5 Things You Should Do One Month Before You Move

With one month to go before the big move, packing is key -- but what else is a must-do?
With one month to go before the big move, packing is key -- but what else is a must-do?
iStockphoto.com/Steve Cole

One month before your move is crunch time. Hopefully, you got some of your packing out of the way last month. If so, you probably focused on your nonessential items -- your out-of-season clothing, your fanciest china, your holiday wares and other items you didn't expect to use in the near future. During this month, you'll start to pack up the stuff you use more often, leaving out the absolute essentials to the end of the month, right before your move. Your place might look like chaos, but when moving day arrives, you'll be more than ready to load up the truck. What else should be on your to-do list for the month?


Notify the Post Office of Change of Address

This is one of those tasks that can easily fall through the cracks, and if it does, you may miss some really important mail -- like bills, bank statements and checks from people who owe you money. So, be sure to set aside some time to do this before you move. You can pick up a change of address form at the post office, fill it out and send it via snail mail. Or you can fill out the form online. You simply inform the U.S. Postal Service of your new address and the exact date when you would like your mail to be forwarded to that address. It's easy.


Notify Utility Companies of Account Changes or Disconnections

Do you want power and water at your new place? Of course you do. You might also want DSL, cable and some other services at your new abode. So here's what you do: Make a list of the utility companies you need to contact and then get out your bills (or look up your account information online). When you call, they'll probably ask you for an account number or pin number or something you may not remember offhand, so you'll want to have that information right in front of you while you're on the phone. It's usually pretty easy to get a service turned off at one place and turned on at another. But you might also use this move as an opportunity to reevaluate your services. Could you save some money by switching companies or getting a different package? Do these companies have any special deals right now? It never hurts to ask.


Notify Newspaper of Address Change or Stoppage

If someone still drives by your house and throws a newspaper at your lawn every morning, then you'll need to notify the paper of your change in address. (And won't it be welcoming to have a fresh paper on your new lawn when you arrive on moving day?) And while you're at it, you'll want to notify anyone else you expect to deliver something to you of your move. Did you order something on eBay? Did you buy a sweater online? Your mail should be forwarded, but just to be safe, you might want to go ahead and call those contacts to let them know what your new address is.


Collect Important Papers and Medical Records

Packing up for a move is a great time to organize your essential documents. As you're going through your papers, collect your most important documents -- your will, birth certificate, financial documents, social security card, car title, medical records, etc. You don't want these documents to get lost in the shuffle during the move. Pack them up together, set them aside, and then find a special place to put them once you're at your new place. You might even want to transport these documents yourself rather than have the movers load them into the truck, since they're extremely important and losing them could leave you vulnerable to identity theft.


Make Any Reservations for Lodging

If you're moving across the country or across the world, you'll need to schedule hotel reservations for any stop-off points. Same goes if you have lag time between your move-out and your move-in dates. Do you have family or friends coming along to help you move? If there isn't much space in the new place, you might need to make reservations for them at a nearby hotel. Whatever lodging reservations you need, you should go ahead and book them at least a month in advance. You don't want hotels to fill up before you get a chance to set up your stay.


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