Being a military family we did numerous moves. I like to think I am a pro when it comes to moving, and am happy to share what I’ve learned with my clients. In the military we could move across the country or around the world, and planning was essential to keep it from becoming overly stressful.
When should you start planning the move? I like to have six weeks. This allows ample time to get everything done, and to take care of any situations that may come up.
The first thing I do is get a notebook and title the top of three pages, these titles are “Going”, “Staying”, and “Charity”. I then pick a room and get started by deciding what furniture is going, what is staying, and what is being donated. All these furniture items are listed on the appropriate page. Then, still working in that room, I get three boxes and mark them “Going”, “Staying”, and “Charity”. You may be asking why I have a “Staying” box. In this box I will put any instruction manuals, keys, extra batteries for home systems, paint color information, Homeowner Association contact info, and anything else the new owners may need.
I do this in each room, and can get through the entire house in a couple of days. I always end up with several boxes of items, and some furniture that we will donate to charity. I call the charity and schedule a pick-up. This is really convenient, and is a great way to get rid of things in good condition. Please know I don’t touch the garage, that is always Dean’s thing and if I started tossing what I thought wasn’t important, let me say he wouldn’t be happy.
Once the house is organized it is time to call the movers. In the military I was fortunate because Dean always took care of that through admin. He would schedule for them to come to the house so they could figure the weight total and number of boxes. For my clients, I tell them to call three separate moving companies and setup appointments to get estimates. I include a contact sheet for several companies in their seller’s packet.
It is also important to contact your insurance company and make sure your belongings will be insured while in transit. I learned, before a cross country move, that the popular insurance company we had been with for years would only give 10% of the total value should something happen in transit. When I heard that and thought about our belongings crashing down a mountain in a mass of flames (totally over dramatic) we immediately dumped them and got better insurance.
Also during this sixth week be sure to have your family’s necessary paperwork together. I like to keep it together all the time. These papers include passports, Social Security cards, birth certificates, marriage license, insurance policies, and so on.
Last thing to do in the sixth week is tell the people who do services at your home that you are moving. This includes contracted pest company, gardener, pool service, window washer, and anyone else who does things around your house. You can settle your account, and let them know when the last date of their service is needed. Be sure to write a list of all these companies plus their contact information for the new homeowner. You guessed it, it goes in the “Staying” box.
Countdown through other moving weeks to follow.