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8 Weeks before the move: Call for estimates from the professional movers. Draw a floor plan of your new home. Use this plan to place furniture to scale in each room and decide which furniture to move, which to dispose of and which to replace or add. Call the Local Authority in your new town for their "residential information" leaflet
6 Weeks before the move: Inventory all possessions now. Decide what to move, sell, replace or donate to charity. Complete postal change of address forms; mail to stores and organisations. Obtain copies of all medical, dental, legal, accounting, veterinarian records. Make arrangements for record transfers between schools on both ends of the move. Ask tax advisor to review your potential moving related tax deductions. Itemise moving related costs with mover including packing, loading, special charges, insurance, etc.
4 Weeks before the move: Repair, send out for reupholstery, or clean furniture, drapes, carpeting as necessary. Advertise a garage sale to dispose of unwanted furniture, accessories, clothes, etc. If a professional mover is packing your goods, schedule packing day(s) one or two days before the move. If you move yourself, order adequate boxes, packing materials and tape now. Arrange for short-term or long-term storage if you will need it. Make travel arrangements for pets, including necessary medical records, immunisations, etc.
2 Weeks before the move: Prepare auto(s) for trip to new home. Check tyres and have car(s) serviced before the move. Terminate newspaper and other delivery services. Confirm new bank accounts by phone or fax. Schedule an appliance service firm for moving day to prepare major appliances for the move.
1 Week before the move: Gather important papers, records and valuables for protected shipment to new home or safe deposit box. Notify friends and neighbours of new address, (and phone number if possible). Make plans for young children to be cared for on moving day. Collect any necessary prescriptions and medications needed for the next two weeks.
Week of the move: Defrost refrigerator and freezer. Give away all food in both units. Plan simple meals for moving day (or take out food) to avoid using the refrigerator. Arrange enough cash for your trip. Pack items you need to take with you including valuables, financial records, personal papers. Pack signed bill of lading and inventory where they can be easily reached once at your destination. Carefully mark LAST BOX PACKED-FIRST BOX UNPACKED containing tools, flashlights, etc. Give the mover a telephone number and address where you can be reached in your new town.
If you are doing your own packing: - Use the light boxes, and pack them carefully.
Professional moving companies use only sturdy, reinforced cartons. The boxes you can get at your neighbourhood supermarket or liquor store might be free, but they are not nearly as strong or padded, and hence cannot protect your valuables as well from harm whilst in transit.
Use sheets, blankets, pillows and towels to separate pictures and other fragile objects from each other and the sides of the carton. Pack plates and glass objects vertically, rather than flat and stacked, (mix heavy items with light bulky cushions etc).
Be sure to point out to your mover the boxes in which you've packed fragile items, especially if those items are exceptionally valuable. The mover will advise you whether those valuables need to be repacked in sturdier, more appropriate boxes. The heavier the item, the smaller the box it should occupy. A good rule of thumb is; if you can't lift the carton easily, it's too heavy.
Label your boxes, especially the one containing sheets and towels, so you can find everything you need the first night in your new home. You can lighten your load and reduce any storage space you need to rent by hosting a garage or yard sale.
For your family's safety and comfort
Teach your children your new address. Let them practice writing it on packed cartons.
Fill two "OPEN ME FIRST" cartons containing snacks, instant coffee or tea bags, soap, toilet paper, toothpaste and brushes, medicine and toiletry items (make sure caps are tightly secured), flashlight, screwdriver, pliers, can opener, paper plates, cups and utensils, a pan or two, paper towels, and any other items your family can't do without. Ask your van foreman to load one of these boxes, so that it will be unloaded at your new home first. Why the second box? In case the movers are delayed getting to your house on the day of the move.
Keep your pets out of packing boxes and away from all the activity on moving day.
Let all your electrical gadgets return to room temperature before plugging them in.
Since you may need to call old neighbours or businesses from your new home, pack your phone book.
Work hand in hand with your mover
Give the mover's foreman your contact numbers and email addresses so you can stay in contact.
Read the inventory form carefully, and ask the mover to explain anything you don't understand. Make a note of your shipment's registration number, and keep your Bill of Lading handy.
If you're moving long distance, be aware that your property might share a truck with that of several other households. For this reason, your mover might have to warehouse your furniture and belongings for several days. Therefore, ask your mover whether your goods will remain on the truck until delivered. If they have to be stored, ask whether you can check the warehouse for security, organisation and cleanliness.