Unlike the popular perception, moving doesn’t need to be a stressful process. When moving due to divorce, you may feel overwhelmed. Your life may feel like it's going in all directions. So to help you keep the moving process manageable following your divorce, here are some things to remember:
Start the Moving Process Early
It is important to stay in the know and know what is ahead when moving after a divorce. If possible, give yourself eight weeks to handle the moving to-dos in an orderly, low-stress manner. This expert two-month moving calendar will keep you organized and clear-headed. Simply follow these steps and check them off one-by-one as you finalize your divorce and start your next chapter
EIGHT WEEKS TO GO:
- Start the process of selecting a mover.
- Check your mover’s record with the BBB in your state. You can find local New York offices here and local California offices here. A great reputation is the best way to choose a mover.
- If you’re being relocated by your company, verify what the company relocation policy covers and what responsibilities fall on your shoulders.
- Start to inventory and divide up your belongings: Decide who gets what, which items to donate, recycle, to take and which items (if any) need to go into short-term or long-term storage.
- Your tape measure is your new BFF – measure all the rooms in your new home, include layouts of doors, closets and windows. Measure all the furniture that is going with you and create scaled cutouts to place in a scaled layout for each room. Once you have finalized a room layout that works photocopy your final layout for each room. Give a copy to the movers on moving day and tape a copy to each room.
FOUR WEEKS TO GO:
- Mail change of address cards or change your information online at the following:
- Arrange to clean furniture, drapes, etc. in your new place if necessary.
- Gather personal records (medical, dental, etc.)
- Arrange to transfer children’s school records
- Gather all pet's vet records and make sure all pets are micro chipped and chip corresponds to a cell number that goes with you on your move. Order new tags and licenses with new address and your cell phone number.
- Check homeowner’s insurance policies to see if moving is covered. Be sure your new home is protected by transferring fire, theft and other personal-property insurance.
- Start to pack.
THREE WEEKS TO GO:
- Make arrangements to discontinue current utilities and schedule the start-up of new utilities:
- Have appliances serviced for shipment.
TWO WEEKS TO GO:
- Arrange to transfer local bank accounts. Speak to your bank and find out about new checks being printed, etc. Don't forget your safety deposit box contents.
- Ask doctors, dentists and veterinarians for medical records.
- Cancel newspaper delivery.
- Refill all prescriptions. Get prescriptions transferred to new pharmacy closer to new home.
- Make arrangements to move children and pets. Do you need a babysitter for a day or two? A pet sitter?
- Confirm that mover will move houseplants; if not, make arrangements. Houseplants, usually, cannot be moved by a mover, especially on long distance or out of state moves.
- Start to disassemble any shelving, closet systems, etc. that you plan to take or arrange with the mover that they will be doing this on the day of the move.
- If you need one, hire a cleaning crew to come clean your empty place to get your deposit back. Will your new place need a cleaning crew before move in too?
ONE WEEK TO GO:
- Pack in separate boxes the items necessary for first days in new home: Label “LOAD LAST.” And label where to put each of those boxes in your new home: “top of kitchen counter.”
- Medicine (always keep prescriptions on you)
- Comfortable clothes
- Linens and towels
- Toothbrushes and toiletries
- Paper goods
- Disposable plates and silverware
- Foil and wax paper
- Plastic containers
- Vacuum cleaner
- Garbage bags
- Tool kit
- Step ladder
- Extension cords
- Light bulbs
- Cleaning items (mop and pail, broom and dustpan, etc.)
- Each member of the family should also pack a suitcase with what they need for a few days while you’re getting settled into your new place. Don't forget cell phone chargers, medications and favorite teddy bears.
- If the movers are packing all or part of your belongings, call to schedule and confirm the details. Make sure your mover knows how much packing you expect to do yourself and how much you expect them to do.
- Plan to use up most food items before the move. If you have any leftover food on moving day, donate it to Move For Hunger.
- Register to Vote – New York, California
TWO DAYS TO GO:
- Defrost and dry refrigerators/freezers to be moved.
- Gather valuables and important documents from jewelry cases, safe deposit box, etc. to take with you in car. Do not pack these items with your other belongings.
- Arrange to be on hand for last minute details and to give directions to movers.
- Leave the whole day for your move. Don’t plan to go back to work, arrange a dinner date, etc.
- Have payment for movers on hand. Avoid having to run out to bank, ATM, etc.
- Have tips ready for everyone who is assisting you: cleaning crew, doormen, nanny, dog sitter, movers, etc.
- Before leaving, check each room and closet. Check garage, basement and attic.
- When you leave, turn off lights, close windows and lock doors.
- Supervise placement of boxes and furniture. Refer to your premade layout. Scotch tape a copy of the layout to each room’s door.
- Check for damages. Inspect large items; look for boxes that are crushed or open. Inform the moving foreman and review the claims procedure with him.
- Go back to the truck. Make sure nothing was left behind. Check all the compartments where fragile items are often kept for their protection.
- Settle in to your new place; take photos for friends and family. A new chapter in your life has just begun! Let the new adventure begin!
Laura McHolm is an organizational, moving & storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award winning, "A+" rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services. www.northstarmoving.com