Today's notice that my homeowner insurance would be cancelled due to lack of payment seemed unreal. With so many other bumps in the road, it feels like nothing is going right with this move. The insurance was paid 12 days ago, as part of the closing on my new home. So now it feels like I need a moving checklist to make sure nothing is falling through the cracks!
With more than a dozen moves over the last 40 years, including a 3 year assignment in Japan, this move has been more challenging. You might think technology is making things easier but it sure doesn't feel that way. This moving checklist pulls together all of my personal experience through 10+ moves. Please let me know what I missed that caused you to stumble. I'll add your feedback here so others can benefit from our collective experience.
Moving is an adventure and there's no reason why you can't begin the next step in your journey … on a positive note!
Moving Checklist: Map Out a Timeline for Moving
A moving checklist will help you identify the most common tasks involved in a move. Adding these tasks to a calendar will help insure you've got enough time to do things right. It ‘s a way to smooth out the workload so the inevitable surprises don't overwhelm you.
- Research your new community – the city, town and neighborhood. You'll also want to consider how long it will take you to drive to work, stores and cultural activities like the library, that your family uses frequently.
- Map out important family activities you need to work around during the move.
- Allow time to find your new home whether renting, buying or building a house.
- Create a detailed checklist with things to do before/during/after the move. Keep it nearby and update as needed.
Moving Checklist: Identify Resources to Help Navigate Your Move
When you've lived somewhere for years, you forget how many people you rely on each day. Depending on how far you're moving, you may need to find lots of new support resources. Here are questions to help you create a list of resources to start searching for.
- Do you need to open new bank accounts? This may take time, and there may be some nice benefits. I learned about new banking features like person-to-person transfers that my old credit union for 25 years, never introduced.
- Do you need to research and enroll your children in new schools? And if you're dependent on childcare, this can be a time sensitive resource you need to jump on right away.
- Will you need new doctors, dentists and other professionals for your family? By listing them on a moving checklist, you're more likely to remember to ask people you meet for referrals.
- Will you be joining a new place of worship? By connecting with this community, you may find resources to help along the way.
Moving Checklist: Identify Who is Key to Your Move (and Buying a Home)
The following checklist items focus on the house you're buying plus the movers who will get you moved into your new home. With the exception of your lender and insurance company, you probably won't maintain relationships with these people after the closing.
- Your realtor is a critical resource who can help you find other professionals as needed.
- In parallel, you need to find your lender. In fact many realtors won't work with you until you've gotten a pre-qualification letter from a lender. It tells them how much house you can afford to buy.
- Decide on the type of mover you want to use? You can always save money by packing yourself while leaving the heavy lifting to the pros.
- When moving to a new state, you may need a new insurance company.
- A title company will support the purchase of your home, pulling together all the required paperwork.
- Invest in a home inspection to reduce the cost of home repairs for problems you can't identify yourself.
- Here are tips on finding a home inspector.
- Check out the inspection report from my new construction house in Florida.
Moving Checklist: Setting Up Your New House Utilities & More
You might think once you get through the closing, it's easy sailing … but it's not!
You've got to transfer utilities to your name to get started. These may include completing applications and don't be surprised at the deposits you'll have to make. Then you've got to get cable and Internet installed. Fingers crossed that after 2 visits and more than 6 hours, they'll keep working. There's lots of paperwork to review on things like days for trash pickup and recycling, when you can run your irrigation system.
- Visit your local post office (or online at USPS website) and submit a change of address.
- Call your local utilities (electric, water and sewer, trash pick-up) to transfer accounts to your name. Just learned that my new house uses reclaimed water for irrigation and that has restrictions (time of day and two (Thursday and Sundays) days per week.
- Research and schedule installation of cable, Internet and phone service.
- Contact your homeowner association (HOA) and review homeowner rules on paint colors and landscaping.