Whether you’re moving a few miles down the road or across the country, some things are easier to move than others. There are some parts of your life you can’t just box, tape and label, like children and pets, for example.
So, how will you communicate the move to your kids? Will your furry friend be comfortable with the new space? Are you leaving your plants behind?
In addition to these emotional aspects of moving, you’ll also have to take care of some business items like switching utilities and changing your address.Download Week 3 Checklist
Not only are your children moving into a new home, but it’s possible that they will also be introduced to a new school, new friends and a whole new daily routine. Follow these tips, with professional advice from Barbara Reich of Resourceful Consultants, to prepare for a smooth transition on moving day:
Bring your kids for a grand tour of the new home before moving day. Give them the choice of their new room, if possible, and acquaint them with the new backyard and play spaces.
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.
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 beside their own.
Have your kids put favorite toys, special snacks and overnight items in a bag to make them feel comfortable during the transition of moving day.
With all of the commotion on moving day, keeping track of your kids while managing all of your belongings 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 under foot,” Barbara recommends.
Moving pets to a new home means a whole new world of sights, smells and even sounds for your pet to investigate. Much like children, pets require some special attention before the moving process.
Before moving day, familiarize yourself with and prepare for the regulations of your new space. Be sure to abide by any rules implemented by homeowners’ associations or landlords, leash laws, pet ordinances and/or pet licensing requirements.
If you are moving to a new area, 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 become familiar with your vet before an emergency situation arises.
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.
Before bringing your pet into the house, make sure that it is safe and free of any potential hazards.
“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.”
Animal Behavior Counselor, ASPCA
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.
“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.”
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 is 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.
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 for moving day to keep them away from the moving pandemonium.
“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.”
Animal Behavior Counselor, ASPCA
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:
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.
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.
Call your current utility providers to either cancel or transfer your utilities to your new address.
Now is the time to potentially save money. Ask about any available discounts or ways to lower your utility bill.
Make arrangements or appointments necessary to turn on or install utilities.
Shortly before you move, follow up to confirm that your utilities will transfer or begin upon moving in to your new residence.
You’ll have to notify a lot of people and places of your new address. First and foremost, begin by updating your address with:
Change your address online at USPS.com/move. This is the easiest and fastest way to begin receiving mail at your new address. You can also request that the USPS change your address temporarily or hold your mail. Visit the USPS website for a full list of other government agencies to contact when changing your address.
Visit your bank in person or use online banking to update the address on your account.
If you are a frequent shopper on many online shopping websites, save yourself the headache and update your device’s autofill settings with your new address or edit your account information. Be sure to triple check your address when checking out in case the autofill setting doesn’t apply.
Keep your favorite advice columns and subscriptions coming with a quick update online. Have your customer number handy to enter online, which can be found on the inside flap of your most recent issue.
From the gym to your grocery store savings card, you will need to update your information in their records.
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 your ID. To save you the expense of updating your ID before its expiration, some states will provide you with a temporary piece of paper to accompany your license.
Now that you’ve planned to move the ins and outs of your lifestyle, read on for more packing tips to carry you through the final two weeks before your move.