It’s so exciting, yet it also can leave you feeling discombobulated from all the details that need to be attended to. As the final boxes are being loaded up and the car is piled high with last minute items – most people become so focused on getting to the new destination that there are inevitably a few things that get left behind or forgotten about on moving day. So before you pack that last suitcase and jump in your car to start your newest chapter in life, take a moment to enjoy a slow, deep breath….and use this handy list to make sure all your bases are covered:
- Fido and Nemo: We love our pets and in the confusion don’t forget to load up the dog and cat while keeping their food and bed easily accessible. Smaller pets are especially prone to be left behind (whether on purpose or not, we won’t tell your kids!). As much as you would love to leave that gerbil or pet snake behind, your children will want to have a familiar friend at their new home. It is a great opportunity to give them the responsibility of caring for the pet(s) during the move and giving them the task of cleaning and updating their pet’s new space once you arrive at your destination. While you are at it, pick up your pet’s records at your current veterinarian. Ask them as well if they have any recommendations for your new city.
- Borrowed Books and Tools: Hopefully in your eagerness to pack, you remembered to pull out any books or other items that belong to the library or your friends. On that same subject, have you collected any items you let your friends or family borrow FROM you?
- Back Yard and Garage: Many times owners forget (sometimes on purpose) to pack items from the yard or garage. Ladders and garden hoses are especially vulnerable to being left behind. Tools and toys can be expensive to replace- unless you just want to donate those items to the new owners.
- Stove Drawer: I’m pretty sure that the silly drawer under the stove/oven has claimed some of my favorite kitchen pots over the years. Not sure why I can’t remember to pack that drawer! But definitely don’t skip over a final check on moving day.
- Utility Closet: Most of us hardly ever open the door to where the hot water heater is, however that space has often been used as a hiding place for Christmas and Anniversary gifts, as well as, the inconvenient ironing board or other items. Just do a double check because you might find a wonderful treasure tucked away!
- Attic/Crawl Space: These are two areas that are not used often so they can be easily over-looked. While pots, pans, and tools can be replaced if they are forgotten, a box of family memorabilia that is tucked away in a “safe” place and left behind may not be noticed for several months or years and would not be replaceable.
- Storage Unit: Admit it. Americans like their “stuff” and when we accumulate more stuff than we want to acknowledge, we conveniently rent a storage unit. I had family members who used to own a storage facility and you would be surprised how often families would forget they had a storage unit and would leave their belongings behind after they moved!
- Personal Info: Double check all your drawers, cabinet doors, or anywhere else you might have stashed personal information or passwords on sticky notes.
- Photos and Recipes on the Fridge: We all stick pictures, drawings, and notes on the side of our refrigerator – don’t forget to discard or pack them away.
- Goodwill: Still have lots of items that you don’t want to haul to your new home? Call Goodwill or another donation company in your area and most of them will gladly come to your house and pick them up. No need to pack, just leave them in the garage or the front porch.
In addition to remembering all your belongings, here are a few suggestions to make sure you have all your “loose ends” tidied up.
- Utilities: Turn off the utilities at your old residence. Water, gas, trash, electric, internet, and phone. No one wants to pay for more bills than they need to!
- New Residence Utilities: Turn on utilities at your new home before you actually get there! This way you are not left in the cold, dark, no heat or heaven forbid: in silence – Or the worst of all, NO WIFI!
- School/medical records: Contact your school and all doctors as soon as possible to give them time to gather records for you to take. We suggest keeping important documents with you when you are moving versus packing them in a box to go on the truck. Another tip – make copies of all your important documents and leave them with family, just in case something happens. This is good to do even if you are not moving! (See our blog post on preparing for emergencies).
- Garage Door Opener: Unfortunately your garage door opener is not going to do you any good at your new home. Check all your vehicles and leave the openers on the kitchen counter for the new occupants.
- Food: Nothing worse than finding an unexpected science project in your new home. Remember to dispose of any leftover food in the fridge. Have a freezer in the garage? Clean that as well.
- Contacts: Don’t delete old contacts -just yet! Wait a while before you do.
- Leave Your New Address: It’s a good idea to let a neighbor you trust or the local real estate agent know what your new address is. You never know if you will forget something important and they need to get in touch with you after moving day is over.
- Forward Mail: Unless you are in the witness protection program – or just don’t want to be found – don’t forget to go online at USPS.COM to have your mail forwarded.
- Thank You Notes: Several days before moving day, take time to sit down and think of the people in the area who were a blessing to you: friends, neighbors, teachers, nurses, mailman…write a quick note expressing your appreciation for them in your life and, if applicable, leave them your new contact information. It will bless you as much as it blesses them.
- De-Stress: Even though you have a to-do list that’s a mile long, take care of yourself. Take a time out when possible and breathe deep! Walk around your home and yard and take a moment to reflect on the memories you had there and say goodbye. Then embrace the new adventure waiting for you.
Tell us what things you have forgotten in past moves and any interesting moving stories. We’d love to hear your moving day tips!
Tribute to my friend Raquel Thiebes, who graciously allowed me to use her content in this post and complete what I already had started! Thank you, dear!
And if you are looking for a new home in Colorado Springs – or are selling a home – we would love the opportunity to meet with you to see if our services would be a good fit. Contact us at susanna