by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
For many people pondering a move, the piece that involves the actual moving is the most mind-boggling. Buying a new house is exhilarating—starting a new chapter in life, whether you're relocating to your dream home in Atlanta or getting something smaller, there is something about a move that helps you feel like you are starting fresh. Then, you see all your dusty old stuff and that rocketship you're riding over the moon to your new digs comes back to earth and you land in a pile of old books and kid's artwork that you must take care of. But, if you schedule your move and adhere to an easy checklist, you can most likely pack your life and move it to Atlanta without a lot of uneasiness and misery.
It's customary to have a moving time frame of about 3 months, so this timeline figures you have that much time to make it happen. All that is needed to get going is a large file folder.
Three Months Out
Pick your moving company—think about if you desire full-service moving or you want to do it yourself or something in between, sort of an a la carte option. A moving specialist comes to your residence and goes through to determine how many moving trucks and how much packing material you'll require, assess time to load, transport, and unload, and provide you a quote for other items, like packing, taking apart furniture, and managing storage, if necessary. Once you select your moving company and services needed, be sure to verify you're in their books. Keep a copy of the estimate in your folder. One big thing down!
It's never too early to start purging—which things to donate, trash, or move with you. How you approach the process is your choice, what works for some does not work for all. Pay no attention to all the blogs and internet videos and get started on what works for you—one afternoon you could clean out closets and proceed to pack up what's moving, another day you might choose to continue purging and leave things where they are. There really is no perfect way to accomplish it, so don't stress out if you do not follow the "rules".
Two Months Out
This is commonly when you start feeling a little hurried—the docket is turning faster than it should be, and the reality is that aside from choosing your moving company and throwing out old Happy Meal toys and mismatched socks, you haven't done anything.
If you will be leaving your job and haven't talked over your move with your supervisor, now is a great time--it gives them the time to train someone as your replacement so they're ready when you leave.
If you've decided to handle your own packing, think about it again. Help is a phone call away; your moving company can assist with professional packers to do the job—they'll schedule dates closer to your move since they get there and get the packing knocked out quickly, and you'll need your bed sheets and the coffee pot until the end.
Alert your service providers that you will be leaving—if your move is not a long distance, give your yard service the new address and you are done. Otherwise, here are a few of the crucial ones.
Medical—doctors, orthodontists, dentists
Any more, most doctors are part of bigger networks and your records are available if you switch doctors. Ask your general practitioner for referrals. They network well and could have old buddies from medical school they can recommend. While dentists and orthodontists don't have those networks, they will help direct you old-school, too.
As pharmacies merge you might be able to keep your current provider, but just in case put paper copies of all your medications in your file folder so that you will have them handy in case of a delay along the way. The last thing you need is to run out of thyroid medication the day you are moving and have to deal with a new pharmacy.
If you have school-age children, enrolling them in a new school district is unavoidable—you need every document you can think of to register them—birth certificate, social security info, proof of address (a copy of your contract if you haven't closed in Atlanta yet), and immunization records at least. Ask precisely what you'll need, and get ahead of the game and place all the documents in a secure place—the file folder.
If you have adult children in college and you are moving to a different state, find out the parameters for keeping in-state tuition. Each state has different guidelines, and the purpose for the move and the distance can make a difference—some states provide in-state tuition if you're moving under a certain number of miles.
Keep sorting and boxing—set a goal for a room each week, or all the closets in a week.
One Month Out
By now you should have gotten rid of, organized, and placed all your non-essentials in nicely packed and labeled boxes in an out-of-the-way place. Right. Now is when you get brutal with purging--especially if you have choosen to have the moving company pack all of the stuff that is left. It's amazing how really unnecessary that old lamp becomes when you do not like it anyway and now it's going to cost you to move it. So, throw it out and keep going.
Activities--Community, Religious, Social
If, by chance, you've neglected to mention to anyone that you're moving, you need to now. Especially any volunteer activities you are a part of, and if you're chairing committees or on any boards, you should have already told the groups so they can fill the hole you are making. Don't forget to turn in all files or records you’ve collected (Girl Scout cookie moms) to whoever is replacing you. If you're part of a nationwide organization, (Rotary, Junior League) submit your transfer documents--you can a lot of the time turn them in online.
Most mainline churches and synagogues provide the chance to transfer memberships; as soon as you are unpacked and have found a new religious home, they will handle that for you when you are ready to have a new church home.
If you belong to any organization, you'll need to update your membership--depending on the organization’s rules, you might be able to keep a non-resident status after you move to Atlanta.
Activities--Youth Sports, Clubs
If you have kids, you shall have the fun of searching out new play groups, vocal teachers, basketball teams, and dance studios. The good news is that club level teams are all over the place, if your kids are into sports. And, searching social media is a good way to find other kid's activities. Remember that everybody has an opinion, but you will at least get a good number of contacts for trumpet and cooking lessons.
Two Weeks and Counting
Get ahold of all your utilities and set up the stop-service request. Do not forget your internet and cable--you may be able to transfer some services if your provider is in your new area as well (gas, power, TV, internet) but unless you're local you will most likely need new accounts. Set up your new accounts as you end the old ones, and remember the mail. You can enter your new mailing address and delivery stop dates online, and if you require a Post Office box you can set up that online too.
If you are moving long distance, confirm travel reservations or airline tickets. If you're moving with your furry friends, ensure the hotels allow animals.
One Week to Go!
Imagine you're leaving on vacation and pack a bag or two, so you can get everything else ready to move. Hold a “Clean Out the Fridge” week, and use paper plates whenever feasible so that you can box up the rest of the kitchen.
If you are moving any plants from your yard, wait until the last possible moment to dig the plants up, and place them in large tubs for the move.
Check with the movers what time they'll arrive at your home to begin loading.
You're ready to move. You've got everything ready to be loaded on the trucks, so grab your folder, unplug the coffee pot and hit the road.