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Relocation Tips

How can I lighten the load of relocating?

No matter how excited you are about your new home—or new geographic location—relocating can be burdensome. Check this list of common sense and insightful suggestions for ways to make moving to your new life easier.

1. Give yourself plenty of time to arrange for movers.

You not only want to shop for a good price, you also want to make sure it’s a bona fide business, not a scam. Check references. And call the Better Business Bureau to get a report on the moving company you use. Even if the company name sounds familiar, be diligent and pay a visit to their headquarters. Sometimes a bogus company will use a name reminiscent of a well advertised mover to give clients a false sense of security. If the company doesn’t welcome a visit to their facility, call someone else.

2. Make a “to do” list and post it where the whole family can make additions and check off accomplished tasks.

Give assignments to the whole family—teens on up—to lighten the load on yourself. It will also make everyone feel they’re doing their part.

3. Clean up and throw out as you pack.

Don’t move a lot of stuff that’s going to end up at a thrift shop anyway. And if you’re having your things professionally packed, make labels ahead of time that will help movers identify where things go on the other end. Jane’s clothes. Jimmy’s athletic gear. John’s office papers. Etc.

4. Keep important papers with you.

Don’t ship them. Things like passports, birth certificates, bank statements, licenses should all travel with the family, not with everything else.

5. Do not ship fine jewelry, stocks and bonds, bank notes and the like.

Keep them on your person.

6. Alert utility companies at the new and old house of your termination/start date.

7. Submit a change of address form to the post office.

Be sure to advise banks, insurers and publications of your new address, remembering that it can take a month or two for them to catch up with data entry.

8. Install phones

It’s best to have phones installed sooner rather than later. You want to be sure to have service on hand when you arrive, even though you may have cell coverage as well.

9. If you’re moving to a new jurisdiction, be sure to register your car and get inspections taken care of right away.

Not doing so can mean costly tickets and a rude introduction to your new community.

10. Prep your pets. 

Be sure that your pets are in good health, clean, flea- free and have any prescribed medications they may require before you travel. You won’t want to have to find and visit a new vet in your first few days at your new home.. Many pets can become unnerved by all the hubbub of a move, so be patient with them. They’re going to miss their old home, too.

11. Give it back.

Return your library books, your friend’s sweater, your neighbors rake, your sister’s Tupperware.

12. Get it back.

Try to remember the things you’ve loaned out or left at service businesses and get them back. Things like dry cleaning, shoe repairs, appliance repairs, safe deposit items, the earrings you loaned your sister. Be politic in your requests though. No need to sour a relationship over something you’ve lived without all this time.

13. Take your medicine. 

Be sure you have plenty of prescribed medications (packed with your personal items), important medical records, vaccination verifications for the kids, and, if possible, recommendations for doctors in your new location.

14. Just in case…pack a small suitcase with “must have” items you’ll want handy when you arrive.

Include things like batteries, tooth paste and brushes, shampoo, combs, kids toys, pet food, canned soups and easy-prepare food stuffs, a pan, paper plates and cups, simple tools, a knife, candles, light bulbs, a transistor radio, a telephone, a knife, a first aid kit.