Moving is stressful, even though over 10% of Americans move each year. Hiring moving companies to load and unload your belongings can relieve you of much of the heavy lifting, no pun intended. If you also hire movers to pack your belongings, your moving company will also arrange moving supplies, furniture dollies, and appliance dollies to handle your move. However, there are still tasks that fall on your shoulders. Here are five easily overlooked, yet essential, tasks that you will likely need to take care of before the move:
Most people remember to contact the U.S. Postal Service to forward their mail. However, many people procrastinate updating their address with financial institutions and insurance. This risks identity theft if any of the statements are misrouted to the old house or returned to the bank.
Moreover, financial institutions use sophisticated algorithms to detect fraud. If your bank detects a different spending pattern without being notified of the move, your account could be flagged for unusual activity. Notifying financial institutions before you move can lower the risk of identity theft and suspended accounts.
Many people pack birth certificates, social security cards, health records, and vehicle titles for themselves, their children, and their pets. However, these may be needed during the move, particularly an interstate move, in the event of an emergency.
Even if there is no emergency, you will need your documents at your destination to start your new job, enroll kids in school, get a drivers license, register vehicles, and get pet licenses. Carrying these documents rather than packing them could save you from having to search through all your boxes to find them or, worse yet, losing them in the move.
Leave Tools Out
While you will probably pack your heavy tools, you do not want to have to hunt through all your moving boxes to find screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, hammer, utility knife, and other essentials. Breaking down a desk, dismounting your wall-mounted TV, or removing door hinges to get the freezer out of the basement will require tools.
Not only will you need them to move out from your old house and move into your new house, but you may also need tools on the road during the move. Hauling a car full of possessions, family, and pets can strain your car and keeping some tools in the car rather than packed away in the moving truck could make the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major disruption.
As you plan your move and research moving companies, do not forget to find out whether your preferred moving companies can handle special situations. For example, some moving companies do not move pianos, art, sculptures, or other heavy or valuable items. If the item is irreplaceable, check with your insurance company to make sure that your item is insured for the move and that your movers meet all the requirements set by your insurance company.
Another situation that may require specialty movers is a multi-story home or multi-story apartment building where items must be hoisted up to upper floors or down from upper floors. Rental homes and apartments may require permission from the landlord or property manager to deploy a hoist, so make sure you seek permission when you schedule your move-out or move-in.
For long distance moves, you may need to make arrangements for RVs, motorcycles, boats, and extra cars that you do not plan to drive or tow. Here, you have many options: you could hire a driver (or pay a relative) to drive or tow the vehicle if you do not mind putting the miles on the vehicle; you could hire a flatbed truck to carry the vehicle; or you could store the vehicle until you can return to pick it up.
Plan Travel Itinerary
For long distance moves, you should plan your itinerary and travel budget. If your travel takes place over multiple days, you should calculate the distance or time you will be able to drive each day, including stops for meals and potty breaks, and make your hotel reservations. Many hotels allow cancellations up to a day or two before arrival. And do not forget to check your hotel’s pet policy if you are traveling with dogs or cats.
Moving does not need to be difficult if you plan ahead and give yourself time to complete the tasks that are often overlooked.