Checklist for Moving to Houston—Plan Ahead and Relax

by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
 

planning a moveFor most people thinking about a move, the part that involves the actual moving is the most mind-boggling. Obtaining a new home is fun—beginning a new chapter in life, whether you are buying your dream residence in Houston or downsizing, there is something about a move that helps you feel like you're starting over. Then, you look at all your dirty old possessions and that rocketship you are riding over the stars to your new abode dies and you land in a pile of old papers and kid's artwork that you need to contend. However, if you organize your move and follow an easy checklist, you can manage to pack your life and move it to Houston without a lot of uneasiness and misery.

It's customary to have a moving timespan of approximately three months, so this timeline figures you have that much time to make it happen. All that is needed to begin is a large file folder.

Three Months Out

Select your moving company—decide if you desire full-service moving or you want to do it yourself or somewhere in between, sort of an a la carte option. A moving specialist comes by your home and walks through to determine how many moving trucks and how many boxes you'll require, assess time to load, drive time, and unload, and give you an estimate for other work, like packing, taking apart furniture, and managing storage, if necessary. Once you select your moving company and service level, make sure to verify you're on their schedule. Keep a copy of the estimate in your folder. One huge thing is now done!

It's never too early to commence purging—which items to donate, pitch, or pack. How you approach the task is up to you, what works for one person does not work for everyone. Pay no attention to all the blog posts and internet videos and move forward with what works for you—one weekend you may tidy up and go ahead and box up what is moving, the next weekend you could choose to continue purging and leave things where they are. There truly is no correct way to do it, so don't worry if you do not follow the "rules".

Two Months Out

This is normally when when the reality of moving hits you—the timetable is seemingly going quicker than it should be, and the truth is that except for selecting your moving company and pitching old Happy Meal toys and a few items that you haven’t worn in years, you have not completed a thing.

If you will be leaving your place of employment and have not discussed your move with your manager, now is the perfect time--it provides them the time to train someone to pick up where you are leaving off so they're ready when you go.

If you've choosen to do 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 for closer to your move since they come in and get it done quickly, and you will need your bed sheets and the coffee pot until the final day.

Let any service providers know that you'll be leaving—if your move is not a long distance, give your yard service the new address and you're done. Beyond that, here are several of the more important ones.

Medical—doctors, orthodontists, dentists

These days, most medical practices are part of bigger networks and your records are available when you go to a new physician. Ask your physician for referrals. They network well and might have old buddies from medical school they can get you in touch with. While dentists and orthodontists do not have those networks, they'll help guide you old-school, also.

Prescriptions

As pharmacies merge you might be able to maintain that relationship, but to be prepared place paper copies of all your medications in your file folder so that you'll have them handy in the event of a glitch along the path. The last thing you want is to run out of blood pressure medication the day you move and have to work with a new pharmacy.

School

If you have children in school, enrolling them in a new school district is a must—you need every document in existence to register them—birth certificate, social security info, proof of address (a copy of your contract if you have not closed in Houston yet), and immunization records at the very least. Ask precisely what you will need, and go ahead and place all the important paperwork in a secure place—the file folder.

If you have adult children in college and you're moving to a different state, inquire about the process for keeping in-state tuition. Each state has different regulations, and the purpose for the move and the distance can make a difference—some states allow in-state tuition if you are moving under a certain number of miles.

Keep sorting and packing—make a goal for a room each week, or all the closets in a week.

planning a moveOne Month Out

By now you should have purged, arranged, and have all your non-essentials in neatly packed and labeled boxes in an out-of-the-way place. Right. Now is when you get cutthroat with purging--especially if you've choosen to have the moving company pack whatever is left. It is amazing how really unnecessary that old lamp becomes when you do not love it anyway and now it is going to cost you to move it. So, trash it and keep sorting.

Activities--Community, Religious, Social

If, on the rare occasion, you have forgotten to bring up to anyone that you are moving, don’t delay any longer. Especially any volunteer groups you're active in, and if you're leading committees or on any boards, you hopefully have already alerted the groups so they can fill the hole you're creating. Don't forget to turn over any 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 usually do these online.

Many mainline churches and synagogues provide the opportunity to transfer memberships; after you are settled and have found a new religious home, they will handle that for you when you're ready to be a part of a new church home.

If you belong to any organization, you'll want to update your membership--depending on the organization, you might be able to have a non-resident status when you move to Houston.

Activities--Youth Sports, Clubs

If you have kiddos, you shall experience the excitement of looking for new play groups, music teachers, basketball teams, and gymnastics studios. The good news is that club level teams are everywhere, if you've got athletes. And, searching social media is a decent way to source out other kid's activities. Don’t forget that everyone has an opinion, but you will at the very least have a good basket of contacts for karate and cooking lessons.

Two Weeks and Counting

Contact all your utilities and set up the cancel-service request. Remember your internet and cable--you might be able to transfer some services if your provider is in your new hometown as well (gas, electric, 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 don't forget the mail. You can set up your new home address and delivery stop dates online, and if you need a Post Office box you can accomplish that online also.

If you are moving long distance, confirm travel reservations and airline tickets. If you are moving with your pets, make sure the hotels allow animals.

One Week to Go!

Imagine you are departing on vacation and pack a suitcase or two, so you can get everything else prepared to move. Conduct a “Clean Out the Fridge” week, and use paper products if feasible so that you can pack up the rest of the kitchen.

If you are moving any items from your yard, wait until the last day to dig the plants up, and put them in big tubs for the move.

Check with the movers when they will be at your house to commence loading.

Moving Day

You're ready to get going. You have got all your possessions prepared to go on the trucks, so hang onto your folder, unplug the coffee pot and get moving.