by Carla Levine

CHECKLIST—TOP 10 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU MOVE

Find a moving company with solid references at least one month in advance so you can be assured of the moving date you need. In the Spring and Summer you will need more lead time, as that is the busiest moving season. Be sure to confirm your moving date with the moving company a week before your move.

Call all of your utility companies — including your cable, internet, and telephone providers, and let them know the precise date of your move. You may want to have electricity and other services kept on in both locations during the days of the move.

Call your homeowners/renters insurance company and auto insurance company to guarantee your new coverage prior to moving. Rates and eligibility can change depending upon your new address.

Also be sure to speak to your homeowner/renter insurance agent about flood insurance in case this is something new that you might want to consider.

Make sure that you will have possession of your new keys before you and the movers arrive. This generally needs to be arranged with your realtor or new landlord.

Make a list of banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, periodicals, organizations and companies and contact them with your new address. (Important tip: Be sure to keep a lookout for credit card and other bills during the first month after you move. Should your bills not show up in your new home, you are still responsible for paying on time.)

Plan out your packing schedule ahead of time to avoid pre-move chaos and keep a packing calendar in easy view to keep everyone on task. Keep in mind that the kitchen usually takes the longest to pack, given that each plate and glass needs to be wrapped separately. Children age 10 and older often enjoy helping with packing, and they can be assigned specific closets or items to pack. Use large markers to designate on each box where the mover should take the box.

When packing, be sure to leave out sufficient clothing and important items to take with you in suitcases during the move. Important items to keep with you include the following::

**Contract with moving company and contact numbers with the moving company
**Documents pertaining to the move
**Checkbooks, passports, and vital personal & financial papers that you cannot risk losing
**Medicines (prescription and over-the-counter)
**Payment method for the moving company
**Food and drinks (i.e. coffee, water, soda, juice, milk)
**Personal laptops, tablets, books, and toys to be used during the move.
**Tissues/toilet paper for the new home
**Cleaning Supplies for your new kitchen
**Important jewelry, pictures, and valuables

If you are purchasing your own moving cartons and packaging materials, make sure that the are sufficiently strong and of good quality. Here is a blog on what cartons to buy.

If you have children, be sure to make arrangements for their transfer to their new school as early as possible Find out if there was summer homework (if applicable) or advance studying to be done so that they are not behind in their new classes, and what local or after school activities your children can be signed up for. The sooner your children are connected to their new environment, feel successful in school and make new friends, the
better.

Take pictures of each room before you begin packing so that you have an inventory of what is being moved.