by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
For most people thinking about a move, the piece that involves the actual moving is the most staggering. Buying a new house is exhilarating—starting a new chapter in life, whether you are buying your dream house in Austin or downsizing, there is something about a move that helps you feel like you are starting over. Then, you see all your dirty old stuff and that rocketship you're riding over the moon to your new abode comes back to earth and you land in a pile of old books and kid's artwork that you must deal with. However, if you plan your move and adhere to a simple checklist, you can certainly pack your life and move it to Austin without excess uneasiness and misery.
It is average to have a moving window of about three months, so this timeline assumes you've got that much time to facilitate your move. All that is needed to begin is a large file folder.
Three Months Out
Choose your moving company—decide if you desire full-service moving or you prefer to do it yourself or a service level in the middle, sort of an a la carte option. A moving specialist comes by your residence and goes through to determine how many moving vans and how many boxes you will need, figure up time to load, transport, and unload, and give you a quote for other items, like packing, disassembling furniture, and storing, if needed. After you select your moving company and services needed, make sure to verify you're on the calendar. Put a copy of the quote in your folder. One big thing down!
It's never too early to commence purging—what to donate, trash, or move with you. How you go about the task is your choice, what works for one person does not work for all people. Ignore all the blog posts and internet videos and get started on what works for you—one day you might clean out closets and proceed to pack up what is moving, the next day you may choose to continue purging and leave things unpacked. There really is no perfect way to do it, so don't worry if you do not follow the "rules".
Two Months Out
This is usually when when the reality of moving hits you—the calendar is seemingly going faster than it should be, and the truth is that except for selecting your moving company and pitching stuff from your junk drawer and mismatched mittens, you haven't done a thing.
If you will be resigning from your job and have not discussed your move with your supervisor, now is the perfect time--it provides them the time to prime someone as your replacement so they are prepared when you exit.
If you've decided to handle your own packing, reevaluate. Assistance is at your fingertips; your moving company can assist with professional packers to do the job—they will schedule dates closer to your move since they come in and get it done in short order, and you will need shoes and the coffee pot until the final day.
Alert your service providers that you will be leaving—if your move is not a long distance, give your yard service the new address and you are finished. Otherwise, here are some of the more important ones.
Medical—doctors, orthodontists, dentists
These days, most doctors are part of larger networks and your records are readily available if you switch doctors. Ask your general practitioner for referrals. They network well and might have old friends from medical school they can recommend. While dentists and orthodontists don't have those networks, they will help direct you old-school, also.
As pharmacies merge you might manage to keep your current pharmacy chain, but just in case place hard copies of all your medications in your file folder so that you will have them on hand in case of a glitch along the way. The last thing you need is to run out of allergy medication the day you move and have to work with a new pharmacy.
If you have children in school, enrolling them in a new school district is a necessary evil—you need every document in existence to register them—birth certificate, social security info, proof of address (a copy of your contract if you haven't closed in Austin yet), and immunization records at the very least. Ask specifically what you'll need, and go ahead and keep all the important paperwork in a safe place—the file folder.
If you have older children in college and you are leaving the state, find out the process for maintaining in-state tuition. Each state has different guidelines, and the purpose for the move and the distance can make a difference—some states provide in-state tuition if you're moving to a contiguous state.
Keep sifting through everything and boxing—make a goal for a room a week, or all the closets in a week.
One Month Out
By now you should have purged, organized, and placed all your non-essentials in methodically packed and labeled boxes in an out-of-the-way place. Right. Now is when you get fierce with sorting--especially if you have choosen to have the moving company pack everything that is left. It's astonishing how really unnecessary that old lamp becomes when you do not like it anyway and now it is going to cost you to move it. So, give it to charity and keep going.
Activities--Community, Religious, Social
If, on the rare occasion, you have forgotten to mention to anyone that you're moving, now is the time. Especially any volunteer groups you're active in, and if you're chairing committees or on any boards, you should have previously told the groups so they can fill the gap you are leaving. Don't forget to turn over the files or records you have (Girl Scout cookie moms) to your successor. If you are part of a nationwide organization, (Rotary, Junior League) submit your transfer documents--you can many times fill them out online.
Quite a few mainline churches and synagogues offer the chance to transfer memberships; once you're settled and have found a new religious home, they will manage that for you when you are ready to be a part of a new church home.
If you are a member of any social organization, you will need to update your membership--depending on the organization, you may be able to keep a non-resident status when you move to Austin.
Activities--Youth Sports, Clubs
If you have children, you'll have the excitement of looking for new play groups, piano teachers, basketball teams, and dance studios. The good news is that club level teams are everywhere, if your kids are into sports. And, searching social media is a great way to source out other kid's groups. Remember that everybody has an opinion, but you'll at least be able to get a good number of contacts for karate and cooking lessons.
Two Weeks and Counting
Get ahold of all your utilities and set up the stop-service request. Remember your internet and cable--you may be able to just switch some services if your provider is in your new locale as well (gas, power, TV, internet) but unless you are local you will most likely require new accounts. Set up your new accounts as you terminate the old ones, and don't forget the mail. You can submit your new home address and delivery stop dates online, and if you require a PO box you can accomplish that online too.
If you're moving interstate, confirm travel reservations or airline tickets. If you're moving with your furry friends, make sure the hotels allow animals.
One Week to Go!
Imagine you are leaving on vacation and pack a bag or two, so you can get everything else ready to move. Have a “Clean Out the Fridge” week, and use paper products whenever feasible so that you can box up the rest of the kitchen.
If you're moving any items from your yard, hold off until the last minute to dig the plants up, and keep them in big pots for the move.
Confirm with the movers when they will be at your residence to start loading.
You're ready to get going. You've got all your possessions ready to go on the moving truck, so get your folder, unplug the coffee pot and have a great move.