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Moving Tips: Advance Planning Pays Off

Moving can be really stressful. Aside from packing and then unpacking everything you own—which is no small feat—there are so many other details to think about that the very prospect may fill you with dread. But don’t worry: With some smart planning and moving tips, yours can be a smooth experience.

Start Your Own Moving Checklist

One great way to get a handle on planning your move is to have a comprehensive schedule for what you need to do, and when you need to do it. Many moving companies supply a planning checklist with a timeline that tells you what you need to think about 8 weeks in advance, 4 weeks in advance, 2 weeks in advance and so on, for packing and beyond. If not, there are loads of great moving tips on the internet. Searching for “moving checklist” will bring up an abundance of useful information.

But at The Hartford, it’s our business to plan ahead for things that might not cross most people’s minds. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of helpful moving tips that might not appear on even the best moving checklist.

Stay on Top of Bills and Utilities

  • As soon as you know your new address, order pre-printed address labels. It makes the change-of-address process much easier. When you’re moving, keep your new address handy in your wallet or purse.
  • Notify all financial accounts of your move. Banks, credit cards, brokerages (401k, personal stocks/mutual funds, other investments, etc.) all need to know your new address.
  • You might want to a checking account in your new town about a month prior to your move so that when you arrive you have immediate access to your funds for unexpected expenses. (And occasionally, businesses will decline to cash “out-of-town” checks.)
  • Remember to save your last bills, so you’ll have account numbers and customer service telephone numbers handy when you’re changing credit cards, magazine subscriptions, etc.
  • Don’t forget to cancel your local newspaper, or change the address if you’re not moving far.
  • If you're moving locally, you might want to leave the power and water on at your old address for a few extra days so you can go back and clean up after your move, or just have lights and a working bathroom in case you need to go back and check on things.

Move What Matters

  • In most cases, moving companies can’t transport animals or plants. Plan ahead and make arrangements for them to travel safely to their new home. You may want to leave your pets with a friend on moving day so they don’t get confused and frightened—or just get underfoot.
  • Collect everything from the dry cleaners, the shoe repair place, the watch repair place, etc. Empty your locker at the club or gym, and cancel your membership.
  • Remember to return library books and movie rentals.
  • Return anything you’ve borrowed from friends or neighbors, and collect anything you may have loaned out.
  • Get copies of your family members’ medical and dental records, as well as any veterinary records for your pets. Also, make sure to transfer any prescriptions to a drugstore in your new community.
  • If you have school-aged children, make sure you get their permanent school records. School records are usually required when registering children at new school, and often, copies are not sufficient.
  • Gather all sets of spare house keys from neighbors or hiding places.
  • If you've hidden any valuables around the house, be sure to find them before you leave! Also, make sure to carry valuable items like passports, jewelry, cash, house deeds and other important documents with you, or keep them in a safe deposit box. Don’t pack them and put them in the moving van.
  • If you have an electric garage door opener, don’t forget to take it out of your car and leave it for the new residents of your home.
  • Identify items you need to have handy as soon as you arrive in your new home (emergency numbers, clothes, schoolbooks, glasses, prescriptions, the dog's leash, etc.) Pack them somewhere you’ll be able to get to easily.

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