Relocating is a major change, and often it's hard to know where to begin. The timeline below provides some general guidelines to help create order out of a seemingly impossible task.
7 weeks (before moving)
Obtain a current credit report to have ready for potential landlords.
Find out about schools in your new city.
Create a Renter's Resume and Pet Resume to help you get that perfect apartment.
Research childcare options in your new location.
Notify physicians and dentist of your move, close accounts, and request referrals to professionals in your new area.
Gather any information necessary from clubs or associations regarding transferring, selling or ending memberships.
Schedule check-up appointments for your pet with your veterinarian. Obtain a copy of your pet's records and new tags (if expired).
Look objectively at what you own and decide what will move with you, what gets left behind and what goes into storage. Most moving companies have a minimum weight restriction. Any weight above this minimum means more cost.
Research auto insurance rates in your new location. If considering purchasing a new car do some comparison-shopping.
Determine storage options. Begin collecting boxes and packing materials. Contact truck rental companies or moving companies to order supplies, and make necessary arrangements.
Give thirty-day notice to your current landlord or management company.
Terminate any monthly services. Check into the exact amount of time required, many require at least 30 days notice or you will be billed for an extra month.
Begin touring potential properties. Remember to involve your kids in the move. Make it exciting by having them pack some of their own things, and letting them decide the new layouts of their rooms.
Make the necessary transportation arrangements for your pet.
Determine by which means you will relocate your car.
Notify the post office, insurance company, credit card companies and other important businesses of your move and new location.
Sign a lease and/or finalize arrangements concerning your new residence.
Clear out the clutter before you move. Take items to auction, have a garage sale, and/or donate unwanted items.
Use up remaining perishables, flammables and open liquor bottles. Note: Movers cannot move combustible or flammable materials, including open liquor bottles.
Notify the appropriate schools/institutions and arrange the transfer of you or your children's school records.
Begin packing and labeling your boxes. Make arrangements to carry fragile and hard-to-replace items with you (jewelry, photos, home videos, etc). Consider giving your plants to friends or family, as they are often hard to move and not allowed to be moved in some states.
Distribute forwarding address to old employer, lawyer, accountant, etc.
Make a service appointment for your car.
Make arrangements to receive utilities at your new location.
Check to make sure that all video and book rentals have been returned.
Visit dry cleaners, storage facilities and repair shops to make a check for any personal articles.
Make necessary lodging arrangements for your trip and/or once you've arrived in your new location if your new residence is not yet in move-in condition.
Contact your landlord and verify the move-in date.
If your current residence is a high-rise make the necessary arrangement to use the elevator on moving day.
Notify friends, family members, organizations and clubs of your new address.
If needed, make arrangements for your children on moving day.
Close or transfer bank account, and get traveler's checks if needed. Clear out your safety deposit box as well. Make sure you have money to pay movers. Inquire about what form of payment they allow, some companies accept only cash.
Notify the post office, your insurance and credit card companies of your change of address.
Begin cleaning your residence, or make arrangements to have it professionally cleaned after you move out.
Donate items you are not moving with you. Save the receipts for tax write-offs.
Disassemble your computer system, and save all files to disk.
Contact your utilities providers to cancel or transfer accounts. Be sure to have service terminated after the moving date; as such services are necessary on the actual moving day.
Clean your stove, and de-frost and clean your refrigerator and freezer.
Contact your moving company to confirm your new address.
Finnish any packing or labeling of boxes.
Walk-through your old residence to ensure that nothing was left behind, checking closets, drawers, etc. Turn off all lights, lock all doors and windows, and leave keys with your old property manager, new owner, etc.
Pick up moving van/truck, and any last minute packing supplies that may be needed.
Be available and at your residence when the moving truck arrives. Survey your belongings and make sure all your boxes have arrived undamaged before signing paperwork and letting movers' leave.
If needed update your car's registration, and your driver's license.
Create a moving-in shopping list.
Check security and smoke alarms.
Send in any claims for damages incurred during the move.
Research local schools, and register children at the selected institution.