3 Months Before Moving
It’s Time to Choose a Real Estate Agent
When you decide to sell or rent your home, the three-month mark is ideal to get a real estate agent involved and sign a contract. This contract should outline items such as fees, advertising costs, property management protocols, and much more. It is recommended that you seek legal advice to ensure you are happy with the terms of the contract.
Put your home on the Market
Some of the steps involved in this process include:
- Confirm your price (whether this is your reserve sales price or rental price). Be sure to research recent comparable sale and rental prices in your local area
- Confirm how and when you want to schedule open houses and viewings. Will they be every weekend, mid-week, or by appointment only?
- Organize any contracts through your lawyer:
Prepare for Property Inspections
If you’re selling or renting out your home, you’ll want to do everything you can to secure the best possible price. As such, you’ll need to undertake some preparations to ensure that your property looks the best it possibly can, in both advertising photos and during inspections. Consider:
- New paint, carpet and lights can be an affordable, yet effective means of updating a property and adding value to its sale or rental price
- Installing heating and air-conditioning can add value, particularly to rental prices
- New bathrooms and kitchens add the most value to a property. However, this is a large undertaking, and may not be possible while also managing a move. Be sure to perform a cost benefit analysis and seek the advice of your real estate agent
- If anything is broken (such as leaking taps or chipped tiles, cracks in walls, or moldy grout), you should undertake minor repairs. You may attract a better caliber of renter or a higher purchase price
- Declutter and thoroughly clean your property, including steam cleaning carpets and curtains, washing walls, and ensuring the front and back yards are immaculate
- Enlisting the services of a professional staging company can help increase the perceived value of your property. A staging company will bring in their own furniture, artwork, rugs and home décor items to decorate your house
- If you’re renting out your property, you’ll need to ensure it meets all necessary laws, regulations and safety guidelines, particularly items like pool fencing, stairs, balconies, smoke detectors, blinds, and windows. Your real estate agent should be able to provide in-depth advice.
Decide What You Need to Move
Decide which of your belongings you’ll be moving, leaving in your current home, storing, selling, donating and disposing of. (And make sure you speak to your CEND expert if you require short or long-term storage).
2 Months Before Moving
Make Travel Arrangements
To save money on your travel arrangements:
- Invest time in researching the best deals, as fare change frequently
- Book flights as early as possible
- Avoid school holidays and peak travel periods
Schedule Packing and Moving Dates
Once you’ve decided on where, when and what you want to move, schedule:
- A date for the packers to meticulously pack your
- A date for the movers to carefully pick up and load your belongings (usually the day following the completion of your packing).
Obtain Quotes from Professional Secure Storage Providers
If you are storing any of your belongings, make sure you store them properly, safely and securely with a trusted and experienced short and long-term storage provider.
To help ensure your belongings are stored properly and safely, so they remain in their best condition, insist on the following criteria when selecting a storage provider:
- Extensive years of experience as an industry leading storage expert, including accredited packers and movers to properly protect and deliver your belongings into short or long-term storage
- A range of positive customer reviews, attesting to the safety and security of their storage
- State-of-the-art storage facilities that are security, fire and flood monitored, and free from pests and vermin.
Schedule Secure Storage
Once you’ve decided on a secure storage provider, book in:
- Your storage start date
- Your storage pack and pickup date
- A minimum anticipated, yet flexible end-date.
Find Temporary Accommodation and a Rental Car
When you first arrive, depending on where you plan to live, you may also want a rental car.
If you plan on searching for your home once you arrive in the US, find temporary accommodation that is within walking distance to your work or public transport. This way, all members of your family will have access to transportation.
If Children are Accompanying You, Make School Arrangements
At your child’s current school:
- Give notice regarding your departure dates
- Request copies of your child’s school reports or university transcripts, and ensure they are readily available—it’s a good idea to take copies on the plane with you
- If you plan on having your child return to the school, confirm and meet any necessary return requirements.
For your child’s future education, you’ll need to:
- Investigate the type of school you wish your children to attend
- Shortlist specific schools
- Arrange tours of shortlisted schools
To assist you in finding the most appropriate school for your children, visit:
- US News Best High Schools Rankings, which includes data on more than 22,000 public schools
- US News Best Colleges, which includes data on more than 1,800 colleges
- US News National University Rankings, which includes data on more than 310 universities.
Confirm Vehicle Transportation
Reach out to CEND for all your needs to move your cars, caravans, campervans and motorbikes
Confirm Pet Transportation
Again, reach out to CEND to manage all your pet transportation requirements
[Pro Tip Icon] TIP: Airlines may have separate and additional requirements for the transportation of pets. Be sure to check with your airline to determine what requirements they may have, if any.
[Pro Tip Icon] TIP: Ensure all your pet’s vaccinations and health-checks are up-to-date, and obtain a copy of your pet’s medical records, or a signed letter from your veterinarian.
