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6 Week Planning Guide for Your Move and Relocation.

relocationguide contributorBy Doug Davis


Six Weeks Out

Make the decision whether to hire a mover or do it yourself. Get quotes from at least three licensed companies. Don't forget to ask these questions:

Five Weeks Out

Start by conducting a room-by-room analysis. Sort items to keep, donate, discard, and sell. A good idea if you have time is to hold a garage sale. Have valuable items appraised. Photograph or videotape your most valuable or irreplaceable items. Upload images to your computer, and burn them to a CD or DVD for your records.

Four Weeks Out

Start collecting packing supplies such as:

Visit our product review section for help with purchasing supplies.

Three Weeks Out

Start packing contents of the less used areas of your home such as garage, attic, and storage areas, as well as other infrequently used items (books, holiday decorations). Label and number each box. Keep a master inventory list with contents of each box. Call to schedule utilities and phone/Internet services disconnected in the old home the day after you leave and installed in the new home the day before you arrive. Call a locksmith to have your new home's locks changed on moving day or as soon as it's available to you. Arrange to have a cleaning company prepare the new home before you arrive and tidy the old home after you leave if desired. Make sure your binder is updated with all move-related paperwork (checklists, contracts, receipts).

Two Weeks Out

Start packing the bulk of your items. Begin notifying magazines, newspapers, banks, and credit card companies of your new address. Complete a Online Change of Address form or go to the post office.

One Week Out

Print an information sheet for the movers. Include the old and new addresses, directions, and your cell phone number. Get a cashier's check made for the movers if necessary. Don't for get to get cash for the tip. Finish packing. Set aside enough clothing for the week ahead, plus a suitcase or two for those items. Put small valuables and important documents in a box or bag. Ask a friend to hold on to it until you're settled, or lock it in the trunk of your car on moving day. A great idea is to create a last-out, first-in box with all day-to-day necessities, including any of the following that are applicable:

Moving Day

Do a walk-through before movers arrive to make sure everything is packed. Make sure there are no items left behind. Arrange to give the keys to the real estate agent or landlord. Arrange for someone to direct the movers at your new home if possible. Check items off the inventory list as they are unloaded. Inspect for damages. Photograph relevant items before signing the release (sometimes referred to as a bill of lading). Test faucets, toilets, utilities, phones, smoke detectors, and security systems. Turn on water heater if necessary.