So, you have purchased a new home or are renting your first apartment. Congratulations! But, what now? Moving can be a daunting task, whether it is moving down the street, across state lines, or across an ocean. This article will show you tips and tricks for moving that apply to yourself and all members of your family. Moving does not have to be a difficult or challenging experience.
General Moving Checklist
Now that you are prepared to move, the first thing to do is to go through your things and decide what you really need and what you can discard. Moving is a great time to declutter your life. Once you have gone through your possessions, visit the local supermarket or convenience store for empty cardboard boxes. Be sure to label the boxes and keep things organized to make unpacking easier. Next, hire movers, enlist family member and friends, or reserve a U-Haul truck before the moving-out date.
To get your mail forwarded, visit The US Postal Service at Changing your address.
Moving day is here and everything is packed. Be sure to treat any family members or friends for their help, as moving can be a tiring process. Make moving around the house as easy as possible. If you made a schedule, bring it out and follow it as best as you can. Once everything is moved out, do a thorough cleaning of your old residence.
Unpacking and Getting Settled
After you move in, make sure your labeled boxes are in the correct rooms. Next, unpack your “First Day” box so that you have the essentials within reach. Start making your new house feel like home by putting up a favorite picture, sticking magnets to the fridge, or setting up your sofa. Once you receive your first piece of official mail, you can go on to change your address on your driver’s license and bank accounts as well as re-register to vote in your new district.
For more information, visit:
- Nola.com: How to efficiently unpack and set up house after a move
- Brennon Center for Justice: Voting after you move
Moving with Kids
Some families will be moving with children. With the possibility of having to change schools, missing friends, and getting used to a new environment, it can be a stressful situation. KidsHealth gives some helpful tips on how to prepare your children for moving day and what to expect after the move. Be sure to talk to them about moving and let them know they can talk to you about any issues they may have about it. After moving, help them with making their new room feel comfortable so as to keep the stress of moving minimal.
To learn more, visit:
- Great Schools: Moving with kids
- Military Officers Association of America: Moving with kids made easier
Finding New Schools and Childcare
Moving means new schools, childcare, and doctors to find. Parent Center Hub lists a few things to think about when changing schools after a move. Make sure the schools have proper after-school programs, see whether they have transportation for children to and from school, and check for when to sign your child up for classes. Make sure to give your child as much information about their school as possible. Include pictures, a website, and a list of activities they can do there.
Finding new childcare can be stressful but you can check out Childcare Aware on ways to find and rate the local childcare in your area.
For more information, you can also visit School Quest at Moving to a new school.
Finding New Doctors and Pediatricians
When you move to a new residence, you may have to find new doctors or pediatricians for your children. HealthyChildren gives some advice on how to locate a new pediatrician that fits your family. Next, you will need to interview the doctors to see what type of care they give and if they can respect any feelings you have about certain care options.
For more information, go to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
More Resources for Moving with Kids
Are you still at a loss when it comes to the idea of moving a family along with an entire house of possessions? Visit the following links for more ideas:
- Public Broadcasting Service: Six tips for moving with kids
- Child Mind Institute: Advice for moving with children
Moving with Pets
Many families will most likely be moving with a pet in tow. If you are driving to your new residence, make sure the pet is in a safe carrier with objects that they enjoy, such as a blanket or special toy. If you are moving to a location that involves flying, make sure to check with the airline’s policies about pets on board the plane. Visit the veterinarian to update your pet on all vaccinations and blood work. Stress can also be a common issue when pets are moved to a new location. Take some time to acclimate your pet to their new surroundings. Address any issues your pet may have with unresolved stress.
To learn more, go to:
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Moving with your pet
- American Humane Society: Moving with your pet tips
- AARP: Moving tips for those with pets
Finding a Veterinarian
Before or after you move, you will want to find a new veterinarian that fits both you and your pet. At American Veterinary Medical Foundation, they suggest taking the same time and care when choosing a new veterinarian as you would when choosing a doctor for yourself. Think about the location, payment options, and medical services they offer. Also, be sure you feel comfortable with building a long and lasting relationship with your pet’s veterinarian.
To learn more about choosing a vet, visit the American Animal Hospital Association at How to choose a veterinarian.
