Important Things to Know Before You Move

In Search of a New Residence

A great first step in searching for a new home is to subscribe to the area’s local newspaper in advance of your move. It will usually contain a large real estate section, which can be very helpful in giving you some idea of the type of housing available in the new city, as well as other useful information. Arrange for a house-hunting trip to your new city. When looking for a new home, take along a tape measure and a list of the exact dimensions of each of your major appliances and other large pieces of furniture – this can help you avoid major pitfalls down the road. Measure the areas provided for them to be sure your appliances and furniture will fit. Establish credit in the new city. Ask your banker for a referral to a correspondent bank and to act as a credit reference.


Pre Planning Your Move

Plan the move as early as possible. If you are able to move at any time of the year, don’t wait until summer, the peak-moving season and also the hottest time to move. Also consider that the first and last few days of the month are extra busy. If renting, give your landlord timely notice of your moving date. If you plan to sell your house, get it on the market as soon as possible. Keep a record of all expenses related to the move, some of which may be tax deductible. Fill out a Household Inventory for each room. This is important for establishing the amount of declared valuation for the shipment and as a permanent inventory for insurance purposes. List, as nearly as possible, the year of purchase and original cost of each item. Attach any invoices or records of purchase to the completed inventory. Prepare a separate high-value inventory if the shipment will contain articles of “extraordinary” value.

The following list includes items that might fall into these categories:

  • Antiques
  • Jewelry
  • Tapestries
  • Art Collections
  • Manuscripts
  • TVs or Stereos
  • Cameras
  • Oriental Rugs
  • Crystal
  • China Collections
  • Silver
  • Figurines
  • Computer Equipment
  • Stones or Gems
  • Firearms

Estimate of Moving Costs

Unless you have been given a binding estimate where a firm cost is established in advance, the exact cost of a move cannot be determined until after the shipment has been loaded on the van and weighed. The weight on which charges are based is calculated by weighing the van before and after loading. The total cost of the move will include transportation charges, any charges for declared valuation, plus charges for any extra services performed at your request. All of these charges are based on tariff rate schedules.

Owner’s Responsibility

It is the owner’s responsibility to see that your mechanical, electrical equipment and appliances are properly serviced for shipping prior to the arrival of the moving van. For safe moving, have these items prepared by a licensed or properly trained technician. This service can be performed by a technician of your choice or by qualified personnel of the moving company. If the owner has failed to have an item serviced, the van operator may load and haul it, but will mark the inventory sheet, “Not Serviced-Loaded at Owner’s Risk.”

Working with the Mover 

  • Decide whether you want to do any of the packing or have it done by the moving company’s experienced personnel. Specify articles that are to be packed so the estimate will include these charges. Any items that are later added to the shipment will add to the cost estimate.
  • Have the moving company conduct a household goods survey in order to furnish you with a written estimate, although the final cost will depend on the actual weight of your household goods after they are loaded on the van. Before the removal list arrives, inspect the property. Include the garage, patio and any storage shed. Decide what to move and what to discard. Remember the cost of moving an item may be greater than the cost of replacing it.
  • Transfer of Personal Records.
  • Arrange for closing or transfer of credit accounts.
  • Gather medical and dental records including vaccination data, medical prescriptions, dates of last examinations, history of past illnesses etc.
  • Ask your doctor and dentist to recommend colleagues in the new city. Be sure to check current telephone numbers and addresses of physicians, dentist and hospital, which will help when transferring your records.
  • Check personal insurance policies to see whether moving is covered. Transfer fire, theft and other personal property insurance to ensure coverage at the new home.
  • Obtain transcripts of the children’s school records and credentials from school authorities or secure transcripts of school records, if you prefer to take them along.
  • Obtain letters of introduction from your church, organization, club, and business Associates.
  • Transfer, sell or resign memberships in clubs or associations. Report your move to any lending agency with which you do business. A lender’s permission may be required to move personal property in which the lender has an interest.

