9 Smart Things to do Before You Move
There are SO many things to remember when you’re moving. Understand that you will be living in controlled chaos for a while - but there are some things that should be done which will make the transition smoother for you.
Change of Address
Visit your post office first and fill out a form to get started (you can also do this online at USPS Change of Address. Then make a list of all the regular places that you get mail and start changing your address online. Think Amazon, medical prescriptions, subscriptions, and any other regular deliveries. Order some nice change-of-address cards for your friends and associates - Shutterfly is a good source.
Contact the Utilities
Let them know the close date of the sale and cancel it from your name. If you’re moving locally, have them transfer service to the new address.
If you use a landscaper, snow plow service, or any other regular service, be sure to let them know in advance that you're leaving.
If your new home will not need updating and you’re moving directly in, plan to have the entire home deep cleaned - including inside the cabinets. Even if it’s new construction. You will feel so much better knowing that it’s been done.
Change the Locks
It’s not expensive and provides a great measure of security. Who knows who has access to the old keys!
Prepare Ahead for any Updating
If you’re planning to do updating to the new home such as painting, floor refinishing, etc, plan well ahead with your contractors. You’ll want them to start work immediately after closing to ensure it’s done quickly and efficiently.
If you wait too long to get estimates, it will just delay your move. In order for this to be done, you will need access to your home before the close to get estimates and it’s important to make sure you have the seller’s approval beforehand to enter the house several times. It’s even a good idea to have your real estate attorney put this in writing during the attorney approval period.
Internet and Media
If you want your computer, television, and music to work on Day 1, you’ll need to contact your provider and have them set up service on the day you close. Know where you want your computers and televisions to go.
The Dreaded De-cluttering
You will not dread this job if you start way in advance. Even before you plan to move! I have a friend who has no plans to move for at least a decade. She and her husband have ordered a dumpster and plan to start paring down their stuff now. Some will be donated, some will go into storage, and a lot will go into the dumpster. It’s not too early to start.
Have places in mind where you want to donate - local charities and thrift stores will take most items and many come to your home for pick ups.
Box it Up
You can buy boxes for a good price at a U-Haul. Get ahead of the game by starting to pack unessential items. Mark boxes carefully and store somewhere safe and dry.
Time does get away from you when your mind is swirling with all the minutiae and excitement of a move. It helps to make lists and keep them prominently displayed so things don't get overlooked. Moving is a big undertaking and you'll be exhausted for a bit. Exhausted but exhilarated.
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Margaret Goss is a full-time real estate broker since 1998 working in the North Shore communities of Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Glencoe, Northfield, Glenview, and Evanston.
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