Essential Tasks to Place on Your Pre-Move Checklist
After deciding to rent or buy a new home, you can begin the pre-planning elements of your move. The following tasks are ideal for getting an early jump on whether you’re moving across town or relocating across state lines.
Set a Moving Budget
Regardless of your move, you’ll need to set a budget to know what you have to work with when making important decisions. This way, you can cap your spending and determine where to cut costs if needed. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much can I afford to spend on my move?
- How far is my relocation, and what additional expenses will I incur if I move a distance?
- Do I want to plan a DIY move or enlist the services of an experienced moving company?
- Will I be packing/unpacking myself, or would I prefer help?
Also, consider whether you’re moving during peak moving season (e.g., June – August) or when moving services are less in demand (e.g., January) because it’ll affect your budget. Whatever your move will involve, knowing the amount of money you can spend will help keep you within any limits you set.
Inform Your Current Landlord of Your Plans to Vacate
Check your lease to see any stipulations regarding providing notice in moving. In most instances, you would inform your landlord before resigning your lease or providing 30 days’ notice. Also, read up on your state’s laws to ensure you don’t miss any windows where a landlord can keep your security deposit or charge you for time remaining on your lease, etc.
Book a Moving Company to Reserve Your Preferred Time
A big part of your pre-planning checklist will be deciding whether you’ll DIY your move or hire a reliable moving company. Unless you plan a small relocation, such as a dorm room or a studio apartment, you’ll likely want help.
As soon as you know you’re moving, plan to obtain quotes from moving companies, especially if you’re moving during peak times. The sooner you book, the more likely you’ll get your preferred dates at the best prices.
Downsize Belongings Before You Begin Packing
This isn’t a traditional “checklist” item per se, but your best bet is to downsize before you move. Plan to sell, donate, or give away things you don’t want or need. There’s no good reason to move belongings you’ll get rid of any way or allow to collect dust in closets or basements. This also helps keep your budget down.
Gather Moving Supplies
Assemble an array of moving supplies once you know you’re moving. This way, you can pack a little at a time to help keep this task manageable and low-stress. You’ll need boxes, tape, packing paper, bubble wrap, and a dark marker (or color labels).
Other Miscellaneous Tasks to Attend to:
- Schedule time off from work if moving during a workday
- File change of address with USPS
- Open or transfer utility accounts
- Close utility accounts you no longer need
- Plan goodbye dinners or parties
- Register children for their new school
- Handle any job-related arrangements
- Research healthcare providers if you have immediate needs
- Make travel arrangements if moving long-distance
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