Moving & Relocation: Learn the Basics

Moving is ranked among life's most stressful events. However, with the proper planning and preparation, you can make your next move a smooth one.
Step 1: Get Organized
Step 2: Get in Touch
Step 3: Pack it Up
Step 4: Moving Day
Step 5: Settle into your New Home

Step 1: Get Organized

It all starts with planning and organizing. Like any big project, you need to plan the work and then work the plan.

Purchase a special notebook to record information about your move. Also print out our detailed Moving Checklist to help organize your move. Purchase moving supplies: tape, markers, scissors, pocketknife, newspaper, blankets, moving pads, plastic storage bins, rope and a hand truck. Free boxes can usually be obtained at a local supermarket, but consider purchasing wardrobe boxes for moving clothes. Have a garage sale to clear out unwanted items and plan accordingly. Consider donating unwanted items. Keep a detailed record of all moving expenses. Your costs may be tax deductible depending on the reasons for your move. Create a floor plan of the new house for reference during packing and on moving day. Make back-ups of computer files and determine how you will move this delicate equipment

Step 2: Get in Touch

When you move there are many people you need to contact. Make sure to check with your local CENTURY 21® Real Estate Professional - he or she may be able to provide referrals through the CENTURY 21 Local ConnectionsSM program.

Here is the essential call list:

  • Hire a reputable mover or rent a moving truck. Be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau, get estimates, purchase moving insurance and get referrals or references.
  • Two weeks before moving day, contact your telephone, electric, gas, cable/satellite, refuse and water companies to set a specific date when service will be discontinued. Verify this date with your real estate professional as well.
  • Contact utilities in your new town about service start dates, including Internet & long distance telephone services.
  • Notify healthcare professionals (doctors, dentists, veterinarians) of your move and ask for referrals and record transfers.
  • Register children for school and ask for school records to be transferred.
  • Notify lawn service, cleaning and security companies when service should be terminated.
  • Tell clubs, churches and organizations of your move. And if applicable, see if membership fees can be partially refunded.
  • Advise the post office, publications and correspondents of change of address and date of move.
  • Check your homeowner's insurance and make arrangements for new coverage.
  • If you are moving to a new state, see if you will need new car insurance.
  • Pick up items from your dry cleaners.
Step 3: Pack it Up.

Putting your entire life into a few dozen boxes can be overwhelming. Try these tips for a smoother move: Keep track of all your valuables using our Inventory Worksheet to help organize all the items you are moving. Refer to our Packing Tips for the essentials on how to pack all the items in your home. Use suitcases to their full potential. Fill them with clothes or other items for the move. Create an "Open First" box with all the things you need upon arrival (medications, toiletries, linens, first aid kit, garbage bags, phone, light bulbs, flashlight, phone books, towels, food for pets, a leash, etc.) Make sure it is the last item packed so it will be easy to retrieve. Also make sure that tools are handy for reassembling beds and other items. Create special boxes for children to open upon first arrival. Include photos, stuffed animals, blanket, radio, CDs, etc. As you pack, put aside and label different house related keys you come across to give the new homeowners.