Planning Your Packing

If you plan to do the packing yourself, start collecting suitable containers. You can purchase specialized containers from most moving companies, such as:

  •  Small cartons for heavy items (books, record albums, and tools).
  •  Wardrobe containers
  • Large cartons for bulky items (blankets, pillows, and stuffed toys).
  • Medium-sized cartons for bulkier but not so heavy items (towels, linens, and small appliances)

Collect other packing materials

  • White paper
  • Tissue Paper
  • Newspapers
  • Tape or Strong twine for sealing containers
  • Scissors or Sharp knife
  • Felt marker to mark containers
  • Notebook & Pencil for listing contents
  • Labels or Stickers

Set goals and deadlines to ensure that all packing is completed by moving day. You may want to pack one room per week. Attach a list of contents to each carton. Separate and mark goods that will go into storage. Consider having a garage sale to dispose of unwanted items. Remember that the cost of moving an item may be greater than replacing it. Begin to use up large supplies of canned goods and frozen foods. Buy only what will be used before moving.

Places To Notify of Impending Address Change

 + Electric + Magazines + Health + Gas + Professional and trade + Fire

+ Water + Credit Card Companies + Auto + Telephone + Bank cards + Fuel

+ Oil companies + Established Business Accounts

+ Trash removal + Store cards + Credit cards + Professional Services

+ Other cards + Motor Vehicle Department + Doctor + Finance companies

+ Dentist + Relatives and friends + Banks + Accountant + Business associates

+ Department stores + Lawyer + Book and record clubs

+ Government and Public Offices + Real estate Agent + Schools and colleges

+ Social Security Administration + Federal and state income tax

+ Stock broker + Church offices + Insurance Agents

+ Landlord, if you are a tenant + Publications + Life

+ Tenants, if you are a landlord. + Newspapers

Tell the post office know your moving date and new address. If you do not have a permanent address by the time you move, the post office will hold your mail and forward it upon written instructions from you. Phone the local business office of the Telephone Company. They can make arrangements for service in your new home and, on request, give out your new number when your present number is called.

Contact all service companies as listed:

+ Electric + Water + Cable TV + Gas + Fuel + Phone

Arrange to have utilities connected before your arrival — this is a huge stress-saver. Make family travel plans. Reserve air or rail transportation and hotel accommodations as needed. Have your car prepared for the trip: tires, brakes, lubrication, oil change, and tune-up-as needed. Dispose of flammables such as fireworks, cleaning fluids, matches, acids, pressure cans or paint thinner. Drain oil and fuel from your power mower and other machinery. Discard partly used cans of oil, paint, syrup or any other substance that may leak. Carefully tape-seal and place in individual waterproof bags any jars of liquids or semi-liquids you do not wish to discard.

Before you move is an excellent time to return library books and anything borrowed from friends or neighbors. Also collect things you may have loaned. Decide what to do with your houseplants. Set a date with a reliable service person to prepare your appliances for shipment, preferably the day before the move. Depending on the appliance, post service may be needed for refrigerator, freezer, range, washer, dryer and others. For more information, request a free booklet, generally provided by most Home Removal companies. Pianos and organs need to be prepared for moving by a specialized technician.

Make arrangements to have utilities disconnected on moving day:

+ Electric + Water + Cable TV

+ Gas + Fuel + Phone

Plan to keep your telephone in service through moving day in case last minute calls are necessary. Take pets to the veterinarian. Make sure identification tags are attached to the pet’s collar.

Instant Aid Box

Pack a box for instant needs on arrival. Mark the box “To be loaded last and Unloaded first.” Package each group of items separately in labeled paper bags.

Here are some suggestions.

