6-8 weeks before your move
- Determine which items you wish to take to your new residence. Items that you don’t need should either be donated to charity or sold at a garage sale.
- If you plan on packing your own items, start collecting suitable packing supplies.
- Create a floor plan for the new residence that will ease the stress of making decisions once the furniture arrives.
- Insurance, medical and dental records should be placed in a safe, accessible place. Also include prescription and vaccination records. Plan on taking all vital documents such as: wills, stock certificates and other one-of-a kind items (jewelry, coin collection, photos, etc.) separately.
2-3 weeks before your move
- Do you have power? Call ahead to have utilities connected at your new home.
- Make final packing decisions. Start packing items you don’t use often.
- Clean and clear your home, including basements and attics.
- Remember to call your bank to find out how to transfer your bank accounts. Each year people move without clearing out their safety deposit boxes. Don’t be another statistic. If you’ve hidden any valuables around the house, be sure to collect them before leaving.
- Dispose of flammable items such as fireworks, cleaning fluids, matches, acids, chemistry sets, aerosol cans, paint, poisons such as weed killer and ammunition.
- Drain all the oil and gasoline from your lawn mower and power tools to ensure safe transportation.
1 week before your move
- This is the time to tie up any loose ends. Check through this guide to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
- Pack your suitcases and confirm your family’s travel arrangements (flights, hotel, rental cars).
- Try to keep your plans as flexible as possible in the event of a change of schedule.
- Contact your movers to make sure they have the address and phone number where you can be reached if you are not going directly to your new home.
- Plan ahead and save yourself some stress by preparing a “First Night Survival Kit” that includes basic clothing, toiletries, bedding and food for you and your family. Whether your household goods are arriving after you, or you are simply too tired to unpack, this kit will make your first night a little easier.
- At least one day before moving, empty, defrost and clean your refrigerator and freezer. If necessary, prepare your stove to be moved. Try using baking soda to get rid of any odors.
You made it to moving day
- Strip your beds and make sure the bedding goes into a “Load Last” box. You may want to clean before the furniture is unloaded, be sure the vacuum is packed last.
- Check to make sure the utilities have been connected and follow up on any delays.
- Confine your pets to an out-of-the-way room to help keep them from running away or becoming agitated by all of the activity.
- To prevent possible damage, televisions, stereos, computers, other electronic equipment and major appliances should not be used for 24 hours after delivery, allowing them time to adjust to room temperature.
Moving with children
While all children are not the same, by and large they all need similar things before and after relocation. A successful move for the entire family can be achieved by focusing on the fundamentals.
Keep these basics in mind to assist your children in a successful transition:
- Include your family in the details of the relocation as soon as possible. Kids like to be a part of what is changing in their world and may also provide parents with valuable information on their needs throughout the transition.
- Be positive on their level. Make sure to find out things about the new area that might be of interest to them. Football, dance or places that they might like to visit could be a good way to get them excited about the move. When they are able to picture their new surroundings and their new life they can focus on the positive changes.
- Keep an open forum. Let your children talk about their experiences both good and bad. Make sure to listen and not dismiss their concerns no matter how small they may seem. They will appreciate being heard.
- Say goodbye to everyone. Letting children say goodbye allows them to put closure on feelings that might be bothering them.
- Create a big send off. Consider a going-away party with their friends, spend some time driving by former schools and sports fields, etc., make a scrap book.
- Once you arrive in the new home, set their room up immediately. Kids tend to feel homesick and getting their things in place will help them feel more comfortable.
- Encourage your children to make friends as soon as you arrive in your new neighborhood. Talk to parents in your new neighborhood or your children’s school and set up play dates and get-togethers to encourage new friendships.
- Relax and remain positive. Moving is a big transition for everyone, including children. They may have strong feelings about the move, but in time they will come to enjoy their new life and new home. Remember to be patient with them as they adjust.
- Starting out a big move on the right foot can shape the events of the relocation into a positive experience for all. Keeping these basic tips in mind can help parents and their children adjust to a new city and allow the family to move successfully. Below are some additional links for you and your children that you might find helpful.
For Your Kids:
Moving with pets
Moving isn’t just stressful for people, it can also be stressful for pets. When it comes to moving with pets, pre-planning is crucial.
- Pets, as with humans, are very sensitive to changes in their surroundings. There are numerous ways to help them adapt to their new environment.
- Unless traveling a very long distance, it is recommended that your pets accompany you in your car. It provides a better sense of security for you and your pet.
- If your pet isn’t used to car travel, take it on several short rides in advance, gradually increasing the distance. This will help condition your pet to your vehicle’s motion.
- Gather information about your pet’s medical history before leaving.
- Make sure your pet has a proper collar with ID and rabies tag and store all health documents, including a picture, in one convenient place.
- If you’re planning to stop at a hotel along the way, call ahead to see which hotels accept pets.
- Have leashes on hand for your pet, bags to clean up after them and a dish for food or water.
- Make your vehicle safe. Use a harness or a well-ventilated and secured pet carrier. Don’t pile things up on top or around it.
- Avoid feeding or giving your pets water for several hours before your drive.
- Make frequent stops for feeding and resting. Plan on feeding your pets either once daily or a couple of small meals during stops. Also, allow time for a bathroom break prior to resuming travel.
- Take familiar toys or pet beds with you to help your pet feel comfortable in your vehicle and their new home.
- Be patient with your pet as accidents can be common when they are transitioning and settling in. Moving your pet may seem very simple to you, but remember that it may take your pet some time to adjust to their new surroundings.