More Resources for Relocating with Pets
For even more information about relocating with pets, consider visiting the following websites:
- Chesapeake Bay Retriever Relief and Rescue: Relocation anxiety
- International Cat Care: Moving with your cat
Moving with Seniors
If you are moving with a senior relative, there are also some things to think about to make the move easier for them. Make sure their new room has easy access to things they will need, help them make the room more comfortable, and let them know they can talk to you about stress they may have about the move. Also, make sure your new home is equipped to help them enter and leave. Include ramps, railings, and easily accessible bathrooms when required.
To learn more, visit:
- Bethany Lutheran Village: Moving tips for seniors
- Aging Life Care: Tips for moving aging parents
Finding New Doctors
After moving, help your elderly family member find new pharmacies and doctors. Go with them when interviewing new doctors. Be sure the former doctor knows of your family member’s move and have them transfer or prepare any medical documents that will be needed for the new doctor. Your family member may also have to change or update their health insurance.
For more helpful ideas, visit Next Avenue at How to find a new doctor.
Finding a New Pharmacy
At the new pharmacy, fill all prescriptions there. Try not to change pharmacies frequently because of discounts and promotions. Find a pharmacy that suits your needs and that of your family member’s. Consumer Reports has a great article about what to do when changing pharmacies.
Finding New Health Services
This will also be a good time to assist your loved one with finding a new community and new services for the elderly. If you need in-home services for your loved one, Help Guide gives some tips on how to go about deciding on what is best for your loved one and you. Eldercare.gov also has page for you to find specific care for your elder family member after your move.
Additional Resources for Seniors
There are some great resources available when it comes to getting senior citizens set up in a new location. Here are two that we recommend:
- Family Caregiver Alliance: Relocating your parents
- American Occupational Therapy Association: Preventing falls at home
Moving for the Disabled
For disabled persons, many considerations need to be researched and decided on when moving. Is the building easily accessible? Are there handicapped accesses at the local businesses? It’s important to find the local independent living center, making a list for moving day, and finding out if you qualify for financial moving assistance. The Department of Labor also has a vast array of information for disabled persons before moving, after moving, and during settling into a new community.
Finding New Health Assistance and Care
If you are moving to a new district, city, or state, it’s important to know what options you have available to you in terms of assistance. DisabilityInfo has a fact sheet for those in Massachusetts but this can be a basic fact sheet to follow for any location. You can find your local independent living center at ILRU. You can also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at Sources for people with disabilities.
More Relocation Information for People with Disabilities
The following websites offer excellent information to make the transition to a new home go smoothly.
- National Alliance for Mental Illness: Home page
- FHI360: National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
- Housing and Urban Development: Information for disabled persons
- Social Security Administration: Work for the disabled
Moving for Military Families
Moving as a military family can be stressful, as most military families move quite often. The military will most likely provide assistance with all moving expenses and the moving process. Be sure to consider things like registering your car at the new location and checking what items should be packed by you versus the movers.
For more information, go to:
- Department of Defense: Transporting a personal vehicle
- Military Family Blog: Tips and tricks for PCS moving
For any move, having a list is extremely important to not only battle stress, but to also make sure everything gets done. InCharge and DODEA have comprehensive checklists for your first or 12th PCS move.
Additional Resources for Military Family Relocation
There is a lot of information available for military families. Here are some excellent sources to start with:
- Military Family Network: Military relocation
- Military Saves: How to avoid finanical stress of a PCS move
- SPCA International: Moving with military pets
Moving for College Students
Moving away from home for the first time can be exhilarating but overwhelming at the same time. You will most likely be moving into a dorm room, which means you may have very little space of your own. This is a good time to declutter your life and only bring what you absolutely need. Be sure to bring things that remind you of home to make a new place feel more comfortable. If you are bringing your car, find out about the parking policies and any permits you will need.
Are you moving off campus? Check out Carnegie Mellon University for some tips when moving to your own apartment.
You can also check out the following websites:
Safety Tips On and Off Campus
It is very important to be safe on your new campus or in your new off-campus area. Note the location of police stations or call boxes and areas that are not especially safe at night. Walk with someone at night and walk with confidence and purpose. If you feel uncomfortable, go to a public place such as a grocery store or restaurant and tell staff the situation.
For more information, visit:
Additional Student Resources
Here are two more great websites to check out:
- Department of Education: What to do before leaving for college
- Adventures in Education: College moving planner