Investigate Employment Options
If you’ve already secured a new role (or are moving for a specific employment opportunity), now is the time to investigate employment options for your partner (if needed). Or, if you haven’t secured a role, to investigate employment for yourself.
Declutter Your Home
A cluttered house will make moving unnecessarily stressful; packing will take longer, and the cost of your move will be more expensive (as fees are based on the volume of items). If you’re not selling or renting out your home (in which case you will have already completed this step), now is the time to declutter your home, determining which items you will:
- Keep and ship
- Keep and place in secure long term storage
- Sell or donate to charity
- Throw away
How can I move with minimal stress? Engage experienced, professional international packers, like the team at CEND. Not only will it reduce, if not eliminate, the most stressful part of moving, it will help ensure your belongings are packed safely for their upcoming journey.
If you’re not using a professional packing service, make sure you start packing as early as possible:
- Create an inventory of all items to be packed, paying careful attention to precious, special and fragile items
- Invest in superior quality protective wrapping and packing materials:
- Professionally designed and constructed double-corrugated moving boxes
- Packing material like bubble wrap and packing paper (like ‘butcher’s paper’, not newspaper)
- Incidentals like tape, markers, and zip-lock bags.
- Reinforce boxes by securely taping the top, bottom and sides
- Start by packing items rarely used (like books and things stored in garages, basements or your roof space)
- Always pack individual boxes properly:
- Keep each box to a maximum of 40lbs to make moving the box easy, and to avoid boxes breaking under excess weight
- Evenly distribute weight, with heavy items placed at the bottom of boxes and lighter items at the top
- Pack to the top of the box and fill empty space with bedding, clothing, bubble wrap or paper to prevent movement and breakages, and boxes collapsing.
- Clearly label every moving box, including the contents of the box (not just the room in which it belongs). For example: ‘Kitchen: Plates and Mugs’; not just ‘Kitchen’.
1 Month Before Moving
Investigate Housing in your new location
If you’re not moving for work, or your employer hasn’t organized housing for you, investigate potential properties to buy or rent.
Pay Final Bills and Cancel or Suspend Accounts, Subscriptions and Policies
- Ensure all outstanding bills are paid or will be covered as needed
- Consider whether you should cancel or suspend your existing accounts, subscriptions, policies and other ongoing services, including:
- Insurance (health, house and contents, car, income protection, business)
- Utilities (gas, water and power)
- Phone, internet and subscription TV services
- Magazine and newspaper subscriptions
- Gym memberships
[Pro Tip Icon] TIP: When canceling your insurance, or other services where you may have prepaid for the year, check whether you’re entitled to a refund for the period after the cancellation.
Notify Your Change of Address
- Arrange a mail forwarding service
- Notify the following of your departure date, and new forwarding address:
- Medical professionals
- Insurance companies
- Utility providers
Hire a Handyman
If your current home lease or contract of sale includes any repair work prior to you vacating the premises, book in a handyman now.
If You’re Ending Your Lease, Notify Your Landlord
If you’re ending a lease, now is the time to notify your landlord. Make sure you understand any requirements, including:
- Vacate clean standards (carpets steam cleaned, walls washed, and so on)
- Final inspection date and requirements
- When and how your bond will be returned
- When and how you need to return keys
If You’re Renting Out Your Current Home, Confirm Details with Your Property Manager
Touch base with your property manager to confirm:
- Tenant move-in dates
- Exchange of property keys
- Inspection dates and an agreed property inventory
- Responsibilities for repairs
- The process if tenants break their lease
- Your preferred method of contact
If You’re Selling Your Current Home, Confirm Details with Your Real Estate Agent
Check in with your real estate agent to confirm:
- Final inspection date
- Settlement date
- Exchange of property keys
Attend to Your Medical Needs
- Have check-ups with any medical practitioners you regularly visit: doctor, dentist, optometrist, and so on
- Obtain original copies of your medical records
- Order spare contact lenses, or spare glasses
- Obtain prescriptions for any medication you take regularly
Arrange appropriate Protection Cover for your Move
As a rule, your standard house and contents insurance won’t cover your personal possessions while in transit. CEND offers a comprehensive range of cost-effective protection options. Speak to your CEND expert to arrange transit and storage insurance that suits your needs and budget.
If You’re Renting Out Your Current Home, Arrange Landlord’s Insurance
If you’ve decided to rent out your current home, you’ll need to inform the company responsible for your home and contents insurance that you are no longer living there. You may also want to arrange landlord’s insurance. This protects against financial losses that may be suffered because of owning a rental property. You can opt for insurance that covers the building only, as well as specific items that you may have left on the premises.
Investigate Drivers’ License Requirements
Safely Dispose of Dangerous and Prohibited Items
Safely dispose of any dangerous or prohibited goods that cannot be moved or stored.
