No matter how organized you are when you make a move, it’s still possible to leave something accidentally behind when you leave your old place to move into your new apartment. Here’s a list of ten things that you might not have thought of when putting together your moving plan:
- Retrieve hidden valuables from your apartment. If you’ve hidden things away to keep them safe, be sure to retrieve them before moving. You’ll probably want to place them in a lock box and keep them with you during the move rather than pack or place them on your moving truck; so be sure to plan accordingly.
- Obtain copies of medical records. This is especially important if your old and new apartments are in different cities or areas, in which case you’ll likely be seeing new doctors. You’ll want copies of all of your family’s medical and dental documentation, including immunization records which are often required to register children in new schools; and don’t forget your pets’ vet records, as well! In some cases, a notarized document is required in order to obtain official documentation, so talk to your doctors’ offices and find out what they’ll require well enough in advance for you to plan. Don’t forget to ask what’s required in order to transfer prescriptions to a new pharmacy; and make sure you have an adequate supply of important medications to make it through your move.
- Prepare for new school registrations. Your child’s new school will want an official copy of his/her permanent school record when registering. Your leasing professional can help you get the contact information for schools in the neighborhood of your new apartment; and it’s helpful to contact them well in advance and ask exactly what they’ll require in order to register your child. Note that copies of school records often require a stamped seal to prove their authenticity. Schools often also require proof of immunization, making the tip above doubly important. Not having the proper documentation or authentication can cause delays in registration and set your child behind due to school absence in the middle of what might already be a stressful situation; so be sure to prepare in advance and give your child every advantage.
- Make one last round of errands. Before moving to your new apartment remember to pick up anything in/around the old neighborhood that you may have at the dry cleaners or out for repair (electronics, jewelry/watches, shoes, etc.); drop off library books and video rentals; and return anything else you or other members of your family may have checked-out or borrowed—including items borrowed from neighbors.
- Collect contact information. True, we have an Internet for finding things like that; but it’s helpful to keep a list—whether electronically or in hard copy—of important contacts in your old neighborhood, including friends you’ll want to keep in touch with; service providers (including your tax guy or a favorite shop that carries the special brand of something that you love); banks; key numbers at the company you’re leaving (including the Human Resources office and payroll in case you need to chase down proof of employment or a last mailed paycheck); doctors; and schools. Those numbers will come in handy if you find yourself in your new apartment wanting to reach out to someone or tie up important loose ends.
- Submit a change of address. Don’t forget to tell the post office where you’re going well in advance. That way, they can begin to route your mail to your new apartment effective on your move date. Remember that the USPS will forward mail addressed to the old address for only a limited time, so you’ll still want to inform your friends, family, anyone who sends you bills or other regular notices and subscription providers where you’re going so that your mail will continue to go where it needs to go.
- Leave cleaning supplies where you can get to them. Before you leave your old apartment for your new one, you’ll need to give the place a final once-over; so remember not to pack any cleaning supplies you’ll need for your final clean-sweep.
- Plan ahead when it comes to food, plants, and animals. In most cases moving companies cannot transport pets, plants or food items. Plan ahead and make appropriate arrangements. It’s often best to let your grocery supply wane in the last week or so before your move so that there’s not much to leave behind and give away to neighbors what you can’t take. Plants can be transported in your personal vehicle, but make sure you’ve checked carefully for bugs and other critters before putting them in the car, particularly if they’ve been outdoors. Pets will require a safe and secure carrier; and you might want to touch base with your vet to ask how you can make Fido or Fluffy comfortable during the move, as well as tips for getting them happily acclimated to the new apartment.
- Bank on it. If your apartment move will have you changing banks, it’s a good idea to open a checking account at the new bank about a month before your move so you’ll have immediate access to your money. You should also have a little cash on hand for unexpected expenses. Remember that your new bank will need some time to get to know you, and checks—particularly large ones like paychecks—that you may have been depositing for years in your old bank with immediate credit might be held for a few extra days at your new bank. You’ll also want to ask about the daily transaction limit on your new debit card to make sure you’ll be able to use it for large expenses and ask for a temporary increase if necessary. The worst possible time to find out that your debit card has a $500 daily limit is when the moving company says they’ll need you to pay the agreed-upon $900 balance before they can deliver your stuff.
- Don’t forget the keys and the clickers! If you have key cards, gate remotes or garage door clickers for your old apartment or community be sure to return them; and if you’ve given copies of keys to friends or neighbors ask for them back. While your old apartment management team will likely change the locks immediately, it’s always a good policy to not leave any loose ends or unauthorized access opportunities behind.
Remember to make these often-forgotten elements a part of your moving plan and you’ll be set for move-in success!