Checklist: The perfect eight-week move


  • Create a three-ring binder to organize all the details.
  • Decide whether to move with the help of friends or professionals. Price the many costs (truck, gas, food, hotels, strained muscles, strained friendships, etc.) of doing it yourself before deciding that professionals are too expensive.
  • Hire your truck or moving company immediately. Depending on the time of year and direction you're traveling, procrastinators can be wait-listed several months or forced to pay a premium.
  • Find out if you can deduct your moving expenses.


  • Clean out storage areas in and around your home and donate or sell everything you don't need.
  • Decide whether to leave, sell, donate or ship large appliances.
  • Start planning your meals around the contents of your freezer.
  • Get rid of anything flammable or corrosive (paint, cleaning products, antifreeze, oil, gasoline, etc.). If your grill has a gas tank, empty it completely. If you're unsure where to get rid of these materials, ask your moving company for a local HAZMAT disposal site.


  • Start collecting used grocery boxes for your packing needs.
  • Have all valuables you are moving or shipping re-appraised for insurance purposes.


  • Send a change of address kit to your post office.
  • If moving out of state, research the driver's license and auto registration requirements.
  • Register children in their new school and transfer their records.
  • Alert your homeowner's/renter's and auto insurance companies.


  • Contact all organizations you belong to and transfer your membership to the new location.
  • Ask for health care referrals in your new location, then transfer all your medical records, including x-rays, to the new service providers.
  • Make a home inventory of all your possessions. Record the serial numbers of any electronic equipment.
  • Start packing items you won't need between now and the move.


  • Get a two-month supply of medications and have your prescriptions transferred to a pharmacy in the new location.
  • Ask your veterinarian about travel plans for your pets.
  • If you're packing your own stuff, start buying packing materials.
  • Check your insurance policy for what is covered in a move. Make sure your homeowner's or renter's liability insurance covers both the new and old locations during the move.


  • Check with all of your local service providers (such as dry cleaners and film developers) to pick up items and settle accounts.
  • Tell the utility companies when to turn off the old services and turn on the new (two days before your arrival).
  • Pack all valuable items you will be taking with you.


  • Unplug, defrost and dry the freezer and refrigerator.
  • Pack suitcases with all items you will need before the moving truck arrives in your new location.
  • Prepare a special "last-on/first-off" box with any items you will need immediately upon your arrival.


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