Checklist for a Smooth Move

6 Weeks Before "Move-Out Day"

  • Start getting the details of your move organized as soon as you can.
  • Create a "move information" file. Using a brightly colored organizer folder with interior pockets makes it easy to store important information and collect receipts for moving-related expenses.
  • Ask the Internal Revenue Service for information about tax deductions on moving expenses and what receipts you'll need to keep.
  • Contact your insurance agent to transfer property, fire, auto and medical insurance.
  • When organizing dental and medical records, be sure to include prescriptions, eyeglass specifications and vaccination records.
  • Contact any clubs or associations you are affiliated with for information on transferring, selling or ending your memberships.
  • Wills, stock certificates and other one-of-a-kind items (jewelry, photos, home videos) are difficult or impossible to replace. Plan to carry them with you instead of packing them.
  • Start becoming acclimated to your new community. Contact the Chamber of Commerce or Visitor's Bureau to request information on schools, parks and recreation, community calendars and maps.

5 Weeks Before "Move-Out Day"

  • Take an objective look at what you own, and decide what must go and what can be left behind. Books you've read and will never read again? The pan with the broken handle or the children's long-neglected games? Remember - extra weight costs more money.
  • Sit down and start organizing your move. Make a list with three columns: items to leave behind, items for Mayflower to move, and items you'll move by yourself.
  • For each item you aren't going to take with you, decide whether you'll sell it, give it away to charity, or otherwise dispose of it before your move.
  • Get your mail moving. Your post office will have change-of-address cards to help you with this task.

4 Weeks Before "Move-Out Day"

  • Start including your children in the move planning. Make it exciting and fun by having your kids do some of their own packing, and let them suggest layouts for their new room. Ask your agent about Mayflower's "My Move" kit for children. Designed under the guidance of child psychologist Dr. Richard K. Grana, the kit includes games, stickers, activities and an original story to help kids adjust to the idea of "leaving home."
  • Start collecting suitable containers and packing materials if you plan to do any part of the packing yourself. You can obtain these materials for a reasonable fee from your Mayflower agent.
  • Ask your agent for Mayflower's helpful "Do-It-Yourself Packing Guide."
  • It's a good idea to let us do most of the packing. That's what we do for a living, so we know the proven methods for keeping items safe.

3 Weeks Before "Move-Out Day"

  • Talk to your agent and decide how much packing you will handle by yourself, if any. Leave the big items for us. Because our packers are specially trained professionals, it's a good idea to let us do everything we can to ensure the safety of your possessions.
  • Make sure to notify your Mayflower agent if you add items to, or subtract items from, your planned household goods shipment or if there are any changes in the dates of your move.
  • If you have young children, arrange for a baby-sitter to watch them on moving day. Since you'll be concentrating your efforts on the move, a sitter can keep your children occupied and make sure they remain safe during the busy loading process.
  • You will need to carry valuable jewelry with you. If you've hidden any valuables around the house, be sure to collect them before leaving.
  • Some state laws prohibit the moving of house plants. Consider giving your plants to a friend or local charity.
  • While you are sorting through your belongings, remember to return library books and anything else you have borrowed. Also remember to collect all items that are being cleaned, stored or repaired (clothing, shoes, furs, watches, etc.).
  • Since you will want to have your utilities (electric, gas, phone, etc.) still connected on moving day, arrange to have them disconnected from your present home after your scheduled move-out.
  • Call ahead to have utilities connected at your new home the day before or the day of your scheduled move-in.

2 Weeks Before "Move-Out Day"

  • Make final packing decisions. Start preparing for the move of those items you don't use often.
  • Clean and clear your home including closets, basements and attics.
  • Dispose of flammables such as fireworks, cleaning fluids, matches, acids, chemistry sets, aerosol cans, paint, ammunition and poisons such as weed killer.
  • Plan meals that will use up the food in your freezer.
  • Have your automobile serviced if you're traveling by car.
  • Transfer all current prescriptions to a drugstore in your new town.
  • Thousands of people leave town without clearing their safety deposit boxes. Don't be one of them. Call your bank to find out how to transfer your bank accounts, as well.
  • Drain all the oil and gasoline from your lawn mower and power tools to ensure safe transportation. Refer to your owner's manual for specific instructions.

