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How to Collect and Sort Your Records Before You Move

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Collect Your Records

Sort Your Files

Record collecting and organizing is not everyone's forte. In fact, most people tend to keep their documents in a desk drawer or in a shoe box in the closet. When you're moving, getting those records together is key to settling into your new place smoothly and painlessly.

Collect Personal Records

  • School Records: Make sure you obtain copies of your children's school records. While most schools will forward your child's records to the new school, it's best to ask for an additional copy. Some schools will charge a service fee and ask for appropriate identification. If your child is applying to a college or university, ask for a certified copy of their transcript. This can be mailed to you at your new address.

  • Medical Records: Before you move, ask for copies of you and your family's medical records, including family doctor, dentist and optometrist. Most medical offices will provide you with a condensed version of your records, along with any accompanying x-rays (at your request), but this will suffice when you select a new medical professional. If you are able to find a new physician prior to moving, ask the new clinic to call for your files. The only time this could be a problem is if you are moving out of country, and sometimes, out of state. Records are not easily transferred across borders. If you find yourself in this situation, ask for a complete copy of all records and deliver them to your new clinic personally.

  • Vet Records: Just like your own medical records, your pet will need copies of the veterinary records. This is critical if you are moving out of country. Most countries have requirements for the immigration of animals. Vaccination records and a healthy check-up will be required. Go to Moving to a New Country: What About My Pet for more information.

  • Financial Records: Get copies of all your financial records, including current bank statements, account information and investment standings. Such records will come in handy if you need to transfer funds to a new financial institution.

  • Bill Statements and Receipts: Once you've paid all your bills and closed off the accounts, keep a record of your payment and even ask for a final statement. It's a good idea to keep such documents in case a company claims a payment has not been made.

I Have All My Records: Now What?

So, you've collected everything you think you'll need (and then some), made copies, and are sitting in your office surrounded by important documents, and you think, okay, now what?

  1. Purchase file folders or envelopes with fasteners.

  2. Buy some labels.

  3. Get a fine-tipped marker (or use your computer if you're really keen).

  4. Purchase a portable file box or what some people call a Bankers Box. I personally prefer the boxes with the lid attached, as I have a habit of misplacing lids. Bankers Boxes are great for storing, transporting and archiving your files. They hold up to 200 lbs and will endure through even the toughest moves.

  5. Sort your documents into separate folders/envelopes. If you're using colored folders/envelopes, create a color-coded system, so at a glance you can find things.

  6. Label appropriately.

  7. Transfer folders/envelopes into your file box.

  8. Mark the outside of the box clearly, indicating that it is not to be moved with the rest of the household goods. This will prevent the movers from sending it along with everything else. You will need these records immediately when you arrive, so make sure they accompany you.

  9. Pat yourself on the back for finally getting organized!

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