by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
For many people contemplating a move, the portion that involves the actual moving is the most mind-boggling. Purchasing a new residence is exhilarating—commencing upon a new chapter in life, whether you are moving into your dream residence in El Paso or downsizing, there's something about a move that helps you feel like you are starting fresh. Then, you see all your dusty old possessions and that spacecraft you're riding over the moon to your new abode comes back to earth and you land in a pile of old books and kid's artwork that you need to deal with. However, if you schedule your move and follow an easy checklist, you can manage to pack your life and move it to El Paso without too much uneasiness and misery.
It is average to have a moving window of about three months, so this timeline assumes you've got that much time to make it happen. All you need to get going is a large file folder.
Three Months Out
Select your moving company—figure out if you would like full-service moving or you prefer 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 estimate how many moving trucks and how many boxes you'll need, calculate time to load, transport, and unload, and give you an estimate for other work, like packing, taking apart speciality items, and warehousing, if needed. Once you decide on your moving company and service level, be sure to confirm you're on their schedule. Put a copy of the quote in your folder. Check one big thing off of your list!
It is never too soon to begin purging—which things to give to a charity, throw away, or move with you. How you go about the process is up to you, what is best for some doesn't work for all people. Pay no attention to all the blogs and YouTube videos and move forward with what works for you—one weekend you could sort through and proceed to box up what's moving, the next afternoon you could choose to continue purging and leave things where they are. There really is no correct way to accomplish it, so do not sweat it if you don't follow the "rules".
Two Months Out
This is normally when you start feeling a little hurried—the calendar is turning quicker than it should be, and the reality is that except for choosing your moving company and throwing out takeout menus and mismatched mittens, you haven't done a thing.
If you are going to be leaving your job and have not discussed your move with your supervisor, now is a good time--it gives them the time to prepare someone to pick up where you are leaving off so they're ready when you exit.
If you've choosen to do your own packing, reconsider. Assistance is at your fingertips; your moving company can send over professional packers to do the job—they'll schedule for closer to your move because they arrive and get it done quickly, and you will need your bed sheets and the coffee pot until the end.
Alert your service providers that you'll be moving—if your move is local, give your yard service the new address and you're finished. Beyond that, here are several of the crucial ones.
Medical—doctors, orthodontists, dentists
Any more, most medical practices are part of bigger networks and your records are available to new providers. Ask your doctor for recommendations. They network well and could have old buddies from medical school they can get you in touch with. While dentists and orthodontists don't have those networks, they'll be able to refer you old-school, also.
As pharmacies merge you could manage to keep your current provider, but to be prepared keep paper copies of all your prescriptions in your file folder so that you'll have them handy in the event of an oversight along the path. The last thing you want 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 in existence to register them—birth certificate, social security info, proof of address (a copy of your contract if you haven't closed in El Paso yet), and immunization records at the very least. Ask specifically what you'll need, and get ahead of the game and keep all the important paperwork in a safe place—the file folder.
If you have older children in college and you are leaving the state, find out the rules for keeping in-state tuition. Each state has different regulations, and the reasons for the move and the distance can be a deciding factor—some states provide in-state tuition if you're moving to a contiguous state.
Keep sifting through everything and boxing—make a goal for a room every week, or all the closets in a week.
One Month Out
By now you should have purged, systematized, and put all your non-essentials in neatly packed and labeled boxes in the garage. Right. Now is when you get cutthroat with purging--especially if you've choosen to have the moving company pack all of the stuff that is left. It is fascinating how really inconsequential that old lamp becomes when you don't love it anyway and now it is going to cost you to move it. So, throw it out and keep moving.
Activities--Community, Religious, Social
If, by accident, you have forgotten to mention to anyone that you are moving, now is the time. Especially any volunteer groups you are a part of, and if you are overseeing committees or on any boards, you hopefully have already alerted the groups so they can fill the hole you are leaving. Remember to pass off all files or records you’ve collected (Girl Scout cookie moms) to your successor. If you are part of a nationwide organization, (Rotary, Junior League) get your transfer documents ready and submitted--you can usually turn them in online.
Quite a few mainline churches and synagogues give the opportunity to transfer memberships; after you're unpacked and have established a new religious home, they will handle that for you when you're ready to be a part of a new congregation.
If you're a member of any social organization, you'll want to change your membership--depending on the organization, you might be able to maintain a non-resident status when you move to El Paso.
Activities--Youth Sports, Clubs
If you have kids, you will have the excitement of searching out new play groups, vocal teachers, sports teams, and gymnastics studios. The great news is that club level teams are everywhere, if you've got athletes. And, social media mom's groups are a decent way to seek other kid's groups. Remember that everyone has an opinion, but you'll at least be able to get a good amount of contacts for trumpet and art lessons.
Two Weeks and Counting
Contact all your utilities and set up the end-service request. Do not forget your internet and cable--you may be able to just switch some services if your provider is in your new area as well (gas, electric, TV, internet) but unless you're local you'll require new accounts. Set up your new accounts as you cancel the old ones, and remember the mail. You can set up your new mailing address and delivery stop dates online, and if you require a PO box you can set up that online as well.
If you are moving interstate, confirm travel reservations and airline tickets. If you're moving with your furry friends, ensure the hotels allow animals.
One Week to Go!
Pretend you're departing on vacation and pack a bag or two, so you can get everything else packed to move. Hold a “Clean Out the Fridge” week, and use paper products whenever feasible so that you can pack up the rest of the kitchen.
If you're moving any plants from your yard, wait until the last minute to dig the plants up, and place them in big pots for the move.
Verify with the movers when they'll be at your house to begin loading.
You are ready to get going. You've got your stuff ready to go on the moving truck, so hang onto your folder, unplug the coffee pot and get moving.