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Week 3

How to Move Kids & Pets, Transfer Utilities and Change Your Address

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Young girl with pig tails and Labrador puppy alongside an illustration of moving boxes, pet bowls and coloring supplies.

Planning for Life in Your New Home

There are some parts of your life you can’t just box, tape and label — like children and pets, for example.

If you haven't already, now's the time to share the news with your kids and get them excited for the big change coming up. You'll also want to take a few extra steps to keep your pets happy during the move.

Besides these emotional aspects of moving, we'll need to take care of some business items like switching utilities and changing your address.

This week, we'll check all these little details off your to-do list.

Planning for Life in Your New Home

There are some parts of your life you can’t just box, tape and label — like children and pets, for example.

If you haven't already, now's the time to share the news with your kids and get them excited for the big change coming up. You'll also want to take a few extra steps to keep your pets happy during the move.

Besides these emotional aspects of moving, we'll need to take care of some business items like switching utilities and changing your address.

This week, we'll check all these little details off your to-do list.

Illustration of young girl with pig tails and a dress playing next to a boy with a cookie on his shirt.

6 Tips for Moving With Children

Not only are your kids moving into a new home, but it’s possible that they will also be introduced to a new school and daily routine. Follow the tips below, with professional advice from Barbara Reich of Life Organized, to prepare for a smooth transition.

Illustration of toys including rubber duck and robot.

1. Toss Old Toys and Clothing

Don’t waste money moving broken toys or clothing that doesn’t fit. “Purge all of the toys they no longer use, anything that is broken, or has missing pieces, and all clothing that no longer fits or is stained, torn, or beyond repair,” Barbara suggests.

2. Introduce Your Kids to the New Space

Bring your kids for a grand tour of the new home before moving day. Give them the choice of their new room, if possible. Also, get them excited about their new backyard and play spaces.

Illustration of young girl with a heart on her dress seeing bedroom in new home.
Illustration of child artwork to help decorate new home before moving.

3. Inspire Kids to Decorate

Depending on the age of your children, you might consider giving them the option to decorate their new rooms. Sketch the shape of the room on a sheet of paper and let them be creative with their personal space from furniture arrangement to new paint colors.

4. Encourage Kids to Pack Themselves

Involving the kids in the packing process is not only a big help to you, but it teaches them to be responsible for their belongings. Show them the moving checklist and find ways that they can help with rooms besides their own.

Illustration of young boy with backpack ready to move to a new home.
Illustration of kids backpack with special toys to have handy when transitioning to new home.

5. Fill a Moving Backpack

Have your kids put their favorite toys, special snacks and overnight items in a bag to make them feel comfortable during moving day.

6. Hire a Babysitter

Keeping track of your kids on your moving date can be difficult. “Enlist babysitters to keep them occupied the day of the move or possibly for a few days, so you can get settled without them underfoot,” Barbara recommends.

Illustration of young boy and girl playing next to smiling babysitter.
Illustration of black cat inside of a tote to be moved to a new home.

Advice for Moving With Pets

Pets like fish, reptiles and amphibians usually adjust pretty quick. But moving your furry friends into a new world of sights and smells can be a stressful experience. Much like children, our four-legged pets require some special attention for the big day.

1. Research New Rules and Regulations

Before your move-in date, look into the laws for animals in your new city or neighborhood. Note any rules implemented by homeowners’ associations or landlords, leash laws, pet ordinances and/or pet licensing requirements.

Illustration of pet waste sign showing local regulations.
Illustration of male veterinarian holding small dog.

2. Find a New Veterinarian

If you are moving to a new city or state, you’ll need to collect paperwork and proof of vaccinations from your current vet and select a new practice. As always, it’s best that you build a relationship with a vet before an emergency situation arises.

3. Update Pet Identification Tags

Make tags for your pet’s collar with your new address and phone number. Also, remember to update your contact information in the database if your pet has a microchip.

Illustration of pet collar with ID tag to be updated with new address and phone number after moving.
Illustration of dog with food bowl in new pet-proofed home.

4. Pet-Proof Your New Home

Before bringing your pet into the house, make sure that it is safe and free of any potential hazards.

ASPCA logo.

“Tuck away electrical cords, plug up nooks where your pet could get stuck, make sure there are screens in all windows, remove any poisonous houseplants, and confirm that no pest-control poison traps have been left anywhere in the house.”

Dana Ebbecke,
Animal Behavior Counselor, ASPCA

5. Set Up a Quiet Place for Your Pet on Moving Day

Every pet reacts differently to change. Some are comfortable wherever you are, while others may be suspicious of a new space. Try to keep your pet away from the chaos as much as possible.