+ Cleaning + Snacks + Reading materials

+ Sponge + Dry soup mix + Puzzles

+ Paper towels +Sandwichspreads + Last-Minute Packing

+ Dish towels + Jars of cheese + Cellular telephone

+ Dish cloth + Package of crackers + Light bulbs

+ Kitchen cleanser + Boxes of dry cereals + Flashlight

+ Window cleaner + Instant coffee, tea, chocolate + Tools-Assorted

+ Scouring pads + Instant creamer, sugar, salt + Shelf paper

+ Kitchen + Bathroom + Trash bags and ties

+ Paper plates, cups, napkins + Towels and face cloths + Children

+ Plastic knives, forks, + Coloring books and spoons + Toilet tissue

+ Small saucepan + Facial tissue + A favorite toy or two

+ Serving spoons + Soap, hand lotion, deodorant

+ Aluminum foil + Toothbrushes and toothpaste

Remove items left in the attic or other storage areas. Empty the refrigerator and freezer so they can dry at least 24 hours before moving. Be careful not to overlook the defrost water pan. Failure to have the appliances completely dry can lead to mildew and unpleasant odor. For more information, request a free booklet, Moving Appliances and Other Home Furnishings, from United Van Lines. Be sure the water is emptied from your steam iron. Launder all soiled clothing prior to the day the appliance service technician is expected. Take the telephone directory with you for contacting former doctors, dentists, suppliers, etc., and for preparing holiday card lists. Pack suitcases for the trip to the new home. Put in extra clothing for emergencies. Consider packing a picnic lunch to eat while traveling. Take along snacks such as fruit and cookies for the children. Include towels for a quick cleanup. Arrange for a baby-sitter for moving day, or have older children look after the younger ones.

Loading Your Belongings

  • Be on hand when the movers arrive. Otherwise, it is important to let the mover know to whom you have given authority to take your place. Be sure this person knows exactly what to do. remember the person may be asked to sign documents obligating you to charges.
  •  Accompany the van operator through the house inspecting and tagging each piece of furniture with an identifying number. These numbers, along with a description of your goods and their condition at the time of loading, should 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. After making a final tour of the house to be sure no items have been overlooked, check and sign the inventory. Get your copy and keep it in a safe place.
  • Check to see the van operator has the exact destination address. Be specific as to where and how you can be reached pending the arrival of your household goods.
  • Leave the phone connected throughout the moving day. Leave a note listing your new address in a conspicuous place in the house so the new occupants will be able to forward any of your mail inadvertently delivered to them.

Take a last look around:

  • Water shut off?
  • Gas shut off?
  • Windows shut and locked?
  • Have you left anything?
  • Air-conditioning shut off?
  • House Locked?
  • Lights turned off?

At Your Destination

  • Contact the destination mover whose name appears on the forms signed as soon as possible and indicate where and how you can be reached.
  •  Make sure the house is ready to be occupied before the van arrives. If you have not already done so, contact the utility companies and make necessary arrangements for service to be turned on.
  •  Always be on hand to accept delivery of your household goods. Otherwise authorize an adult as your representative to accept delivery and pay the charges for you; be sure to let the mover know whom you have authorized for this responsibility. On the day of delivery, the van operator will attempt to contact you by phone and arrive at the residence if you are unable to be reached. If no one appears to accept the shipment within the waiting time, the goods will likely be placed in storage at the owner’s expense.
  •  Check your household goods, as they are unloaded. If there is a change in the condition of the property from the inventory list description at the time of loading or if any items are missing, note any damage and/or missing items on the van operator’s copy of the inventory sheet. By signing the inventory sheet, you are acknowledging receipt of all items listed. Personally report any loss or damage to the moving company agent at the destination immediately.
  •  To save time and confusion, place a floor plan of your new home at the entrance for the movers to use, indicating where you want each piece of furniture to go.
  • Upon unloading, each piece of furniture should be placed as you direct. However, appliances and fixtures while placed may not necessarily be installed.
  • If you have not already done so, contact the utility companies and make necessary arrangements for service. Ask if any of them provides free appliance connection service.
  • Make arrangements for reinstallation of appliances.
  • Check with the post office for any mail being held and ask for delivery to start.
  • Keep all documents pertaining to your move in a safe place. You will need them for verification of moving expenses and for filing your income tax returns later in the year. For more information on tax-deductible moving expenses, consult an Accountant or Tax specialist.
  •  Have your medical and dental records transferred after selecting a family physician and dentist.
  •  Locate the selected schools. Take the children, introduce yourself and register them.
  •  You may want to select a Lawyer to discuss laws pertaining to your destination state, county and/or city. Be sure to cover such matters as wills, transfers of property and investments, insurance regulations, inheritance laws, taxes and the like. Most laws affect a family as soon as residence in the new state and city is established.

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