Do These 7 Things Before You Move

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You’ll likely remember to have your electricity turned on and your TV and high-speed Internet service hooked up when you move to a new home. Beyond the obvious, there are other important things you’ll need to do when you move. We made this handy checklist to help you remember to do these seven important things.

1. Reserve a storage facility.

If you plan to keep any of your items in storage, book a storage facility about two weeks in advance. Take time shopping around for a facility in a safe part of town, with 24-hour security or security cameras, and possibly pest and climate control, plus whatever amenities and features are important to you. The more time you give yourself to shop, the more time you’ll have to find a facility that fits your needs and budget.

2. Confirm your moving van registration and/or your appointment with the moving company.

You don’t want to have your friends ready to help you move just to find out the rental van company doesn’t have a vehicle available for you. Prevent this moving-day disaster by confirming your reservation. Call a week before your moving date to make sure they have you on the books, and the day before your move to ensure they have a van ready for you. If you’re hiring movers, do the same thing.

3. File a change of address with the United States Postal Service (USPS).

You can file your change of address with the USPS as soon as you know your new address and have a firm moving date. You can set your mail to begin forwarding at any date. Just be sure your address and moving date are absolutely confirmed, otherwise you’ll have to go through an additional process of changing your change-of-address.

Filing a change of address ensures all your important mail, including bills, checks, and magazine subscriptions, reach the correct location. Plus, when you file a change of address form with the USPS, you get instant access to more than $500 in coupons. That, alone, is a good reason to do it sooner rather than later.

4. Change your billing address.

The post office only forwards your mail for 12 months after you file a change-of-address form, so if you want to receive your credit card bills, you have to change your billing address with the companies, too.

Fortunately, the internet makes it easier than ever to change your billing address online. Do it within the first week of moving so you don’t forget. You’ll need to change your billing address with these companies, and possibly more:
– Bank
– Credit cards (major ones as well as individual store cards)
– Student loans
– Online subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu, PayPal, etc.)
– Gyms or memberships (Amazon Prime, eBay, etc.)
– Utilities on autopay
– Rewards programs (drug stores, grocery stores, SAM’S or Costco, etc.)

5. Change the mailing address for magazine subscriptions and your favorite catalogs.

The USPS only forwards magazines for 60 days after you file a change-of-address form. Go online or call the subscriptions department listed on the masthead to make sure your subscriptions follow you to your new home.

6. Register your kids in their new school and make sure their vaccinations are up to date.

You don’t want your children to miss a day of school because you forgot to turn in paperwork. Also, vaccination requirements vary by state, as do exemption rules. The sooner you register, the earlier you can make sure your children are on the right vaccination schedule or you can qualify for exemptions. When you contact the district to register your kids, take the opportunity to schedule a tour of the school to help your kids prepare for the move as well.

6. Update your drivers license and vehicle registration.

Most state Department of Motor Vehicle offices make it easy to change the address on your license if you’re remaining in the same state. If you’ve changed voting districts, it’s especially important to change your license address, since your polling place will also update.

Interstate moves require a trip to DMV to change your license and registration. Do this as soon as you have proof of your new address, because it’s illegal to live in one state and have your car registered in a different state. Shop around for new car insurance while you’re at it, since you may find a better deal.

7. License your pet in your new state.

Dog licensing requirements vary locally, so go online or call city hall in your new home to determine what you need to do and how quickly after your move you need to do it. Some places also require licenses for cats, exotic birds, and any other pets. Avoid costly fines and protect your pet if it gets lost by licensing it as soon as you have proof-of-address.

Avoid moving hassles by taking care of the items on this list in a timely manner, and you’ll soon be free to relax in your new home without a worry beyond finding the best pizza place in town. Besides, there’s an app for that.

About the author

Dawn Allcot has moved six times and has written hundreds of articles about moving, including how to move on a budget, with kids, with pets, and without losing your mind. In her spare time, Dawn enjoys bicycling, shopping, and building memories with her husband and two children.