Illustration of cat inside of a kennel to be kept safe during moving day.
Headshot of Amy Burkert, a pet travel expert at gopetfriendly.com.

“When you arrive at your new home, the first thing you'll want to do is set up a quiet spot for your pet away from the unpacking activity. Creating a refuge with his bed or crate and a few of his favorite toys will help him relax and settle in.”

Amy Burkert,
Pet Travel Expert, GoPetFriendly.com

Illustration of fish living in aquarium fish tank to be moved into new home.

6. Help Your Pet Adapt to the New Environment

Keep your pet’s normal routine steady. Bring familiar toys, bedding and food to keep them comfortable. Maintain consistent mealtimes and bathroom breaks to help them adjust.

For pets living in tanks, such as fish and reptiles, it's recommended that you transfer them prior to moving day, if possible. And for long-distance moves or moving pets across the country, consider hiring pet movers to assist you in pet relocation.

7. Consider a Pet Hotel or Pet Sitter

As long as your pet is comfortable in new environments and has received the proper vaccinations, you might consider a pet daycare or a pet sitter during the move to keep them entertained.

Illustration of a pet hotel to house pets during moving day.
ASPCA logo.

“If the pet is comfortable being boarded or gets boarded in an already familiar environment, that may be the best choice for them. If the pet finds new or loud environments stressful, it may be preferable for the pet to stay in a crate or carrier during the moving process.”

Dana Ebbecke,
Animal Behavior Counselor, ASPCA

Illustration with icons for basic utilities including electricity, trash pickup, water, cable, internet and gas.

How to Switch Utilities When Moving

Keeping up with your favorite show is tough enough without the distraction of moving, especially if your internet, electricity and other utilities haven’t made the move with you. Here’s how to master switching utilities when moving so you won’t miss a beat:

Illustration of utility checklist with icons for electricity, water and cable.

1. List Your Utilities

Create a full list of your current utilities. Include the companies, your average cost per month, their phone numbers and your account numbers for easy reference.

2. Research Providers in Your New Area

Search online for what utility companies service your address or any exclusive providers in your new community. Your realtor might also be able to provide you with these resources to get started.

Illustration of online search for utility companies near your new home address.
Illustration of female utlitity provider associate with headset.

3. Call Your Utility Providers

Call your current utility providers to either cancel or transfer your utilities to your new address.

4. Ask Questions

Now is the time to potentially save money. Ask about any available discounts or ways to lower your utility bill.

Illustration of gas utility bill with percentage icon for discounts.
Illustration of calendar with appointments for utility installation at new home.

5. Schedule Appointments

Make arrangements or appointments necessary to turn on or install utilities.

6. Call to Confirm

Shortly before you move, follow up to confirm that your utilities will transfer or begin upon moving into your new residence.

Illustration of smartphone calling utility company to confirm that services are transferred to new home.
Illustration of envelope with location pin drop on mailing address line.

How to Change Your Address

You’ll have to notify a lot of people and places of your new address. First and foremost, begin by updating your address with:

1. The Postal Service

Changing your address online is the easiest and fastest way to begin receiving mail at your new address. You can also request that USPS change your address temporarily or hold your mail. Ask your local post office for a full list of other government agencies to contact when changing your address.

USPS logo.
Illustration of bank teller with laptop and coins stacked.

2. Your Bank

Visit your bank in person or log in to your online account to update your mailing address.

3. Online Shopping Websites

If you like to shop online, save yourself the headache and update your device’s autofill settings or edit your account information. Be sure to triple-check your address when checking out in case the autofill setting doesn’t apply.

Illustration of laptop with online shopping website autofill address settings.
Illustration of magazine with mailing address.

4. Magazines and Subscriptions

Keep your favorite advice columns and subscription boxes coming with a quick update to your account. Have your customer number handy to enter online, which can usually be found on your last shipment.

5. Organizations and Clubs

From the gym to your grocery store savings card, you will need to update your information in their records. Call or check online to update your account.

Illustration of basketball and weight for gym club membership address information.
Illustration of drivers license or state ID with address lines to change before moving.

6. Driver's License and Identification Cards

Visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles to receive a new driver’s license or state identification card with your new address. Keep in mind that some states fine residents for going 30 days without updating their ID. To save you the expense of updating your ID before its expiration, some states will give you a temporary piece of paper to accompany your license.

FAQs for Moving

How much does it cost to transfer utilities?

Will I have to pay a deposit to transfer utilities?

When should you change address when moving?

Should you move pets first or last?

What do you do with pets when you move?

Now that you’ve planned for the most important parts of your life, read on for more packing tips to carry you through the final two weeks before your move.

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