You packed everything perfectly, including that dining room chandelier, the big-screen TV, the vintage ’70s “Dukes of Hazzard” T-shirt collection. You even got your dog’s medical records from the vet. But something’s keeping you awake at night as your move draws nigh. You know you forgot something.
Don’t worry, keep packing. We assembled this handy checklist of things people often forget to do—or don’t even realize they should take care of—so you can make sure you’re covered and can move and settle down in your new digs with ease.
1 month before: Cancel recurring chargesTaking care of a gym membership or other subscription services may fall by the wayside during the madness leading up to moving day. Worse, those recurring charges will keep mounting on your credit card while you’re in the throes of unpacking. Get a jump on canceling these at least a month before your last expected day of use, especially since many gyms require a 30-day notice.
Can’t get out of your contract or transfer your gym membership to a facility by your new home? Sell it through online classifieds such as GymTransfer (yes, most gyms allow this!). Don’t forget to unload any prepaid class cards, too.
On the flip side, important recurring charges on your credit card—such as mail-order medications—might be canceled if your address change hasn’t caught up with billing information. So compile a list of charges and make the effort to call these companies and give them a heads up to avoid disruption in service.
2 weeks before: Call your car insurance companyThe Department of Motor Vehicles advises people in the process of moving to closely manage their car insurance during the transition, as states have varying levels of required coverage. Even if you’re staying in the same city, rates can differ from neighborhood to neighborhood. So call your insurer well before the move to find out the parameters and deadlines for updating coverage at your new address.
2 weeks before: Change your address earlyMost people know the U.S. Postal Service offers an online form to quickly change an address for all of your mail, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until the last minute to fill it out.
“To make sure mail arrives at your new home in time for your life there, complete the form about two weeks before your move,” says Desmond Lim, founder of QuikForce, an on-demand website that links people with professional movers. That way “you should see the first of your forwarded mail by the time of move-in.”
1 week before: Organize your financesImportant financial tasks are often forgotten in the whirlwind of moving, says consumer finance expert Kevin Gallegos, vice president of Phoenix operations for Freedom Financial Network. Since losing track of bills among piles of boxes is all too easy, Gallegos recommends setting up systems before a move that can easily transition from old home to new. For monthly bills such as phone, rent, or mortgage, it can really help to set them up for autopay, which you can typically do through your bank or the billing company.
“This can help ensure on-time payment during a hectic time,” he says. Whatever system you choose, decide which household member will be responsible for paying which bills. And as moving often incurs unexpected costs, be sure that you’ll have enough money in designated accounts at time of payment.