you’re moving with kids, it’s also wise to check up on schools in the area as well as doctors, dentists, and, if needed, professional daycare services.

You must also take care of the nitty gritty details involved in the move. You’re changing addresses, and this complicates things a bit.

Several weeks before the move, you must contact your local Post Office for a change of address or visit the U.S. Postal Service website if you prefer to do it online. (Keep in mind that changing your address online will cost you $1.05, while visiting the Post Office to change it is free.) Make sure to include the date you want the Post Office to start forwarding your mail to your new address.

You should let friends and family know your address will change, of course, as well as banks, credit card companies, employers, local and federal government agencies, utility and telephone companies, etc.

Examples of federal agencies that require notice of address changes include the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Agency and the Department of Veteran Affairs. Be sure to get this handled well before the move.

Don’t forget to change your address on your driver’s license and motor vehicle registration, too. Visit your state’s official motor vehicle website to take care of this. Similarly, contact your state’s election office if you want to change your address on your voter registration record.

If you’re moving pets, you need to consider that pets get stressed out when relocating just like people do. So if you want to make things easier for your pet, make sure to keep its routine as normal as possible in the weeks leading up to the move. Also, be sure to have identification on your pet at all times.

If you have kids that are moving with you, be certain to prepare them for the move, too. Adjusting to life in a new community can be overwhelming, and so can all the uncertainty leading up to it.

In order to make the process more comfortable for them, try to involve your kids in the move a little more. Share with them details about the move, answer questions and listen to what they have to say. Encourage them to help with packing as well. Anything that makes them feel involved and even a little empowered should help counteract any uncertainty and fear they may have about the move.

It may be a good idea to have a garage sale a few weeks before the move. It’s usually not wise to pack everything in the house, after all, so this could prove to be an efficient time to clear out some junk. (Think of moving as a great opportunity to weed out all the things you don’t need…you might not get another opportunity like this for a while!)

There are a few additional preparations you must make that you may have glossed over. If you’re moving from an apartment building, you’ll need to get the certificate of insurance from your building, and don’t forget to reserve one of the freight elevators.

Apart from that, there isn’t much more you need to do to prepare for the move. Just make sure to pack properly, of course, and for that, you’ll have to visit our Packing Guide.