When we were kids, quite a few of us on the weekend would pester our parents. We were bored. There was nothing on the tv and they couldn’t play the “do your homework” card because we aced it the night before.
The conversation went something like this:
Kid: There’s nothing to do.
Dad: Sure there is, why don’t you grab the rake from the …
Kid (interrupting): No. No. I mean, let’s go out and do something.
Dad: O.K. Go tell your mother that we’re getting out of the house. And son, invite her along.
Bolstered, you run into the living room where mom is fiddling with a jigsaw puzzle.
Kid: Mom, dad says we’re going to go out. Wanna come?
Mom: Sure. My eyes are blurry from this puzzle. Where are we going?
That’s when everything comes to a cold, dead stop. Where are we going? What will we do? No one has bothered to come up with a plan. We’re just not going to pile into the Ford and sit in the driveway.
Without missing a beat, you snap into overdrive, “It’s a surprise!”
Get a Plan, Stan
It’s enough of a pain in the neck to cart everything you own and move to another city, Stressful. But at least it’s the foundation of a plan. There’s more to picking-up stuff, placing it somewhere else. Like with the “let’s go out and do something” example, what if there’s no gas in the car, your little sister wants to go or one of a bunch of other things raise their ugly heads.
Relocating doesn’t mean stuffing your school, the family doctor and your local bank in the truck with the boxes. You don’t want to get to another part of the planet with you possessions when someone says “What do we do now?” A bad reply is “It’s a surprise!”
Week-to-Week Reference Guide
We’ll start a month away from the actual move. At the four-week mark, here’s your checklist:
- Arrange to meet with a couple of Austin moving companies to get bids. Brokers are less likely to give you an accurate estimate. You want to talk to the people who actually do the work. Once satisfied, book a date. Don’t dabble.
- Take pictures of every valuable object or small thing in your current home. This is for insurance purposes.
- Have any valuables appraised.
- Start keeping a folder. One of those accordion jobs would be perfect. That way you can list things in some semblance of order (eg. Important documents, moving receipts, medical records, etc.)
- Check your credit score.
- Will everything that you have fit in the new place. Not only through the door, but up any stairs or vacant nooks in the kitchen and laundry room. If they don’t, why move them? Weight costs money.
- Check out what kind of tax deductions you can take resulting from the move.
Three weeks before everything is seated snugly in the moving van, take care of this business:
- Go to the doctor and get printed records of all family members. Also, request paperwork from dentists and any other specialists that have served you in the past.
- Get three-months of prescriptions that your family needs.
- If you have pets, same deal. Get the records and a couple months’ supplies of drugs they may require.
- Talk to your insurance agent about securing some moving insurance. The movers may offer some type of protection, but you want a good back-up policy.
- Trip over to the Post Office and file change of address cards for every member of the family.
- Give or get back any of the stuff that’s been borrowed.
- Contact all financial institutions – credit card, student loans, etc. – and share your new address with them.
At the two-week mark, check these from the master plan:
- Hold a yard sale. You pay for the move by the pound, so the lighter the load, the less you’ll shell-out. Any leftovers donate to a charity and get the receipts for tax purposes.
- Cancel any memberships that are non-transferrable.
- Give all of your plants away to good homes. They will not survive the move.
We are now just one week away. Most of the heavy lifting is over. There are a couple of things to finish-off, though:
- Take the cars into the shop and get them all up to peak running condition.
- Individually contact your neighbors and friends to say good-bye and give them your new address and phone number.
- Have fun in the last week. There were favorite places you enjoyed in the old town. Visit them. Leave the place on a high-note. Good memories.
It’s down to the wire. Three days before the trucks arrive; you have some simple bows to tie:
- Close every bank account you have. If you’ve secured a new financial institution in the next city, have the money wire-transferred. Keep a little walking-around money – 500-bucks should be enough. Likewise, collect anything you may have in the safety deposit box.
- Contact all utilities for disconnection. A good idea is to leave a few days overlap at both locations.
- Write down all of the meter readings.
This should change the phrase “It’s a surprise!” to “It’s under control.” Keep the bolt from the blue for your next birthday party at the new homestead.