5 Things to Do before You Move

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If you just bought a new home, or are in the market for one, you're probably already planning your move. When you're leaving one home for another, there is a seemingly endless checklist of tasks that need to be done. You can streamline the process with this list of the most important things to do before the big move.

Before You Move:

  1. Clean out: The last thing you want to do is go through all the work of boxing up and moving old, unused items. A month or two before your move, inspect your whole house, including the garage and attic, and sort out the items you can do without. Have each of your family members do the same with their clothes, toys, and other items. This will significantly reduce the amount of packing -- and unpacking -- you have to do and will streamline your moving process. Once you have cleaned out, take as many unwanted items as possible to donation centers to give them a second life.

  2. Label furniture and boxes: Once you get into your new home, organizing and unpacking is going to be a big task that could take weeks, if not months. Make it easier on yourself and your movers by labeling boxes and furniture with the name of the room they'll go in before you move. That way, you'll have everything where it needs to be when you're ready to unpack and start setting up your new home. It can help you take the process down from weeks to just a few days.

  3. Prep your old home: In the last couple days before you leave, begin preparing your old home for new owners. The house may be empty for a while before new owners move in. Deep clean the house, including floors and window coverings, and begin to defrost your refrigerator 48 hours before you move out, and unplug any large appliances that will stay in the old home the morning of the move. Also on the day of your move, close the curtains and blinds. Do a double-check of the house to make sure you've packed everything, and make sure all doors and windows are locked when you leave.

  4. Change your address: Notify the post office of your change of address two weeks to a month before you move, and make sure all your subscriptions are being sent to your new address as well. You'll also want to notify your bank of your new address and change the billing address on your credit and debit cards. If you're using a regional bank and are moving out of the area, you'll need to transfer your accounts to a bank in your new area. Similarly, transfer all prescriptions to a pharmacy in your new area if needed.

  5. Notify utilities: A month before moving out, notify your utility companies that you are moving and give them a moving date and an end-service date. It's a good idea to let them know that you wish to cancel your accounts when you move out so that they will know that a new account needs to be created for any new residence. If you receive the newspaper, stop your service before you move as well.

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