by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
For many people pondering a move, the piece that involves the actual moving is the most staggering. Buying a new house is exhilarating—beginning a new chapter in life, whether you're moving into your dream residence in Dallas or downsizing, there's something about a move that makes you feel like you're starting over. Then, you look at all your dusty old possessions and that rocketship you are riding over the clouds to your new digs dies and you find yourself in a stack of old papers and kid's artwork that you must deal with. But, if you plan your move and adhere to an easy checklist, you can most likely pack your life and move it to Dallas without too much stress and misery.
It's normal to have a moving time frame of approximately three months, so this timeline figures you've got that much time to make it happen. All that is needed to get going is a large file folder.
Three Months Out
Select your moving company—figure out if you desire full-service moving or you want to do it yourself or a service level in between, sort of an a la carte option. A moving specialist comes to your residence and walks through to estimate how many moving vans and how many boxes you will need, calculate time to load, drive time, and unload, and give you an estimate for other services, like packing, taking apart furniture, and storing, if necessary. Once you decide on your moving company and services needed, make sure to confirm you're on the calendar. Keep a copy of the quote in your folder. Check one big thing off of your list!
It's never too soon to commence purging—which items to give to a charity, trash, or take with you. How you approach the task is up to you, what works for some doesn't work for everyone. Pay no attention to all the blog posts and internet videos and get started on what works for you—one weekend you could sort through and proceed to pack up what is moving, the next day you might decide to continue purging and leave things where they are. There really is no perfect way to accomplish it, so don't sweat it if you do not follow the "rules".
Two Months Out
This is normally when you start feeling a little hurried—the timetable is seemingly going quicker than it should be, and the truth is that aside from selecting your moving company and throwing out old Happy Meal toys and a few items that you haven’t worn in years, you have not completed anything.
If you will be quitting your job and have not discussed your move with your manager, now is a good time--it gives them the time to prepare someone as your replacement so they are ready when you leave.
If you have decided to manage your own packing, reconsider. Assistance is at your fingertips; your moving company can assist with professional packers to do the job—they'll schedule for closer to your move since they come in and get the packing accomplished quick as a wink, and you'll need your bed sheets and the coffee pot until the end.
Tell all service providers that you will be moving—if your move is local, give your yard service the new address and you are finished. Otherwise, here are some of the more important ones.
Medical—doctors, orthodontists, dentists
Any more, most doctors are part of larger networks and your records are available if you switch doctors. Ask your general practitioner for referrals. They network well and have old buddies from medical school they can get you in touch with. While dentists and orthodontists do not have those networks, they will help guide you old-school, also.
As pharmacies merge you might manage to keep that relationship, but to be prepared place hard copies of all your prescriptions in your file folder so that you will have them on hand in case of a glitch along the process. The last thing you need is to run out of blood pressure medication the day you move and have to deal with a new pharmacy.
If you have kids in school, enrolling them in a new school district is unavoidable—you need every document in existence to register them—birth certificate, social security info, proof of address (a copy of your contract if you have not closed in Dallas yet), and immunization records at least. Ask precisely what you'll need, and get ahead of the game and place all the important paperwork in one place—the file folder.
If you have adult children in college and you are moving to a different state, inquire about the parameters for maintaining in-state tuition. Each state has different rules, and the purpose for the move and the distance can make a difference—some states provide in-state tuition if you are moving to a contiguous state.
Keep sifting through everything and packing—set a goal for a room a week, or all the closets in a week.
One Month Out
By now you should have gotten rid of, arranged, and placed all your non-essentials in methodically packed and labeled boxes in the garage. Right. Now is when you get brutal with sorting--especially if you've choosen to have the moving company pack whatever is left. It's amazing how really pointless that old lamp becomes when you do not love it anyway and now it is going to cost you to move it. So, trash it and keep sorting.
Activities--Community, Religious, Social
If, by accident, you have neglected to mention to anyone that you're moving, you need to now. Especially any volunteer activities you are a part of, and if you're overseeing committees or on any boards, you hopefully have previously told the groups so they can fill the gap you're making. Do not forget to turn in the files or records you’ve collected (Girl Scout cookie moms) to your successor. If you're part of a nationwide organization, (Rotary, Junior League) get your transfer documents ready and submitted--you can many times turn them in online.
Quite a few mainline churches and synagogues provide the chance to transfer memberships; once you're feeling comfortable and have established a new religious home, they will manage that for you when you're ready to join a new congregation.
If you belong to any organization, you'll want to change your membership--depending on the organization’s rules, you could be able to have a non-resident status when you move to Dallas.
Activities--Youth Sports, Clubs
If you have kids, you will experience the fun of finding new play groups, vocal teachers, sports teams, and dance studios. The excellent news is that club level teams are everywhere, if you have athletes. And, searching online is a great way to find other kid's activities. Keep in mind that everyone has an opinion, but you'll at least be able to get a good number of contacts for karate and cooking lessons.
Two Weeks and Counting
Call all your utilities and set up the end-service request. Don't forget your internet and cable--you might be able to just switch some services if your provider is in your new area as well (gas, electric, TV, internet) but unless you're local you will most likely require new accounts. Set up your new accounts as you cancel the old ones, and don't forget the mail. You can enter your new home address and delivery stop dates online, and if you require a PO box you can do that online too.
If you are moving interstate, confirm hotel reservations or airline tickets. If you are moving with your pets, make sure the hotels allow animals.
One Week to Go!
Pretend you're departing on vacation and pack a suitcase or two, so you can get everything else prepared to move. Have a “Clean Out the Fridge” week, and use paper plates whenever possible so that you can pack up the rest of the kitchen.
If you are moving any landscaping, wait until the last minute to dig the plants up, and put them in large tubs for the move.
Confirm with the movers when they will be at your residence to commence loading.
You're ready to go. You've got all your possessions ready to be loaded on the trucks, so hang onto your folder, unplug the coffee pot and get moving.