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A Detailed Task List of Things to Do Four Weeks Before You Mo

Everything You Need to Do Within a Month of Moving

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With a month to go before the big day, you may be feeling like you'll never get it all done, but trust me, you can! All you need to do is take a breath, stop looking at the big picture and start concentrating on the small steps.

So, big breath in. Big breath out.

Repeat 10 times.

Now, grab that red marker and let's get down to the things that should get done in the next two weeks.

  1. Contact your utility and service companies to arrange the date when your service can be disconnected, and if needed, the date it is to be reconnected in your new home. This can include telephone, Internet, heating, water and electricity. Make sure you ask that services be disconnected after your move date. There's nothing worse than the power being cut at 8:00 a.m. and the movers are arriving at 9:00 a.m. and they really need to move those boxes from the basement.

  2. If you decided to move yourself, reserve a truck or trailer. You'll also have to determine what size of truck you need. If you're moving during the summer, you might want to book your reservation even earlier - I'd recommend at least eight weeks before you move.

  3. Make all your travel plans such as flights, hotels or calls to family members you might need to stay with at your destination or along the way. If you're flying your pets, make sure you have the necessary documents and carrier. It's also a good time to plan your route, how you'll travel with the kids and what to take with you in the car. If you'd like to pack more stuff in the car, you may want to consider purchasing an overhead carrier. While they might seem expensive, the upfront cost can save you money over the long run.

  4. Decide what needs to travel with you, including clothing, games for the kids, books, toiletries, etc. Always plan for an extra day or two if you're driving, just in case you get a flat or decide to take a detour.

  5. Once you've decided what will travel with you, do a test run to make sure it will all fit in your luggage, backpack or the trunk of your car. My husband discovered, after he waved goodbye to the moving truck, that all the things he thought he could take in the car with him didn't fit. Since I was already in our destination city, I wasn't there to offer him advice. His decision was between clothes' hangers and my professional iron; he chose the hangers. So, don't leave this test to the end. Do it now and save yourself, and your partner, unnecessary angst.

  6. Begin dismantling any outdoor furniture or children's play areas, including slides and swings. Check the garage and storage areas to determine what needs to be packed. These areas are often overlooked when packing the rest of the house.

  7. Start finding new homes for your plants, if you know they can't go with you. If you are moving plants, make sure you know how they'll be transported.

  8. Cancel subscriptions to local newspapers, magazines, bottled water or any other home delivery service you currently receive.

  9. Complete an IRS change of address form.

  10. If you're driving to your new home, get a detailed map and plot out your route. Write out directions and give them to your movers.

  11. Keep packing! By now, you probably have a few boxes packed, maybe more, and they're starting to get in the way. If you have a spare bedroom or study or enclosed porch - any room that you don't use on a daily basis - designate that space as your "moving room". Boxes you've packed, items that need to be moved, can all be stored here. And if this isn't a space that's used much, pack its contents first so you'll have more space to work in.
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