Practical Matters

Moving Tips at Random (October, 2002)

In preparing for your married life, you might have to juggle the details of moving into a new home. Whether as a renter or homeowner, relocating can be an onerous task. In addition to finding boxes and packing, there are numerous things to keep track of to minimize confusion. Organization is the key. To help make things go smoother, here are some of PrescottWeddings.com favorite tips.

  1. Take a jug of water from the old home for pets. Gradually add new water until animals have adjusted. DO NOT allow pets (especially cats) outside to roam freely after you’ve moved into your new home. Animals must pick up the new scent of their home or you risk having them return to their old territory.
  2. Keep a record of names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all old utilities, newspapers, etc. including (a) cable TV; (b) gas & electric; (c) telephone; (d) water; and (e) garbage pickup. Check on any refundable deposits or have credit to your account.
  3. When you call to cancel – usually a 1-week notice is plenty – get the name of person you talked to and date you called just in case there is any confusion later on.
  4. Turn on all utilities prior to move-in date if possible. If utility companies are the same as your old ones, find out if deposits can be waived or if credits from your old account can be applied to your new account. Again keep a record of the person you talked to and date called.
  5. Clip change of address forms and magazine addresses out of any magazine, flyer, periodical, or brochure you receive by mail. Store them all together.
  6.  If you have time, even if you don’t have your new telephone number, partially fill out all change of address cards to publishers, friends, family, creditors, and the post office. Have them addressed and stamped and as soon as you get your new address and/or telephone number, just fill in the info and you’re done.
  7. Have a list of name, address, telephone numbers and account numbers of all active credit cards and/or credit accounts. Mail forwarding is not always reliable or timely and you don’t want to incur any late charges should you realize that you don’t have a recent statement.
  8. If you’re a homeowner, make a list of all repairs to old home that will need to be done before moving, i.e. (a) filling picture hook holes; (b) filling holes from removal of any racks such as paper towel, hand towels, etc.; (c) any repairs that will improve the salability of the home.
  9. List any heavy cleaning you want to do before moving (all optional), i.e. (a) steam clean furniture; (b) steam clean carpet; (c) wash any permanent light fixtures; (d) wax hard wood floors; (e) wash walls; (f) clean under sinks.
  10. Order a new address stamp if you have time before the move and know your new address.
  11. Use up as much food as possible in your refrigerator and freezer.
  12. Buy shelf paper (optional) now – then you don’t have to rush downtown before anything is unpacked. Make sure you know which box it is packed in or take it with you in your car.
  13. Consider opening new savings and checking accounts at a bank close to your new home. If you do, don’t forget to close your accounts with your “old” bank.
  14. Collect and list all items going to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Get a receipt for taxes!
  15. Make a “moving kit” – very handy when you can’t find anything in boxes – of things you may need, i.e. (a) scissors; (b) tape measure; (c) pencils; (d) paper (to list things that you need to buy); (e) toilet paper and toiletry items; (f) towel, washcloth, soap; (g) first aid kit; (h) coat hangers; (i) flashlight and spare light bulbs; (j) aspirin (a must!); (k) tea kettle, coffee pot, cups and plastic spoons; (l) instant tea, coffee or punch; (m) lots of hand cream – a must!! Packing paper will dry out your skin unbelievable fast so keep cream real handy; (n) cleaning products for your new home including broom, dustpan, and paper towels; (o) hammer; (p) screwdrivers; (q) pliers. MARK THE BOX WITH A RED TAPE TO IDENTIFY EASILY.
  16. When you take down racks like (a) Tupperware racks; (b) tie racks; (c) paper towel holders; (d) wall mount can opener or toaster ovens; (e) hanging lamps, and (f) mirrors and pictures, use masking tape and tape all screws and/or hooks to each rack or item. You won’t have to hunt for them later in your new home.
  17. Don’t forget to pick up anything you may have at dry cleaners, photo reprints, etc.
  18. As soon as possible in your new home (a) register to vote; (b) change driver’s license; (c) change license plates or registration (if applicable by your state law).
  19. AFTER YOUR FIRST WEEK IN YOUR NEW HOME, PLAN SOMETHING FUN TO DO. TAKE A BREAK AND ENJOY YOURSELF. AN ABSOLUTE MUST!

  20.  Locate the local hospital, police and fire departments by your new home noting telephone numbers and addresses in case of an emergency.
  21. You will have to disconnect all your major appliances and computer – professional movers don’t do that.
  22. Consider staying in a motel for the last two nights in your old home and at least one or two nights in your new home. You will only work yourself to death if you try to sleep there. You won’t be able to sit still. You’ll get up and say “I’ll just put this away” and before you know it, it will be 1AM and you will be dropping from exhaustion.
  23. A good place to keep pets while movers are around is in the bathroom since the movers won’t be going in there frequently.
  24. When movers are first arriving, point out any piece of furniture, picture, etc. that may need special care and handling.
  25. Don’t forget to show movers outside stuff to move such as patio furniture, garden tools, statues, planters, barbecue, etc.
  26. Tie or tape all furniture keys to the piece to which they belong – desk, curio cabinet, china cabinet, etc.
  27. Screw down the turntable and playing arm of your stereo so they won’t get knocked around in moving – even inside a carton.
  28. Professional movers will not take (a) paints; (b) aerosol spray cans; (c) matches; (d) ammunition; (e) anything flammable or explosive; (f) fire extinguisher; (g) open food; (h) any opened product whether harmful or not.
  29. When movers are unloading, DON’T try to unpack or clean. Just direct the men where you want everything. It’s too hectic to unpack and constantly be interrupted. KEEP CALM!!
  30. Make sure you have ALL furniture and boxes before you sign professional mover’s vouchers. Take your time and check. Don’t worry about making the movers wait. Be sure!
  31. Notify your credit card companies (MasterCard, Visa, etc.) immediately of your move and new address. Most will cancel your credit card within 90 days if your new address does not coincide with your billing address.
  32. Maintain tax information in five packets. Keep all receipts and notes such as mileage, reason, etc.: (a) Direct Moving Costs; (b) Selling Expenses; (c) Purchasing Expenses; (d) House Hunting Expenses; (e) Temporary Living Expenses. This could help you when you do your tax returns.
  33. Keep out any warm coats or gloves you might need. Also keep out any cool articles of clothing in case the weather is really hot.
  34.   Have rugs, curtains, and house cleaned prior to moving into the new home. HAVE A ROLL OF BUTCHER PAPER AVAILABLE AT TIME OF MOVE-IN TO LAY ON CARPETING OR FLOOR TO KEEP CLEAN FROM OUTSIDE DIRT OR IF GROUND IS WET.
  35. Have old locks in your new home re-keyed IMMEDIATELY.
  36. Check with your insurance agent as soon a possible. Ask if you’re covered if items are damaged in move. If not, ask if they provide special endorsements for this. It’s worth the extra bit of cost to protect yourself.