While packing is certainly a biggie, not every important task involved in moving has to do with boxing up and moving your stuff. There are plenty of non-packing related essentials that you’ll have to take care of; so be sure to have these on your to-do list!
Fill out a change of address form with the post office 2-3 weeks before your move. You can do this online at www.usps.gov. Remember that the post office will only forward mail to your new address for a limited period of time, so be sure to inform friends, family, creditors and financial institutions of your new mailing address and the date it takes effect.
Preorder new checks with your change of address. Remember that old checks still contain identity information, so be sure to dispose of them effectively with a cross-cut shredder. If you don’t’ have access to one, ask your bank if they provide a shredding service.
Research cable, Internet and phone providers in your new area and set up appointments for installation. You’ll have to be home for some of these, so make sure your installation schedule syncs with your work schedule.
Properly dispose of any items that can’t be transported in your move. This might include: flammable items, some cleaning solutions, paint, plants and food items. Ask your moving company for a list of items you’re not allowed to pack or place on the truck and get rid of them by donating, recycling, disposing appropriately or sharing with neighbors before your move.
Fill and transfer prescriptions one week before your move. Plan ahead so you’ll have an adequate supply of needed medications, and so that a pharmacy in your new neighborhood will be ready to pick up where the old one left off.
Back up all computers. Use cloud storage or an external storage device to save all important data, photos, music, etc. in case anything happens to your computer during the move. If you’re not using online/cloud storage, be sure to pack and move your backups separately from your computer so you’re not placing both of them in equal danger.
Have records transferred to new schools in advance. This will save time getting yourself or your kids into appropriate classes once you’re at the new place, since the new school(s) won’t have to wait for records to arrive.
Talk to your doctor’s office about having your medical records transferred. Unless you’ve already selected doctors in your new area, records likely won’t be sent until you do; but it’s good to know your doctor’s process so you can be prepared in advance as medical record transfers—unless they’re for an urgent need—often take a month or two to occur.
Make sure you have official copies of all necessary vital documents created in your current area before you move—birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. These will be easier to obtain replacements for in the local area than they’ll be once you’ve left.
It’s important to note that you should plan to keep all vital records and information with you during the move rather than packed and placed on the moving truck; so make sure you have a safe and appropriate means of transporting them.
Once these important non-packing essentials are attended to, you’ll be ready to focus on packing and moving the rest of your stuff with success!