1 Week Before "Move-Out Day"

  • This is your week to tie up loose ends. Check back through the Move Planner to make sure you haven't overlooked anything.
  • Since you will want to have your utilities (electric, gas, phone, etc.) still connected on moving day, arrange to have them disconnected from your present home after your scheduled move-out.
  • Call ahead to have utilities connected at your new home the day before or the day of your scheduled move-in.
  • Take the "Do Not Load" stickers from the back of the Move Planner and place them on all the things you want to take with you. Then, since the last items loaded are the first ones unloaded, put the "Load Last" stickers on things that you will need to use as soon as you get to your new home. The "Fragile" stickers should be placed on items that need special care.
  • Pack your suitcases and confirm your personal travel arrangements (flights, hotel, rental cars, etc.) for your family. Try to keep your plans as flexible as possible in the event of an unexpected schedule change or delay.
  • Make sure your agent knows the address and phone number where you can be reached until you get into your new home.
  • Empty, defrost, and clean your refrigerator and freezer, and clean your stove, all at least 24 hours before moving to let them air out. Try using baking soda to get rid of any odors.
  • Prepare a "Trip Kit" for moving day. This kit should contain the things you'll need while your belongings are in transit.

"Move-Out Day"

  • Strip your beds, and make sure the bedding goes into a "Load Last" box.
  • Make sure to be on hand when the movers arrive. It's important that an adult be authorized to take your place if you are unable to be present at any time while the movers are there. Let the agent know to whom you have given this authority. Be sure that your chosen representative knows exactly what to do, and which valuation program and amount you have selected. Remember - this person may be asked to sign documents obligating you to charges.
  • Confirm the delivery date and time at your new address. Write directions to your new home for the van operator, provide the new phone number, and include phone numbers where you can be reached in transit. Make sure to take along the destination agent's name, address and telephone number.
  • When the van operator arrives, review all details and paperwork. Accompany the driver as he or she inspects and tags each piece of furniture with an identifying number. These numbers, along with a detailed description of your goods and their condition at the time of loading, will appear on the inventory.
  • It is your responsibility to see that all of your goods are loaded, so remain on the premises until loading is completed.
  • Since you'll probably want to clean before the furniture is unloaded off the truck, make sure your vacuum is packed last, so it can be unloaded first.
  • Stay in your home until the last item is packed. Make a final inspection before you sign any paperwork (Inventory, Bill of Lading, etc.).

"Move-In Day"

  • The van operator will contact you or the destination agent 24 hours prior to the expected arrival time. This allows time to locate you and arrange for unloading. If for some reason you cannot be reached, it is then your responsibility to contact the destination agent.
  • Be sure you're there when the movers arrive. Plan to stay around while they unload in case they have any questions. If you cannot be there personally, be sure to authorize an adult to be your representative to accept delivery and pay the charges for you. Inform the destination agent of your chosen representative's name. Your representative will be asked to note any change in the condition of your goods noted on the inventory at the time of loading, and to note any items missing at the time of delivery.
  • Have payment on hand for your moving charges. Unless other billing arrangements were made in advance, payment is required upon delivery in cash, traveler's checks, money order or cashier's check. Personal checks are not accepted.
  • Check to make sure the utilities have been connected, and follow up on any delays.
  • Make sure your phone is connected. Ideally, you should have the phone company hook it up the day before "Move-In Day."
  • Confine your pets to an out-of-the-way room to help keep them from running away or becoming agitated by all of the activity.
  • It's a good idea to review your floor plan so you can tell the movers where to place your furniture and appliances. Plan to be available to direct them as they unload.
  • To prevent possible damage, televisions, stereos, computers, other electronic equipment and major appliances should not be used for 24 hours after delivery, allowing them time to adjust to room temperature.

Mayflower Transit, one of the nation's leading transportation service companies, specializes in the worldwide movement of household goods, electronics/high-value products, trade show exhibits and general commodities. With headquarters in Suburban St. Louis, MO, Mayflower Transit is represented by more than 750 agents around the globe.

Mike Cotter, Broker Associate, DRE #00806890
Century 21 O.M.A., 229 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, CA 92672
Mobile 949.322.6009, Fax 949.492.7850
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