2 Weeks Before Moving
Pack Your Suitcases
Start packing your suitcases now, while making a detailed inventory list as you go. Your suitcase should contain all the essential items that you, and your family members, will need as soon as you arrive in your new location including:
- Clothing (appropriate for the local season and activities)
- Favorite toys for children
- Essential electronic devices, like laptops, tablets, mobile phones and their chargers
- Prescription medications
Confirm Movers’ Access Requirements
Confirm any of your movers’ access requirements at your existing home, such as parking and building access and restrictions, traffic management and lift protocols. Remember to check street signage and the requirements of your local government and building manager.
Reconfirm Move Details with Your Mover
Reconfirm all your move details with your mover, including:
- Your pickup and delivery addresses and contact details
- The day and time that your professional packers will arrive
- Any movers’ access requirements (as confirmed above), such as parking and building access, traffic management and lift protocols
- The day and time your belongings will be picked up
- Expected transit time and delivery dates
- All paperwork is correct and on file
Schedule Cleaning Services
If you’re renting, or your contract of sale requires it, schedule a cleaning at your current home for the day after your belongings are picked up. (CEND can assist you with this if needed.)
Cover Off Any Incidentals
There will always be last-minute odd jobs when moving, including:
- Picking up dry cleaning
- Returning house keys to your friends, family and neighbors
- Using as much of the food in your pantry, fridge and freezer as possible.
1 Week Before Moving
Complete Odd Jobs
With just one week before your move, you should be just about ready to go, bar a few odd jobs:
- Finish packing any moving and storage boxes if you’re self-packing
- Finish packing your suitcases
- Reconfirm your travel arrangements, including your flights, temporary accommodation and rental car
- Confirm with utility companies that your services are set to be disconnected
- If you’re renting, reconfirm the details of your final inspection with your landlord
- Make sure you’re going to be at home, and available, on the day your professional packers and movers arrive to:
- Provide guidance on what you need packed for moving and or storage
- Confirm everything on your inventory to be packed and loaded.
The Day Before Moving Day
Complete Last-Minute Jobs
If you’ve followed this checklist, the day before moving day should just include a few last-minute jobs:
- If you’ve contracted professional packers, they should arrive today. So, be sure you’re home and available to provide instructions on what needs to be packed
- Inform your mover of any last-minute changes
- Clean out your fridge and completely defrost your freezer. Leave the doors open overnight to ensure they’re completely dry and odor-free
- Completely drain liquid from irons, washing machines, dryers, dish washers and ice makers
- Reinstall your washing machine’s transit bolts to prevent damage
- Fully charge your mobile phones and other electronic devices, and make sure you have a hard copy of any important phone numbers, just in case your phone runs out of battery.
[Pro Tip Icon] TIP: To help ensure mold doesn’t grow on your belongings while in transit or storage, it is essential that all water is removed from your belongings, and all items are completely dry before pickup.
Manage a Stress-Free Moving Day
On moving day, you need to make sure you separate and carry with you:
- Important documents:
- Travel documents
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Divorce papers
- Child custody papers
- Adoption papers
- Drivers’ licenses
- Medical records
- School and university records
- Insurance policies
- Legal documents (wills, power of attorney, bank statements, income tax records, and so on).
- Valuable and irreplaceable items, such as jewelry and personal keepsakes
- Mobile phones, devices and their chargers
- Fully documented prescriptions and other medical items.
Before you leave your existing property ensure:
- All your personal possessions are packed
- All the utilities have been switched off and disconnected
- The property is locked and secure
- All house keys and garage door openers have been given to your landlord, or real estate agent.
Once You Arrive
Unpack Your Belongings
Take delivery of your shipment:
- Ensure you’re home the day on which your shipment arrives
- Give your movers a plan—tell them how and where you’d like furniture and boxes placed
- Check boxes, furniture and appliances off your inventory to ensure everything is delivered
- Thoroughly inspect all boxes, furniture and appliances to ensure they arrive in the same condition in which they left your old home.
Connect Your Utilities
Once you’ve found a property to rent or buy, you’ll need to organize the connection of your electricity, water and gas utilities.
Enroll Your Children in School
You’ll need to enroll your children at your preferred school. To do so, you may need:
- An up-to-date record of your child’s vaccinations
- A copy of their birth certificate
- A copy of their school records
- For State schools, proof that you live in the school district (such as a utility bill or bank statement)
- To undertake any necessary assessments to determine in which grade your child belongs.
Enroll Your Children in a University
If your children will attend a university in the Unites States, they’ll need to sit a SAT (Standardized Admissions Test). This test is focused primarily on English and math skills. Universities will also consider your child’s grades, and what sort of subjects they’ve chosen to study. For specific entry requirements, it’s best to consult individual universities.
Enjoy Your New Home
Once all the logistics of moving are finalized, it’s time to enjoy your new home! Get out, discover your new neighborhood, see the local sights, make some new friends and enjoy your next big adventure.
Disclaimer: We have been furnished with the above information, however, CEND gives no guarantees or undertakings concerning the accuracy, completeness or up-to-date nature of the information provided. It is essential that users verify all information contained here before taking any action, or relying upon it. CEND cannot be held liable for any actions taken based on the information contained within this Checklist.