Whether you're moving down the street or across the country, spending a few minutes preparing for your move will save you time and money. Here are a few things to consider before hiring the movers:
- Throw away as much as you can before you start packing. If you take junk, you'll be throwing it away or finding places to store it on the other side.
- Start collecting packing materials as soon as you know you're moving. Save your newspapers, and order boxes and packing tape online from discount stores.
- Sign up for your new utility accounts. Don't expect the seller (or landlord) to set up your new electrical, cable, gas, water or telephone accounts for you. Start this process at least three weeks before the move.
- Reserve the elevators. If you live in or are moving to a condominium or co-op, you'll probably have to reserve elevators on the day you hope to move. Since most buildings only allow one or two moves a day (they'll only allot one elevator to the move), you'll need to call weeks ahead of time or risk losing your preferred moving day.
- Discontinue delivery services at your existing home. If you get anything delivered (newspapers, milk, dry cleaning, laundry or videos), be sure to change the delivery address on the account. And, don't order anything that is scheduled to be delivered to your old address within a week of your move. You don't want it to turn up after you're already gone.
- Change-of-address cards or e-mail. If you're mailing change-of-address cards, try to do this at least two weeks before you move. If you're e-mailing everyone, send these out a week or two ahead of time, and then again announcing that you're now living in your new home (with the address and telephone numbers. Don't forget to stop by your local post office to fill out your change-of-address card at least two weeks before your move. (You may have to do it again later.)